Batman enters the “Birds of Prey” fanfiction, beating through ninjas to save the gamblers while Batgirl works the roof.
Want to read from the beginning? CLICK HERE!
Before his arrival, Batman had memorized the schematics for the theater via the Batcomputer’s link to the Gotham Records department.
He’d also frequented the establishment as his alter ego, gangster Matches Malone.
His memory of the theater went back further, to his childhood. This was the theater when, at eight years old, his parents took him to see the movie The Mark of Zorro on that fateful night.
The theater had gone unoccupied for decades since the Wayne murders. Remnants of the last show (Julius Caesar, Batman recalled) lay strewn about the area.
Discolored chairs covered with mold, broken tables, and random trash littered the area.
Batman moved through the backstage area toward the main stage. The schematics didn’t show any hidden tunnels out of the theater.
However, studying the subway network revealed an abandoned line running under the theater.
The abandoned line was perfect for a quick getaway, but where was the entrance, if Gamble had one?
Illegal gamblers, particularly the high-end types who frequented Gamble’s establishment, would want to get out quickly at the first sign of trouble.
The vigilante detective deduced he’d find any hidden escape routes in the main audience area; that would be the easiest way to get them out.
Moving onto the stage, Batman saw a mass of bodies rushing through the lower audience area.
Gamble’s men had pulled the rusting and molding seats from the seating area and replaced them with casino-style poker tables.
Gamble had also cleaned up the place, bringing back some of its cinema palace splendor. It’d be a decent renovation if not for its private and illegal use.
There were nearly two dozen tables with seats for five players and a standing position for a dealer; tonight, they had a full house.
As Malone, Batman had noted Gamble’s security watching the front doors despite the doors remaining locked and chained.
Gamble had stationed more men on either side of the two upper balconies to get an unobstructed view of the crowd.
Gamble also had men on the stage. The stage guards were down on the floor, ushering people toward the stage left side of the house.
The attendees moved in what eventually merged into a single file headed toward an area of shadow.
Batman remembered a garbage dumpster against the outside wall in that area. Someone had sealed the lid shut. That would make a perfect cover for an escape route into the subway.
The wealthy players slumming wouldn’t like the literal slumming. Still, Batman imagined they would prefer that to whatever violent hell had interrupted their evening.
The vigilante found the source of one of the other explosions at the front of the house. Gamble’s guards there were down, covered in debris from Kano’s ninjas blowing open the front doors.
Five more ninjas entered, arrows nocked on their bowstrings. They were too far away for Batman to stop their first barrage of arrows.
Luckily, some of Gamble’s men were already trading fire with the ninjas, buying Batman the time he needed to use his Batline to swing across the room.
As he swung across the space, another explosion shattered a section of the roof. The vigilante barely dodged the falling debris. Some of the gamblers weren’t as lucky.
Arrows from the ninjas at the front doors struck a few of the attendees. Uninjured attendees risked their lives to help the injured escape.
Noting their attire, Batman deduced the rescuers were of a lower income than those selfishly running for their lives.
Gamble lost two of his men to the ninjas. Only one ninja caught a bullet.
Batman evened the odds with a barrage of Bat-shuriken. Three of the five ninjas fell to the assault. The remaining two lost their bows.
Batman landed in the space in front of the ninjas. Gamble’s men wisely ceased fire.
The vigilante downed the remaining two ninjas before they could draw their swords. He then looked to the hole in the roof. Ropes fell into the theater.
Before anyone descended the ropes, flashbang grenades went off just outside the hole in the roof. One ninja, his arms wrapped by a bolo, fell through the hole, crashing through a table down below.
Batman had grudgingly brought Batgirl into the fold due to her resourcefulness and her ability to learn quickly.
She’d learned tonight to lead with the flashbangs and smokescreen. Her actions above bought him and Gamble’s men more time.
There were still roughly thirty people to get out of the theater.
Will Batman and Batgirl save the remaining gamblers and stop Kano and his ninjas? Find out next week!
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 Birds of Prey fanfiction? Check out Mark’s original “Shadowdance” saga books!