Chapter One First Appearance of The Bat
The Bat/Slayer by Skyefather
Chapter One First Appearance of the Bat
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me; Batman and Gotham City belong to DC comics and Bob Kane, Buffy and the Slayer-verse Belong to Joss and the great people at Mutant Enemy. I own nothing and nobody was harmed in the making of this story. When I'm done I'll return them all without actually changing the course of history!!!
#words# are telepathic
*words* are thoughts, Internal dialog
The night was dark and steamy.
Tony cracked his knuckles, one hand inside the other. Tony loved his work. The boss had told him to squeeze the shop owner and either get the Credits or send a message to the other owners in the area.
*This was not only easy but fun*
Harvey and Clause were at his side, looking threatening - not that they had to try very hard. But they enjoyed their work, too.
"Look, old man, fork over the credits or we burn the place to the ground. The Boss said this is your last chance!" Tony said with a growl.
The old man just bowed his head. "I remember when scum like you got what they deserved." *And not always from the Police!!* He thought to himself. "I won't pay a cent! Not one red cent! You can take my life but not the history from this town and one day you will be sorry!"
The old shop owner looked up into Tony’s eyes and said, "Just remember -- the Bat used to keep a close watch on Crime Alley." He paused and added, “It may have been almost fifty years since he was seen but his Spirit is still here!" A slow smile crossed the old man’s face as he defied the thug threatening him. "So do your worst!"
His worst? Tony smirked as he looked down at the guys he was about to beat into the ground. The old man was crazy! No wonder the Boss was done with him. Of course, he wouldn't have called Tony and "his Boys" unless he was done talking to the guy. Tony was under no delusions about his place in the organization. He was a bone breaker, someone you sent to send a message to the other sheep that said *pay up or else*! And Tony intended to get that message through everyone in the neighborhood's skulls.
Suddenly, there was a high pitched sound, a crash of a light breaking, and the shop was now very dark.
Tony had been trying to decide which bone to break first, but now there was someone (or something, maybe?) in here with them and Tony felt a moment of fear.
Clause was the first to cry out at the thing.
*It couldn't be a man! Not someone that small and slight!* was the first thing he thought as he saw a shadowy figure move towards the hulking minion.
But 285 lbs of bone and muscle named Clause MacTavish abruptly went flying as if he'd been hit by a hover truck!! The black thing turned so fast Tony couldn't move before a kick to the groin took him out.
Now, this wasn't the first time Tony had been kicked in that area, but the crunching sound of bone that echoed through the store was not a kick from his girlfriend. The kick wasn't meant for the genitals but the pubic joint of the pelvic cradle, and once broken any attempt by Tony to get up was doomed.
Harvey moved faster than his fellow thugs but it did him no good; as he threw a punch, the black thing moved in close and landed a punch to his jaw that any heavy weight champion would be proud to call a knock out. The sound of bones breaking was nothing new to Tony, but usually it wasn't his boys' bones breaking – they were the best. What in the name of god was this thing?
It now stood over Tony and said in an almost feminine voice, "Crime Ally is off limits to you, if you know what’s good for you."
As it came closer, it moved into the light of a street lamp and he could see that the thing had long black ears on top of its head and a menace about it. As if violence was what it WAS, not just something it did.
Then it leaped up to the roof tops and shot a hook and line that looped around Tony’s wrist, pulling him up into the air of Gotham City behind it by one arm. The thing (it couldn't possibly be human!) now held him with one hand in a grip that was like iron around Tony’s forearm.
*How could something the size of his girlfriend be so strong?* he wondered in a panic as he dangled over the side of the building and looked down at the street forty feet below.
The thing was in his face now speaking very softly (almost like a woman's voice). "Now who's this Boss you were talking about, and where can I find him?”
Tony had been arrested for the first time at age fifteen and he had a rep that said he never squealed; it was one of the reasons why the Boss trusted him with the jobs he did. But for the first in his life Tony was truly afraid, and he just stammered out, "H-He'll kill me if I talk. Please, let me go."
The Bat looked him in the eyes (there was no doubt in Tony’s mind now as to what it was) and a voice cold as the grave told him, “He's not here, punk, and I am. Now what’s his name and where do I find him?"
Tony felt his muscle control slacken and his bladder spasm, wetting his pants and he didn't think anything of it. For the first time in his life, Tony Delmonico became a rat and didn't think anymore.
"Charlie Cushman, head of Cushman Inc.! Downtown across from Wayne Tower! He sent us!" He was almost crying from fear as he fell toward the ground, only to stop two feet from impact and almost certain death.
Two hours later, as the Police were taking Tony and his boys to the ER, they couldn't understand why this known criminal was babbling about a bat that made him piss his pants. The sole witness on scene was the old man, who hadn’t been very helpful, only saying, “The Bat is back.”
Tony just kept on babbling about some kind of bat, so loudly and vehemently that the arresting officer made a call ahead to the ER and told the doctors there that they may need to hold a room at Arkham Asylum for their incoming visitor.
Tara MacGuinness thought to herself that her Great-grandfather Bruce would be proud. Her Grandfather Terry would have told her to use his newer bat-suit but the Cape and Cowl were more her style. (After a little nip here and tuck there, that is.) She didn't want to fly and she hardly needed strength argumentation (not with Slayer strength, speed and healing.) But there was just something about the black and gray suit that called out to some part of her.
This is vengeance.
This IS the Night.
This is The BAT!
And the belt was just too sweet, too – exactly what every Slayer needed for her patrolling needs, right at her fingertips. She’d have to see if Alex wanted to make it standard Patrol gear for all slayers.
But right now, she needed to figure out how to deal with this Cushman.
Tara’s mind went back to the first time she ever went out on patrol.
“Always get a feel for your target, luv -- learn about your enemy first, then work out a plan, and *never* go in blind.” Funny, wasn't it - how she could still hear Spike’s voice in her head after all this time.
So recon the area -- that was her next step, along with Intel gathering.
Tara’s hand slipped into the pouch on the right side of her belt and drew out the grapple launcher. A muted sound like a pop gun going off said it still worked and as it began lifting her, she moved though the night like a ghost.
The Cushman office was quite tonight and didn’t seem to have any guards. To any normal person, it looked to be just your run of the mill, somewhat successful, small business.
But Tara’s Slayers sense was telling her something entirely different. She pushed down her Slayer instincts and forced herself to calm down and think the situation through.
*Okay, then. So this Cushman wasn’t any ordinary crime boss. Most crime bosses she was familiar with didn’t have six vamp’s guarding their corporate headquarters.*
This wasn’t the time to rush in. No, once again, Spikes voice in her head told her to be patient. Take some time, head home and see what kind of information the Council had on this guy. If he was a vamp or some kind of rogue wizard, then Alex would want to know about this.
And maybe Willow, too.
A small button on her belt summoned the Batmoble to the roof of Wayne Tower and as it de-cloaked, she stepped in and headed home for the night.
As it turned out, Alex was very interested, especially after telling her that the Council had no information on any vampires operating in Gotham and no information on this Cushman, at all. Tara next did a check of all police files for the last two years, finding that there were no unexplained deaths from blood loss and no strange cases involving occult rites that she could find.
Cushman had no criminal record in any law enforcement data base Tara could think to look though. Not even a mention of him even being suspected of involvement in criminal activity of any kind. As far as Tara could determine, this Cushman hadn’t as much as spit on the sidewalk.
*Strange ~ six vamps who don’t feed and a crime boss who doesn’t exist.*
She had one last hope for a lead, though.
The files of Wolfram and Hart might have something, so calling up the secure link to Council HQ, she hacked into Willow’s secure system, just like the older woman had taught her to so long ago, back when they’d broken into the Pentagon’s files for fun, using Willow's back door into the WR&H data base.
If Alex found out she was doing this, he’d kill her, she reflected idly to herself as her fingers danced across her keyboard. Fred had set this up a long time ago, back when Angel and the guys had been in charge of the L.A. branch, so that the Council could look in on the other side without them knowing.
*And there it is!*Tara thought with a small smile. “Got you!”
Charlie Cushman: an up and coming thug who was first noticed by WR&H at the age of fourteen. Known to be a killer and racketeer, but with smarts enough to have never been arrested.
*This guy was into everything -- extortion, prostitution, drugs, and arson for hire,* Tara thought as she read though the rather long file.
“Ah, now, this is interesting,” Tara said to herself. Charlie Cushman was offered a deal at age seventeen: Wolfram and Hart would help with setting him up in business, giving him vamps as security, links to their offices in Asia to supply him the drugs he sold, and protection from law enforcement.
In return, he kept them in the loop to all organized crime activities in and around the city, did a few favors here and there, and moved illegal arms though his front companies here in Gotham.
And all because W&H had a seer that had foretold he’d become a big time crime boss.
So W&H had gotten to him early, so that they could control crime in Gotham.
Now it was all fitting together; they provided him the muscle and he does the footwork for the evil powers.
Well, tomorrow night, Tara was going to start shutting him down one dirty business at a time.
Then she'd deal with W&H!
A cough from behind her drew Tara’s mind back to the here and now.
“I’ve taken the liberty of drawing you a bath and laying out your clothes for the day, Miss Tara,” the man behind her announced quietly. “Also, I’ve made your usual breakfast: four eggs, six slices of bacon, three pancakes and orange juice. “
Tara often thanked god for her Slayer metabolism. But even more, she thanked all the gods for the presence of one Samuel Pennyworth, who for all her life had been the butler, driver, personal secretary and general handler for first, her father, and then, her.
“Thanks, Sam,” Tara said as she removed the bat suit and started up the stairs in the skintight under armor she always wore beneath it, which could stop any knife or pulsar dart short of military grade. Sam continued with his daily duties, gently reminding her, “You have a meeting at the Wayne foundation at 8:00 and a board of directors meeting at Wayne industries at 10:30, Miss Tara.”
The Pennyworths had been butlers – never servants – of the Wayne/ MacGuinness family for over one hundred and fifty years, ever since one Alfred J. Pennyworth III had first come into the employ of the family after WWII. He had stayed to raise young Master Bruce following the murders of both his parents and then had made arrangements to pass on those near-sacred duties to his nephew Samuel’s grandfather. He had also passed on what he called the “trust of a good man” to the only people he felt he could trust: Family.
In a red journal, Alfred had recorded the life of a young boy at first obsessed with getting revenge for his parents’ murders. He had recorded how he had worked to change that desire for revenge into a crusade against all injustice. How that fight had lead to Master Bruce later helping to form the legendary Justice League, and how he had guarded the secrets of the Batman 'til his death.
Sam had long known about Slayers, the Council, and all the things that go bump in the night, courtesy of the files in the Bat-computer –the Batman having met one Buffy Summer during his investigation of a particularly disturbing case.
So when Tara MacGuinness had been orphaned by a mugging gone bad, as the police termed it (though Sam still had his own doubts about the accuracy of that evaluation) and then almost immediately chosen as a Slayer, Sam had done what his great-great-uncle had once done.
He’d sworn an oath to raise Tara the best he could, to guide her and, most of all, to protect her in every way possible.
The Council had arrived in time to save Tara, but not her mother and father. They had tried to take Tara away to be trained as a Slayer, and Sam had determinedly fought them in court for her custody, before finally agreeing to let them train her as a Slayer under one condition – that they do so here in Gotham City at Wayne Manner.
Tara had thrown herself into training like no Slayer before her, and Sam had worried that she was heading for an ugly death at a young age.
Samuel Pennyworth saw what Alfred had seen almost one hundred and twenty five years earlier – a child on the road toward self-destruction. Vengeance seemed to be all she wanted all she cared about. And if she couldn’t get from the man that killed her mom and dad, she’d take out her rage on the vampires, demons, and other dark things that filled all the dark corners in the world.
Sam, meanwhile, was preparing his own plan. As interim head of Wayne Industries, he had access to the latest technology. He first set about cleaning out the cave beneath the west wing and storing all out of date equipment, then procuring and moving new computers and the latest crime lab equipment in, to replace them. Finally, though the Waynetech Aero-Space division, he created the Waynetech 10,000.
The Waynetech 10,000 was never meant for production; that was just a diversion, since at five hundred and fifty million credits, not even the military would touch it. The latest stealth tech went in to make the prototype recon vehicle imposable to track. High powered (greatly over-powered, in fact) thrusters made it capable of actually achieving earth orbit with a top speed of over Mach Four. Laminated molecular armor that would stop anything short of a nuclear blast covered it, giving it a glossy black color, and cutting edge computer controls with an up-link to the main frame back in the cave. Remote controls gave it a cruising range of five hundred miles and an advanced AI autopilot that meant it could return home, even if the pilot is incapacitated. All and all, Sam thought he had created the best Batmoble yet.
And so, on Tara’s sixteenth birthday, he revealed to her the Wayne/MacGuinness family legacy, showing her the cave, computers, equipment and telling her everything he knew of the family history. Her focus had changed immediately; she began to develop her mind as well as her body. She had studied logic, criminology, forensic science, psychology, and crime scene investigation.
Now, at age twenty, she had grown into a woman he would gladly serve for as long as he would live, and for whom he already had a successor chosen – his son. The plan was now in place; on the day Samuel Pennyworth died, Gerald Arthur Pennyworth would receive a red notebook journal written by Alfred and a blue journal written by him, so that the “trust of a good man” would continue for at least one more generation.
A/N: Following Chapters will provide back stories on Tara, Sam and other characters that are bouncing around in my head.
This story takes place about 91 years in the future and will follow canon until the end of the Series (circa 2004), then go A/U.
Hugh thanks to the world’s greatest Beta Greywizard who took my semi-willow-type-babble and made a real story.
Please review. "Reviews are my Triple Espresso with ten sugars that keep me going at 3am."