Or They'll Send a Talon
Roleplaying Log: Or They'll Send a Talon
IC Details

The Talons strike out at the supports of Lincoln March, including Jim Gordon. The Birds of Prey with the help of Domino and Catwoman attempt to protect him.

Other Characters Referenced: Batgirl
IC Date: August 06, 2019
IC Location: Jim Gordon's Residence
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 07 Aug 2019 05:44
Rating & Warnings: PG-13
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits: Barbara Gordon
Associated Plots

Tonight, it storms over Gotham City.

The clouds are thick and dark, betrayed only by a crack of lightning that occasionally snaps across the sky and illuminates the bumps and bulges of the thunderheads. The rain started just an hour before, and has now reached a fever-pitch, thrashing the city in a downpour.

All across the city, sirens wail. There is not a patrol car left in the GCPD parking lot as Gotham's finest responds to calls all over the city — sightings of terrible masked assassins, all targeting high-profile supports of the Mayoral candidate Lincoln March.

First strike was at March's own headquarters, and his campaign manager was found pinioned to the wall with a knife buried deep into her shoulder and her throat slit. Then there was an attack on the Punchline where March had his first fundraiser. Then there was two strikes at the same time; the first on the Elliott family penthouse where the grand patriarch of the Elliott family was found dead, and another on the boardroom of Wayne Tower where Bruce Wayne just narrowly escaped death.

The Gotham Knights and the Birds of Prey are just mere steps ahead of GCPD as they track these so-called Talons all over the city. Three have been sighted in a small neighborhood of old houses in Midtown. These houses are homes to many Gotham City officials.

ALTHENE — the Birds of Prey's own AI — has coordinated with Gotham Knight's more mundane human handler (poor Alfred), and now speaks on both channels. "I have isolated possible targets — Henriette Taffett is a retired District Attorney who endorsed Mr. March early on in his campaign; the second is Commissioner James Gordon, only rumored to have endorsed March through a leak inside the GCPD."

* * *

Chaos. Domino is living in chaos. First the investigation into Yet Another Unexplained Metahuman Death..which then led to a setup involving lots and lots of shooting..which then led to a teammate getting psychically possessed by some kind of ursine demon..which led to somehow being teleported to the best possible location to find help on the matter only to find that none of that help was around..to..this.

Being stuck out here at night under the rain in grungy ol' Gotham is not how she had anticipated spending her evening but at least the black Chevy she's sitting inside of doesn't leak around the seams. Being dry is underrated.

With access to the Birds of Prey comms, she calls out "Support's in the neighborhood. I'm on patrol."

Switching off of the channel Neena sighs and smirks at herself. "Already sounding like a damn cop. Gonna lose your street cred at this rate."

How the heck is she going to find a bunch of black clad assassins at night during a storm? Eh. Just keep driving, something'll turn up.

* * *

Look, The Punisher doesn't play well with most 'superheroes.' Luckily, the Birds have… if not accepted Frank Castle, at least put up with him. As the calls started to come in, Frank buckled on his skull-painted vest and slipped the heavy black trenchcoat over it. The thing is murder in New York in the summer, but somehow Gotham's not so bad, even though it's only two hours south. He had intended to stay back when the first Talons struck, but now it's time to call out some of the reserves, and so now he pulls his black van into a parking spot two blocks down from the Gordon house. It's a pretty bad parallel parking job, all things considered, but he has other things on his mind, "ALTHENE, it's Frank. I'm two blocks from Gordon's place. Don't see any assholes. Anyone got eyes on?" He scans the area around him again, then slips into the back of the van, adding more ammo to his pockets and slinging a short-barrelled shotgun on his back and picking up a carbine, checking the magazine and the bolt before he crouches by the doors at the back of the van.

* * *

For someone who doesn't have a team, it's hard to be in two places at once. Luckily, Catwoman's made sure it's not impossible.

A tiny camera sits aimed at Henriette Taffett's window, tucked at the bottom of a rooftop gutter, observing the woman and her surroundings as well as a fixed camera can. But one of the two likely targets, she suspects, is the police commissioner himself. He's always been the sort to rock the boat, make waves, that kind of thing. It won't be the first time he's a target. And a Gotham without Gordon would be more chaotic and harder to maintain a handle on than it already is. And while chaos can be very good for business, she'd rather have a city not in the throes of yet another assassination.

So there she crouches, a shadow among shadows, observing the scenery.

* * *

The invite had been awesome. There was no other way to put it. Access to resources beyond simply having herself and her books to work with was certainly a boon for the young witch. Of course, it also meant for Ruby that she was going to have to deal with more than muggers and homicidal cults chasing her down. At least she wasn't alone!

Almost certainly the youngest among the heroes, she'd tagged along to oversee the protection of the commisioner, but clutched in her arms and held against her stomach rested one of those books with a bookmarked page. Teleportation magic. She might be able to transport herself without too much effort, but opening up a gate for others in exactly the right spot? She was going to need a 'cheat sheet' at hand.

Wrapped in her dark purple coat, the platinum-blonde girl had pulled her hood up as much to make herself less noticable as to shield herself from the rain.

* * *

"Why is it always raining when things like this go down?" Says the hawk high in the sky, as Kendra Saunders wings through some of those very dangerous thunderclouds.

She stays relatively high up until she approaches the appropriate neighborhood. Once in the general vicinity the winged woman tucks a wing close and begins to bleed altitude. It doesn't take long for her to be below the cloud coverage and back in the rain.

"I got eyes in the sky." Hawkgirl calls over the BoP comms, "Visibility is a little patchy, but let's see what we can find."

And while she can't necessarily see in complete darkness, her wings do give her the ability to see far and wide with enough light.

* * *

"Hello, Frank." ALTHENE's voice is measured, calm, and maternal in its cadence. "I have linked with GAARD and will be taking over her protocols for now. She is displeased, and I see you have expanded her vocabulary." Now that maternal voice takes on a disapproving tone.

Down on the street, things are quiet. Too quiet. The media had been taken over by emergency broadcasts an hour ago, calling for all Gotham citizens to stay inside. This neighborhood obliges, perhaps because it is home to cop families and other members of the Gotham City law and order.

Again, ALTHENE's voice interrupts, quietly reporting that, "WitchDaughter has secured the gate."

Two minutes go past, then four. The rain beats down on the residential street with its manicured lawns and water-soaked flowerbeds. Maybe the Talons have moved on to other targets, maybe Gordon is too high profile. There's a lull, punctuated by the low rumble of thunder.

Then, abruptly, something darts across the street right into Domino's headlights. It's tall, broad, and the lights glint off the metal of its gauntlets and knives. It's gone as quick as its seen.

Catwoman feels that instinct — a tingle on the back of her neck — something is behind her. It crouches on the half-wall that separates two lawns. Its goggled eyes flash in the lightning, and that glint doesn't immediately fade when the darkness creeps back in.

Frank's sitting quietly in his van, but there's a thump of something landing almost noiselessly on the roof; all there is, is a light click of what might be taloned feet or hands on the exterior armor.

* * *

Well, here's the first piece of Shady Business to be uncovered.

"Hey, I've got eyes on a suspicious looking black van a couple of blocks down from the Commissioner's place. Hasty parking job from the looks of it. Do we know how these guys get around?"

Domino's Monte Carlo slows slightly while driving past where the Punisher is camping out. Like minds thinking alike? Too bad she doesn't know it's him yet.

No sooner is this call put out that the figure darts past the headlights, moving -incredibly- quickly but not able to hide that telltale glint of metal reflecting the light. It's all she can do to jump onto the brakes and try to use the wet road to her advantage in swinging the Chevy around. Maybe she can catch the individual in the lights again while making their retreat.

"Shit I've got contact! On foot, stupid fast, real menacing! They're here!"

Ugh. Which means it's time to get wet. A stubby suppressed PDW gets pulled out from the passenger side then she opens the door, swearing under her breath. It's gonna be one of those nights, she just KNOWS it.

* * *

"Because it's goddamn Gotham," Frank responds to Kendra's complaint. "And that's my black van," he responds to Domino. ALTHENE's complaint, on the other hand, causes him to chuckle and shake his head, "What can I say. I'm a teacher." The mention of the others cause him to frown, his brows furrowing as he mouths, 'WitchDaughter?' to himself. The confusion flashes away when the tick of metal on metal stands out from the rain on the roof of his van. He brings the carbine up, pointing it towards the roof… but there's armor there, and it should stop his bullets, so instead he shifts his weight, not moving his position so that he doesn't shift the van under its new rider.

"Pretty sure I got a hitchhiker on top'a my van. Anyone wanna scratch my back? I'll follow up as soon as he's on the ground." Frank lays his index finger alongside the trigger assembly of the carbine, the butt tucked into his shoulder. His eyes flicker to the double doors so close, and then go back to the windshield, watching what he can of the rainy exterior, only to have his night vision dashed away by the headlights of the Monte Carlo as it swings around, "Shit!"

* * *

A shudder in the rain. Is it the cold?

No. For sure it's not the cold.

Catwoman can see at least one. She can feel another one, and she strains her ears to hear the slightest bit of movement, but she doesn't move a single muscle otherwise. Not yet. Rain streams down her face, down her cowl, coursing along the frames of her goggles, down her cheek and jaw.

It's watching in the darkness. She's watching it in the reflections of the windows.

In an instant, she goes from crouched to leaping, flipping backward, twisting in the air and unwinding her bullwhip from around her waist. Someone's gonna get it in the neck.

* * *

Suspicious black van? The bad guys actually used those? Ruby had been getting accustomed and caught up (perhaps even a little hooked) on popular television since her escape, but she hadn't realised that was a real thing! "Oh crap…" she breathes aloud at the call of contact, turning her gaze towards the apartment and biting her lip. What did they do next?

She was obviously hoping one of the others wound take the lead, but they were on the move already. Alright, "Thinkthinkthi-ah!" she begins, only to exhale as an idea comes to her. All this water was right here after all! It was literally falling from the sky.

The girl's hands raise and a glow builds in her eyes as the water suddenly reshapes midair, condensing and redirecting in a sudden impossible redirection that turned the rain into a riot water-cannon aimed towards the spotted assassin heading for the house.

* * *

There are times Hawkgirl finds her mask vaguely annoying, but tonight - tonight she's so glad she has one. It keeps the majority of the rain off her face, out of her eyes and it allows her to keep her attention focused upon the ground, versus constantly wiping the water out of her eyes.

As such, that clear vision allows the woman to catch movement.

Multiple movements.

"Hey guys, heads up. I'm seeing -" Contacts, but thankfully Domino calls out with that exact thing, alerting the group that trouble is here.

"I see two - wait no, three. Possibly three on the ground." Hawkgirl's crisp words comes through on the BoP channel, and while she could say more she doesn't, not when Frank calls for some back-up.

"I got you covered." Comes her quick response and with a tuck of both her wings close, Hawkgirl plummets towards the assassin atop the Punisher Van. She's going for the simple grab the guy and fling away.

* * *

One moment, the night was silent and empty, and now it reveals just how many of these assassins it was hiding. The Talon perched on Frank's van whips his head up to meet Kendra's eyes as she dive-bombs her. It's nimble, and literally leaps up to intercept Hawkgirl a good twelve feet off the ground. It's masked face is reflected in the Talon's goggles; up this close, Hawkgirl can see that its head covering has no mouth, and the owlish features are emphasized by the accents around its nose and upper lip that creates the illusion of a beak. It's wrist-knives flash, whipping out toward her throat even as she grabs toward it.

Domino is getting out of her Monte Carlo just as something leaps right at the opening door, attempting to slam it shut. There's a flash of that same owlish face in the window before a fistful of metal and talons slam into the glass in an attempt to shatter it.

For Ruby, she's spotted a fourth that may have been confused for a third — or was that the one that Domino spotted? They blur and confuse together, but there is one sprinting toward the house. The water moves and coalesces, and then launches out toward the Talon. It slams into its body, throwing it several feet into a full-bodied roll. It lays still on the ground, arm looking a bit grotesque as it has been totally dislocated from its socket.

At the border of the two lawns between Gordon and his neighbor, Catwoman is throwing out her whip… and it is caught in midair between gauntlet and talons, and twisted around that palm in a smooth, precise movement. Even without an emotive face, the Talon lowers its chin, and only looks all the more menancing. It yanks on the whip — hard — aiming to send Catwoman off her feet.

* * *

Oh crap! These guys are really REALLY fast! It should have been a quick and simple motion; Throw the door open and jump out onto her feet. Instead there's an unexpected jolt of counter-motion which causes the safety glass to explode into diamond-like pebbles which come showering back at Domino's face, prompting a quick yell from the albino. The door will never be the same after this encounter.

Her first instinct is to get AWAY from the shiny flashy lethal stabby metal talons which has her backing over to the passenger seat. Somewhere in the act she bumps the shifter into reverse. Then her spiffy expensive suppressed machine pistol falls to the floor and gets wedged onto the accelerator.

Whether that Owl hangs onto the car or not they're both about to have an interesting ride.

* * *

Frank's night vision may be ruined for now, but the headlights also cast stark light across the area. He shifts ever-so-slightly when Hawkgirl offers to cover the one on the roof, ready to — but it's leaping away, and Frank grimaces, coming out of the rear doors of the van and into the rain. It immediately slicks down his relatively short hair, trickling into his eyes, but at least the bulk of the van keeps the lights out of his eyes. He looks up to the top of the van, just to make sure, and then searches out the nearest target — well there's one, trying to break into the door of the Monte Carlo that blinded him.

Bringing the carbine up, Frank shatters the stormy night with a hail of gunfire, quick rounds aimed slightly down so that they don't keep going into the houses behind his target. If that means that the quick, semi-automatic shots only hit the target in the legs — or miss entirely — that's the cost of trying to eliminate innocent casualties. The roar of gunfire is accompanied by a wordless roar from the veteran Marine as well, the swirl of air in the wake of Ruby's watercannoning and Hawkgirl's swooping lifting his trenchcoat from about him to reveal the white skull on the front of his vest.

* * *

Christ. Just how many of these bastards are here? And who's shooting?!

The more pressing pair of questions is: what's going on with that rain-cannon and what's she going to do about the Talon who just grabbed her whip? The first question can wait as long as Catwoman can avoid getting hit by it. The second question, however… luckily, she has a ready answer for that. She leaps just as the Talon yanks, using the combined momentum of the pull on her whip and her own coiled potential energy to kick her opponent very, very hard in the throat.

* * *

Untargeted herself for the moment, Ruby remains on her rooftop with her hood still resting up shielding her face. The water-hose does ease off, after all she doesn't quite have the whole 'killer edge' that others might…that and the sudden cracks of gunfire has her jumping a little in startled suprise.

"There's a heap of them!" she calls, tilting her head to the side. "Did any get inside?"

* * *

You know, usually her dive bomb trick always surprises people, but tonight that's clearly not the case.

Was Hawkgirl anticipating the Talon Ould realize what she was doing let alone jump up to meet her? Hell no. Does it bring a noise of surprise from the woman? It sure does.

Does it stop her from defending herself? Thankfully not.

As the knives slash towards her Hawkgirl can't help but take in their bird-esque appearance, "Just so you know I already called dibs on the bird schtick!" Yells the woman even as she bring a metallic gauntleted/gloved hand up to block those knives from slicing her throat open.

Sparks fly as metal scrapes against metal and then Hawkgirl lashes out with her free hand; trying to punch the masked figure, either in the nose, or the throat. Honestly Hawkgirl isn't too picky, just so she takes the would-be assassin down as quickly as she can.

Ruby's call out prompts a quick response from Hawkgirl, "Can't say, but let's not way too long to find out. Let me just finish punching this one in the face and we can check it out."

* * *

The Talon on the car whips its head around as the car accelerates. Then it does something quite unexpected — it lets go. It lets go and hits the ground in a rolling tumble that should scrape up skin and daze the assassin. But, it just pulls itself casually to its feet. Frank's carbine fire explodes into the night, and it tears at its feet and into its calf. Blood spatters, and its leg wrenches away; it should be staggered, but any change in its gait is temporary; the tall and broad Talon just turns slowly toward Frank, and the knives sheathed at its wrists slip into its hands before it charges forward. Owls are silent, and in the face of Frank's wordless roar, it offers that deadly quiet.

Back in front of the Gordon's house, the front door rips open and a tall and similarly broad silhouette spills out across the dark, rainy grass. Jim Gordon is in his forties with salted ginger hair and a heavy mustache that his daughter still proclaims is out of fashion, and has he considered a full beard? He's wearing a button-up shirt rolled up to his elbows and slacks; the collar is loose where he had been wearing a tie. He has his sidearm out, and another crack of lightning reflects off his glasses, flashing the lenses white and temporarily opaque. "GET DOWN!" This is shouted at Catwoman. Her kick connects, and the Talon staggers back a step as it releases the whip only to them get a chestful of gunfire as Gordon unloads his clip.

This perhaps answers Ruby's question as Gordon does not look like he's been attacked. But, behind him, a shadow looms up from behind him where the hallway lights flicker and dim.

The quip falls on death ears as the Talon literally wrestles with Hawkgirl in the sky. It grabs for Hawkgirl's shoulder, and almost clasps its sharp, metal hand around the root of one of her wings. It does not let go even as the fist slams into the assassin's throat.

* * *

Fighting these peculiar assassins may be strange and new for Domino but there is one element to this skirmish which she is intimately familiar with:

Five point five six millimeter bullets drumming into the side of a sheet steel auto door.

"Hey Hey HEY, shoot the owl not the mouse SHOOT THE OWL NOT THE MOUSE!"

The sweeping lunge of the Chevy doing an uncontrolled reverse one-eighty sends Dom into the passenger footwell who then catches the steering wheel with the toe of a boot. With the drive wheels still spinning away trying to find some traction the mercenary sends the car into a collision course with the Owl whom had first attacked her and is now heading toward the Punisher. Bullets from the front, fenders from the back.

"Don't you walk away from me you mother—"

* * *

Okay, let's get one thing clear, once the bullets start flying, Frank tends to be very narrowly focused. So when the Talon turns into the gunfire and starts toward him, Frank snaps, "Shitbirds at Gordons. Three or four." Just in case that wasn't clear. And then he starts advancing toward the Talon that's charging him, his finger flicking over the trigger to send more rounds punching out toward the approaching baddie. "Sorry." Look, he's not trying to shoot the car. But that doesn't mean he isn't doing it anyhow. At least he has the sense to keep the barrel tilted slightly down, his rounds aimed for the Talon's thighs and groin, so that hopefully the rounds won't strike anything critical in the car — like the driver.

Still, that's only going to last so long before the Talon and the car arrive at his location. That's when Frank lunges sideways, aiming to roll his way up onto the sidewalk, a little closer to where Commissioner Gordon is firing on another Talon and the whip-wielder and the magic-user are fighting.

* * *

These bastards are sturdy. Catwoman's going to have to get a little more physical with them. She's prepared to, too, when she hears an all-too-familiar voice behind her. The voice is pitched at her, she can tell, so she drops and rolls and comes up lightly again on her toes as bullets fly into the Talon she was on.

But there's that bump of trouble, that sense of danger. That bit of disquiet. One hand reaches up to tap her temple, bringing up an overlay of the former DA's home. Just to make sure she's not being murdered while everyone plays favorites on Commissioner Gordon's lawn. At the same time, though, she's turning toward Gordon's silhouette in the light.

And the darkness appearing behind him.

"DOWN!" she shouts, one hand speeding for her belt. Palming a pair of teensy flashbangs, she hurls them with pinpoint precision a few inches above Gordon's head. At least she can give him warning. In another instant she's darting forward. Target acquired.

* * *

Lightning bolts were cool, useful and honestly one of Ruby's favorite tricks…they were also -extremely- dangerous in a rainstorm when everyone was soaked. Crap. A fireball? No…burning the Police Comissioner's house down wasn't much better. Then there were flashbang grenades hurtling through the air and Selina was leaping at the assassin.

Whoa…the Witch could only -wish- she could move like that!

Eyes go upwards, towards Hawkgirl and her wrestling in the sky, then back down to Frank and Domino's. Alright, That one looked safe to try something with! Exhaling a breath, the hand not clutching her book raises up and makes a fist…then the pavement itself below splits. Concrete wraps and dirt moves, trying to trap the mangled legs of the Talon assassin.

* * *

Perhaps if Kendra's wings were real she'd feel more urgency to get those taloned hands away from the feathered appendages, but as it - she doesn't.

She's fully aware of just what those wings can take, and with them being quite impervious, the woman can focus on the task at hand.

"What the hell!? You realize I just throat punched you!" Not that Kendra expects the Talon to answer her, "You know what, that's fine. This is fine. We're good here. Let's see who the better bird is."

And with that threat made, Hawkgirl spreads her wings wide and with a snap, the two rise upward at a startling speed. While Hawkgirl herself doesn't have any special adaptions to higher altitudes, her wings afford her those adaptions when worn. As such, she can last longer at higher altitudes, and wind shear is never a problem for her.

Can the Talon say that for him or herself? Especially as the oxygen thins.

* * *

Selina's second sight into the retired DA's home reveals an empty house… and dark smears on the carpet. There's words scrawled on the window that light up with another flash of lightning… BEWARE THE COURT OF OWLS. And there's a Talon standing over the prone image of Henrietta Taffett

By sheer luck — koff koff — Domino manages to not lose control even as the car hydroplanes its way into the Talon. Frank is shooting up its front and Domino takes it at the knees. The assassin crumples, hitting the ground in a heap as the Monte Carlo goes bouncing over the body.

Another Talon has collapsed from its wounds as Gordon fills its chest with bullet holes. The Commissioner's gun is empty, and the man is already going for a new clip. He looks up sharply, his red forelocks wet and whipping across his brow. He turns slightly at Catwoman's shouting, and before Selina's flashbangs can explode in a bloom of light, Gordon is staggering with a stiletto blade buried into his shoulder just above his collarbone. This does give Selina a clear pounce at the Talon, who is smaller and leaner than the others; the assassin shifts to widen its stance, and its claws to up to brace for Catwoman's collision.

Behind Ruby, on the asphalt, the Talon with the dislocated shoulder is starting to pull to its feet. In what is only the most casual of motions, it pops its shoulder back in with a sickening crack and roll of its shoulder. Then it's turning toward Ruby and starts a sprint toward the witch-girl.

Hawkgirl's Talon continues to wrestle and fight with Kendra, but then she's taking her prey up and up into the higher atmosphere. Unconsciousness comes, and the Talon becomes limp, leaving Kendra the opportunity of taking that assassin back alive.

* * *

There's the satisfying *Whump-thump!* of completely decking a person-sized target with a full sized coupe then running them over with said full sized coupe. "Take THAT you sonuv-ohcrap."

Lunge forward, grab wheel, wrench shifter into park and sliiiide across the road some more until Domino is lined up with the headlights facing another nearby house. The one where a certain Henrietta resides.

They had said there were multiple suspected targets, right?

And the Chevy's lights are illuminating some fairly disturbing things in that other house, if she's not mistaken…

It takes a moment to reorient herself behind the wheel, unstick the accelerator then do something ELSE which is appropriately impulsive: "Watch it crew, gonna make a back-front door."

Apparently a 'back-front door' is where you use the back end of a car as a battering ram through the front door of a building. With a whole lot of engine and tire drama Domino's once again skating across the street in a somewhat mangled car to smash a new parking space right into the home where Henrietta is to be found.

The goal here is simple: Extraction. Gordon's a fighter. And a decently well armed one, at that. Good for him! But Dom is guessing that Henrietta is somewhat less so on both fronts. Get her out of here, and get it done quick.

"Going for an extraction, keep 'em busy!"

If anything evil gets in the way? Shoot it.


* * *

"Witchgirl," Frank hasn't remembered Ruby's nickname as he bellows out the warning, "Behind you!" Dropping the carbine and whipping the shotgun from his back as he raises up to one knee takes a moment, hopefully long enough for Ruby to clear his line of fire, because the shotgun comes up firing, punching neat clusters of heavy buckshot into the rain, first into the asphalt, then toward the Talon's legs, then two more clickity-booms toward the creature's torso. It's not like the buckshot will go as far as a 5.56mm round. "Gordon," he roars, "Get in the fuckin' van. We'll get you and Taffett outta here."

* * *

Gordon can take care of his own shoulder. He's alive; that's as much as Catwoman could do from where she was. That's a damn sight better than Taffett, too. There's no love lost between Selina and the former DA, but there's something sad about the fact that not even Gotham's finest thought to take care of her.

Still. At the moment, it's a distraction. But she has time enough to aim a call out to the nearest non-Talon: "The old DA! You may be too late!"

In another instant she's midair, leaping over the staggering Commissioner and, indeed, over the head of the smaller and leaner Talon. Once again she twists midair as if she were a cat herself, scraping razor-sharp claws across the assassin's back. She lands in a crouch, lashing out a leg to sweep the smaller one down.

* * *

It was a warning needed and frankly, it still had her looking up in panic. For all the tricks Ruby had, hand-to-hand training or even a good ol' fashioned gun were not on the list. She saw him, she even raised her hand that began to crackle with some sort of arcane energy bolt attempt before the shouted warning and the sound of the shotgun being lifted had her giving a little startled scream and then…exploding.

Where once the girl had rested, there was suddenly simply a swarm of bright purple butterfly-shaped lights that scattered and swarmed barely a heartbeat before the shotgun blast fills the air where she'd stood a moment ago.

A second later, those lights reform and the girl just sort of 'falls' out of the air next to the van, clutching her book for dear life and with her eyes closed. It actually takes her a moment before she opens them and exhales a breath of relief. Not stabbed, not shot. Awesome.

* * *

Gordon whips his head around toward where someone shouts his name. His eyes widen when he sees The Punisher, and he growls out at the man in the pouring rain, "Castle! What the Hell are you doing here!" He's slumped against one of the pillars that supports the roof over his front stoop. Blood runs down his shoulder and into the rain water that puddles at his feet. He's starting out into the grass, and then a shadow that had been silently perched on the roof, unseen and stoic in the rain, leaps down to land on the shoulders of the Commissioner. Jim collapses to the ground.

For Ruby, her magic is paying off. The Talon explodes through the purple butterfly swarm, spinning sharply to sight Ruby by the van. Something in the way the Talon's shoulder arch and body tenses almost gives the perfect illusion of wings spreading off its back in rage. It stretches its head out, and then is sprinting toward Frank's van.

Catwoman engages in an agile dance with the smaller Talon. Catwoman claws up thick material and just the smallest hint of blood. She then takes it at the legs, and it drops onto its back only to slam out her own ankle toward the feline vigilante (ish) aimed at her knee.

* * *

Frank's shotgun work pauses when Ruby bursts apart into — what the hell — butterflies? But she's not getting attacked from behind anymore, and the Talon is… shit, it's ignoring the buckshot. "Kill that thing before it gets to my damned van!" He shouts to the witchy-woman, even as he turns back toward Gordon's front door, "Saving your ass — " but the Commissioner is being dropped, and Frank lunges out from his kneel, racing straight toward the assassin standing above him. He roars wordlessly again, and his hand works the pump on the shotgun, emptying the last four rounds in the magazine as he charges the Talon.

* * *

That girl just turned into butterflies.


"Ballistic weave," Catwoman calls. "You need more than bird-shot to take down an owl, Pretty Boy. Just pick up Gordon and go, babe." And while not much is going to get through that armor, she still has a few tricks up her sleeve. The Talon trying to get to the van has a bolo whirled at their ankles for their trouble; meanwhile, the other Talon goes for her knee, but Catwoman shifts her weight, rolls to her back, and kicks both feet up hard into her attacker's sternum. Bouncing off this, whether it knocks the Talon back or not, Catwoman's back on her toes and stepping sharply backward. She keeps herself between the Talon and Gordon, trying to give Castle and crew the window they need.

* * *

They just -keep- coming! Ruby is trying to climb back to her feet when Frank yells at her. She doesn't even have time to exclaim about Gordon being pounced before the big angry vigilante is charging the foe. Right, she had her own one to deal with. Finally she parts with her book, tossing it into the open door of the van and then bringing her hands together. It almost looked like she were praying for a moment.

Then those hands come part and she flings two crackling orbs of concussive energy right at the charging assassin one after the other. These things were clearly tough, tough enough that she wasn't quite so worried about using force enough to put basketball-sized dents in a car door.

Well that…and she was probably a little too scared to stop and think about pulling punches much further.

* * *

Gordon's painful scream is rough in his throat, but the aged cop twists around just enough to literally empty his entire clip of his sidearm directly into the Talon's head. It tears apart the head-covering, blasting through the goggles and revealing a gaunt and skeletal face. The Talon whips back even as its bloodied gauntlets rip through the rest of Gordon's shirt. A bloodied and almost destroyed face lifts toward Frank, and the horrible-disfigured man barely visible in the torn-up face looks up to Frank and then down to Gordon and prepares for a killing blow even as the blood from his face and neck gush.

The Talon rushing at Ruby is almost on her before the bola catches its ankles; then the concussive energy slams into it, throwing it back through the air and slamming it bodily into the car door with a crunch. It does not get up again, its head slumping toward its sternum.

For Catwoman, she gets her own break as she hits the smaller Talon in the sternum and the assassin slams into the door with a crack and explode of wood. It tumbles out onto the stoop, whipping its head toward Catwoman as it pulls two blades from its belt with an inviting stance. But there's something about how it holds itself that suggests the first hints of retreat, stepping back once, and then twice.

* * *

"Goddamn it," Frank snarls at Catwoman's warning, "I get yelled at for shooting people, and then they're wearing some fucking shit that the Corps can never get." Emptying the shotgun on his way in didn't cost him much time though, and it made him feel better. As he approaches, he ducks low, aiming to plant his shoulder into the Talon's sternum and drive the assassin back into the door-frame of the Gordon house's front door. He roars as he goes, apparently not put off by the fact that the Talon is still standing after getting hammered by a full clip of ammo. The woman in the catsuit said it was ballistic weave, right?

* * *

"Bitch and moan, bitch and moan, just try not to wreck the Commissioner's foyer."

Catwoman's staring down the Talon now, gleaming lenses to gleaming lenses. Her lips stretch in a predatory grin and she beckons with one clawed finger. "Come on, little mousie," she purrs. "Or better yet: run away to your hole."

But from the corner of her eye she can see the wounded Talon with half a helmet preparing for the killing blow on Gordon. The turn she makes is like ballet. She's on him in an instant, the claws flashing on the tips of her gloves. Wrists. Joints. Weak points. Eyes, if she has to, but she's going to —

Nope. Frank's going to get there ahead of her. So she's going to duck under Castle and get the Commissioner to the car. "You don't… get… to retire yet… Gordon," she hisses. "This shithole still needs you."

* * *

"HEY!" Ruby's call comes after her foe goes tumbling and stays down. Whew. She bends down, reaching to try and pull Gordon up to his feet. "Sorry, Sorry…could you get in the van?" she begins before looking back to where Frank wrestles with his prey. "I CAN'T DRIVE! GET US OUT OF HERE!"

Frank's considerable bulk was in the way of attacking his foe, but Selina? Ruby is quick to return the favor of the earlier rescue and send another bolt towards the one she was driving off.

* * *

For Frank, it's almost like there's a delay between whatever is keeping these things on their feet and the amount of damage the Punisher has inflicted on that sole Talon. When he slams the assassin into the pillar, there's a crunch and the Talon collapses down at the foot of the column in a heap. Behind this, Gordon is getting to his feet only to collapse back down onto the ground again.

The smaller Talon flashes a glance around it before it leaps into the night, grabbing onto the edge of the rooftop to throw itself onto the roof and dash into shadows. Ruby fires off one last blast at it, and it explodes part of Gordon's roof in the process. There's no need to look back — this is lost.

Gordon is groaning as Catwoman helps get him to his feet, and he manages to get his bearings as he doesn't let her bear all his weight toward the van. As Catwoman and Gordon approach, the soft and maternal voice of ALTHENE inquires, "Should I call in the GCPD?"

* * *

Frank steps back from the impact, the Talon's blood splattered across his face and chest. "That's right, shitbird." He glances to the two women gathering up Commissioner Gordon, and then he jacks another shell into his shotgun, puts the barrel to the broken owl mask, and pulls the trigger. More blood on him, this time on his boots and pants, and he's turning away from the theoretically-dead assassin. "I'm comin'. Quit yer bitchin'." He starts backing toward the van behind the others, feeding more shells into the shotgun. The carbine is still on the ground, its barrel steaming in the rain. "Get him in the back. We'll drop him at the hospital." The good one, in the rich part of town. "First aid kit in the bag behind the passenger seat." The bigger duffel bags are filled with hard, angular shapes, more weapons. "I'll find an overwatch position."

* * *

"Sheesh. Batman you aren't. I hope you can drive this thing like an ambulance, because he's going to need one."

The van asks her if she wants the GCPD. Rolling her eyes, she replies: "It's a little late for that."

With Ruby's help, she manages to muscle Gordon into the back of the van. When he points out the first aid kit, she snatches it and stuffs it into Ruby's hands. "Figure it out, butterfly girl. I'm not coming." And with that? She's darting back into the night, disappearing in the shadows with almost unnatural speed. Evidently she's not sticking around for the authorities.

* * *

The yelling had been the loudest that Ruby had been, but the girl was quick to be quiet again as they loaded the commisioner back in the back. Pausing only to move her book and set it out of the way, she'll happily let the others take over the task of driving and finding the hospital. For her part? The 'Witchgirl' brings her thumb to her lips, sweeping it over the surface and then murmering some soft incantation to herself before sweeping that same hand across Gordon's brow. The bleeding? It stops, but the wounds will probably need a hospital since she didn't quite have the time or 'juice' right now to go healing all that damage without knocking herself out.

Her moment of triumph however is suddenly lessened somewhat by the departing Cat. "Hey! W-…dang it."

Exhaling a breath, she closes her eyes in frustration. "Alright. Fine."

* * *

"Would you prefer I contact Red?" ALTHENE's voice has taken on that slight reproachful tone at Catwoman's eye-rolling reply.

For Jim's sake, he gets in the van without too much trouble despite being a rather weighty guy. He's in the back of the van, sprawling out while he holds onto his wounded shoulder. He is about to say something, but then Ruby is touching his brow, and he groans out a slow breath as the wounds stop bleeding.

"Castle, do you have these weapons properly registered?" The Commissioner just barely grunts this out before he lays back fully in the back of the van.

* * *

"Batman I fuckin' ain't," The Punisher confirms. Instead of going to the rear doors to the van, he heads for the driver's side. He's about to say something more when she's gone, and he shrugs, getting into the van, safing the shotgun and putting it in the passenger-side wheelwell. "Let Red know we've got the Commissioner." He shuts the door, wiping rain off his face, buckles up, and accelerates, "Then call GCPD. They'll need to clean up. And Witchgirl, keep him steady back there. Pressure on the wounds." The wounds that he doesn't know have been closed. As he speeds out into the rain, he grunts at Jim Gordon's first question, then shakes his head, answering simply, "No."

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