Summary: Batman and Batgirl take on some no-good terrorist hostage takers at the Gotham Opera House.

Location: Theatre District, Gotham City

Participants: Batman, Batgirl

Rating: PG-13, Shooty Violence and Dead Bodies

With the madness of the current Man-Bat epidemic, less time has been available for your standard thugs to do their usual thuggery. However, one group apparently didn't get the memo, and it seems that a performance by the Gotham Classic Opera Company has been rudely interrupted by ye olde hostage crisis. Namely, the cast and crew of the opera are being held, with demands that certain members of the infamous Red Sun Rising cartel be released. Of course, the Police are at a stand-still in negotiations.

What they don't know is that the cavalry is on the way, as the Batmobile parks in the back alley of the opera house, opening up to reveal the Caped Crusader and his young female assistant. Exiting the car, Batman quickly ducks into the shadows, eyeing the three gunman who have the back covered. Eyeing Cassandra, he makes a few motions indicating for her to take point and try to find a way to make a distraction on the far side, while he makes a distraction here, splitting two off and leaving them just one to deal with. After giving the signal, he picks up a nearby soup can and tosses it against the wall, making a clatter. As if he were pavlov's terrorist, one of the gunman starts to make his way over towards the sound, gun held up threatening. "Show yourself," he calls out, his voice tinged with Scottish rouge. "Or I'm gonna have to fooking shoot."

Not saying a single word, Cassandra does move, to take point as instructed. The distraction she makes? Is by picking up a rock, and throwing it against the dumpster, simply, and concisely. Then, she merely waits in the shadows, her costume lending her some menace, and some capability in the darkness. That, and the fact her entire face is covered in the mask also helps.

When Batman waits silently, the gunman starts to get a bit antsy and opens fire. And Batman falls dead. Or at least, he fakes dead, loud enough to make a thud noise. With a triumphant yelp, the gunman runs in to claim his victm. Unfortunately, he is in the shadows. Getting closer, closer, he edges up on the gunned down target. "Hooly fooking sheet, it's the god damn-" he starts, but that final line isn't spoken as Batman, who totally isn't dead afterall, lifts a hand and swiftly chops at the man's neck, instantly incapacitating him.

Meanwhile, the second gunman hears the sound near the dumpster. Less trigger happy than his compatriot, he slowly sneaks up on the dumpster, inch by inch, though his boots make a very good thudding reminder of just how close he is.

As his boots make a good thudding, so does his jaw; against Cassandra's boot, hard, quick, and merciless. It might be broken - not that Cassandra really cares. It's a hard, and precise enough kick to knock the man flat on his back, and out. She then moves quietly towards the entrance, once the two are completely dealt with.

Between both of his mates disappearing rather suddenly, the final gunman has become very nervous, raising his gun and pointing in any direction he can. Catching a glimpse of Cassandra, he raises his gun and is ready to fire, only to crumple and fall to the floor, followed closely behind by the cling-clang of the Batarang tinkering on the floor. Batman edges close, picks up the batarang and pulls out a trio of tie string. "Tie them up," he instructs curtly before testing the door. Unlocked, and unsupervised. He sneaks inside, waiting in the shadows for his protege.

Pulling out one of the zip-tie handcuffs thingies out of her little accessory belt, Cassandra obeys, simply and concisely. Boy, doesn't Bats wish Dick and Barbara were this obeidient, and unmouthy? The job is done with familiar proficiency, before she rises, smoothly, and asks, "In?"

After she is done tieing the guards up, Batman nods and opens the door for Batgirl. "Point," he instructs, pointing forwards towards the dressing room area where muffled whines are heard. As Batgirl draw nearer, she will notice that two more gunman flank the on either side, looking rather nonplussed at having to play guard duty this far in, and chit-chatting about football (y'know, soccer) rather casually.

Smoothly stepping between each, Batgirl suddenly steps to one side, raising a booted foot to the midsection of one of the men. She is already moving, even before the foot lands, to snake and grip the man's arm, to wrench, twist, and catapult him towards his soccer-chatting buddy in a fluid, effortless motion that is not only beautiful and deadly, but eerie to watch.

The effect of being caught off-guard causes the two terrorists to fumble, dropping their submachine guns and easily being pushed by the much smaller combatant. As she shoves them together, they go flying. Thankfully, something breaks their trajectory that isn't the wall, saving them from surely broken necks. Unfortunately, the thing that stops them is Batman, who instead knocks their heads together roughly, knocking both out. Batman gestures towards the theatre door for Cass before heading on deeper into the theatre.

Beyond the door are tied up, blindfolded and gagged twenty cast and crew members, each looking more terrified than the last. As the door opens, they all start to tense up, afraid of whatever could happen next.

Unfortunately the sight of Batgirl and Batman would not likely ease their fears, much. The sight and feel of their fear, projected to Cassandra however affects her - immenesely, despite her staying rigid. Even Batman might not notice - but, there is suddenly intent in her mind to project this fear into those responsible. Her eyes seek out the rest of the terrorists, bypassing those currently restrained.

The rest of the group are actually situated on the main stage...playing cards, joking, generally not seeming all that worried or concerned. Batman is quickly making his way up the scaffolding of the stage, to make his way to the catwalk to look down at the remaining four terrorists. Also on stage are three people with rather nasty gunshot wounds making them very much in the dead category, brushed off to one side as deadweight; the smell is not such that it would seem they've been dead long, with blood still oozing out the head of one of the victims currently.

Not even waiting this time for Batman's go-ahead, Batgirl begins to run straight towards the main stage, a flurry of motion, her footsteps light and only sounding due to the speed at which she vaults herself towards the table - then, onto the table.

Utilizing her slim body, and her athletic prowess, she moves to twist her legs around the neck of one, and slam him into table face-first, even as her body is lurching forwards, to levy a hard punch in the direction of another's throat.

Batman blinks slightly as Batgirl jumps into action, squinting his disapproval from high above. The two guards she attacks openly are out like a light in seconds, crumpling to the floor. The other two slide back from the table, shouting curses as they reach for their guns. One is snapped with a Batarang, followed closely behind by a Batman landing, HARD, on the terrorist, giving a sharp punch to the back of the head. Unfortunately, he's not quick enough to get both the gunman, and the other is able to quickly draw a bead and shoot. He's not the best sharpshooter in the world, but he's also close enough to his target (IE, Batgirl) to have that not matter much.

It's that last gunman that Cassandra chooses. She twists off the table, and moves to cut his legs out from under him. One hard boot comes down - inches from his skull. Her hand then snaps down, as her knee bends, punching him right in the chest - hard enough to collapse his lungs instantly and leave him with the air knocked out of his lungs. Never a good thing.

She does not stop there, seeking to instill in this one the fear that his captives felt, pulling back, and pulling the man up with her, pushing him into the post nearest her. She draws a rarely used batarang out of the belt, and pitches it. It pings, just inches from the man's skull - with enough force it might've pierced his skull.

Thankfully in her flurry of movement, the bullet merely whizs by Cassandra's head, merely missing her as she pummels the final terrorist. After she all-but brains him, a firm hand comes down, gripping at her wrist tightly of Batgirl. "Enough," he growls. "He's out, and if you don't stop, you'll kill him." His firm grip is let go. "And what is our one rule?"

"Fear." Cassandra points to the victims, then points back to the - well, her victim. She's glaring, beneath her mask. She wanted him to feel what they felt. Seems she is satisfied, now that that is completed. The fact she almost got smeared doesn't even seem to rattle her cage, in the least.

"Fear is a tool," Batman says, storming off towards the edge of the stage, pulling a small metallic rod out of his utility belt, using it to dig the bullet from the far wall before making his way back, holding it up as an exhibit. "Anger is not. Did you even realize he shot at you? Or did you act before considering the danger?" He glares back at her; he invented the glare after all.

Glaring back, and for the moment, showing the same zeal and zest that grated Nightwing against Batman from time to time, Cassandra just makes a gesture, to indicate that she saw, and knew that the bullet wouldn't hit her. She points, instead, back to the victims.

Batman's brow furrows beneath his mask. "You're not listening," he growls, making direct eye contact. "We seek justice, not vengeance. We don't go beyond what's necessary, we simply stop bad people from doing bad things." He points towards the victims. "Yes, they have been hurt...but we are not monsters." He storms away, clearly done with this argument. "Free the victims, tie up the perps. I'll be waiting in the car."

It only takes Cassandra a few minutes to take care of the work, she says nothing to the hostages, merely setting them free - and placing their captors in their places, before slinking steathily towards the Batmobile.

The engine is already running when Batgirl gets to the car, and once she enters, the pair race off. Batman remains silent for a while, until it becomes clear he's heading back towards the cave. "You're grounded for the rest of the night," he says, matter-of-factly. "You just got too emotional."

Crossing her arms, Batgirl is hardly happy. But, she also isn't going to argue it, because she knows that will make it worse. Stupid Bruce. This is why she's currently sleeping in the Clocktower! She does not look at Batman, now. Just glares, sulks, out the front view.

As no argument is given, Batman merely drives home. He isn't pleased with how tonight with, even though no more life was lost. Secretly, though, he silently wonders just how cruel Cassandra can really be...and if she would ever turn on him with that cruelty.

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