Disclaimer: I do not own any of the recognizable characters from Buffy or DC. I receive no profits from this. It is just for fun.
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Feedback: Constructive Criticism desired.
Summary: Only a small but important part of Xander survived the Hyena incident.
AN – Thoughts *I am thinking.*
When Dick informed him that Anne had gotten herself accepted as Cindy’s substitute, she flat out got angry at anyone who even implied she was taking Cindy’s place, Batman had to re-evaluate her theory that Anne was ‘H’. Though it slightly weakened his argument for his theory being true, he still felt the other circumstantial evidence, what little there was, still made her the lead suspect.
Attempting another daylight meeting with Anne and her Aunt would more likely spook them into running. And while that would remove the problem from Gotham, he was sure it would put them and Anne’s baby girl in an extremely difficult position. Not to mention the potential retribution Anne would seek to lay on his doorstep should any ill befall her baby or her Aunt.
While he was confident in his abilities, he had no idea what Anne was capable of and that made her more dangerous than the Joker. It was always harder to prepare plans against an unknown than for a known opponent. The fact that it appeared as though she might even have some magical items in her repertoire, given Robin’s unscheduled nap the other day, it was even more difficult to prepare.
He needed to catch ‘H’ prowling about, away from her Aunt and child, so she wouldn’t feel too threatened if he was going to have the chance to gain her respect. And for that he needed to know when she was out as he couldn’t spend all his time searching for her and allow Gotham’s bad element free reign while he did. He needed a way to be notified when she went hunting.
Since it appeared that Anne could easily avoid human surveillance, Batman opted to try a small remote with night vision and infrared cameras that would hover over her house at night. It showed nothing unusual for two nights. Just as it was getting into position on the third night, both cameras went dead. Since he was still getting telemetry back from the control systems, he recalled the drone to where he had launched it from.
When he opened the drone up he found that the wires for the primary and backup power supplies for the cameras had been shorted out.
*I really hate magic,* he thought as he headed over towards Anne’s house in a non-descript car to see if he could determine whether she was home or not like he had prior to launching the remote. As he expected, she was indeed home. Going out right after disabling his surveillance remote would be stupid and neither Anne nor her Aunt could be considered stupid.
He did figure that she would be making her move either the following night or the night after.
“You realize he’ll expect you to wait a day or so before venturing forth,” said Janice.
“Of course,” replied Anne. “But I’m not altering my plans to suit his expectations. I just want to get as much sleep as Sondra will let me. The whine of that drone was getting on my nerves, and the ear plugs weren’t effective enough without making it difficult to hear Sondra when she cries.”
“Well I’ve got everything ready for after Saturday’s game,” said Janice. “Your outfit and weapons will be in your gym bag, hidden under the false bottom. The charm I made and attached to it will make it look regular size. After the game, I’ll arrive with Sondra to ‘take you home’ so you can feed her and put her to bed. I’ll use an illusion charm to make it look like we left together, taking your cheer outfit in the gym bag, while you head out in your costume and make your way home on foot looking for bad guys to beat up. By the way, have I mentioned how dumb I think this whole crime fighting idea of yours is?”
“I believe you’ve mentioned it a couple of times,” said Anne with a bit of amusement in her voice.
“Good. I’d hate to think I’ve failed in my duties as your guardian and Aunt by pointing out the obvious to you.”
Before Anne could respond to her Aunt, she said, “I know that under the circumstances this is probably the best solution for your situation but I still don’t like it. You’re fast and strong and that makes you able to take on vamps and demons but a bullet is faster than even they can move and I’m worried that a human with a gun is going to injure or kill you.”
Janice avoided mentioning that a vampire nearly did the same thing back in Sunnydale. Bringing up the town neither of them could return to would not be a good thing for either of them.
“That’s what the cross bows are for,” said Anne. “Disable the ones with guns at range then close in for the more advanced lessons in Karma. Besides, I don’t intend to make it a habit of visiting heavily guarded places like Jack Smack’s. And isn’t that just a crazy name? It wasn’t that hard though as the outside guards weren’t close enough to cover each other which made it easy to take them out.”
“Anyway, we both know I only did that because it was the one place in the area of the mugging that might have the information I wanted about who shot Cindy since it had lookouts that might have seen and recognized other baddies lurking around their turf. It was also possible that they might have even taken refuge there until the police cleared out. Luckily, they did know what I wanted or it might have taken a bit longer to find those dirt-bags.”
Janice gave a brief sigh. She’d hacked the hospital records because she’d been concerned about what Anne had done to the men who shot Cindy. They’d apparently come out of their comas a few hours before her hack. The list of injuries each man suffered was long and spoke of intense brutality. She hoped that Anne would not go to such extremes in the future when she dealt with whatever criminals she encountered. In her mind the bastards that shot Cindy deserved what Anne did to them as they were worse than the creatures Anne was supposed to be fighting as for the most part the creatures were just doing what was natural for them. These men had chosen their path and they now had to travel it in a wheel chair or crutches she would not weep for them.
She thought it very ironic that she was where she was because of her ex-tribe’s quest for vengeance and was now following another path because of vengeance. She just hoped that this time fewer innocents were hurt.
When there were no reports of anymore attacks by the Woman in Purple and Black over the next three nights and his cameras that he’d placed all around Anne’s neighborhood, but well away for Anne’s house, hadn’t seen her going out for any nocturnal jaunts. Neither had they been sabotaged like his remote had.
This caused Batman to rethink his theory about Anne continuing her crusade. Was Dick right about her foray into crime fighting being a one shot for revenge? A less elaborate costume would have sufficed if that was the case. Had her discovery of his remote caused her to rethink her decision, knowing that he was paying attention to her? Some how he didn’t think she would be dissuaded by that. A bit more circumspect maybe, but not stopped.
Well, Dick told him there was a game that evening against a school across town and Anne would be there with the rest of the Cheer Squad. Dick would be there as well, both to keep tabs on Anne and because the games against this school were usually very intense and as such exciting and entertaining.
Bruce, on the other hand, had a Wayne Enterprises party to go to and hand out awards for various achievements by individuals and groups over the past six months. It was one of the few events he tried to make sure he attended whenever they came up even though he usually let Lucius handle most of the other business and social events related to W.E.. Being there to personally thank the people who made W.E. great and a tribute to his parents’ vision for the company was always a joy for him.
The party honoring the sub-contractors and suppliers that Wayne Enterprises would be next month and would include Business Automated Technologies where Janice Kalder worked. Since she wasn’t on the team from B.A.T. that did work for W.E. he doubted she would be attending.
The Sunday morning headline read: WPB 16/Bad Guys 0