Crouched low, breathing steady, the night vision lenses of her cowl active, Batgirl counted the numbers in the warehouse where she was hidden silently.
Twelve gang members. All with half masks or bandanas covering their faces. Only two of them armed with anything more than a blade or bat.
A new forming gang.
They must have been stupid.
“Alright boys, listen up, listen up. Tonight, we're gonna get the rest of you some heat. Then we're gonna start the real work on these streets.”
He sounded young. Not much older than her. Early twenties, maybe? She almost felt bad for what she was about to do to them. But it was better her than The Big Bad Bat, really.
‘Or was it?’
She mused as she flung a batarang (just a standard one, how boring) at the table in front of the 'leader’, already moving, sticking to the shadows, deactivating night vision on the go.
'At least if it was Batman, it would be, you know, Batman kicking the crap out of them, not a tiny blonde thing. Bah. They'll probably tell who ever it was Bats anyway…’
Steph would shrug to herself, a slight grin at the mental image at the thought. However, the batarang did what she wanted. They were spooked.
Unable to help herself, she let out a laugh, continuing her movement.
“Did you really just ask that? With the Batarang right there?! In Gotham?! At NIGHT?! You poor sweet summer children…”
As she spoke, she kept on the move, her obviously feminine voice having them less on edge than they were, yet still spooked.
“Come out and fight like a man, you bat bitch coward!”
The one nearest to her yells, into the darkness about six feet to her left. Slowly, she grins, coils her legs under herself from her current perch on the shelving, and pounces, driving her knees into his chest, her hand on his head, forcing it into the floor.
Vicious? Perhaps. But she was here to teach a valuable lesson, and even with that concussion, he wasn't likely to forget tonight's schooling. Stepping aside and giving her warmest smile, as opposed to a Batglare, she sat her hands on her hips.
“If you insist… Gentlemen, my name is Batgirl. I'm here to remind you that in Gotham, we do things a certain way. Shall we begin?”
One of the ones she noted was armed pointed at her, reaching for his gun.
“She's like, a hundred pounds, and we out number her, ten to one! Get her!”
The rush began. Knives thrusting towards her chest, baseball bats swinging in every direction.
“Those odds hardly seem fair. For you.”
She grinned, ducking the first bat to come for her head, catching the wrist holding the blade, striking the elbow, while twisting back on the hand, kicking the knife away.
Frankly, it was unfair, with how trained she was, and how unskilled they were. She had to admire their dedication though. Weaving through them, it might as well have been the lowest setting on the training simulations back in the Batcave.
"Everything doesn't have to be about fear. There's room in our line of work for hope, too."
Steph found that she had begun toying with them. Letting them get body blows in, only to hit back harder across the face. One with a broken nose came back for more. She liked his moxy. She wasn't sure when she started using moxy. But here she was.
There was a click, as something pressed against the back of her head. She had been toying with them too much, and not paying attention. Eyes quickly darting around, she noted that the two she pegged as armed with guns weren't on the floor around her.
Letting out a sigh, she slumped her shoulders slightly, and slowly turned in place, so the barrel was against her forehead. It was shaking.
“Stop right there Batgirl. I'll shoot. I will.”
His voice was younger than the others. But similar. A brother? That would explain why he was also armed when the others weren't.
Keeping a neutral expression, she blinked once, examining his face. His dark eyes were terrified. Shooting a look over to the other armed one, who hadn't left the table (some leader he was), his hand on his gun, watching intently, Steph knew what she was going to do.
“Big Brother pulled you into this mess, huh? You really wanna end up Bat fodder when you could be home? In bed? Not getting hospitalized?”
Little Brother looks back at Big Brother, shakes his head, pulls off his half mask and shoves the gun into Steph's hands.
“I didn't wanna be here at all…”
Big brother puffs up indignantly, slamming his fist into the table.
“Eric! You're meant to have my back!”
Shuffling off towards the door, stepping around the bodies of the beaten and broken, Eric left, Steph dismantled the gun, throwing it in opposite directions.
“Good call, Eric. Get home, and call the GCPD. And you…”
She turned her attention to Big Brother, with a grin.
“We have some things to talk about, don't we bud?”
He, however, disagreed, and took off like a shot, taking his gun, down the hall, further into the dark warehouse. Steph sighed slightly, rolling her eyes, and went out the window, following on roof, activating her heat vision lenses in her cowl. Once he had stopped moving in, in a loading dock, and was spinning around in place, obviously looking for her. Slipping in through a long busted window, and returning to regular vision, she caught the last part of a rant.
“-creepy f***ing bats just lurking around in the damn dark!”
Unable to help herself, she crawled along the top of a rafter, starting her talk and relocate routine again.
“Have you idiots ever considered meeting in well lit places during the day then? Maybe we wouldn't be a factor then. Just putting it out there.”
Apparently, Big Brother wasn't playing around. He fired three shots in the directions her voice came from. All missed her, just. One clipped a fire extinguisher, filling the area with a growing cloud of whirling, thick fog like obstructive gas.
“Whoops… maybe you should watch where you're shooting, Tex. You are keeping track of your shots, right? Because I am… three more. Make them count…”
She should just end it. Here and now. But if this punk was stupid enough to try to start a gang, in Gotham she needed him to understand what that meant.
Darting across the floor now, causing the cloud to swirl around her, she dropped down into a baseball side, under the long forgotten truck, as another shot fired off behind her, ricocheting off the floor somewhere, lost.
“Ooh, unlucky. Two more…”
Was it bad that she was enjoying herself? Probably a little. She could practically hear Batman in her ear, telling her to end it already.
Crawling silently up on top of the truck, she did something, frankly, bordering on cruel and unusual punishment territory. She flung a gooparang at his feet, and ran along the top of the truck, vanishing down the back behind him, as he fired at her.
Her beloved green goop detonated from its pods, encasing his legs from the knees down, trapping him in place.
“And then there was one!”
She called from somewhere behind him. He did with the shot what she thought he might. Try to shoot at the goop. It did nothing.
Steph thought about immediately pouncing on him. But watching him strain his eyes and ears to try to find her, jumping at every little sound, the cars on the freeway in the distance, the rats in the walls, kinda amused her.
She had some problems she needed to work out. She knew.
After five minutes, she had crept up behind him, and lightly tapped his shoulder.
“So, what did we learn here tonight?”
He screamed. Of course he did. It took everything she had to not laugh.
“That crime doesn't pay. Please. Miss Bat. Batgirl please don't hurt me. Please…”
Circling to his front, she raised a brow, not that he could see it under her cowl.
“Oh, honey. Don't worry. You won't feel a thing…”
He looked like he was about to start thanking her, when she grabbed the back of his head and drove him, skull first into her knee, which she swung upward with just as much force.
She lied. He'd feel it when he woke up.