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Armored Underworld (fanfiction) pt 27 of 41

Back in Gotham City, Batgirl confronts crime lord Black Mask — and finds her mystery woman meeting with him.

Want to read this from the beginning? CLICK HERE!

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While Batman tracked down Iron Man’s lead in Las Vegas, Batgirl headed over to run surveillance on one Roman Sionis, a.k.a. the Black Mask.

In a past life, Sionis ran Janus Cosmetics. His obsession with masks caused him to turn the company’s highly profitable cosmetics lines into items made to obscure beauty. Sionis ran the company into the ground.

A last-ditch effort to save it used shoddy chemical work. Instead of creating the next great cosmetic, Janus created a poison.

Luckily, reporter Vicki Vale uncovered the mistake. It nearly cost her life, but Batman saved her from an attacker in a black mask.

As one of his earliest actions upon his return to Gotham, Bruce bought and liquidated Janus as a favor to Roman’s parents, friends to the Wayne family. Sionis disappeared for several years.

Then his mansion was burned down, his parents still inside. A mysterious figure calling himself the Black Mask appeared.

He had consolidated his criminal power in Gotham’s Fashion District, profiting on the disarray caused by the fall of the Falcone crime family at the hands of the Batman.

Batman eventually captured Black Mask, uncovering his identity as Sionis. As a comfort to the Sionis family, Wayne got District Attorney Harvey Dent to work an insanity plea for Sionis.

The plea was the first major rift between Wayne and Batgirl’s dad Gordon.

Unfortunately, it appeared her dad had made the right call to want Sionis in jail.

Sionis escaped Arkham Asylum and returned to the streets of Gotham, slowly rebuilding his criminal empire.

Penguin managed to keep Mask in check by working a deal that overturned Sionis’s initial conviction with some trumped-up claims.

Roman Sionis was a free man, continuing his “alleged” activities as the Black Mask.

With all the criminals in Gotham, Batman and his allies played a game of whack-a-mole. In the cases of players like Black Mask and Penguin, sometimes it was best to leave them in place.

Batman watched their activities. If one crime family went too far, he’d snap them back.

Thanks to the passive surveillance, the Bat-team always knew where to find Black Mask when needed. Tonight, he was in his penthouse office space atop the not-so-cleverly-named Sionis Tower.

Batgirl stepped into an empty apartment in a building across the street. The building belonged to Wayne Enterprises through three levels of shell organizations.

The apartment itself was empty save a chair, table, and audiovisual surveillance gear.

One of Robin’s last acts before heading to college was to add a refrigerator, microwave, and radio.

Honestly, Batgirl was surprised Batman didn’t make Dick take the additions with him to Bludhaven.

Dressed in her costume in case she needed to move, Batgirl took a seat at the table and checked in on Mask. His office had tall windows facing her building, making visual surveillance all too easy.

Batman had broken into the office to wire it for sound, but Mask’s tech team caught the devices and discarded them.

Most of them, anyway.

Her father wouldn’t appreciate the intrusion on civil liberties — even those of a once-convicted felon. Batgirl wasn’t too sure she did either.

Then again, the girl who dressed as a bat to assault those same criminals didn’t have room to talk, especially when she kept her secret identity from her police commissioner father.

Batgirl slid off her cowl and placed the surveillance tech’s headphones over her ears. She logged into the laptop on the table. It pulled up a feed from the camera aimed at Black Mask’s office. Batgirl dialed in the audio.

“What am I paying you people for?” Black Mask demanded over the relatively clear feed.

He then slid everything on his desk onto the floor.

His lieutenants, Charles Rothers and Juri Han, stared at Mask. They were used to his antics, the ravings of a diseased mind.

Rothers was the stereotype for every mob lawyer in every Hollywood movie. He worked for some of the other crime families before deciding that, despite Black Mask’s temper tantrums, he provided the best long-term stability in that he was low on Batman’s radar.

Han was a short Chinese girl barely out of her teens. Black Mask used her as muscle, deceiving his enemies into thinking they were a match for Han.

Batman had never figured where she came from but knew her to be an expert martial artist. He’d only gone up against her once, but that was enough.

Batgirl was good, but she hoped she’d never had to take on Han and find out who was better.

“Some broad comes in talking about selling us some gear, and you guys lose it?” Mask continued.

Rothers removed his glasses, cleaning them with a handkerchief from his immaculately tailored suit. “Technically, sir, the Heavy Playas lost the merchandise. And, unfortunately, the money.”

Black Mask slammed his fists down on the now bare desk. “And you didn’t think to send a big boy to supervise?”

“It’s assumed by the other criminal organizations that the Playas were a front for us,” Rothers explained, “but no one can confirm that. It’s what keeps them at bay. Sending a watchdog would tip our hand. It was bad enough for Batgirl to have discovered the deal.”

“Freakin’ bat vigilantes! Why are they barking up my tree now?”

Batgirl smiled, both from professional pride and Mask’s mixed metaphor.

The phone on the floor emitted a beep. Mask looked at Hun and Rothers, then at the phone. He picked it up, setting the handset back in the cradle.

The phone beeped again. Mask pressed a blinking white button. “What is it?”

“I don’t like entering unannounced,” a female voice said over the phone’s intercom. Batgirl recognized the voice as the leather-clad mystery woman from the other night; one never forgets the voice of the lady who tried to blow you up.

Batgirl removed the headphones, grabbed her cowl and headed for the roof.

To be continued…

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!

Copyright Info

DC Adventures, Copyright 2011, Green Ronin Publishing; Author Steve Kenson. It’s now 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.

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