|Diana is a wonder (whipoftruth) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2014-03-25 16:06:00
The outskirts of Gotham consisted of train yards and windowless buildings. An industrial wasteland that could be imagined in some dystopian future with robotic police and dreadful judges. It showed that while Gotham’s madness was usually contained, all it took was one of these old dirty trains to transport an Arkham made bomb into a nice sleepy suburb. In the daylight, homeless people could be seen shuffling around in drab browns and greys as weeds and thistles grew wherever the trains and cars couldn’t run them over. Most of the train cars were too old and broken to be any use to anyone except the hobos, their rusted exteriors painted in sprawls of black, blue and yellow paint in loopy defacing signatures. There was a quiet out here that Gotham never had and never would.
“Howdy, Lasso.” A nerdy, friendly voice chirped into the bat communicator after a little radio static. No introduction, no formalities. Eddie preferred it if people guessed who he was. “We’re looking for a big tan building with a tiny, tiny LexCorp sign on the side. No windows. Lots of barbed wire but probably only a couple guards at the front.” There were a group of big industrial buildings across from the trainyard. Some of them factories, some of them architectural skeletons of a world that didn’t exist anymore. Some of them buzzing and smoking with the life of this new technological age.
Eddie tried to stifle a yawn from his end. “What does Gotham even look like in the morning? I heard there’s this thing called a sun?” He asked, quipping because that’s all he knew. He was a nighttime person, but this kind of mission was best done in broad daylight to show a lack of fear in the more traditional, heroic way. Eddie knew that better than anyone because he lived his life on the other side of the mirror.
It was good this mission didn't require stealth, because Diana was not suited for that. She could be fast and silent, when she needed to be, but there was something about her bearing and general look that was impossible for people to look past. She made it no secret that she was in town, having jumped right into the fray after Kara's meltdown and helped clean up the city. She assumed she could walk in jeans in this area and still stand out, considering only a few people were wandering the streets here at most. She was a woman on a mission, and she needed all her weapons for it, front and center.
Blue eyes narrowed slightly when the voice came on the line, but she was no stranger to commlinks. Bruce set them up with the JLA a long time ago, and it helped them communicate during big missions. To have it be the Riddler instead bothered her less than it might have, if she hadn't heard plenty of reasons to trust him instead. "Lasso?" Her lips quirked at the nickname. "I suppose bracelets or tiara are not nearly as iconic." Diana thought it was as good a call sign as anything else.
She was fast and her flight was silent, she used it to zip around and look for the building he was talking about. Diana glanced around when he quipped. She had a sense of humor, something only her teammates really knew, since she tended to be quiet and let the others openly joke. Flash and Green Lantern were always ready to butt in. "Desolate," she answered honestly. "It is a good place to hide a facility in plain sight, no one would go looking here without direction. Your city tends to live at night, but I doubt I have to tell you that."
She saw something with her sharp eyes and hovered for a moment, touching down. "I think I see it. Do you think it is strange Lex clearly puts his name on it?"
“You’re asking the guy who leads super heroes to his crimes with riddles if Lex putting his name on a building is weird?” Eddie mused, the tiredness of his voice cracking his amusement so that he didn’t really sound like a super villain at all. There was a high his voice had to take for people to recognize him as Riddler. A tone that usually got him sleeping on the couch if he used it around the house. “Pride is a goddamned time bomb.” He said after a moment and then fell silent as the click, click, click of his keyboard could be heard.
“Go ahead and do your thing. I’m going to start corrupting their security so things don’t work just right.” Eddie was a master at misdirection. First a camera wouldn’t move right. Then the door to the break room would suddenly lock in whoever was in there. Then the computers would only display point and click adventures all the way across every screen. Each virus was playful, vanishing in sparks and digital GAME OVER signs as if they were all just playing a silly little game.
"Is that what you did? Our paths never truly crossed. Batman prefers when we stay out of his city." Diana was surprised the first time or two she was not-exactly-politely told to stay out, but eventually she understood his reasoning. She had other villains to fight and civilians to save. Greek Gods did not mess around when they wanted to make trouble. She knew of his villains in a general type of way, enough she was surprised when he mentioned Eddie in the first place. Bruce did not trust quickly or well.
She jumped over the barbed wire and landed easily on the other side, and since he was working on his end, she went right to it. Diana was on the guards before they could do more than shout out a warning. She moved with equal speed and grace and tossed the men as if they weighed nothing. One of them attempted to radio in and she flung her lasso, her aim sliding around the radio and tugging it forward. The man would've been smarter to drop the radio and take that chance to run, but he stubbornly held on. By the time he was pulled forward, a fist was waiting for him.
The front at least was done, and Diana simply kicked the door in. Sometimes stomping her way through buildings and busting down walls was the best way of handling things. "I am in the front entrance, heading down a main corridor." Batman often liked to talk them through these situations, so it was second nature, in some ways. Even if the voice on the other line was very different. "Why are you helping us?" Why not a little banter in between bashing heads? She was curious.
“You showed that door who is the boss.” Eddie said, amused and typing away to make all the security cameras go dark and the guard walkie talkies play Sinatra instead of doing them any good. He typically scoffed at breaking things down to solve them before he met Stephanie, but now he found it practically charming. Inside was the entrance way of a laboratory complete with a guard table, turrets and security doors leading to secrets. The secrets didn’t actually matter. It was all about creating enough damage that they had no choice to bring out the ring. And, while Eddie was only getting a feed from the security cameras and listening through the comm, he was deeply interested to see who was going to be given that kind of power.
“It started off out of self preservation. My Vegas side had a connection with Joker’s Vegas side and I wanted him gone before he killed me and Sadie. Eventually, he vanished on his own and by then I was helping out the bats full time.” Eddie had already made his choice to reform before he had even invited Stephanie to help him with Joker matters. But, there was no doubt that her presence solidified it for him. “Batgirl and I started dating a year ago and I’ve been in her corner ever since. That helps, too.” And, Eddie was proud of that.
“Gimmie a sec to disable some of these turrets. Now would be a good time to do a robots justice speech, just in case.” The turrets up top started to fire as guards yelled at each other for backup. A hailstorm of bullets screaming down at Wonder Woman.
Diana was a warrior first and foremost. The others had their reasons for becoming superheroes, or paths they went on to get there, but she was born to it. Created, more like. The direct approach was not for everyone, but she liked her niche. She could be peaceful, she was technically a diplomat, but diplomacy was far from perfect and she carried her magical items for that reason.
She listened closely to him as she moved through the corridors and let her strategic mind make notes from what she saw. Military minded, the path of Ares, it was not all punching and kicking down doors. His explanation made sense. "There are worse reasons than love to change a chosen path. It is a powerful motivator." The question was if it would stand up against trouble in paradise, so they said, but it was not Diana's business. She hoped for their sake it worked out. Their lives were difficult enough, true sustaining happiness was worth holding onto.
She lifted her hands and the bullets instantly bounced off of her bracelets. The bullets were aimed in various different parts of her, but it seemed as if her bracelets were everywhere at once. Her speed made it seem like little more than a blur. Diana backed up several steps and pulled the metal door she walked through right off its hinges. It was flung with sharp accuracy at the guards and while the movement attracted the turrets, she looped her lasso to the ceiling and hooked it on a camera. It only took a tug and a swing for her to reach the nearest turret and she twisted the gun until it imploded. She crouched there for the time being because she could use it to cover her while he worked on the others.
The guards seemed to scatter and she wondered if the ring was being guarded ... or if someone was wearing it. "Do you know if he would give the ring? Would he trust someone with that power?"
From what Eddie saw from the security cameras, he was impressed. Wonder Woman rarely made it to Gotham unless it was to pal around with Batman, and Riddler was never dumb enough to pick a fight with someone who could deflect bullets back at him. In truth, he didn’t really have to do a lot of disabling as her bracelets zipped back to explode turrets, down guards and break windows. “I don’t know why I was worried.” He said with a smile and then the turrets suddenly stopped, green lights spinning around instead of those regular alarms in red.
“Go towards the assembly line, north and then the south corridor.” Eddie instructed and the doors started to open on their own and the number of guards coming to fight her became fewer and fewer. “I remember him being a hands off kind of guy unless Superman was involved. ‘Cause he loves him. Plus, I’m not sure he’s got the mindset for a yellow power ring. Orange, maybe.” And blue on a good day, but Eddie wouldn’t tell Wondy that. Superheroes never liked to hear the good in their villains. Even someone like Wonder Woman, who saw the value in reformed criminals.
In the distance, there was a rumbling. Walls caving in on each other. Bodies being smashed against the walls. Then, suddenly, all the lights went out. “I can’t see anything Wondy, keep me updated.” Eddie frantically tried to put the cameras back online, but to no avail. To Wonder Woman, a bright yellow light could be seen through the cracks of a nearby wall before it smashed through, sending broken plaster flying. Standing in the wreckage was a man with a shaved head and cuts up and down his body. He was only wearing a pair of Arkham orange pants and had that lantern yellow glow about him and a smile that only grew as his hands turned into a set of swinging axes.
“I will cut a deep line for you, Wonder Woman.” The man hissed and swung one of the axes towards Wonder Woman’s neck while the other went for her feet.
Diana liked a challenge, but in this situation, she would be perfectly fine with it continuing to move easily. This was no regular battle. They had specific motivation, and it was immeasurably important. Watchtower had to go smoothly, and Hal's part in it was important, crippling one of them would damage the plan. She smiled at his comment although it faded quickly when the turrets stopped.
She ran for the assembly line, following his directions, her momentum making her a more dangerous opponent for guards who might be rushing in her direction. She was a bulldozer when she needed to be. "Luthor's interest in Superman is close to obsession." Diana wondered why he was considered Clark's arch nemesis, having no powers of his own, but he was brilliant. There was no doubt about that. He was dangerous partly the way Bruce was, or even Riddler himself, as far as she could tell. Intelligence and strategy, that was power too. "Fear is not his focus. Orange is an apt choice."
She froze when she heard the noise and gritted her teeth, knowing easy was out the window now. When the lights went out she didn't panic, which meant when the crash of yellow came through, she was holding her ground. Her arms went up quickly to stave off any broken pieces on her, blue eyes sharp when she sized him up. Interesting. He turned his own hands into weapons instead of brandishing them.
Diana jumped into the air out of the way of the axes, her ability to fly coming in handy, and she dove at him. It wasn't to hit hard, but rather to push him back through the hole and try and get to a place with more space. The wreckage made some, but close quarters could be dangerous even for her. "Shaved head, Arkham, many scars, favors axes," she said quickly to Riddler. She picked up a heavy piece of the wreckage and threw it at him, a distraction so she could move in and punch him in the face. Her lasso was the best way to hold someone, but it took more space and time. She'd have to weaken him first.
The man with the ring flew back under Wonder Woman’s force and began swinging wildly. They landed in a large room organized into sections of how each robot was to be built. The yellow lantern wobbled into the air, barely ducking the wreckage as the scars on his body started to glow a blinding yellow. His face screwed up into a demented smile that almost didn’t even seem human anymore.
“I’m 87% you’re talking about Zsasz-” Riddler started and in unison one of the warehouse lights turned on. Then another, then everything hummed back to life.
“I thought he died at least seven different times last year-” Zsasz raised his arms and blades started to pour from his open wounds to fly at Wonder Woman.
“And, he definitely prefers knives.”
On cue, a storm of knives glowing yellow rushed at Wonder Woman like a swarm of bees. Zsasz gave out a screeching laugh, screaming about power and pain from the sky like he thought he was a new god of punishment. Behind him, unfinished robots and computers sizzled from the stray knives hitting them. Wires cut, lights burst, snapping electricity into the stale air.
The yellow scars might have been intimidating to anyone else, but Diana fought gods. She looked on this man with caution but no fear. "His current power he is pushing by natural urges, not by skill. He must be new to it." Meaning he was a normal, if very dangerous, man most of the time. It made a difference. Those types of people tended to go by instinct and not think it through. Diana deflected some of the knives off her bracelets.
Blue eyes sharpened and she dove at him. A knife cut through her arm in the process, and she barely winced at it. Flesh wounds still hurt, but she knew how to work through it. Diana had to make this quick or she would be dodging knives all day. He did not seem likely to immediately put up a shield, instead liking it dirty and close. She grabbed him tightly by the neck and threw him, knowing it was not going to do much, she was merely taking use of the space. By the time he regained his balance, she was swinging the lasso at him, a knot around his feet and she tugged sharply.
With one foot she kicked up one of the loose heavy wires, cracking with electricity, and when he was swung back into her space she firmly pushed it into his torso. Diana was careful in battle, even if it seemed like she was not, she really did work hard at not being lethal. It was why she kept from easy take downs that might rip through an average human. The electrocution was fast and disorienting and she used it to pound him down into the floor.
She left the witty remarks to Hal or Wally when it came to a good ending line. The enemy was down and that was what mattered. She leaned down to check his pulse carefully, and then pulled off the ring. "I assumed he would just enjoy more stab wounds." She saw all the scars. They could not possibly be all from other people.
“Yeah, old Z doesn’t really have a lot of brain cells left, bless his little heart.” Eddie quipped and watched through one of the security cameras as Wonder Woman made quick work of the brand new yellow lantern. The riddled man knew it was good they got him now before he could be trained or it was passed on to someone more capable. Zsasz must have been a placeholder, another Lex Luthor dog on a collar until he found a better specimen. And, it was best not to think about who that could be.
Zsasz was out cold, but still alive and didn’t fight when Wonder Woman took the ring from him. The rest of the facility was locked down and Riddler made sure none of them could come busting in without a battering ram or bombs (which would destroy their precious facility). “He likes to keep a tally of people he kills.” Eddie couldn’t resist giving information. “I’m sure he was really looking forward to a victory scar over you. Poor bastard didn’t have a chance, did he?”
She could hear electronics bursting from behind concrete walls, alarms going off and the entire building being thrown in chaos. “I’m going to assume you have a good place to put the ring and tell the Dark Knight mission accomplished. Good job, Wondy.” And, Eddie’s voice clicked off the communicator as a protective pathway opened up and lead up to the roof for her.
"No, he really did not. I have given the God of War scars." Diana had no pockets, so she simply held onto the ring for now. She looked up when she heard the sounds go off, and she smiled, sincerely. "Good job to you as well, Riddler. Our thanks." She would remember his help going forward. She flew up through the pathway and out.