Continuing Mark’s “Birds of Prey” fanfiction!
Against Batman’s order, Batgirl brings Black Canary with her to see if they can catch the Chechen working with Seattle crime boss China White.
Want to read from the beginning? CLICK HERE!
Robin had started the tradition of naming everything in their arsenal “bat-something.” Batgirl often wondered if Batman ever actually named anything.
Batgirl’s motorcycle, or Batcycle, was an enhanced version of a standard street bike. It carried two riders.
Batgirl and Dinah Lance, a.k.a. the Seattle vigilante Black Canary cruised through Gotham’s Bowery district. They passed buildings that had bars over their windows, metal doors and plenty of locks.
Gamble’s territory of Park Row was north of the Bowery. Gamble had quelled much of the random street crime there. In contrast, the Chechen had encouraged street crime in his Bowery stronghold.
“So where’s the Chechen hang out?” Black Canary said into the headset Batgirl gave her.
Batgirl had programmed Canary’s headset to function on a frequency Batgirl had, but Batman didn’t. No reason to let him know she defied his order to send Canary home.
Not that Batgirl was supposed to be having conversations with Black Canary. Batman was adamant Dinah Lance did not stay in Gotham.
Somehow (fangirl-itis?), Dinah had convinced Batgirl to let her tag along in her alter ego as the vigilante Black Canary.
“He holes up in an abandoned mall,” Batgirl said. “Most of the area is dead at night, with the occasional street crime.
“Luckily, the criminals desperate enough to try and mug someone were wise enough to stay away when they see costumed vigilantes.”
“Doesn’t sound like much has changed in four years,” Canary said. “What have you vigilantes been doing in Gotham?”
Batgirl caught the sarcasm and said, “It’s not just street crime. We’ve got crazies like Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze. No ego, but I’m not sure this town would be here for you to return to if we hadn’t stepped up.”
“Well, you can keep those costumed freaks, present company excluded.”
“I wish we could. Do you have any idea how long it takes to get chemically enhanced kudzu out of your hair?”
Batgirl pulled onto a side street and brought the bike to a halt. She and Canary dismounted.
“We’ll take the rooftops from here,” Batgirl said.
“Where should I tell Sonya to meet us?” Black Canary asked.
Batgirl pulled out her grappling gun and aimed it at the roof. “Bad enough I’m bringing you. Besides; Detective Blade has no jurisdiction here.”
Firing the grappling gun, Batgirl continued. “Even if Commissioner Gordon lets her snoop around, she’s bound by law to report her findings to the GCPD before she can act or risk getting her collar tossed.”
“Kind of like how we as vigilantes have no jurisdiction?”
Batgirl glanced at Canary. “I’m sorry, Ms. Lance.”
“I’m Black Canary when I’m in the mask. I mean, you don’t go calling Batman by his real name, do you?”
Batgirl hesitated. She was pretty sure Canary merely made a professional request and was not fishing for Batman’s secret identity.
“Sorry, Black Canary. I’m already gonna be grounded forever for bringing you along. I’m not risking losing the cowl to bring along a Seattle Detective.”
Batgirl tested the grappling line. It held. “Make sure nobody takes the bike.”
“Hey! How am I supposed to observe if —”
Batgirl pressed a button on her grappling gun. The line pulled her up to the roof. With a flip of her cape, she was away, leaving Black Canary with the Batcycle.
Batgirl felt bad leaving Black Canary down below. Still, she was already testing Batman’s patience letting the Seattle vigilante remain in Gotham.
Better to leave her with the Batcycle than risk her getting involved with the Chechen and making a mess of the city’s already unstable underworld.
And gaining Batman’s full wrath.
Gotham’s female vigilante crossed a few rooftops until she made it to the mall, a five-story building in the middle of a small parking lot. The lights meant to illuminate the lot were either shattered or dim.
Batgirl used the shadows to approach the mall and entered a long-since abandoned, big-box department store.
Racks and tattered merchandise left to the ages haunted the space. She found a set of moldy stairs and cautiously proceeded up.
From prior reconnaissance, Batgirl knew the Chechen had converted a section of the fourth floor into a loft complete with offices and a bedroom. That’s where he’d be.
Batgirl made it to the fourth floor, silently taking down a few thug guards on the way. On this floor, she located an air conditioning vent. Batgirl crawled inside and made her way to the area above the Chechen’s lair.
When she heard voices speaking Russian or a singular language (that was Batman’s thing) and knew she was close.
Batgirl continued to a grate covering the vent and looked down. She was over the office area. It held ample space with a table, lots of chairs and a distance between said table and the closed entrance doors.
The Chechen conferred with his lieutenant Abram. Four other men milled about the area.
Batgirl pulled a microphone from her utility belt. She attached a cable from it to her cowl and then set up a link to the Batcomputer. The machine would translate for her in real-time.
The vigilante listened intently.
Black Canary kicked the Batcycle.
She’d tried for five minutes to figure out how to turn the thing on to no avail. Her attempts ended when the inanimate object spoke to her, telling her the anti-theft system would arm if she tried again.
Talking damned motorcycles. Only in Gotham.
Canary called Sonya for an update. Sonya said that Gotham’s commissioner had given her the go-ahead to snoop around for info on China White.
The catch was she had to keep him in the loop and could make no direct actions on anything she found.
Canary said she understood; she had a similar conversation with one of Gotham’s costumed vigilantes, Batgirl.
Canary explained she was out with Batgirl now, but the masked girl had ditched her to investigate the Chechen’s hideout.
Sonya demanded to know where they were. Canary shared the information but had no intention of waiting around for Sonya or Batgirl to give her permission to act.
Batgirl is in the lion’s den, but will Black Canary’s drive for action put Batgirl in the lion’s mouth? You know the drill; come back tomorrow!
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!