A Titanic Offer
Roleplaying Log: A Titanic Offer
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

The Titans visit Crush and offer to join forces against the Fight Club

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: February 26, 2020
IC Location: Roof of a Gotham Tenement
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 28 Feb 2020 01:03
Rating & Warnings: PG
Scene Soundtrack: None
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* OOC Time: Wed Feb 26 20:19:00 2020 *

* * *

Crush moves around a lot- at first, when she started her one woman crusade against it was maybe twice a month. Since she's upped her game, after being attacked by the Juggernaut. She's completely abandoned her favorite abode of a rather nicely sheltered junk yard just outside of New York City going to ground in Gotham.

Crush is surprisingly good at disappearing. She only pays for things in cash, she keeps to herself, and anyone who messes with her is usually put down quickly. Of course, as good at Crush is at disappearing she's not better at digging up dirt than anyone trained by the Batman.

The rooftop shack that Crush called her current home was not a paragon of shack-building. It was slapdash, but sturdy. Most evenings, Crush just keeps herself busy working out and listening to somewhat loud music. Tonight is no different with Crush doing curls as she just… exists between her somewhat violent attacks on people who were fighting slaves in one of the only businesses she could make money at with her particular skill-set.

* * *

The thing about Gotham is that, sure, there's a lot of weird people there… But there's also people with a strongly vested interest in keeping tabs on those weird people. It isn't like New York, with a metahuman around seemingly every corner, or Metropolis where a certain big blue boy scout might drop out of the sky to make sure everyone's playing nice… Being a powered individual in the City of Yesterday, a tiny minority out of its teeming millions, tends to bring a more passive observation unless there's some kind of trouble.

And, well, you know who trouble tends to bring out.

But rather than the big bad bat and his curt and growly warnings, or anybody throwing another Juggernaut at her, Crush's ramshackle rooftop shack has gotten the attention of another group entirely. A group led, in this case, by a young man in a black and red costume, his face obscured by a dark cowl with white lenses over his eyes and his figure shrouded by the requisite long black cape.

"Well," Red Robin comments quietly, and perhaps a little sardonically, from his position about two rooftops over, watching through a small pair of night vision binoculars. "Hopefully this time we don't have to fight any angry goat demons."

* * *

"Look, I don't know what was up with that thing," Nico says, her own head shrouded by… a hoodie. Nico could be mistaken for a burglar as she has chosen to wear something that is at least superficially *extremely* declasse: a navy blue hooded sweatshirt, similar jeans (with warm leggings underneath), sneakers with attached tread-enhancement pads…

And that's it.

Nico has a secret weapon, obviously, but it is just that: secret. She also has a medical finger-sticker, normally only issued to such brave heroes as Captain Novolin, in her pocket, to help with the, you know, revelation of the thing. If it's neccessary.

"Is she… doing bodyweight stuff? I can't make it out from here."

* * *

And it's not as if she's only on the radar as a potential menace to Gotham's gargoyle-laden skyline. Not that she'd know it, but Crush's name has come up in discussions back at the Mall after Kori's first run in with her. It's more or less to be expected that she'd report back on running into another alien, or especially, a teenage alien with few ties and just as much anger as Starfire had when she first joined the Titans. There's some very basic logic at work here, and it leads to a fairly obvious conclusion.

So it's probably incorrect to call Starfire 'backup,' even if she definitely -is- that too. But first and foremost, she's here as a friendly face. And maybe because she owes Crush money, but that's a whole 'nother story.

"Why are we doing the creeping?" is Kori's question about the whole thing. It's not that she is actually surprised, being well-acquainted with general Bat-tactics and their typical approach to problem solving. "I do not think she will react with hostility. Nor goats. We left on good terms before. And I cannot quite see. I shall go say hello. Would you like a lift, Nico?" Bats swing.

Passenger or no, she does precisely as she says, disregarding whatever surveillance procedures and floating out across the space between buildings. Kori's flight is physically incompatible with stealth, of course, as it switches her hair from merely figuratively flaming to literally so.

* * *

"……… yes," Nico says about the ride.

* * *

Crush pauses in her work out as Red Robin appears on her rooftop. Her nose twitching as she catches his scent- and possibly the scent of others on the air. The hair on the back of her neck standing as she just drops the weights she was using- they hit the ground with a loud CLANG a moment later. Judging by the damage to the roof this isn't the first time Crush has dropped the weights.

"Why's everyone showin' up where I live now?" Crush asks, eyes narrowing as Robin speaks. Her nose twitches again, and she visibly relaxes. Someone she knows is approaching- Starfire. She's pretty sure she can trust this group not to jump her, at least.

"You guys want some beers?" Crush asks as she turns and heads into her shack for a moment, coming out with a six pack. Who knows where she got it- she's underaged- but it's probably not that difficult in Gotham for a young woman like her. There are a number of crates on the roof-top, an old coffee table, a broken down couch- all the easiest things to get in a squat. "Take a seat." she offers as she opens a beer for herself and places the six-pack on the coffee table for the others.

* * *

Obviously, stealth skills aren't what they brought Koriand'r for.

But, she was the first one to make contact with this mysterious 'Crush', so it makes all sorts of sense to bring her along for any sort of direct contact, and plus if things turn sour she can fly and also is helluva strong, both extremely useful attributes when a situation goes pear-shaped.

"Sorry to say, you don't really make for an inconspicious figure," the vigilante explains to the mysterious part-Czarnian, having gotten to the roof the old fashioned way - on a swing line, like a normal person with no real regard for their own wellbeing - though he let the flying and more familiar Starfire at least lead the way. "We're not here to start any trouble," he adds, reassuringly.

And it certainly didn't escape his notice that Crush seemed to be aware of them beforehand, that highly trained detective's mind already starting to note and list and organise observations about this new contact.

"I'm Red Robin, and you already know Starfire," Nico is harder to introduce because she doesn't have a code name but maybe she doesn't want him broadcasting her real identity to everyone, so he'll let her handle it.

* * *

"Naturally, we are here to speak with you," Kori answers in her typically literal and guileless fashion, as her cross-roof flight ends and she gently sets Nico down from her luxurious bridal carry, her blazing mane returning to its inert state. "And for you to meet some of my friends." Simple explanations have their place!

Hospitality is also a serious thing, regardless of it being conducted in a royal palace or on a rooftop amongst shacks and crates, and so rather than her typical vague floating around, she walks to take up one of the offered seats, however primitive. And a beer! She does not question the legality, it is one of those things humans seem to treat with a bizarrely heightened sense of seriousness.

"I believe I mentioned before, that I have friends who also do the kind of thing…" and here Starfire makes a vague gesture in the air, which is apparently at least intended to indicate as specific a topic as 'go around underground fight clubs looking for kidnapped metahumans and fighting dudes with alien weapons,' "… that I was doing when we first met. Dealing with bad people. I thought you might like to meet some of them. We are a team of sorts, and Red Robin here is our leader."

Nico she is likewise more circumspect with, allowing her own introduction, although Kori does glance over to her for a moment. "Oh. And you required renumeration."

* * *

The conveyance over to the other roof is swift - pleasant. What should my code name be? Nico thinks as she's carried over, and as she dismounts without so much as having to get her feet greatly under her. Should I just be quiet? She'll be suspicious. Why am I doubting myself so much? What am I even doing here?

Nico raises her hand for a moment and says, "Hey," which doesn't introduce her at all. "Yeah, I'm - with them," she continues, which continues not to do that. Her hands slide into her hoodie's pockets.

She considers pulling down the hood as Kori elaborates. "Yeah— hold on." The hood gets flipped back, revealing haircut and face jewelry. "I can vouch for them, if you're… worried, about that. I actually was living sort of like you were and Red Robin here helped me out? Like it was a really, uh, risky environment, and I was living like that mostly because I was broke and couldn't afford to do anything else."

After a second passes, Nico steps forwards. One step! Then two! And she proffers her hand. "I'm Nico," she says.

* * *

Crush had sharp hearing- but the way her nose twitched once and a while told of her using scent in her every-day sensing of the world. She seems comfortable enough at the moment, though, and is letting her guard down. She comes to lounge on her couch, literally putting her feet up as she stretched out along it's length. "Yeah. I could use that cash." is the first thing the half-Czarnian states towards Starfire. "I mean, I've been collecting by bringing down their fight clubs, but cash on hand is always the best thing."

Crush's attention is on Nico for a moment before it turns back towards Starfire, "I think I gottem on the run. Gottem' scared, at least." Crush gives a grin as she sips her beer- just letting people open their own beers. She probably doesn't have a bottle opener either.Of course, Crush had also caused truly massive amounts of property damage in one of her raids- and a huge list of injuries, some of them undoubtedly crippling.

Once Nico finely begins to approach and speak, Crush lifts her head in greeting. "Hey." she echoes, just watching as Nico steps forward hesitantly. "Yeah. IT be nice to have indoor plumbing for once. I'm used to this, though." Crush has been on the street for about four years- there are instances of her showing up fairly often in the fight club scene through all of those years. A pattern of fighting and keeping to herself- she just sort of appeared one day and kicked a bunch of asses. Robin would be able to discover that with a bit of digging.

"Take a beer if you want, Nico." Crush offers then.

* * *

It's probably not surprising that Red Robin doesn't take a beer. Or, in fact, a seat: He doesn't exactly lurk in the back, or anything, but he does stand in that peculiar Batmannish way, letting his cape fall around him like an obscuring shadow and stilling any unnecessary movements, hardly even seeming to breathe, even as far as heightened senses can determine. It's a side of the vigilante that Gotham brings out, creating a noticeable difference from how he acts when he's outside of his home city.

Maybe it's some element of Gotham itself that makes him behave that way, something deep in its crumbling bones.

Maybe he's just extremely aware that at any moment, the Batman might be lurking around and silently judging him, and then he'll get home and find an anonymous text that just reads '4/10, needs improvement'.

"It's not a bad methodology," the Red Knight admits. "Hitting those sorts of places where it hurts. But, odds are the real people behind them will just set up shop elsewhere. Have you gotten any information about who's actually responsible for the trafficking?"

* * *

"Unfortunately, I must agree with Red Robin. It would be premature to celebrate a permanent victory," Starfire cautions, with a certain grim firmness in her voice. "Such individuals and the organizations they serve… they are like branxian roaches: quick to scatter and hide when one directs attention toward them, yet likely to re-emerge in greater number, their shells hardened and pincers sharp, eager to do the work of the hive-queen."

Even cockroaches are scarier in space.

"But your many victories are worthy of celebration," the Tamaranean continues, and here, hoists her bottle in Crush's direction. Seemingly toasts to bloody triumph are culturally universal. "Red Robin is very good at the research side of things," she then explains, gesturing at their be-cloaked and lurking leader. "Which is a reason I think it would be good to work together. You have the best understanding of the ground-level operation, and with Robin's help, perhaps we could succeed in rooting out the infestation to its roots."

"I have some data on their suppliers," she then adds in a quick pivot. "The technology they are using to suppress and control some of the more powerful metas they use is of off-world origin. Not Gordanian, but in some ways similar." Yet she concedes, "But I have less success in dealing with the organizational structure. I am ill-suited for 'under the cover' work." Crush has experienced her disguise skills first hand!

"Nico can also offer some very unique tools," she adds, although again, it is left for the woman to explain those abilities as she chooses. "But really, the most important thing is not even the mission. Would you not like to… yes, to enjoy the wonders of indoor plumbing, along with friends who will support you, in this goal or in any other. Also we have a very rich backer." Big grin. Clearly Crush's mercenary instinct is not forgotten, tempting her with a bigger payoff even as she produces a small bag to begin fishing for what is evidently the payment the younger woman is still waiting on.

* * *

Nico feels the tension of judgment. Potential or otherwise. But she's being offered it, and so: "Sure," she says. "Just don't let me pass out or anything."

She glances over her shoulder. No batarangs or goatdemons attack her. (so far)

"This town is kind of screwed up if there's, like, multiple underground fight clubs like that," Nico comments. "Like, I heard it was pretty extreme from C- An old friend of mine, but, if it's really that hardcore…" She trails off, as if this is going down questions she does not really want the answer to.

She then reaches out to take the beer. Red Robin's pro-social presence keeps her from popping it immediately. "Yeah, the plumbing is nice," she tells Crush. "I got a loft space really well set up, like, it was genuinely super cozy, but you can't really… fake plumbing." ("I wonder who's using it now," Nico muses aloud.) ((Probably the Riddler.))

Kory then speaks further. Nico toys with the unopened drink. "Yeah," Nico says, gradually. "I can do… things, in an emergency, or whatever? It's hard to explain… concisely." Do they even have magic in space. "But if there's some, really specific, singular thing that needs to happen to mess up these human - person, traffickers, I can make that happen." ("By the way that jacket owns bones. Did you add the trim yourself?")

* * *

"Man in a green Rolls Royce, operates out of Metropolis. Probably expecting me, I let his coward of a minion go. Hopin' he leads me to him, once he's outta the hospital." Crush states simply to the Reddist of Robins. "You also got SHIELD interest in it, from the angle of mutants bein' taken in New York." she continues as her red eyes gaze towards Robin- she's not easily intimidated, but given that she's so stupendously powerful (if the battle field of her former abode outside the city can attest, the scars are obvious and familiar to anyone who's seen a fight between powerhouses.

"I got the agent's card, too. Moonstone or something like that, it's over in my shack." Crush offers a bit more information, "And I know a few of the peoples who're collecting the mutants at least got some anti-mutant sentiment in them. Kinda messed up. Kidnapped a kid, too."

"Right on." Crush says then to Nico as she talks about what she can do, lifting the beer in salute to her, KOri, and Robin. "Probably better to work together, though. Anyways, they already sent The Juggernaut after me, I been tryin' to keep my head down a bit… if I hadn't been alone, had some people who had my back.. maybe I coulda shown him a thing or two." His advice, not her's.

* * *

It's curious enough, from Red Robin's perspective, that SHIELD made contact with an obviously potentially dangerous metahuman and then just… Let her go. They were, after all, at least ostensibly charged with the enforcement of New York's metahuman registration laws, but of course it's entirely possible that some agents are less zealous than others, for one reason or another.

Or, suggests a more cautious-verging-on-paranoid part of the Red Knight's mind, it's possible that they didn't just let her go, whether she realises it or not.

"Hm," is what he actually says out loud, playing things close to the vest as per usual. This particular taciturn response also applies to the objectively messed up kidnapping of mutant children.

The mention of the Juggernaut is, really, a whole other order of problem.

"Maybe a more subtle approach, then," he suggests, not really wanting to open that particular can of worms. "If you're expected, then the best thing is to come at them from an unexpected angle. Though yeah, following a goon to their boss is definitely an old favourite."

He knows that Kory was already involved in the same investigation, which is what brought her into contact with Crush in the first place, and the half-Czarnian seems more amenable to teamwork than he was initially concerned, so maybe…

The vigilante steps forward, and brushes back his cape, having in the intervening moments palmed something out of his utility belt - it's a phone. "You can use this to get in contact with us, and vice versa. It's pretty much untraceable. And, well, if things work out you might find the Titans more agreeable than a rooftop shack."

Especially in winter! Or, really, in Gotham summer, where it gets swampier than most actual swamps.

"Sound good?"

It had better, he's pretty sure Starfire's getting tired of being the only alien on the team.

* * *

While Crush is detailing the results of her investigation, Kori fishes around before finally producing a rather professional-looking pay envelope and offering this across to the young woman. "The compensation for your lost winnings," she offers, even if the explanation is rather unecessary. A Princess lives by her word!

"Oh, it sounds as if you have all the necessary information already," she then ammends, since it seems extra Bat-detectiving will not be required. "Why do we not…" And here she glances back toward the Fearless Leader, who seems to have it worked out. "You can certainly call on us for back-up. I imagine this person will have considerable resources to call on, and no shortage of protection. So safety in numbers would not be unwise. And it would be a good opportunity." To evaluate their new prospect, she no doubt means, although she doesn't make the latter explicit.

With the business side somewhat clear, it leaves them to whatever bit of bonding and drinks on the Gotham rooftop, and more lighthearted topics. Like, for instance, fashion inclinations. "You two do seem to share a certain sort of style," she observes, glancing back and forth between Crush and Nico. "Perhaps you can show her some of your sewing supplies."

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