Allies Against the Dark
Roleplaying Log: Allies Against the Dark
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Warren Worthington III gets visited by a Bat. Batgirl recruits Warren as an ally against whatever Falcone is up to in Gotham City concerning metahumans.

Other Characters Referenced: Batman, Bruce Wayne, Carmine Falcone
IC Date: July 19, 2019
IC Location: Warren's Penthouse, Gotham City
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 21 Jul 2019 00:53
Rating & Warnings: PG
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Staying in Gotham for the past few days has taught Warren a number of things, the most prominent — to his mind — probably being how simultaneously familiar and extremely alien the city's skyline is. In the broad strokes, the skyline of any major city will look similar in many ways, but in the details the differences leap out in sharp relief; especially to the eye of a man like Warren Worthington, who spends the majority of his life airborne with a literal bird's-eye view.

Even if he didn't have the wings to spend so much time scoping the city from several thousand feet up, he'd have come to this conclusion due to the fact of where he's been staying, which happens to be the penthouse suite of one of Gotham's most venerable old-money institutions. Due to its age it's not a towering edifice by any means, the penthouse being a mere '20th floor,' but being that it's in an older part of the city to begin with, it fits in well among all the elegant old construction.

The penthouse boasts a small but nicely-appointed wraparound terrace, which is a large part of why Warren picked it. He's out on it at the moment, lingering in the night air after the flight back from some society event or another, his wings loosely folded at his back.

* * *

There's already someone waiting for Warren on his spacious terrace. She doesn't become visible until he's landed, blended so easily into the shadows of the penthouse rooftops. She drops down quietly, landing on her boots with just the softest thump. Then she's standing, straightening up with her cape loosening into that almost infamous flutter.

"Warren Worthington?" The question is almost rhetorical by her tone, because she's stepping forward twice more before her arms cross loosely at her chest. "You don't run into much traffic coming and going, do you?" A bit more on the Robin-side of demeanor, Batgirl quips that out easily enough. She takes him in, head tilting slightly.

* * *

Warren is not often startled by people in any sort of landing spot which he's got a clear line of sight on. That fact is evident in the way he startles and turns at the sudden movement which is Batgirl emerging from the shadows, his white wings flaring and feathers spreading in that bird instinct to take flight again.

His sharp eyes search her out quickly enough once she's moving, leading him to hesitate and remain where he is. His wings stay open, though, and though their body language isn't human in the least, it's not hard to tell just from extrapolation that he's wary. Also a little bit annoyed, though primarily at himself. Not that he has much reason to be — his eyes, so extraordinary by day, are not much better than a human's in the dark — but nonetheless he takes a certain pride in their acuity.

Warren Worthington? "Speaking," he answers, his voice wry. "And I must say — I hadn't thought to receive a visit from one of the residents so soon. You all really are very on top of things, here."

Her quip draws a faint smile, though the familiar courtesies stand a bit at odds with his wings, which continue to remain open. "No. I don't. The airspace where I tend to fly is very clear. I prefer it that way." His blond head cants slightly. "I don't run into many people who I don't see first a mile off, either. Congratulations."

* * *

Batgirl takes one broad step back at the flare of the wings, and her foot shifts back in a more balanced stance; but there's a guarded way she raises her hands to show him her palms and long gloved fingers. Then she relaxes too, settling into a more passive stance and her arms relaxing at her chest.

"We are an attentive bunch," Batgirl returns easily, and her mouth twitches at the corner in a hint of a smile. She steps forward closer, letting the shadows fall away entirely as she lets him take her in completely.

"I'll take the compliment." Her brow arches slightly, but that is a mostly unseen expression save for the slight change of shadow around her eyes. Then she gestures at the city. "Word on the street is that you are here to offer assistance to the metahumans that call Gotham City home. I take it that you're intentions are just… I am one of those who look after those who would be taken advantage of in this city, and I always wonder… what someone's intentions are when they wish to do good."

* * *

Warren's blue eyes flick between Batgirl's upraised hands, before giving the rest of her a once-over. There's nothing lascivious about the look, despite his reputation. It's the glance of someone with experience visually checking for weapons.

The gesture and her subsequent passive stance, however, do a lot to put him more at ease. His right wing flicks a little, a distinctly avian feather-straightening gesture, before he straightens up and lets both wings fold in loosely at his back. "'City of Vigilantes,'" he muses. "An appropriate tagline if ever there was one. And what may I call you? You have the advantage of me."

He settles into a listening silence, however, as she begins to elucidate the reason for her nocturnal visit. "Word on the street gets around quickly," he says dryly, "but then, it always does. I am not surprised at your caution. It's easy for people like me to prey on the disadvantaged, and disguise it as charity." His gaze takes in Gotham in one sweep, something hard in his aquiline blue eyes. "It happens here all the time, after all."

His gaze returns to her. "My intentions. Would it assuage your concerns to know my game plan? I have nothing to disguise in that regard. The first step is on-the-ground assistance for metahumans who need it, especially those who were displaced from New York and have not found their footing in Gotham yet. Job assistance. Housing assistance. On a higher level…engaging in the political landscape of the city. Countering registration will be all the more difficult if it's allowed to take root as an idea beyond the bounds of New York."

His blue eyes half-lid, shrewd. "And you have a major election coming up, or so I hear."

* * *

City of Vigilantes. That quirks Batgirl's smile a bit more. "I don't think that's city hall's approved Gotham City slogan, but it might as well be." Even with the anti-vigilante laws in full swing, and perhaps even preparing to get worse. Her expression then settles into a more serious mask as the conversation slips into that equally more serious topic. Her eyes cast briefly out to her city, out to where the lights of the Narrows are just in the distance.

"All the time," she agrees somberly. Then, quietly, she steps toward the edge of his terrace, looking out more steadily at Gotham. Her gaze glances aside to him. "Registration is not what you face here, Mr. Worthington. New York City at least has an air of propriety over its grime. Here, the grime is part of the glitz."

She waits a heartbeat before she continues, "The mob families are offering metahumans in New York City safe passage to Gotham… for a heavy price. We tracked a facility in Brooklyn that was preparing to move metahumans here, but as I've learned, some of those families were asked to give up family members to… well, let's just call it indentured servitude. If you're here to protect the metahuman population of Gotham, then you should know that they will need more than goodwill charity."

Mention of the election has her breath sucked in tight for a moment, and then she nods. "Lincoln March and Sebastian Hedy. Hedy has been the mayor for longer than he ever should have, and March is still… an unknown. I haven't met him, but I know he has met with Bruce Wayne. If he gets Wayne's support, he might stand a chance. Hedy is in the pockets of a number of crime families… perhaps we can at least slow March's inevitable corruption." There's some good ol' pessimism.

* * *

"I have faith in my ability to adapt," Warren says, with the blase confidence of a young modern-day prince who has, in his entire lifetime, only ever encountered two things beyond his reach. "I'm not wholly unfamiliar with people who revel in their corruption, instead of dressing it up in silk. I was raised in corrupt enough settings." A pause, accompanied by a slow ruffle of his wings. "Perhaps I would have been one of them, if not for certain turns my life took."

For all that confidence (overconfidence?), however, he does listen attentively as Batgirl gives him a rundown of what he and Alison would truly face in Gotham. They will need more than goodwill charity, she warns. "I'm prepared for more," is Warren's quiet rejoinder. "I always establish a baseline of above-board activities — for appearances, and because they do materially help at least a little, and because the end goal should always be a legal and legitimized channel for these things — but… let's say I'm well familiar with extrajudicial methods as well." He smiles thinly. "And if they want to use their wealth to bend the system in their favor… well, two can play that kind of game. If Hedy is so undesirable as that, I am certain he can be pressed out in favor of some new blood."

Warren frowns. "Especially if I have a word with Bruce, as well."

A pause. "Though we are also prepared to take your lead on the best way to tackle things in this city." He smiles faintly. "You Bats have been doing it longer."

* * *

Batgirl crosses her arms lazily at her chest, looking back out at the city once more. This high up, it gives her all the air current she needs for an appropriate cape flapping and whispers of long red hair. "I have often felt that Gotham City is unique in that regard." Then she smirks an almost rueful smirk toward Warren. "But we all think that our city is better than anyone else's."

Then she looks back to Angel with a slight tip of her chin. "Hedy is undesirable," she confirms without a hesitation. "But I do not know if March is desirable. Perhaps Mr. Wayne can give some insights." Then she steps toward the edge of the terrace, her gloved hand resting on the railings.

"You wish to get yourself involved, then our only code is that we trust that Gotham has good men and women who seek justice, and that we do not take executioner's justice in our own hands. The Commissioner is on our side." Which is a dangerous statement considering he shouldn't be. "I would like to leave you with all the information gained so far on Falcone's metahuman trafficking." She slips a little datadisk out to him. "If you're here to protect this city, then you have allies."

* * *

Warren laughs at that, with a flick of his wings. "Certainly," he says. "I admit a strong bias towards New York myself, of course. Though I will grant Gotham is a very unique city. Few places are as… let's say, degenerate as Gotham is. Though I think many people focus on that and overlook the elegance of it." His gaze skates across the skyline, before lowering to regard the intricate detailing gracing the railing that rings the terrace. "You have a beautiful city, under the 'grime.'"

His gaze returns to her as she speaks of the two mayoral candidates, his demeanor sobering. "Worth discovering, then. 'Lesser of two evils' only works if one is actually lesser, after all. I'll have a sitdown with Bruce at my next opportunity." A brief silence. "Even if he is a bit of an ass." It's said affectionately, at the least.

Her mention of their one 'code' draws a nod, though he notes with interest the information that the Commissioner is 'on the vigilantes' side.' "No trouble there," Angel says. "It is broadly the same as the code we've always followed. We've operated as vigilantes by necessity, but always with the hope of peaceful integration with a working, just system in the end. So we were taught."

The offer of information brings him to step forward, apparently reassured enough of her intentions that no wariness remains in his stance. His wings are furled tightly, his expression pensive as he regards the datadisk — and all it represents. People fleeing an oppressive law, only to be trafficked elsewhere… "We share an interest in putting a stop to this," he says, now with a dire seriousness. "How shall we remain in contact?" He smiles ruefully. "Or does it suffice to simply put foot into the city? You seem to have an extensive intelligence network."

* * *

Khalid Nassour heads to the FRP Room Hub.

* * *

Batgirl snorts. "Yes. I've noticed that about you New Yorkers." But there's the hint of a smile there even when Warren calls her city 'degenerate.' Why argue against a truth? But the compliment that comes from it has her bowing her chin a bit, staring down at the city. "You just have to look closely."

As Warren agrees to the laid out rules of Gotham City, she has to smirk slightly to herself because of how much fuss Frank Castle put when she gave him the same ultimatum. The protector versus the avenger. Then she ducks her chin with a simple nod.

Once he takes the data from her, she slips back behind her cape a bit, turning slightly aside to watch him with those thoughtful blue eyes. We share an interest. She nods her chin, and then a light smile lifts at the corners on her lips. "I've encoded that data drive with an encrypted link to my mainframe. Plug it in, open the app embedded and send me a message. I'll get it. Though, it is safe to say that we will be watching you… wtihout the creep factor." Now her smile shows through. It's that smile that sets her apart from her broody mentor.

* * *

The jab about 'New Yorkers' draws only the profoundly self-satisfied smile of someone with absolutely no shame on the matter. It does moderate down, however, at the wistful remark she makes in response to his compliment. It is not even an insincere compliment, though part of the motive is certainly to soften his observations on Gotham's corruption.

"I've been to Gotham often enough in the past," he says gently, in an unwitting echo of the conversation he had with her as Barbara Gordon. "It is a city with good bones… if the cancerous flesh can be cut away from them."

It's a rather idealistic, optimistic thing to say, as one might expect from one of the originating members and current-day leaders of the X-Men. It also contributes to his ready agreement to her terms. The values of Frank Castle are certainly a far cry from those of Professor X. A far cry from those of 'Angel,' too, though at the same time Warren Worthington is no Professor Xavier. Angels have their protecting side and their avenging side.

For now, the face of the guardian seems to dominate. Warren's blue eyes are certainly narrowed on the datadisk as he listens to her instructions, in a way that suggests the idea of people being trafficked is getting him riled to a degree that he isn't showing outwardly.

Her final quip about 'creep factor,' though, that smile? That gets him to glance up at her, before the brief moment of angry focus dissolves into a dashed-off, brilliant smirk. Another sort of mask. "I'm used to people watching me, my darling," he says. "I'd be very confused on the day it stops happening."

* * *

"It can be," Batgirl says in genuine belief, which challenges her moment's ago pessimism. She needs to believe that there will come some reprieve for Gotham City. Then she is stepping aside now that he has the datadisk in hand, and she sets both hands on the railings of the terrace, and something about her posture suggests she's about to haul herself onto it. But she does so with grace, and perhaps some serious skill with those boots.

She can almost sense that caged rage, and she lets it be even when he tries to turn it into that brilliant smirk. "I will let you know when I learn something new. You should know that we think one of Falcone's lieutenants was using a metahuman girl as a weapon, but I haven't been able to confirm that. Not yet."

Her blue eyes consider Warren a moment longer, and then she nods to the disk. "You know how to contact me if you need it."

Her lips twitch a bit. "Welcome back to Gotham City, Mr. Worthington."

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