Gotham Animal Control
Roleplaying Log: Gotham Animal Control
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

In the wee hours of the morning, after things go sideways at the Punchline, Gotham PD gets a little help wrapping things up with a pair of errant hyenas. …but maybe Batgirl could use some help, too?

Other Characters Referenced: Harley Quinn, Batman, The Joker
IC Date: September 07, 2019
IC Location: The Punchline, Gotham
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 08 Nov 2019 05:17
Rating & Warnings: PG
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits: NPCs by Harley Quinn
Associated Plots

The ambulance appeared fifteen minutes ago, and it is—by no small miracle—a still living man who is hauled out on a stretcher. The hyena’s bite missed the artery in his thigh by a breath. They’ll see what can be done for the torn muscle at the hospital with the chunk of it sitting in Bud’s stomach.

The cop cars pulled up soon afterwards, forming a line too late. The suspicious characters left the club well before the authorities showed, leaving no one to answer for the violence of the night. No one to speak for the hyenas presently trapped behind the heavy kitchen doors. They’re mostly quiet, at least, having found several trays of entrees that were waiting to go out.

They eat like they haven’t for days, cackling all the while.

Every so often one of the cops tries to go in from one of the two doorways leading in, only to have Lou lift his head and protectively giggle and chase them back out between his gulps of food.

The men in the alley have broken the lock, but can't seem to sneak in.

“I say we just shoot these stupid things,” one finally says. “I don’t see why we gotta do this. We ain't animal control.”


Up on the rooftops of the Punchline, a costumed figure looks over the alley where the men have busted the lock. Her yellow-lined cape catches a bit of a breeze, rippling back from a costume that she hasn't worn in almost a decade.

The early Batgirl costume was a bit more, um, retrofit with a thick bodysuit of medium-gray material and a black bat symbol on the chest; it's stretch helps a more mature Batgirl fit into it. The boots are simple, as are the gloves, and she's wearing a broad mask that lacks the more traditional cowl. Oh yes, she's gone retro — thanks, arsonists. If only she had finished her new prototype…

She peeks down into the alley, risking being seen. She hooks both hands on her hips before she takes a chance, calling down to the men about to resort to rock-paper-scissors on who opens the door next, "Want some help?"

Well, if they try to arrest her, she'll just run, but Harley's not going to like her babies just left there for, um, the cops to handle.


It’s a risk, to be sure, for a vigilante to be seen in Gotham’s present climate.

If Quinn knew what a Batling was risking for her sake, it’s hard to say what her reaction would be. But she doesn't.

Instead, there are two cops below, looking up to the figure made barely visible by the hazy night sky reflecting back the alley lounge. “You aren't supposed to be here, lady,” the other cop calls back. “Didja miss the memo?”


"Oh, I didn't miss it," Batgirl calls down to the two cops. "But, here's the thing… I could just totally go swinging back to my belfry and leave those two puppies to you guys to handle… or…" And she shrugs one shoulder. "I could take this responsibility off your hands. In fact, I'll take the doggies off your hands, too."

Batgirl leans down closer to the edge of the roof. "So, you two can make the call… I can spare you a limb or two, and you can spare me the handcuffs, and we both win. I don't get arrested, you don't become hyena food."


There’s a look shared between the two men at the offer, and one of them crosses his arms and shrugs. “If you’re in the mood for playing Animal Control, lady…”

He moves to take hold of the radio clipped to his shoulder and pushes the button. “This is 4127. Me and Ray are going to try another door. The pooches aren’t letting us in this way.”

“Copy that.”

They’re not dogs! They’re not even related to dogs! They’re more closely related to cats! Which really explains some things if you think about it long enough. But, alas, no one is here to give the biology lesson.

The Man Who Is Not Ray looks up, and then he sighs. “We’re going to take the long way. If we come back and they’re still in there, then we’re gassing the mutts. We gotta clear the place.”


Babs crosses her arms loosely at her chest again as she looks down at the two cops, foot perched on the edge of the roof as she looms over. "I'm more worried you two are going to get eaten by a pair of not-at-all domesticated furbabies."

She drops back into a crouch as she climbs onto the roof edge, looking down into the alley while Not-Ray and his partner settle on a decision. She quirks a small smile as they start in on the radios, and she flashes Not-Ray a thumbs up. "Take your time."

With an outward stretch of her arms, the Batling drops down to the alley noiselessly. She turns slightly to look down either direction of the alley, and then she draws something off her belt. She bounces it twice in her hand before she edges near the door. Then, very quietly, she starts to open the door so she can flick the ball inside.

It rolls, bounces, and just about four feet in, Harley Quinn's voice suddenly emits through the tiny speakers of the little rolling ball, the audio scraped together by ALTHENE's databases—


// “Oh, baaaaAAAAAAAAAAAbies! Whatcha doin’? C’mere ta mama!”//

It’s not a bad mashup as—possibly for the first time since Harleen Quinzel’s fall from the graces of normal society—her shrill, grating, erratic cadence is actually lending itself to the cutting and splicing that the databases has to do to get there.

Bud is busy growling and snuffling at the locked steel kitchen door leading back out to the main floor, but Lou’s ears prick up immediately. His head lifts up out of the plate of chicken tenders that he was devouring, and he’s at full attention as he looks for where his mistress ended up.

When he doesn’t immediately see her, however, his hackles start to go back up and he laughs.


The door opens just enough for Batgirl to slip inside, and she keeps low to the ground as she crouches behind one of the prep stations. She shakes her head at the stretched out shrill from Harley Quinn, and she silently thanks ALTHENE for her audio-splicing. She half-wonders if the AI filled in gaps with her own mimicry of the blonde's voice. That's a scary thought.

With her cape tucked in around her, she is a black blob in the shadows of the chop station. She starts to reach for another gadget on her belt — a round sphere like the other, but this one more classified as a grenade. She's going to try for some gassing, which may work… or incite the hyenas a bit more.

Seriously, Harley — time for some new pets. She withdraws a silicone mask from her belt, slipping it on over her mouth before she prepares to roll the ball and trigger the knock-out gas…


Waiting…

Waiting…

Waiting…

This is what the Red Hood has been doing for the longest time. Who knows how long he's been a couple of rooftops away? Hidden away underneath the shroud of darkness and watching the comings and goings of the Punchline? The intel he's managed to gather from being both inside and outside of the spot is enough to let him know he's headed in the direction with his Clown Hunt.

Revenge, after all, is a dish best served to floppy shoes and a red nose.

At present, though, his previous recon gets sidetracked by the arrival of a pile of dollar signs in a cape and a cowl. He stealths to a better vantage point and peers with his telescoping lenses to keep an eye on the Batgirl and the Hyena issue that she's dealing with. There's even a moment in which he likely smirks beneath that mask and reaches down to unzip a huge duffle bag.

A moment later, he's hoisting up a massive rifle that gets set up on the edge of the rooftop and with that scope on it, he might as well count the creases in Batgirl's suit. Anyway, he takes aim. A nice quiet aim. And audibly grins as he pulls back on that trigger to let the bullet fly…

… right for the ball in Batgirl's hand.


The knock-out grenade goes flying out of her hand thanks to the precision shot, shattering through glass to get to her. It bounces instead of rolls, making loud, sharp noises against the floors. Her head looks up immediately for the hyenas, and then over her shoulder all wide-eyed.

"What the —"

She can't speculate who is on the other end of that scope, because she's having to make a split-second decision—

She whips the bola off her belt, speeding up the balls on the end of the cords into a tight whirlwind. The first hyena that bolts toward her is going to get a bola to the paws.

All the while, she is trying to get out of sight of the window as if expecting another blast of weapon's fire.


The next thing that happens, happens outside. It's kind of a clear view of the body of an armored and jacketed body that's curled up into a cannonball shape that's headed straight for that window that's just been shot through. The velocity of which is kind of terrifying considering he's leaped from across the street and at an angle that puts gravity to some serious use.

The body uncurls at the last rotation and those armored boots smash through the glass, allowing the individual entrance into the Vigilante + Hyenas equation. It rises from the floor the moment it touches down, stands tall, two guns drawn and revealing the dark red helmet that obscures their face.

"Tsk, tsk." The Red Hood's modulated voice is dripping with sarcasm as one gun is pointed in Batgirl's direction and the other one is aimed at those Hyenas. "See what happens when you don't return my calls? This city goes to the dogs."

FWIP! FWIP! The shots from one of those weapons are not as loud as guns normally would be and a pair of darts are sent sailing towards each of the Hyenas, Rob and Sue? Whatever. Tranq Darts du jour!

That other gun is pointed directly at Batgirl's face even though the Red Hood isn't quite looking at her. But if she looks, she can see the Safety is OFF and it doesn't look like he's not going to pull on that trigger. It is itching.

"Please don't move. I'm just here to talk." His grip tightens on the gun. "… For now, anyway."


He may just be here to talk, but Lou is not once he realizes that Harley is nowhere to be found. His manic giggling continues as he lunges for Batgirl…. Only to find a bola wrapped around his ankles and go skidding across the floor. The yelp when his back hits one of the cabinets is loud enough that it gets Bud’s attention, and his head snaps away from where he’s snapping at the door where the cops are on the other side and towards the vigilante.

He assesses the situation quickly and then his nails scrabble against the tile as he goes on the attack.


The glass shatters and Batgirl drops into a low squat with her cape drawn up around her. Still in her high school suitsighshe misses the sturdier material from her recent capes and the glass easily slices through to the gray bodysuit beneath. She really— really— needs to get her prototype finished.

When she looks up— "Jason," Barbara's throat tightens around the breathed word. She only looks at the man long enough to be distracted from the loud scrambling of claws on the tiles.

Jason says don't move, and even with her hands up, she slowly rises to her feet. "I would have returned your calls if you actually called. But you're a stab and go kinda guy."

Another one of her gas grenades sits between her feet and she kicks it out toward Bud as he scrabbles toward them.


Tranq Gun is held at the ready even though Batgirl is taking care of the hyenas. He's definitely got some stuff ready in case they get to close to him. Not her. He's not too worried about her. Like at all. She can get eaten. But after he's collected on the bounty.

"My bad. I thought you'd enjoy the more personal message. I'll remember that for next time."

The Red Hood keeps that one gun aimed at Batgirl through the madness of all this. Hyenas and gas bombs and shattered glass. It's like an episode of Gotham. Oh. Wait. Gotham's actually a reality and not a horrible television show filled with corruption and violence. No wonder Jason's all screwed up. He was raised in this.

"You know why I'm here right? Let me give you a hint. It has nothing to do with your Rescue Mission of these Mongrels and everything to do with changing my tax bracket with a nice lump sum of cash."


Bud goes flying for the redhead, only to find that he’s hit right in the nose with a huge cloud of gas. He begins choking and coughing on it nearly immediately, as does Lou on the floor beside him when he backs up to be protectively close to his brother.

It’s only a handful of moments before the pair are laid down on the floor beside each other, giggling angrily until they fall silent and slumbering.

…mostly silent. Because Bud is still irritated, and he snorts and giggles for a few long moments after his eyes close.


You know why I'm here right?

"Family reunion?" Babs queries in an afterthought. Then she snorts slightly. "I'm not rescuing these mongrels." Beat. "Or at least not entirely. Harley Quinn has left them here, which she would never do. That means something is up."

She keeps her hands up, though something in her posture suggests it is not a surrendering gesture. Her blue eyes do not leave Jason and his intimidating red mask. "Jason, this is a mistake. You turn me in, and there is nothing stopping them from arresting you, too. You think that GCPD hasn't ranked you in their files as some murderous vigilante? You killed that kid who robbed that convenience store, and he wasn't the last or the first. You take me in, they're going to arrest you, too — and some dirty cop is going to cash in on both of us, even if you did all the work."

Her eyes narrow then, mouth set into a hard frown. "Why didn't you come find me, Jason? Red Robin knew it was you, Batman, too… you could have reached out." She gets why he didn't, but how does she even start explaining her own crisis, her own change of perspectives? If Dick was here, would he be trying to talk Jason down or just taking Jason down?

Slowly, she starts to lower her hands. "This isn't the place to talk… the cops will be back here soon, and they aren't going to decide which mask is on their side."


Red Hood is probably rolling his eyes beneath that helmet. He even moves the gun away from Batgirl at this point because he's pretty sure there's going to be minimal need to shoot her at this point. There's a lot going on and even more on the line and he's barely even paying attention to the hyenas that are down around them.

"Family reunion? Seriously? You say that like you all actually give a shit." Snort. Yes, Jason Todd snorts through his helmet. On purpose. To make sure Batgirl understands just how much he doesn't believe her or anything she's saying. Because why would he?

"Oh no. The person attached to the hip of the person that killed me lost her hyenas that, coincidentally, also kill people. Yeah, let's rush right out to solve the mystery of the missing clown princess. Sooooo important." Oh the Sarcasm. It burns.

"For the record, I've planned for all that. Just like Daddy's Issues taught us. But if you don't want to come quietly…" His tranq gun gets switched out for another pistol of lethal violence. "… I think I still get the money whether or not you're breathing."

He's so annoyed.


He's so annoyed? She's so annoyed.

"Goddamnit, Jason." Babs steps forward toward him. "If I had known that you were alive, I would have been the first to seek you out! You know that, you have to know that. Whatever happened, there's a way to not choose this."

He switches weapons, and she backsteps just as quick as she stepped forward. Her stance slips into something more defensive — readied. "You don't think it's strange that the so-called Clown Princess just left her dogs here to be picked up by animal control? You don't also find it strange that The Joker has been running fight clubs out of this place, and suddenly is also nowhere to be found? Come on, Jason — you're seeing the narrowest picture possible."

She shifts her stance a bit, one foot gliding backwards. "You're family, Jason. You're my family." She slips a razor batarang from the little spot at her wrist. All it takes is one twitch of his trigger finger, and that razor goes flying at Jason. It's the choice she doesn't want to make —


The Red Hood knows Batarangs. He's timed them. He knows how much room he has to work with. He doesn't know Batgirl's throwing strength as well as he'd like but he can calculate quickly enough to perform dodging to the side in particularly stylish fashion. Razor Batarang still slices through the sleeve of his jacket tho.

RUDE.

Red Hood tucks and rolls behind the nearest big thing possible and holds his ground for a moment. He has things to say. "Sorry but giving a shit about my killer and my killer's girlfriend? Not exactly on the top of my To Care About List!"

Red Hood pops up quickly and aims both pistols in Batgirl's direction and immediately starts firing. Strangely, though, he's not so much trying to fill her full of lead so much as he's trying to just show her that he's not playing around. Those are real bullets.

And also to distract her from the rolling grenade he has sent across the floor in her direction…


"You're being incredibly obtuse, Jason," Babs says impatiently. "This has zero to do with giving a shit," Nice job, Jason. Babs just used a PG-13 word, "and more to do with the fact that Harley Quinn would never abandoned her babies. That's — "

But before Batgirl can finish those words, she has two pistols aimed at her and the ear-splitting sound of gunfire drives her down behind a prep table. She's squatting, keeping to the ground even while she growls under her breath, "I don't have time for this."

Then, with a glance aside as she shuffles aside, ready to peer around the corner of the table, she spots the grenade. Her eyes widen and she gasps in a sharp breath, and then the bat is spinning to the other side, first running and then sliding across the floor toward the other side of the heavy metal prep table. She's getting flashbacks to Jurassic Park, and hops that Jason isn't the type to go military grade on his grenades.

She doesn't wait for the blast as she calculates her next move — time to make it for the door.


Localized grenades are great for impact and making a statement. He's not here to burn this place to the ground. Not really. He really did just kind of want to kill two birds with one bullet shaped stone. But things probably aren't going to happen that way. Not when there's all kinds of shenanigans going on.

And Batgirls not getting blown up like they should.

The resulting explosion seems a lot worse than it is. Meant to lay out enemies with concussive actions more than explosive power so a lot of stuff gets sent flying all over the place but there's not really much fire. Unless, y'know, some things get shattered that are electrical or flammable or something. Either way, the Red Hood is doing his cool anti-heroic walk through the smoke, dust, rubble… whatever makes him look too damn cool for words.

"First of all, nobody says 'obtuse'. Put down the Bat-Thesaurus once in a while." Red Hood is all out in the open now, guns still clenched tightly as he stalks in Batgirl's last known direction. "Secondly, when you have an opportunity to save someone, make sure its someone that could actually benefit from being saved. Like, oh, let's say someone beaten to near death by a crowbar? Y'know, just throwing that out there. Instead of a couple of mongrels that belong to a lapdog of a vicious mass murderer."

At this point, Jason just starts shooting. Because why the hell not.

"Priorities!"

Yup. He's nuts.


"First of all," Batgirl repeats in the same tone Jason chooses, but she goes on, "it's called the Bathesaurus." Then her teeth flash, not that Jason can see it from where she's hunkered down near the chopping station. "And if you're going to start a particular format for a sequence, you should stick to it…" Did she just criticize Jason for his grammar? Why, yes… yes she did. She's not in a great mood—

Being shot at might have something to do with it.

The rattling sound of the bullets has her ducking her head and moving simultaneously. She darts for the side of the chopping station with a flutter of that old cape. What she wouldn't give for her prototype suit and not her high school throwback. She takes in a breath as she stays pressed in a corner, listening to bullets ricochet and blast into parts of the kitchen. She slips another grenade from her belt — this time, she's gone with the flashbang.

"Jason, you know that I had no idea what happened to you. If I had, I would have been there, at your side." She leans her head back, eyes closed for a moment. "Come on, Jace… I can help you."

Even as she offers up that plea, she slips the grenade across the ground through the gap between the chop station and the floor, aiming the little ball packed full of light and sound for Jason's feet.


Outside, the cops are starting to wonder what on Earth is actually going on.

Is Batgirl going to just blow them dogs up? They’re… actually remarkably okay with this, so they go on pretending that they don’t hear anything at all going on in the kitchen.


Being prepared is one of the textbook rules for being a Bat Brat. Even as an ex-Bat Brat this is still one of those rules. Which is why he’s designed his helmet to withstand things like this. Unfortunately, Bat Tech is always advancing. Bruce is annoying in that way.

His “children” have picked up that trait very well.

The timing and impact if that flashbang has the Red Hood backpedalling and putting more space between himself and the Batgirl.

“You’re only delaying the inevitable!” Red Hood’s lenses are flaring from the flashbang. The sound was dulled so that’s a bit of a relief. “But. That’s fine. Life’d be pretty boring if I got to make everyone pay in one night. There’s no fun in that!”

Red Hood fires another couple shots… this time at the window nearest him. “Tell ‘Dad’ I’m coming home. And I’m bringing my new explosive personality!”

Red Hood shatters the glass with his escape and who knows what method of ghosting he uses outside. All that matters now are the explosives scattered across the floor on which he just stood.

Death by Pun?

——

The flashbang goes off with a burst of light and harrowing blast of decibels. For a moment, it blinds and deafs the pair, or at least gives a lull before they can go back to firing quips back at each other. Hers comes soon after the lights dim again: "I like to procrastinate!"

Her teeth flash briefly, gritting against the words that Jason leaves her with. She pops her head up to survey the wreckage of the kitchen of the Punchline — maybe the vigilantes of Gotham do have some issues with extensive property damage. She swings out from behind the station, rushing for the shattered window to look out to maybe spot Jason's retreat. Her jaw sets.

For a moment, she wonders if she should tell Bruce at all. Her shoulders tighten beneath her first generation cape, only to loosen when she looks back over her shoulders to where she left Bud and Lou, still unconscious but probably snorting their giggles still on the floor. She crosses to them to secure their paws and jaws to leave behind for animal control. She takes an extra moment to pen a note on a server's notepad, leaving it at the feet of the hyenas: Secure Carefully. —B.G.

Then she starts for the same window Jason left through to join him in a rather mysterious departure into the night. As she swings out, all she can think is… Damnit.

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