Batgirl is on stakeout duty in Gotham City in the first installment of the fanfiction “Armored Underworld.”
“Shouldn’t you pay attention to what you’re doing, Barb?” Dick Grayson asked over the earpiece in Batgirl’s cowl.
He was probably right.
A few nights ago, Batman had narrowed down the theft of a firearms cache to the Heavy Playas gang in the Bowery. He’d left the task of tracking the Playas to her.
Batgirl had surveyed the Playas every night since then. Their routine barely changed: hang out on their turf, sell weed, get high on the remaining weed, meet some girls, repeat.
Tonight, they finally mixed things up with a trip to the edge of their territory.
Batgirl perched on a rooftop five stories up, a dead-end alley with a narrow side street below her. The Playas had a box truck parked nose-first in the alley.
Back on the street, an SUV parked across the mouth of the alley, blocking traffic and setting up a secure exchange out of the truck.
Using a set of binoculars from a pouch on her yellow utility belt, Batgirl took a closer look at the opposition. Three Black men in their early twenties stood watch in the middle of the alley.
A fourth man, older than the others by a decade, hung to the back of the box truck. He smoked something, probably not a standard cigarette.
Though none of the men had a visible weapon, Batgirl could tell they all packed handguns in shoulder holsters or belts (never smart).
The way the guy by the truck clung to the side not visible to Batgirl, she figured he might have another heavier weapon stashed there.
A dusting of snow covered the ground, largely untouched save for the box truck’s tire treads and the shuffling of the men’s feet.
The conversation with Dick helped distract Batgirl from the chill seeping through her Kevlar-laced bodysuit.
Batman had Batsuits that were insulated against fire and cold. He hadn’t gotten around to doing the same for Batgirl. She had her standard black bulletproof suit for the evening.
At least she had the yellow gloves and boots to keep her extremities warm.
Just another February in Gotham.
“Please,” Batgirl finally responded to Dick. “I could follow these guys blindfolded and still beat you in a Batline race.”
“Be careful, there,” Dick said with a chuckle. “I may be a bit rusty, but once an acrobat…”
“Always second to a girl,” Batgirl said, cutting him off.
Dick had a customary witty retort, but Batgirl missed it. The SUV had moved, allowing a cargo van to back into the alley so that its rear compartment would open to the rear of the box truck.
Didn’t take detective skills to realize something was about to go down.
“Love to continue ribbing you, college boy,” Batgirl teased, “but momma’s gotta go to work.”
“College boy? Says the senior who got a full ride to Gotham U but put it off for a semester.”
“Quiet, you,” Batgirl said while sliding her binoculars back into their pouch.
“You call Bruce?” Dick asked.
“He’s on a Bruce Wayne mission tonight,” Batgirl replied. “Besides; it’s just a couple of street hustlers peddling some stolen firearms. All in a night’s work.”
“Be careful. And have Alfred standing by with the Batwing if things get hairy.”
“I’ve got this, Dick,” Batgirl said with full confidence. “You get back to Calculus. I’ll call you after.”
Batgirl allowed herself a smile as she cut the com line. She missed their teasing while on patrol. She also missed Dick’s ability to keep things light despite the brutality that often came with the job of defending Gotham.
It was way better than patrolling with Batman. He rarely said a thing except to correct something in her method or to bark commands.
Her young adult self would have thought it annoying — except that Batman’s corrections and orders could one day save her life. He was a tough taskmaster, but he badgered and trained his young allies concerned they returned home alive.
It was time to put that training to work.
To be continued every Wednesday, Friday, and Monday beginning February 7th!
While writing this fanfiction, I used Green Ronin’s Mutants and Masterminds, 3rd Edition RPG, to leave some things to chance. Check it out!
Like this fanfiction? Check out Mark’s original “Shadowdance” saga books!
DC Adventures, Copyright 2011, Green Ronin Publishing; Author Steve Kenson. Now it’s Mutants and Masterminds, 3rd Edition
Advanced Player’s Manual, Copyright 2005, Green Ronin Publishing: Author Skip Williams.
The characters Iron Man, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Vanko, Black Widow, and Nick Fury are Copyright Marvel Comics
The characters Batman/ Bruce Wayne, Batgirl/ Barbara Gordon, Black Mask, the Penguin/ Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, Renee Montoya, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, Robin/ Dick Grayson, KGBeast and Bane are Copyright DC Comics
The character Juri Han is Copyright Capcom
None of the characters belong to me as this is fanfiction, done for fun, and as a creative exercise.