Date: February 21, 2012
Synopsis: Sensei tries to kidnap Selina Kyle and Alex Luthor, but Batman responds to Selina's signal and tries to stop him. In the scuffle, a new side of Alex Luthor emerges – Kon-El.
Location: Easy Street, later the Harbor District
Rating: PG-13 (violence)
It started with an invitation to dinner. How unusual of Alex, taking the first step forward. But he did call Selina to go out to dinner. The place is beautiful and classy, not to forget to mention very expensive. Alex still stutters during the meal, but his smiles seem brighter and he looks happier. He shows Selina the final designs he finished earlier today of her place, and discuss when to handle the final installations. He looks excited, blue eyes bright behind his glasses at giving Selina something she will love and live in. Alex doesn't seem nearly as nervous as he normally is either, even with the stutter.
There is also very good wine, not only very good wine, but at the end of dinner over a beautiful dessert the wine served is Elven wine. It tastes like summer memories. It's is a wine that causes Alex to close his eyes and smile warmly, not his usual shy smile he typically displays. And when he opens his eyes, he looks content. After lingering over desert, the two of you get up and get your coats from the coat room. Alex finally gets to his goal while he assists you with your coat on. “Selina…would you, well,” and he smiles sheepishly. “I'd like you to go…with me to a party…next month. It's an big one…and…I'd like you to…well, be my date.” That nervousness is finally back, but not as strong as it normally is. It's a more natural nervousness.
She's been working on him: helping him learn that confidence, helping him learn to take the initiative. To be assertive, all that business. And it's been working fairly well, though he still has that shyness cropping up once in a while. She's working on it. She's working on him. He *needs* that confidence, and helping him gain it is admittedly a big part of the reason she spends time with him. The rest, though, has something to do with that big smile and those bright blue eyes.
Selina slips on her coat and tugs it around her, looking over her shoulder in some surprise at the question. “Tell me about this party,” she says, buttoning her coat and stepping toward the door. “Are you sure Lex is going to approve?”
“Father never…interfered with my…dating before,” and Alex looks a little confused at that. Least, not that /he/ knows of, right? But soon, Alex's coat is also on and the door is held open as the two step outside. They wait on the curb for the limo. “It is a very big celebration. I…am not sure…what over. Father just said…it was important. He likes giving…surprises,” he just doesn't like getting them typically.
A vehicle pulls up, but it isn't the limo, it's a black van. “Wha…what?” Alex looks confused as he has a hand at your lower back. Suddenly coming off the hood of the van however are ninjas clothed in black, and one moves a weapon to Alex's throat, causing the young man's eyes to widen as more go to Selina! They are highly trained, but are not moving for a killing move.
“In the van,” one says with a heavily accented voice. “Or the boy dies.” Boy?! Alex would be insulted if he wasn't so scared, confused, and taken by surprised!
Let alone they are kidnapping in full view of a respectable establishment!
Now, Selina has a sneaking suspicion that a bullet might not hurt Alex too terribly badly. She knows just how much it would hurt *her*, though. And making it publicly known that the Luthor boy could deflect bullets? Bad. Even in a place like this. He has a personal and private life, after all, which could get needlessly complicated.
She stiffens when they put the gun to Alex's throat, though. Her hands clasp and unclasp. She could kick that wrist, punch that throat, swing that guy into that other guy, and completely wreck her *own* identity. Or, she could go with them and find out who wants her so badly. There is, though, one hope. One ace up her sleeve. “You know, having a /Batman help/ people around the city would be really handy right around now,” she grumbles. “It'll be okay, Alex. Let him go. I'll come with you.”
“No, obedience is required. Both of you, in the back of the van.” They then work as a unit to herd both Selin and Alex into the van. Once inside the van, there is a ninja holding a bazooka gun. The ninja inside says, “Me sad, no blow up place. They listened.” Holy crap, they would have blown the entire place up if Selina or Alex had bulked?!
Poor Alex actually pales. He looks over at Selina with concern and worry reflected in his blue eyes. Even though he looks obviously frightened, he seems more frightened for Selina. Once Alex and Selina are both bound by heavy-duty manacles and seated, the van is already moving.
For twenty minutes, no one speaks or says anything as the van moves, and Alex just tries to get closer to Selina as if to protect her and gain comfort, a work of conflict of emotions playing on his face. The van comes to a stop, and the ninjas once again move as a unit to excort the two out to a warehouse by the port.
Bruce is sitting in front of a computer looking at read-out displays and thinking of a dozen things at once, as he is want to do. Then he blinks and looks up as the white noise of the City filters into something more distinct. There are people he pays attention to. Special attention.
You know, having a /Batman help/ people around the city…
It'll be okay, Alex. Let him go. I'll come with you.
Bruce is standing before he realizes it, and half a second later he's downstairs in the Batcave and a fraction of a second after that, Batman is speeding towards the location where he last heard Selina's voice.
When the van stops, there is a brief sound from the front as the driver is pulled out through the window, and then a second of delay as the other man in front follows him. The ninja barely have time to respond to the sound of the rear doors being opened - but before they do, smoke starts to fill the cabin of the van.
Selina's eyes narrow when the ninjas insist on taking Alex, too. But it might be him they came for after all. …No, that doesn't make sense. They wouldn't threaten to kill *him* to make *her* come along if they wanted him specifically, would they?
She looks back to Alex with an expression that tries very much to be comforting. She's not exactly much of a damsel in distress, or at least she isn't very good at it. She doesn't do it back home, and she'd much rather be kicking someone in the ear right about now. Instead, she's bound and slung in the back with Alex. She watches him steadily as he watches her, but there's nothing she could say that wouldn't give the game away. Better for him to be surprised.
When the doors are opened, though, relief pours through her. He DID hear her! Selina lets out a heavy breath and winks at Alex. “Well, sometimes you never know your luck,” she says. Without further ado, she lurches and rolls out toward the back doors of the van. It'll hurt, but she'll heal.
Alex coughs and hacks when the smoke rolls in, and ninjas reach for them to slam their heads down against the floor of the van with their hands caught behind their lower backs in those shackles. Though Selina is missing. “Damn it, if the bitch dies…screw it!” The ninjas lean over them and the once complaining ninja says, “Fire!” The back of the van doesn't face the warehouse destination, so the ninja at the back of the van with the bazooka lifts it to his shoulders, and fires! More smoke fills the van.
Alex coughs again, and there is the sound of bending metal for those that recongize it. His cuffs are coming undone as he pulls his wrists apart, tears filling his eyes from the smoke. His heart is beating fast, panicking…but then something switches it 'off'. His heart rate stablizes and calms, Selina, is she dead?
The doors of the van are thrust open violently and one of the men in the front is pulled out and up to the roof with a Wilhelm scream. As the man with the Bazooka fires, there's a blur of motion, and a dark Bat-shaped shadow is silhouetted as Batman interposes himself between the explosion and those nearby. He starts to take a step towards Selina.
What happens next is so quick that it's almost too fast for the naked eye to follow. Something hits Batman like a hammer slamming against a billiard ball, throwing him to the side. And as Batman staggers up to his feet, an old man calmly walks forward, his hands folded together in front of him. He looks frail and small and he has bare feet. “Batman,” Sensei murmurs. “I should have known that you would come. Indeed, your skills seem even more formidable than I remember…”
The noise is tuned out, nothing he can do about it now. Alex has to take care of the problem right in front of him, right around him. It is the practical choice. To take care of the danger at your back is a tactical maneuver, logic says he isn't alone. He will worry about 'her' later. When Alex moves, it is without a waste of movement and with pure violence. He doesn't feel anything right now, and that is alright. He has to compartmentalize or he will be compromised. Alex spins where he stands, snapping the legs of the ninja that was holding his head down, the metal manacles flying away from Alex's wrists. He snaps his body up with a twist of his body, and leaps forward to palm strike the chest of the ninja holding the bazooka. There is a crunch of noise, and a heart beat stops. His inhumanly fast moves soon has him lifting a leg up, knees bent as it soon lashes out with a powerful thrust into the ninja that was trying to restrain Selina and gave the order to shoot when she could have been murdered. His stomach section is crushed beneath the onslaught and the ninja can't breathe. He may never breathe again due to internal damage.
Alex then starts to move from the smoke inside the van where he is now alone, the tears drying on his face still feeling numb. He had to get to 'her', but where was 'she'? The figure that forms out of the smoke to witness the chaos before him is not Alex Luthor. It is something cold and dangerous, with no emotion reflected in his face which has no glasses now. They lay shattered within the van when his face met the van's floor earlier. The being does not speak as he evaluates the situation, standing still while his one pants leg adorned with the blood from the leg he shattered.
'She'… is breathing, yes. Selina did what she often does: she saw her one chance and she went for it. She could remain incognito, she could keep being a hostage, but the distraction has been provided – and it's been provided well, better than she might have expected. She could have hoped for a safer leap out of the back of the van, but she'll take what she can get where that's concerned.
She kicked the ninja who grabbed her in the face, but he lets go surprisingly easily and she tumbles out onto the street. The beautiful velvet coat is stained and ripped and tattered and the silk dress underneath is likewise badly damaged, but it's a living and mostly-unharmed, just mildly-abraded Selina Kyle who rolls to a halt in the street. She's making her way to her feet almost immediately, staggering upright and shaking her head to remove that fuzzy daze.
Batman staggers up to his feet. Whatever hit him do so with considerable force. “Sensei,” he growls. “What are you-” The Caped Crusader pauses as he hears the sound of violence from inside the van. One dead. Another one probably dead within a few moments. Alex did that?
He must have…
Batman returns his concentration to the old man. He can't afford the distraction. “I doubt I'm the Batman you know at all,” he grates. “Now what did you want with these two?” He slowly starts to circle around the old man, who only /seems/ harmless. If he's anything like the man that Batman knows, his mastery of ki energy would let him punch through solid steel with a flick of his fingers. He wants the fallout from that directed away from Selina and Alex.
The old man smiles slightly. “The young man is, I admit, of no real interest. But the woman…?” He bows slightly. “She must be special if you're both interested in her. I am not ready to give up my prize.” He pulls back his hand and twists his fingers, launching a ball of twisting wind at Batman, who ducks around it. The old man narrows his eyes. “Fast.”
That is when a number of foot soldiers, ninja style with swords this time race up to catch up with Sensei. These are those that are not the worthless ones that were sent on the kidnapping job. The move with the skill and grace that is demanded of them for Sensei's approval. There are many of them as the fill into the parking area near the warehouse, a few jumping over the small crater in the middle of the road from the bazooka missile to get to the parking area.
Alex stares a moment at Sensei and Batman. He blinks. They will distract each other and he pushes them from his mind. It is the stumbling Selina that catches his attention, and the incoming ninjas. Alex starts to walk, his stride long and determined. It eats up ground quickly even as the wind attack flies toward Batman. Selina can hear Alex approaching from behind quickly, as he moves to grab for her arm. Will she recognize him while being so dizzy though?
Dazed. Hurting. Bleeding, just a bit – she's not looking her best and not feeling her best. The van was still moving, after all, and she's still bound in manacles. Selina starts to shake sense into her head, peering muzzily toward the car when she hears someone grabbing for her. Tired and weary and hurting though she is, she whirls in an instant. And Alex is much faster than she is, but he might not expect her hands to move at snake-speed when she whirls those chains binding her wrists to pull the bonds around his throat. She's turning toward him in the same moment, and when she sees his face her own eyes go wide and she quickly unwinds her hands.
“Alex?” she says, her throat clenching.
Batman comes around and sweeps out with a leg at the old man. He is not moving as fast as he could move certainly - fast, but well trained fast, incredibly competent human fast, not Superman fast. “Both of us?” He lashes out with a fist, with an elbow, sees the old man simple duck around those blows with precise motions of his wire-thin body. “Who else is interested in her?”
The old man snorts. “Surely the World's Greatest Detective doesn't need me to tell him the obvious?”
“Ra's Al Ghul.”
The old man beams. “There, you see?” A flick of his fingers sends a stream of mystical glyphs spiraling around Batman to engulf him like chains around a body, holding him fast. “Poor fool. I'm sure you are more than a match for anyone in whatever world from which you originally stem, but this is the City. Only the strongest survive here.”
Except, the chains aren't about his throat, they are about his wrist. That's strange. Alex looks to have taken a step back with one foot to distance his head, and he must have raised his hand, minimum movement and effort as he holds the chain you tried to strangle him with. Alex should know this woman's name, but…it doesn't matter. There is danger. “Get down,” the cool voice says. He then smiles…no, Alex grins. It is a grin Kid would have displayed if he was here, boarding on insanity. He unwraps his hand that Selina caught, and with effective motions, Breaks the chain first one side, then another from her manacles. He then moves to gently, but firmly push her toward the van. “Stay down.”
Alex then speaks quietly to himself, “Every move must give me an advantage, or take away a disadvantage. Always assume they mean to kill you, and always, always, fight for keeps; with all your heart.” The stance he takes then almost appears passive, his legs braced, but with no active fighting style. The chain hangs from his right hand idly as a number of ninjas look to rush toward him. Selina is now freed, though the weights of the manacles still weight on her wrists, they are no longer chained. Still, a very strange Alex without glasses stands between her and a number of ninjas, but what about those that are going to come from behind?
She's startled when she sees Alex, but even more so when she sees that she got him by the wrist. Even if he's physically capable of this, /Alex/ shouldn't be mentally capable of it. Selina's eyes widen. They narrow when he gives her orders with that cool and confident voice, but she bites back that immediate impulse to be defiant. He's right. Cover is a good idea.
She listens to him, rubbing her wrists where the manacles still chafe. Her eyes move across the approaching ninjas, and though a streak of blood trickles down from her eyebrow, her gaze is steady and firm. She even smiles, very slightly, as she moves to stand back to back with Alex Luthor.
And then her head snaps to the side. There's noise and chaos and she doesn't have super-hearing, but there is something about the name of the Demon's Head that cuts through everything. Her mouth goes dry. Give Bruce a moment. He'll be able to… no, if Alex can handle three ninjas, he can handle six. But if he is like Bruce, he won't be able to do much about magic. She has to move fast.
Her eyes move to those approaching from the rear. To Bruce. To the enemies at hand. /Hold it together/, she thinks. /Ten seconds. Fifteen at most. Hold on./
And then, the socialite who should know nothing more about gymnastics than what she sees on the Olympics, leaps toward those coming from behind in a whir of brilliant motion.
Batman's expression is difficult to decipher underneath the mask but as he struggles and strains against the magical bonds, he seems to be smiling. He tugs something off his belt and throws it to the ground between them. “Thank you. I'll remember the advice.”
Sensei frowns as he looks at the small blinking bat-shaped device resting on the ground between them. “That's not-” The old man blinks. “We're too close. You can't expect to dodge-” He looks up at Batman with an expression that borders on an accusation of cheating. Sensei takes a deep breath, lowers his head, laces his fingers together. It's very nearly a gesture of prayer, except for the source.
The Bat-grenade explodes in a brilliant bright red orange fireball.
A second later a black shape in a ragged dark cape appears and begins moving through the ranks of ninja. A strike, a broken arm, a broken shoulder, broken legs. He's dismantling their ranks like a pupeteer cutting strings on dolls - with extraordinary precision. “Run,” Batman growls out to Selina and Alex. “Sensei won't be out of the fight for very long.”
“Foolish girl,” Alex says. “Never does listen.” Does he know her or what?! Though in his head, he is mixing her up with Arrowette. As the ninjas move to pile him, Alex moves. He isn't even moving at his full speed, he doesn't bother. The chain flies within his hand and wraps about a sword which is yanked out and whipped about to actually stab into another charging ninja. His body lowers at the attack, giving him an easy transition to a leg sweep that takes out more than one ninja, sending them flying backwards and the sound of cracking bone for those that recognize it in the din of ninja cries. His free hand comes around and palms the chest of a ninja leaping at him to send him flying back with more strength than he should have used. He is careless with the lives of others right now, but he is also in complete and utter control of each action he takes, wasting not a single movement as he reaches for a throwing knife from one fallen ninja and throws it near Selina to knock back a ninja that tries to attack her as it buries into his chest.
The truth of the matter is, Alex was always trained to kill. Just as Superboy he made a choice not too if at all possible. That choice is still forgotten for now, and only the training has kicked in he recieved from Project Cadmus and Black Adam. Batman's cry is heard. Why run? Ah, the girl. Alex will work to move toward the fighting Selina then, the short chain left behind.
The ninjas fighting Selina are not trying to kill her, but to disable her. Sadly, that likely puts them at a disadvantage against Selina.
He may be thinking of Arrowette, but the description fits Selina to a T. Nevertheless, she can find one point of protest that she mutters under her breath: “Girl? Really?” She hasn't been a 'girl' in a long time. The last time anyone thought of her as a 'girl' was around eleven. The Bats don't have the market cornered on dead parents, after all.
Her fight with them is brief but full of artistry. She sprints toward them, and it looks almost as if she were about to try to run past them. When she suddenly crouches and leaps into the air, that moniker of Catwoman becomes all too vividly appropriate. It really is like watching a cat leap on a mouse. She *pounces*, leaping on one man's chest and remembering just in time that she isn't wearing titanium claws. Time to punch him in the throat instead, and already she's leaping off his chest, flipping and whirling to give the second man a surprisingly graceful kick in the face. The third ninja gets a throwing knife in the chest and she glances back toward Alex in surprise, staring at the carnage he left behind. Like a lion: strong, deadly, and merciless. She breathes deeply, stepping toward him as he moves toward her.
And then Batman speaks. Her eyes move to him and she nods sharply, reaching for Alex's hand. But is it even really Alex anymore? “Thank you,” she says quickly. “He's right – we need to get going.”
Batman can hardly fail to miss how Alex is fighting, or that he's suddenly more than able to take care of himself. And he'd be happy except the kill factor is more than a little worrisome. Still, it's not the best time to go into a lecture on why Alex or Kon-el might not want to do that. “Go, both of you get out of here! I'll take care of the others.”
Batman isn't moving with super speed, but every move is perfectly placed, a dance routine of sublime skill, culminating with a flash grenade or puff of smoke powder that is ironically besting ninja at their own game. He's a ghost, striking from shadows, gone again before they can regroup to retaliate. In the distance, a vacant car simply EXPLODES, for no obvious reason, but the distraction provided helps send a half-dozen men into a fitful unconsciousness as Batman takes advantage of the diversion. He's buying Alex and Selina time.
Alex grips Selina's hand firmly. He nods at Batman with seeming indifference, then starts to run, but keeps it at a pace Selina can keep up with. It seems Alex has no issues leaving Batman behind to deal with the 'issues', they are no longer a concern of his. As long as the girl is safe, that is the objective that Alex already established in his mind to equate to 'victory'. It's strange, the sensation growing inside him. “To your right…now,” he says, and detours the path that the two runners were traveling. He can sense further reinforcements coming to help Sensei in the nearby streets, the thud of their soft shoes against the blacktop and concrete makes a tempo in his head. Enough that, Alex raises a hand to his head and will run into a pole if Selina doesn't jerk his attention back to the present.
And they take the time he offers them, darting into the darkness. Selina is able to run surprisingly well in heels – rather as if she's had to do this before. Or at least as if she's a very nimble, agile, athletic woman.
She glances back at Batman only once, her stomach roiling, before she falls in beside Alex and dashes down the alley. Her hand clenches his tightly as they run, myriad thoughts pouring through her had. The Sensei. Ras's goons. And they were after Selina Kyle. That was ridiculous. What could they want with her… unless they already knew?
Her own thoughts are muddled enough that she almost doesn't see the pole until too late – she yanks him to the side, hissing: “Eyes open! Keep your wits!”
Alex is jerked to the side with some surprise and manages to dodge the pole. He looks a little confused, but not breathing the least bit hard. “Does..n't that..hurt…the heals? Want to…get on my back…Selina?” It seems Alex is becoming a bit more 'normal', and showing Selina concern. Yes, right in the middle of fleeing for life/kidnapping, he is showing concern for the woman he loves! Ah, gallentary is not dead!
A terrible keening noise fills the night air, just on the edge of normal hearing at first, but growing louder and louder and a horrible screech to those with super-hearing. Then it becomes agonizing to anyone, so loud it's an unbearable banshee wail. Batman is left grabbing his head and bent over, trying not to scream. The ninja seem unaffected but for the Caped Crusader? The pain…the pain is incredible…
Sensei walks out slowly from behind the van. He has brass bowl in his hand and he's moving his hand around the lip. “I did not think you would interfere, but you're being more trouble than I anticipated.” His tone of voice is very nearly admiring, but it's largely lost on a writhing Caped Crusader. “My father's prize has escaped me, but I wonder how he would feel if he knew I had you?”
She almost laughs at the idea, shaking her head and replying breathlessly: “Sweet thought… let's… just get out of here?” Selina skids just a bit as they round another corner. She'd breathe a little easier at seeing a busy street if she hadn't just been *attacked* on one of those, but when she sees a nearby hotel she nearly collapses in relief. Hotels inevitably mean taxis, and there are several arrayed nearby. Even if she's fairly confident Alex could fly. Even if the hairs on the back of her neck are standing up. There's not a sound is there? Is there? It doesn't… sound like one. Nevertheless, something is making her tense.
Batman is trying not to scream. He's largely succeeding, but the pain is growing noticeably worse and the edges of his vision are starting to blacken. He does however have one trick up his sleeve that Sensei couldn't possibly expect.
He flies straight up.
Sound only travels so quickly, the range of the bowl's whistle only carries so far. Batman simply flies faster and higher, and hovers for a moment, his cloak silhouetting against the night sky as he searches gain for Sensei…but in that brief respite, the old man is gone.
Batman flies back down to the street, where the moaning sounds of broken men can be heard. He'll make sure anyone who can be saved is saved before the police and ambulances arrive. He sighs to himself and goes to make sure that Selina and Alex made it through unscathed…relatively speaking.
Alex winces in pain, raising his free hand to cover an ear. “That…sound.” He stumbles a bit, trying to breathe through it. “Hurts.” His eyes narrow. “Flying…taxi. LexCorp has…the best security. And then Alex seems to remember something, he reaches into a pocket and pulls out his cell phone. He punches in a code. “Team…Luthor.” He finally remembered to call for help. But soon the sound fades, and he shakes his head, seeming more alert and not in pain anymore other than wiggling a finger in the ear he hadn't covered, “That hurt,” he says, sounding a bit grumpy at that…whatever that sound was.
Just another point. Just another clue. And when you have to become a power in a city without the World's Greatest Detective to do the heavy lifting, you have to learn a few things on your own. Selina watches Alex for a long moment, finally stepping back and nodding once. She brushes a hand across his forehead – it's grimy from soot – and then brushes the back of her hand over her own. “I don't mean to rush you,” she says, “but I think it's high time we got out of here. And I hope Batman…” She looks up as her eye catches some movement in the air. “I'm sure he got out al right.”
“Batman?” Alex looks vaguely confused again, but your touch seems to relax him. “Sure.” He smiles gently.
It is closing in fast, a flying car with the Team Luthor symbol on. Lex Luthor's private police force some say. There are also men in green flying armor moving beside the car, holding weapons. The team responded quickly to the summoning, if only Alex thought to do that earlier! They are safe.