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|Wolf-Batman Begins (Part 1): I Am Vengeance|
Book One: The Vigilante
The sun was high and bright, another beautiful autumn afternoon in Republic City. But despite the warm and pleasant breeze, there was tension and hostility in the park. The "Speaker's Corner" has become popular as of late, to the growing movement known as the "Equalists". A public orator would rally the masses to their anti-bending cause. This afternoon, however, he was openly confronted by the city's newest arrival, Korra.
"What!? I'm not oppressing anyone" the naive young Avatar states, then with a weak rebuttal said "You're...oppressing yourselves!"
"That didn't even make sense!!" the Equalist protester shouted back, as Korra rode off on her polar bear-dog in defeat. More bystanders flocked to scene in defense of this non-bender, easily swayed by the protester's triumph over the "oppressor", thus becoming more hostile and open to the Equalist cause in the process.
Korra was angry, not just at the Equalist, but at herself as well for walking right into that mess. Fresh off the boat and she already got an angry mob rallying against her. Korra just wanted to find the nearest exit, she had enough "strolling" through the park for one day. Of course, the park was no different to the streets of Republic City, twisty and bustling while going every which way. A groan or two from Naga "helped" refresh her memory.
"Don't say it."
Naga wasn't budging. She started whimpering as they entered a heavily shrouded section. The voiced concerns from Naga weren't just about directions.
"Seriously, Naga. You'd don't need to remind me we're lost" Korra huffed, then with a heavy sigh stepped down off the Polar bear dog.
She stood deep in thought, lost in more ways then one. The poverty, the aggressive anti-benders. This was far from the perfect city she was raised to believe. Naga could sense her friend's mental anguish, so she leaned in her massive head. Korra felt Naga nudging her from behind. A smile grew as she turned, only to be nearly gobbled whole with a massive lick.
Korra laughed and patted Naga on her thoughtful head. "Always know just what to say, girl."
The little peptalk brought up her spirits, but just then something caught her eye after turning around for Naga. In this shaded area of the park atop a hill, was a massive statue looking out towards the horizon. Something within her clicked, and she walked over to inspect it.
"Is that?" she mumbled to herself, as she headed towards the memorial. The statue was tall and made of black metal, depicting a figure with a long heavy cape standing upon a gargoyle, as if atop a rooftop. The figure had jagged spikes along his armor, and a mask that hid his identity, but not his stern gaze. She barely made this all out from the few rays of light that cut through the surrounding trees, but Korra could see this gaze was fixed down upon the city. Korra realized through a large parting that one could see a clear view of Aang's statue in the bay from where this memorial stood. She immediately knew who this was, immortalized in bronze.Naga caught up to Korra, then sat on her hind end as Korra stood in awe. From one half of her mind, childhood stories and afternoons of playing came flowing back, while the other was triggering an spiritual alarm, an inner feeling as if she'd met this legendary figure before. Avatar stuff.
"Wolf-Batman" she said aloud with delight. "Naga, this...is the Wolf-Batman!"
She may have been the Avatar, master of spiritual balance and all four elements, but in her eyes the Wolf-Batman was in the same league.
"It's really him! The Caped Crusader!! The greatest butt-kicker this side of the Republic!" Suffice to say Korra was something of a fan.
Thanks to her mother and father, she grew up on half as many bedtime stories about him as legends about the Avatar. Korra fondly reminisced these nightly adventures that put her to sleep. "Not to mention the tales Katara had about him in person. I can't believe she and Aang actually knew him!" Naga titled her head in a confused look, so to speak.
"Well, not "knew him" knew him," she corrected herself, "I think."
No one knew who it was behind the cape and cowl, just what he did for Republic City in its darkest times. Personally she enjoyed the idea of fighting droves of criminals at once, and being the shadowy brawler..err..defender of the night. Explains a lot really.
"Don't mean to brag, but I mastered plenty of your moves. No easy task from secondhand memory!"
She then practiced a few fighting stances, as if to showcase to the master of martial arts. She spun and kicked trying to imitate fighting off villains like the....almost jumped the gun there. Never mind. So basically she punched and throttled the air, then bowed in respect to one of her idols. Korra then looked back at the view of the bay, realizing she's been pointed in the right direction. Korra smiled, then took Naga by the reins and walked her through the parting, down to the bottom of the hill towards the exit, then back onto the bustling streets. The encounter with memorial has earlier sights of Republic City. And her mind was now rearing for action.
Back at the memorial, if one looks closely at the base, you could see a golden inscription regarding the hero depicted upon the statue.
A hero the city deserved, but didn't want
A friend of the Avatar, but a force to be reckoned
The Watchful Guardian
THE DARK KNIGHT OF REPUBLIC CITY
FIFTY FIVE YEARS EARLIER.....Edit
The night skies over Republic City were especially cloudy, darkening the stars and moon from view. This was the last full moon of summer, for the dark nights grew longer and colder, a growing chill in the air that beckoned the coming winter.
As the clouds buried the light of the heavens, they were replace by the searchlights of an airship, the first of its kind in modern urban aircraft, specifically for the Republic City Police. The idea of this joint United Republic/Fire Nation vehicle was to make a craft that could scan the streets from above, looking for disturbances or to help track known suspects.
But since it was the prototype, it was considered a hazardous rookie job to pilot this contraption. Zooming across the skies with nothing but a searchlight, hoping the thing wouldn't conk out and plummet out of the skies. The two pilots this evening had that general impression.
"Can't exactly see the force using whole fleets of these things", the pilot told his police co-pilot, "you know what I mean?"
"Kind of. Thing costs a fortune, but we never really catch enough thugs to warrant more of these rickety things."
"Tell me about it. The force could use the yuans for better use."
"Like maybe getting some of those new..."automatic carriages". Seen one of those babies in action?"
"Spirits, yes! A bunch of fancy beetleheads from the Earth Kingdom got street permits for one. Heard tell of faster ones been poppin' up in the Fire Nation, too. With squadrons of those ostrich-less carriages, we sure would do some damage on the tri...."
As they head pilot starting making a sweep near Dragon Flats, something caught the co-pilot's eye.
"Did you see that?"
"I thought...could of sworn something ghosted by."
The pilot saw nothing, but his partner was taken aback, nothing ever happened while on patrol. As far as they knew, the police owned the skies in this city. Just as he a made a pass away from the Flats, suddenly a black mass swooped by.
"There it is!" the co-pilot shouted and pointed out.
"There what is?"
"I'm telling you something's out there...it was big and had...wings!"
"What like a bird? Terrific, we're suppose to be catchin' criminals up in this thing and all we got is..." the pilot started to mumble, before his co-pilot cut him off and pointed up towards the top of the clouds.
"No...whatever it was flew by that way and...and...they looked more like, bat wings!"
"Bat wings!? Okay *sigh* we're taking a look."
He hit the engines and elevated the airship up through the clouds, breaching the top of the city skylight and into the moonlit air. Their mysterious winged friend was no where to be seen.
"Nothing." the pilot responded, with a hidden depth of relief, as the searchlight caught nothing in the cloud banks
"I know I didn't imagine it!"
"I believe that you believe it, but there isn't anything flying up here now!" His co-pilot was still on edge, looking the horizon over for any trace of the sight he witnessed. The shaken officer and the uneasy pilot continued their patrol, climbing back down through the clouds and towards the city below.
"You sure it was...bat-wings? Never heard of a wolf-bat big enough to fly this high."
"It looked big enough to me."
As the two pressed on to the patrol route, the black mass that zoomed by stood up atop the roof of the airship. It's head turned towards the lights of the city below, towards the skyscrapers slowly being built towards the heavens. Its "wings" unfurled and blew with the wind, as it then lept off the air patrol ship. The air carried the figure as he then sailed across the cityscape, turning and diving across rooftops and between buildings, with ease through the urban jungle. It's shadow cast a frightening image along the buildings, as it made its own patrol across inner most Republic City.
The shadow of a giant bat startled what few individuals walked the streets below. Homeless in back alleys spot this fearsome shadow passing overhead, only to look up and find empty skies. The figure then landed atop one of the taller buildings under construction, on a border that divided the high rise downtown with the crime-ridden Dragon Flats. Kneeling atop a construction beam, he looked down across the panorama of the city.
Sending a MessageEdit
The two perpetrators escaped down a back-alley, one with the poor man's yuans...and the other with a still bloody knife. As police whistles began to sound off in the area, and the noise of that inferral "police ship" now flashing it's spotlight along the darkened alleys, the two began picking up speed. They avoided detection behind garbage bins, and then found a fire escape to the rooftops above.
The first one, then the next thug climbed. Both were short of breath from the lengthy escape on their part, but also still heavy with the thrill of their prior deed. The thrill of a quick kill. The two thugs were cautious enough to not get spotted by the airship, the "latest in police investigation".
With the coast clear, and the steam exhaust clouding their hideaway, they sat back in relief along the roof's edge and began counting their spoils.
"Four hundred and fifty yuans. Told ya the spud was loaded!" The bearded thug laughed.
"Yeah, fat spud shouldn't have been walking the streets" the second, and more jittery thug replied with a venomous laugh "Don't he know it dangerous?"
"Unless you a bender or packin' one these, it can get real nasty..." the first thug said as he took out his knife and looked it over in delight.
"We sliced him up good. Him and those two over near Silk!"
"We sliced and diced ourselves a thousand yuans tonight!" the two reveled in their haul, and their bloody handiwork. That is until a shadow passed overhead.
"What the..." the bearded killer spoke, but his reaction was cut off, by a rope dart that came hurtling out of the exhaust. Lashed around him, it pulled him immense strength backwards. He screamed as it dragged him off into the exhaust. The thug's partner lept back in terror, as he could hear his comrade's mumbled screams. The screams died down amidst the sound of intense attacks and pounding hits. The kind of hits that break bones.
Armed with his knife, and more jittery than ever he looked all around him, the exhaust that hid him from the police know hid whatever else was on the rooftop.
"Don't come near me! I'll slice ya! Slice and dice ya real..." he thinly-made threat was stopped when he turned only to come face to face with the figure himself. Masked and draped in black, two pointed ears made out this figure as an inhuman monster. In terror the thug struck first, plunging the knife into the figure's chest.
Unfortunately, the figure grabbed his hand, with the blade still stuck in his chest. With a crack he twisted the thug's arm and threw him back. But to his shock, he discovered that the blade he so cherished had broken off. The sharp half was embedded in part of the chest emblazoned with a symbol, a winged creature. He looked up, shaking while still holding the pathetic handle. The figure moved forward, his body was black as night....and the thug could see that this "man", if he was one, had the coldest eyes he'd ever seen. Pale white, that shined even in shadows.
The thug tried to flee, but the towering figure hurtled towards him and uppercut him off his feet. Before he could collapse, he was lifted up and carried by his legs towards the edge. He screamed and begged, but the rooftop disappeared. He looked downward at a long descent towards the street below. The figure now had him by a foot.
"PLEASE...DON'T DROP ME...I DIDN'T..."
"Didn't slice and dice tonight? Didn't kill two innocent people...and try for a third? Stop wasting my time."
Republic City's Finest
The police were on the scene to cart the two hoodlums off to jail. One still passed out, but the other was babbling and incoherent. Two uniforms loaded him up into the back of a steel wagon, all the while he was mumbling and twitchy, about the monster that left him dangling like a freshly caught fish. One very special officer on the scene, Ruì Nī, was at odds about what to make of this mess. Bits of her native Red attire made her stick out from the rest of the uniformed police on the scene.
While everyone was a buzz as to what went down, she crossed the yellow tape to the alley where the two were left hanging from the top of the building. She saw and picked up the rope used in their abduction. Ruì Nī wasn't in a good mood this late at night, but the fact that someone just left this bit of evidence lying around set her off the edge. "Heavy grade stuff. Definitely not amateur" she related to no in particular, inquisitive and aware...unlike her fellow officers at the scene.
"Excuse me, everybody" she said aloud, getting everyone's attention, "Somebody want to explain why no one's bothered to bag and tag this?". What she thought was a simple question brought looks of confusion or contempt from other officers. One of them laughed her off and returned to chatting amongst other officers who seemed to think nothing more was required of them at this crimescene.
Ruì Nī wasn't laughing. She had half a mind to whip out the sword that was strapped behind her back and give him a lesson in police procedure. But he wasn't worth the paperwork. She simply shrugged off the poor excuses for police and stormed off to hand in the evidence.
"Anything I can help you with there...officer?" a figure from behind polietly asked, but with undertones of contempt, as he stepped forward. He was tall, at least for a sandbender from Si-Wong tribes.
Ruì Nī stopped in her tracks. This was last person she needed right now, but with a similarly mock tone of delight she replied "Lt. Xar Nol. What a pleasure."
She then cut the crap and flat out asked, "This isn't part of your precinct, what brings you here?"
"A detective goes where he's needed, even if crossing precinct territory keeps rookies from... wasting everyone's time."
"This evidence isn't something you can get in any two-bit store...Lieutenant. Doesn't suprise me why you...or anyone else here for that matter, can't seem to understand the basics of honest policework."
"Heh-heh, very melodramatic there, Ruì Nī. From where I'm standing I see fine enough. A couple of thugs used black market goods to mark their territory. Big whoop. We're down here, officer. I get hands canvasing for wit...""
"For witless idiots? Or maybe more nutjobs raving about giant bats?"
Ruì Nī loved putting Xar Nol in his place, but her quips were drawing attention once again. And the detective was not getting testy. He grabbed her arm and walked her over to the other side of the street so no one else could hear the heated exchange.
"WHO do you think you are, huh? A filthy ashmaker, some two-bit beat cop tellin ME what to do, or what to investigate!?" Xar snarled, quickly losing the suave facade he had moments ago in front of the others.
"Let. Go." Ruì Nī calmy but firmly stated, as she shoved Xar off and went for her sword, this time for real.
"I'm just trying to help track down this lead! Stuff here's more like military grade rope. The kind only specialized forces can get their hands. Mainly because this is metalbender made"
The tension could be cut by a blade, which Ruì Nī was inching closer to letting lose, as Xar continued to play dumb about the matter at hand. "Your point?"
"Just trying to...you know, investigate crimes. Thought that was the kind of stuff you need to know to join the Republic PD. Or least to pass Detective's school!"
"Apparently I was wrong."
Xar put up his hands, and laughed a little, "You want a medal or something!?" His eyes did all the talking, as with one glare the listening officers around him turned away, not wanting to feel his wrath. Ruì Nī didn't flinch, but she knew things would go bad fast if she openly fought a detective, as especially one with as many ties as Xar.
He then took the rope out of her hands, told her "Alright, fine. Let's just take a deep breath and relax." Xar stepped back and made his snarly dispostion disappear once more. He didn't need a scene like this.
"Nice detectiving. But word to wise, leave this to the professionals, sweetheart."
"I will if I see any." The open contempt could have started trouble once more, but Ruì Nī just smiled and started walking. Until Xar Nol took the rope out of her hands.
"Why don't I just run this down to the lab boys? Save you and that bird the trip, huh?"
Ruì Nī knew she wouldn't be seeing that little piece of evidence again. When detectives like Xar weasel their way into a case, it's dead on arrival.
"Sure about that? So long as your not busy...it's only an active crime scene with possible ties black-ops Earth Kingdom.... or Fire Triads."
"Thought you were the best when it comes to us ashmakers?"
"We don't know that for sure. Don't get all high and mighty, rookie. Find a fancy rope, and suddenly the lady cop starts jumping to conclusions!" Xar replied. Before Ruì Nī even rebuttle, an officer hailed her down from behind the tape.
"Detective, we just got a falcon in from your precinct. Says they need back-up!"
He raced over and brought her a message. She took a look, until Xar rudely turned around and asked "Something else I can help you with?"
"Another crime in progress. Suspect found hanging upside down a lamp post. I'll just be on my way...Have a nice evening!"
"Yeah. Right" Ruì Nī said under her breath. She shook her head and wanted to head back for a good three hours sleep, when she'd have to report right back in. Just then another officer raced over with a similar message, this time from Boomerang Park. She intercepted him as he was heading for the departing Detective. "I'll give him the message." Not likely.
She looked it over, "Spirits, same MO, means the same...but how anyone be this busy in one night?" Ruì Nī decided she'd head over to the nearest scene at Boomerang, against better judgement.
Ruì Nī then unlocked her Ostrich horse and headed off.
A few blocks away, Xar was starting to examining the rope himself. Even starting stretching it, seeing how tough the stuff was. However, at the end of the block he spotted a familiar face and casually headed over there, making sure now one saw either of them as the figure beckoned him forth.
He met a darkly dressed man of Fire Nation ethnicity, then handed him the evidence.
Xar responded while being handed an envelope, a bulging envelope he slipped into his pocket.
"Whoever took down those two morons used this. High-grade, made by metalbenders maybe. Just got another call that means...maybe this creep's still causing trouble tonight."
"Good work. Glad to see you still doing your job!" He chuckled, getting on the sandbender's nerves.
"Wasn't me, some upstart lady cop. Must be buckin for promotion or some monkeyfeathers. She's too sharp for her own good."
"She'll be dulled like any blade. Just takes.... time."
Xar Nol smiled, but then bluntly asked "How did this happen?"
"None of your business. It's nothing we can't handle".
"Yeah...cause you've done a bang up job so far! If you had still been doing your job, then Zsasz's guys wouldn't have gotten...."
"DON'T mention that name. Understood, Lieutenant?" the man viciously declared as he grabbed Xar by the collar. He then threw him aside, and from his left fist a growing flame emerged, the light of it danced off his face and revealed half of from the neck up on the side. His ear was gone, and half his the side of his head was burned with a scar. One that looked like a handprint had baked across his face.
Xar backed up as the figure started pointing that flame near his face. "Alright! You can knock off the threats there!!" His criminal contact smiled and lowered the temperature, so to speak.
"Yeesh, the things I do to keep you firebugs happy." Xar mumbled to himself, while his contact breathed heavily and calmed. "Well what now? You-know-how's boys still got collared. Thought you had them all on a short leash?"
"They'll be out in no time. But we'll just have to tighten that leash further. What with this, bat and all."
"Yeah...a giant bat! Huh-he, those freaks are getting worse by the day!" Xar laughed
"Stay out of trouble, detective. And don't spend that all in one place, ya hear." The man himself laughed and then patted Xar on the back and started to leave before being spotted.
"Funny. Real funny there, hothead!"
His contact stopped and turned, then snapped fingers. He jumpstarted a spark and then tossed aside to ignite a garbage can in the alley "I prefer Firefly."
Just Before the DawnEdit
As the morning was fast approaching, the chill of the night began to fade as glimmers of sunlight began to peak over the mountain vistas surround the city. In the ports on the western part of town, a punk girl no older than fourteen was busily defacing a set of buildings. Part of an Waterbending gang, she had cans of watery ink and was plastering graffiti to mark her gang's territory. "Earthbenders are Mud", "Water Hounds Rule!" along those lines.
She just finished several streaks to form characters, when suddenly a figure flew overhead. The waterbender didn't notice at first, until that same shape now formed a shadow that loomed behind her. "Beat your friends will be real proud of your handiwork"
She jumped and with quick reflexes tried to slash whoever it was with a water whip. The figure dodged and just as quickly targeted her with several fast jabs. Within seconds her entire right arm went numb.
"You won't be bending with that arm any time soon. Chi-blocking tends to do that!" The shadowy attacker told her, glaring down with the blankest eyes she'd ever seen. "I wouldn't suggest trying anything with the other one, though."
"What...what are gonna..."
"That's the shoddiest grammar I've ever seen."
"What!?" she confusingly asked, while turning back to look at her handiwork.
"If you spent more time in school, then with the Water Hounds, you'd have seen that."
"What are you...the truant officer!?"
The figure leaned in towards the waterbender, whose cockiness then disappeared instantly. He grabbed her arm and dipped it into the can of ink-water she had with her. "Hey!"
"Now fix it!"
He still glared, and without breaking his concentration cracked his knuckles.
She then hurriedly did as he ordered. She used her ink drenched hand like a brush and drew in the appropriate dash to make her poor grammar...into 水猎犬.
"Much better" the figure mockingly stated. She nervously smiled, but underneath the blackened cowl so did he. The waterbender wasn't smiling long, as the figure then leaned down.
"NO. MORE. GRAFFITI. Only warning. Next time you'll wind up in lock-up!" She nodded, and the figure then whipped his cape in a motion of telling her to run while she still had the chance.
"Remember that, and make sure your friends remember that as well!"
The waterbender then fled with all her might, running scared but while still rubbing her hurting arm.
The figure sighed to himself, and quietly said to himself "Doesn't know how lucky she is. Any older and she'd be nursing a broken arm, instead of a numb one." He then turned towards the graffiti so rigorously used to teach the punk girl a lesson. He took the remaining ink and splashed it all over the building wall, erasing all the night's previous mischief making.
As dawn drew near, the shadowy figure climbed up to the rooftops. The port didn't offer tall enough buildings to gain the airspeed momentum. To pick up speed in flight, the figure bid his time. Standing at the edge of the top of the warehouse he just cleaned graffiti from, the figure aptly waited. Then the whistle blew, the early morning elevated train was fast approaching, like the sun that would expose his shadowy identity. He timed it right and as it made the turn around the bend, he leaped off. Slamming onto the roof of the metal car, it was still early yet so there were no passengers that were alarmed by the heavy thud.
Staying aboard for nearly ten blocks, as it neared the heart of the city, he waited for a long straight patch of tracks without enough of the new skyscrapers around him. Nearing the fullest speed the Fire Nation-made steam locomotive could, the figure made a stunning leap and caught the air enough to be lifted backwards and upwards. His cape/glider did the rest, as the updrift allowed him to soar over the rooftops once more, this time heading west.
What few passersby were out early that morning could have swore a black shape had raced past them from above, but his speed in flight was unmatched. The crime fighter hurtled through the misty morning air, and past buildings. He was swiftly nearing the city's edge, where it met the western mountain peak.
The figure began to lose speed as he made a nosedive towards a crevasse along the rock walls of the mountain. The entrance to a cave. The moment the sun began to rise, he disappeared into the mountainside.
A rough landing to be sure, as he dropped down int the cavern darkness. The sound of his harsh landing echoed through the underground, amidst the sounds of now awakened...Wolf-bats.
Thousands occupied this cavern, as the figure climbed to his feet and started heading deeper into his hidden lair. The darkness was soon interrupted by a small stream of electrical lights that guided the passage. Eventually he entered the largest and most open part of the mountain cave, where the Wolf-Bats soared above his head. The figure headed for a brightened portion of the lair, steeping through rock and icy water running past and dripping from stalagmites. He also stepped over....well, Wolf guano. He was really patting himself on the back for wearing thick metal boots for at least this section of the cave.
After reaching a base of sorts within this lair, with training equipment, a bed, and machinery of sorts, the figure sighed an uneasy but weary breath of relief. His first night was over. He sat upon the bed rest and unhooked the back of his mask, which attached the cowl to his cape. With an easy lift, he unmasked and threw it upon a table side. The shrieks of his "friends" filled his mind, as well as the thoughts of his first patrol.
No longer burdened by the black metal, he wiped away the sweat from his true face. He had the jet black hair of Fire Nation, and skin tone.
He wanted to train and prepare for the next night, he had all the martial arts and equipment necessary to train an army. But his body betrayed him, sore and in need of rest. He still persisted, and began striking a wooden block from all angles. Just then, amidst his training and the sounds of the bat-filled cavern, were steps. Descending from a metal staircase nearby.
"I should think, Master Baru. You'd be trying to get some shut-eye." a older gentlemen spoke, as he approached Baru, still ignoring his bodily necessities and training onward. "Bats are nocturnal after all."
"It was perfect, Seji. I had the tactics, the advantage, and above all..." Baru said, intense in his target. He struck the training block with force that it snapped several arms right off. "...they were afraid of me!"
"I know you're too old for me to order you to bed" Seji said grabbed a towel and handed it to Baru, who then began to calm, while wiping further sweat off. "But a man needs his rest...AGH!" he shouted as Baru turned to hand him it back.
"Oh for the love of. Sorry, Seji." Baru then realized and thudded his head with a hand. He still had the ghastly lens still in his eyes. "Been so long, I completely forgot about these things."
"Really, sir. The things that Chief of the Water Tribe comes up with!" Seji responded with a slight laugh, as his heart began to slow.
"For once, I might agree with you on these" Baru said as he took them out...irritating his eyes. His blue eyes. "They may provide me better sight...even night vision. But I really don't buy how he says everyone will be wearing frameless glasses!"
"Most would take a sore nose, and ears, any day to constantly having to wear those. Imagine if you forgotten them and sleep with those things on!"
"For now they'll suffice my needs..off the public market." Baru then placed his fear-tactic white lens in a dish and headed over to a workshop corner of sorts near the heavy machinery.
"Speaking of Sokka's gadgets, how's the grappler coming?" Baru turned to Seji. He then picked up a black device that handled like a small cable shooter
"Seems easy enough, if the specifications are right. The metal-fiber robe is used like a cable, and shot like crossbow...strong enough to lift you where ever needed." Seji told his young master, as he studied the gadget.
"IF it works, it'd certaintly cut down on climbing time. Rooftops in seconds. Could even help me while in flight."
"I also brought you something to eat, Master Baru"
Baru smelled the fresh bowl of noodles, sitting on the work bench with the rest of his gadetry. His stomach could use it, but he fought off the urge to focus on his newly added arsenal. He started to equip it onto his belt, seeing if it would fit or stifle his combat.
"Only way to test it is the hard way", Seji interjected, retrieving back the grappler and setting it aside. He then pointing at Baru's chest, "Just like the rest of your armory."
Baru, oblivious of the blade still lodged in his armor, yanked it out and admired the craftsmanship.
"Souvenir, sir?" Seji jested as he took the blade fragment.
"You should see the other guy." Baru deadpanned, while beginning to take off the rest of the armor. He finished and then sat back upon the bed, thinking about the two slicers he took down earlier than evening.
"Whatever gang he and his pal were part of, something about them struck me, they were more animalistic. At least more than the rest of the bunch I intimidated tonight. No affiliations to nations or elements, just tally marks. These were straight-up killers...for the sport of it"
"Could call for more investigation work on your part, sir. After a good night's, err, day's rest."
Baru didn't have to look up at the standing Seji to realize he was being glared upon. He silently nodded, also trying to mask a small smile from Seji. His muscles were aching and furthering along the incentive to sleep. Before he did, however Seji interrupted while also collecting the armor Baru let sit upon the floor of the cave.
"I really hate to badger-mole you on the subject, sir. But must you really sleep down here in this charming place, as well as train?"
"Not like I'm alone in this place." Baru quipped, while putting towards the wolf-bats above them.
"While part of me's afraid to find you trying to sleep upside down with them", Seji joked before coming to the serious matter, "I'd think you rather stay where you belong. In your own bedroom. Your own home, sir."
Baru stood up and started becoming tense, the subject matter was touchy, to say the least. The cave they were in connected through a secret passageway up to the old mansion that belonged to his parents, to his family back decades when Republic City was still Yu Dao.
"I don't belong in that house, Seji. I'll admit that I didn't like finding out I'd been declared dead...but it's better if Baru Wa-Yin remains that way."
"So you'll spend your days below in this pit? Only to come up for air if your fighting crime, or in disguise?" Seji was trying to hold back an angry tone, but failed.
"Forgive me, sir. I..."
Baru put a hand on Seji's shoulder, trying to put him at ease "You don't ever need to apologize, Seji. I understand what your trying to say. Protect me, like always."
"Only this time, from yourself."
"I just think, you should be allowed to have a normal life, outside of this cave, sir."
"But this cave", Baru insisted back with regret, "This mission is all that matters now. Baru Wa-Yin was helpless. An angry child living in a lonely estate that had the world offered to him on a plate. Well let the world think he died long ago, there's not much that part of me can do to help Republic City."
Seji shook his head, unwilling to believe Baru is thinking this way, but unable to stop him. All he could do was help and offer whatever advice his young master would allow. Baru picked up his mask and looked down upon it, like an actor gazing upon a skull.
"Only he can keep the promise I made to them, Seji."
Seji sighed, seeing no point to arguing further.
"I know, sir. But don't let him cloud who you are. Don't let this blind you red with vengeance. I raised you and taught you best as I could after your parents died. And despite what you may believe, Republic City will need you as much as it needs...him."
"Very well, sir."
Baru shook off the painful event. Brought back to reality by the sounds of the wolf-bats around him. He breathed deep and laid back upon the bed.
Speaking silently to himself as he began to fall into sleep, "I'll never be blinded by vengeance again, my friend."
"I am Vengance."
Later that day, as the sun was at its highest in the sky, Ruì Nī was at
- Baru Wa-Yin/Wolf-Batman
- Lt. Xar Nol
- Ruì Nī
- Detective Jin Gor-Duon
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