The Dark Damsel
#DarkTimes [Role-Play in TheDarkDamsel chronicles]

[There was something about the spring time that always made Barbara Gordon smile. And not just a half hearted, put on smile she’d let her face wear when ever her father or friends asked how she was, no. This was a smile that burned with the brightest white light, emanating from deep within her soul, outwards for everyone to see. And if there was one person you couldn’t help but be happy and grateful around, it was Barbara Gordon. A protector, a light of shining hope to many that came into contact with her, Barbara loved spring time. It stood for everything she believed in. The dawn of a new beginning. The light of a new life. The chance to start over. 
Spring time was that magical time when the dead of the past winter would be removed and replaced with new flora and fauna. Birds were chirping every morning as the dawn filled her apartment with a warm, glowing light. This particular morning as the light touched her rosy full cheeks, she felt the humidity and warmth of the day. 
Knowing that the Gotham City Park would be a picture perfect post-card sort of day, she had decided to make her way to her favourite bench and have a relaxed breakfast, before heading to work at Wayne Tech. As she strolled across the park, watching the birds and the ice cream vendor sell Eskimo pies to the children, she couldn’t help but smile. True she had never really wanted children, and been denied the chance to have her own family one day, because of the Joker, but she couldn’t help but smile when she saw happy children.  The sound of a child’s laughter filling the air with joy, made her believe that the world we lived in, was still normal. 
Well, as normal as dawning a cape and cowl and running across rooftops on a nightly basis, could get. But at least for these few moments, as she sat on the bench eating a turkey sandwich, watching how normal people behaved, argued, kissed and played with their children, she could live in their lives and be just like them. A small grin crossed over her lips “Yeah right! Who am I kidding? I could never live like this on a daily basis” A cheery light laugh of hers joins the many noises in the thick humid air. 
As she got up and made her way to the exit of the park, a bizarre turn of events took place. 
She witnessed a young boy, mid teens, maybe 15, racing after an old lady. The old lady, obviously not trained to expect an attack from behind or anything along those lines, was completely oblivious to the approaching boy. Barbara quickly sped after the scene and then watched the events play out. The boy called out for the lady, waving an object around 
“Hey ma’am! You dropped this!”
The lady then turned around and whacked the boy with her handbag. In the obvious confusion a small crowd gathered, hindering my view. Then I see in the commotion the old woman had fallen over, maybe from the momentum of her wildly swinging her bag or from getting disorientated. Whatever the case maybe, one thing is for sure it wasn’t as big a deal as she made it out to be. 
“THIEF!” she shrilly screamed
“Hey lady, I’m just returning your purse” said the boy defending himself.
The next thing you know the police are all over the scene, taking the poor child away in handcuffs. I try to stand up for the kid, defend him, but the officer in charge, Rowland, won’t stand for it. 
Something in my gut tells me that this whole scene is shady and wrong… a set up I’d dare to say, but that leaves the question, who would want to set up a 15 year old boy, and more importantly, why?
                                                     ~~~~~~~~ END PART 1 ~~~~~~~~

[In the weeks that followed the strange turn of events, a series of misfortunes happened. The boy in question was found guilty of robbing an unarmed old woman and sentenced to 2 years in The House of Oak, Juvenile Detention Centre. The case was made very secretive; in fact if I didn’t have Dad’s access codes in the Gotham City Police Department’s mainframe, I would have never known the date for the court hearing. And I as I sat in the back of the court room and heard the proceedings, I knew that the boy in question: Mathew Smith, was being set up. The case was too coincidental. There was no camera footage from the CCTV in the block with an angle on the crime in question. No witnesses that saw anything differently from a boy stealing a bag from an old lady, not returning it. His defence attorney clearly not bothered about defending him.  But one thing is stood out more than most; it was bigger than just him. 
2 days after he was sentenced, the judge, “Honourable” Justice Hayden, was found shoot 5 times in the chest, outside his favourite restaurant. The suspect: A 20 year old delivery boy, ex-juvie that was sentenced to 3 years in The House of Oak, Juvenile Detention Centre. The cases, and life’s of everyone in this JDC, were too coincidental.  And I don’t ever believe in coincidences. 
That night I decided I had to take a look at all the files that the Districts Attorney had on boys sent to this fine facility. The alley way jog to the entrance of offices is less than 15 minutes , but for me more like 7, 5 if I push it, and of course I do.  My security override code decrypter, defeats the security grid. I shut down the motion detectors and cameras, before sneaking into the offices that hold the physical copies of the files. Not found in any mainframe or this wouldn’t have been this burdensome on me. I look through every an all files on this “House of Oak”. A private owned establishment by one Devon Ganga. Mr. Ganga is known among The Bats as an associate to the Gotham Mob. He’s trying to become a council head. I knew as soon as I saw his name, that this entire operation was dirty. His JDC had been the only JDC to receive sentenced juvies ever since he won the tender to serve for the Gotham City Municipality. For more than 5 years. And I will bet you a pair of vintage Batgirl yellow go-go boots this whole agreement sinks all the way down to it’s foundations. 
My next visit would have to be Mr. Ganga’s office, see if I can dig up who he’s bought off inside to make sure the juvies keep getting sentenced to House of Oak. I knew finding a smoking gun, or one single shred of evidence was going to be like finding a needle in haystack. I found his office security a little more difficult but nothing I haven’t seen before. I swung onto his 74 story building via use of my grapple hook. I entered the building through the roof entrance and got to work disarming the laser matrices, which were the most troublesome. My security override code decrypter, defeats the security grid, yet again and I shut down the motion detectors, cameras and security companies alarm system. I sneak into Ganga’s office and find his computer. I plug in a USB with a preloaded Grid programme specially designed to hack into the system, download all encrypted files and erase all traces of the download. Neat little trick and tool to have when I need to access computers and don’t have the patience to sit down and hack into anything. I walk over to his filing cabinet while the Grid does it’s job. I pick the lock, easily and flip through files looking for anything containing details about The House of Oak. My palm-top starts beeping, indicating that The Grid has loaded all the files. I also see a notification that The Grid found a cloud account… I decide to download all files off the cloud account too. Once it’s downloaded, I ‘lock up’ and head back to my WatchTower to analyse the data. 
Once back at WatchTower I run the files off the USB and begin decrypting the encrypted files. I find something interesting while analysing the data; a video file. I play it hoping it is not porn and see before me my piece of evidence I need to prove The House of Oak is as corrupt as you get. The video details Ganga, paying off two main people: Sergeant Jack Peterson, a defence attorney Michael Ross and his team and lastly Justice Hayden. The plan was thus; the good sergeant Peterson would make sure the youths in question were taken into custody and all evidence to prove that they were in fact innocent, was destroyed. The attorney Ross would a less than acceptable defence and make sure any jury would find the youth guilty. And lastly, Justice Hayden would sentence the youth to a minimum of 2 years in House of Oak, Juvenile Detention Centre. Why this elaborate plan you may ask? For money. The Gotham City fund for Juvenile Detention Centres, provided by Mr. Wayne, makes sure that there is enough money so that the children in there are provided with an education, have food and in short are taken care of. For each child brought into House of Oak, they would receive the basic funds stated in the funding agreement. The four people in question; Ganga, Hayden, Ross and Peterson, were getting cuts from each child’s “payout” as Ganga put it. 
The whole thing made me sick.
They were destroying innocent lives of the youth of Gotham, to get a few kick-backs at the end of the month. Almost 590 children last year alone. And in turn, creating new criminals for Ganga’s gang. It disgusted me. And of course, I had to end this.

                                                ~~~~~~~~~END OF PART 2~~~~~~~~~

[As I pulled my cowl over my face, setting it in place, flattering it over the bridge of my nose, I saw the black rolling clouds flash slightly indicating lightning. The rumble of thunder, that followed, signalled a storm approaching. I pulled the length of my coppery-vermilion hair out through the hair-gap provide in my cowl. I placed my cape over my shoulders. I slid into my Kevlar lined boots, and pulled my shock-pad reinforced gloves over my steady hands. I clicked my utility belt in place over my hips. As I suited up for a mini war, the thought “Tonight was the night” crossed my mind. I smirk slightly and shake my head. Naturally it would rain on a night of Bat-business. I place my leg on the ledge on my balcony and fire my grapple hook to the near-by fire escape. I use the fire escape and slide down into the alley way behind my apartment building. Once there I find the hidden security grid. I enter my pass-code and the wall moves aside to reveal a concealed passage. Here is the secret parkade for my Bat-Bike. I marvel at the ingenuity of the beast. I swing my leg over the seat and start the bike, bringing the creature to roaring life. With a simple spin around and release of the brake, the monster is released to tear down the roads of Gotham City.   
My target is an easy one, Devon Ganga’s main man, Mr. Travis Leroy, a glorified personal assistant and second in charge when Ganga is away. I speed down to the Bell and Anchor Pub & Grill, the local hang out for Ganga’s gang, and where Leroy has supper every night. At exactly 21:30 on the dot, he has the last sip of his 5th beer and says to the pub owner; “Put it on Mr. Ganga’s tab” laughs like a drunkard and stumbles his way out of the Bell and Anchor. I swiftly make my way to the Batman like trap I have set up. As he reaches the door of his car, his foot is placed in the grapple lasso, which latches onto to his ankles and the reel action on the pulley kicks in, turning him up-side-down and yanking him up to the rooftop above where I stand waiting for him. I grab the grapple line and I pull him closer… I wait for a few moments letting his blood rush to his brain, and the rain run down into his nostrils, causing him to chock a little. I place my foot on the edge of the rooftop, bending my knee, leaning down and grabbing his hair.

“I’ll make this short sweet and simple. Tell me when I can find Ganga at the House of Oak?” my voice is a cold monotone of command. I don’t have time to play, even though I’m enjoying watching him squirm. 
“Christ Bat-Lady, I dunno when tha boss is anywhere, I’m just the help!” His arteries in his neck pulsate in a clear indication of a rise in blood pressure… i.e. he’s lying!
“It’s Batgirl! And which part of short and sweet didn’t you understand?!” My voice raises a little, my hand tightens around the roots of his hair, tagging harder and now I see fear in his eyes… Good I have him where I want him. “Start talking before I make you scream!”
He starts to tremble. A small menacing smirk forms and curves my lips. I let go of the grapple line a little and let him fall a few meters, just enough to scare him. 
“Speak up Leroy, or my arms and fingers could get tired again” I pull him up and grabs his hair again “Talk!”

*******
[After a few more drops, a lot of tears and a pass of urine from the pathetic Mr. Leroy, I get a time… As luck would have it, Ganga is in the House of Oak, tonight. Doing an ‘inspection’ of the establishment, no doubt. I mount my bike and motor down the road towards the JDC. The rain splatters across the visor of my helmet. But at the speed I’m racing at it simply gets whipped off the fibreglass. I arrive outside of the House of Oak, JDC. Lightning crackles over the roof and thunder can be heard rumbling in the background. I slip my helmet off and head to the gate. The security guards work on a very specific monitor routine. It’s all about timing. I climb the wall and silently leap off into the shadows of the nearby foliage. I see the office buildings, as Leroy directed to me not a few hours ago. I make a quick dash at my next timed interval, to Ganga’s office. The video is all the substantial proof the District Attorney’s office to  put Ganga away behind bars for a long time, but I want my five minutes alone with Mr. Ganga to let him know just who is keeping an eye on him. I see Ganga through the window in his office, talking on the phone, laughing. This sends me off my rails. I see that he only has 5 security officers, one of which is carrying a gun. “Too Easy” I think to myself. I climb up the side of the fire escape, and using the height as leverage, I swoop down upon the security guards. 3 razor edged bat-a-rangs fly out of my hand and pierce the gunman’s hand. Before he has a moment to think, I land next to him and kick the gun out of his grasp. I ball my fists and land a punch to his gut. I hear he getting winded. I see the blood splattering out of his mouth. I narrow my eyes and move for the next two… grabbing their heads and smashing them into the concrete floor. I hear their nose and skulls crack. The next two are so scared and awestruck by my ferocity the stand there. By this time one already has my knee smashing into his crotch and the last guard has my elbow slamming into his face. I feel the impact of both hits breaking bones.  By this time Ganga has become aware of his security been taken down… I kick the door open and scream out “DEVON GANGA” I raise a finger and point at him “I’ve come for you!” 
Shocked by the dark undertone of my voice he drops his phone and goes wide eyed. 
“Bat-bat-bat” He stutters 
“Batgirl… And I know…everything about you Mr. Ganga…let’s just say that the District Attorney will not be having any problems putting you away”
“You’re lying…You’re..” he stutters again
“Oh am I Mr. Ganga? Am I really lying? You see, your cloud account contained some very interesting video footage” I throw a bat-a-rang at his sleeve as he raises his arm. It is driven into the wall, and I swoop in quickly and hover over him, staring straight into his blackened soul.
“Not today.” I hold up my mini tablet, displaying the video. Ganga hangs his head, he knows he’s done, that’s when I grab him by the scruff of his neck. 
“Listen to my every word, because this is what you’re going to do. Firstly, you’re going to turn in a list, with every corrupt cop, politician and official under your play-roll, and any others that you may have information on.”
“But that’ll…” He starts a sentence but I’m in no mood. I ball my fist and back hand him.
“Shut the hell up and do as you’re told” I growl the last words out at him.
He slowly nods and listens.
“Next you’re going to give a list of every Juvie you’ve inducted into your administration to the cops for them to collect them, and set them o the right path. Every single one!”
He nods again
“You have no idea what your little scheme entailed for these kids do you!” I can’t contain my anger anymore. I release a punch across his face “YOU RUINED THEIR LIVES!” I punch him again, using every ounce of my strength and a little more I never knew I had, unleashing it all upon him “AND FOR WHAT? MONEY!” I ball up both my fists and slam it across his jaw, seeing the blood fly in a slow motion way across the room. “Bastard!” I release the grip I have on his collar. I hear the sirens of The Gotham City Police Department’s finest arrive. I leave a copy of the video and all other financial and log results with a note saying ‘For Commissioner Gordon’ on the USB drive and leave the scene as fast as possible. I pull my helmet on and rev my bike. In mad times like these it makes me that realize one thing; Gotham will always need their Dark Damsel! So long as I am here, do not fear. No unjust act shall go unpunished. I am your keeper of truth and justice. I am Batgirl!

*************ROLE-PLAY STORY DONE ON MY TWITTER @THEDARKDAMSEL 

*************DC COMICS OWN ALL CHARACTERS*****************

Christmas hostage situation [Role-Play in TheDarkDamsel chronicles]

The stars glittered like shards of diamonds across a velvet midnight blue sky. The snow flakes fell gracefully to the ground~~The clouds seemed as light as whispers of a forgotten dream, the city view was in all it’s awe, breathtaking. It was winter in Gotham City~~The beauty of the city was all forgotten in the hustle and bustle of the city, a world of fantasy, lust, intoxication, freedom, escape.~~Gotham was the city everyone wanted to live in, the city where all your dreams come true…but in reality it’s the city where your worst nightmares surface~~On the outside Gotham is a phantasma, the castle in the clouds, the place everyone wants to live in, but beneath the shiny gloss~~Beneath the model of perfection, made up to exemplify the stardom we all dream of, Gotham is rotting, and soon corruption will take over~~I did say rotting, as in there’s still hope & I will always have faith, so long as a single ray of light shines, I’ll hope for Gotham City~~Call me a delusional, optimistic fool if you will but Gotham is my city, and I will carry a beacon of hope, through these dark times~[I stand on a gargoyle surveying the area… 6 hours ago The Starling Cruise line of yachts had been hired out for a private VVIP party for the Singh Corporations monthly treat to their biggest clients.~~ Once every month the CEO Mr Arun Singh would take his top clients for the month to a new undisclosed venue for a night of glits and glam like you’ve never seen before~~The water turned to Crystal Champagne, an endless supply of caviar, lobster, prawn cocktails, and exotic foods and drinks from all over the world. It was rumored that each party would cost Mr. Singh’s company at least $7 000 000.00 But this being a pre-christmas party I’d guess it’s more~~The company mainly dealt with insurance, and his motto is that he never turns away business. No client is too small, and that’s how he makes money. He’ll handle everything from car and household to life policies and insurance for sports athletes and celebrities and movie stars~~If you have an object or a risk that needs covering Singh Financial Solutions is your, well, solution.  Of course there are the natural rumors that go around that Mr Singh has made his money by hooking up with the right people in Gotham city and providing the right type of insurance.~~After all the fundamental foundations and understandings of insurance is that the money of many to cover the risk of the few. ~~Unfortunately none of his extra income could be traced back to his business or even him. It just means that you need to be patient and dig harder and deeper. ~~Tonight however I’m going to be concentrating on saving this buttwipes’ life.  At about 22h36 the boat was attacked by a group of very hi-tech and advanced military trained pirates.~~They swarmed in on a helicopter and speed boats and infiltrated the boat faster than any organized unit I’ve seen….well maybe accept the Justice League.~~The yacht in question has been wired to a remote detonate  acid scatter bomb. The acid concoction can eat thru metal in a matter of minutes, thus causing a huge entry for water, subsequently causing the yacht and all her passengers to go under.~~I intercepted a meeting between the Gotham City Police Department and the Gotham division of the SEALs (yeah we have our own division) Commissioner Gordon leading the tactical team, their mission: to bring the yacht and it’s 25 passengers to safety. Their set to go in 2 hours, I’ll be in and out by that time~~I consulted my Oracle watchtower. There are 25 hostages. That’s the tricky part. From thermal imagery inside the yacht confirmed they are scattered and placed all over the 3 decks of the yacht. Priority 1 is getting Mr Singh out as they may hold him for a ransom.~~After gathering the required intel and information, I know what I have to do. Most of the times kidnappings, hostage situations and ransoms go wrong because no one ever listens to the people with guns. You have to calm them and cooperate with them~~I have accessed the CCTV footage from the docks and coast guard cameras but for a high profile hostage like this one needs every angle you can get. The JLA satellite is one of the most advanced cybernetic and artificial intelligence self gathering technological marvels I have seen. ~~Eye in the Sky was designed on Martian and Thanagarian technology enhanced with Kryptonian crystal tech. The main designer was J’onn J’onzz the Martian Manhunter. The man is a genius and within minutes of searching and logging in tracker on the situation I have updates coming in from the eye in the sky straight to my palmtop tablet ~~I need to be my own info jock and hero on this mission and having a super smart Smart Satellite monitoring the perimeters and thermal imagery of the yacht I feel 100% safer~~the infiltration process of the yacht is simple enough~ [I fire my grapple hook the a higher vantage point, setting up my jet powered glider. I strap it onto my shoulders and leap off the Liberty building of Gotham City, gliding to the yacht, not even a mile out. The glider makes light work of it and soon I’m scaling down the communications centre down to the first level.~~According to the live feed from Eye in the Sky, Mr. Singh is located in the middle level in his cabin. I need to make sure I have the exact layout memorized for when I take down the wireless frequencies and all communications between the pirates. I gather I’ll have a window of 8 minutes to rescue Mr. Singh and all the hostages including crew, before they (the pirates) realize what’s going on~~I silently climb down to the next level, checking the location of Mr. Singh to make sure it hasn’t updated. I see a guard come around the corner, and as the imaginary count-down timer ticks away in my mind I know there no point nor time for theatrics…I swift dive at him, my one foot hitting and breaking his ankle and the other hitting the back of his knee, and before he can even process screaming, he falls into my grasp and I initiate a quick takedown and knockout~~I check the corners and live feed on my palmtop before rounding the corner to Singhs’ room…only two guys guarding him? Their practically begging me to rescue him….I project my holo-keyboard for my palmtop, finding the frequency used by the pirates for their communicators and cellular phones, and jam the signals~~[I take out the lights, and switch my optical enhancers to nightvision…crouching low I target the one with the gun first, grabbing the gun and ramming it into his gut, I swivel around and baseball swing the gun at the other thugs head. I disassemble the gun, grab Mr. Singhs hand and heads out the door] Stay quiet! [He nods in understanding]~[7 minutes…I hastily dash up the stairs to the next location of hostages…also two guards, this won’t take long…I tell Singh to wait out side, I again hack into the systems and switch the lights off in the room, entering my optical enhancers still on nightvision I see both have guns…I take aim with multiple bat-a-rangs, hitting the guns out of their hands and moving quickly to take down and knock out both guards!]~[I instruct the hostages to use the life-boats and head for the dock….I climb the communications broadcaster and strap on my bat-glider…I fire up the boosters and fly off to nearest building in Gotham…..landing lightly on the rooftop of the GNN tower I send an anonymous text message to Commissioner Gordon “Hostage situation taken care of. Pirates still aboard. Signed — Batgirl”]

===========Actual RP SL done by me on @TheDarkDamsel on twitter===========

#BornOfHope [Old Role-Play in TheDarkDamsel Chronicles]

The day had started like any other normal day in Gotham City. The last of the snow falls were coming in dropping to the earth like a fine dusting of icing sugar on a well rounded dessert. Spring was surly going to be coming in soon. The signal to a new beginning, a new era, a new adventure. Barbara Gor …. No Grayson, lay in bed snuggling up against her husband, Richard, not wanting to leave his warmth and protection that his embrace offered.

As she slowly lifted her hand and brushed her flaming red hair back, she took a moment as she always did every morning to thank a higher power for blessing her life with /him/

Truth is she was honestly the luckiest woman in the world to have him in her arms. She never let a day or night pass without being thankful for him. Richard John Grayson was the one of many blessings she always stopped to say “thank you” for.
As she smiled and watched him sleep she gently turned to face the window and watch the snow fall….. And then that’s when she saw what was obviously impossible….. She thought she had seen Batgirl with the exact flaming red her, swop past her window. That was impossible! Clearly she was imaging or dreaming that. She was batgirl! So how could she be out there and in here at the same time. She had gone for a neural implant surgery and …….. She feels a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach and suddenly all the warmth had seeped out of her entity and all she cold feel was an icy chill….. Her hands slowly moved towards the covers over her legs, she tried to swallow the lump in her throat, tried to calm her racing heart as she tugged on the covers, revealing her legs…. She tried to move…..nothing…. She thought “wiggle your toe” ….. Nothing! Nothing was happening! Everything of being Batgirl was now all a distant dream and she was stuck within this hellish nightmare of being …….
No this couldn’t have been happening this is a lie! It’s not true, it can’t be! She tries to scream! No sound. She tries her best to shake Richard awake. Nothing. She tries to move and then falls out of bed but it’s a never ending fall and she’s screaming at the top of her lungs………….. And she bolts straight up screaming “NOOOOOO!” She looks around.
Dick: Hey Beautiful… Babs? You okay?
He had just come out of the shower. The look of panic and distress is real on his face.
"Yeah everything is okay … Just a bad dream"
I run my hand back over my neck and notice that I’m covered in a ice water like sweat. Dick slowly bends down and kisses my forehead.
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"Are you sure?" he says in that childlike voice. I look up into those eyes and see that face that instantly makes me melt. I smile and nod slowly but reassuringly.
"Well how are the babies?" he smiles softly at me. I could get stuck in this moment forever. To have a man that loves me, cares for me, our children on the way and just in a simple happiness. It’s more then I could have asked for.
"Their jumpy and wriggly like their father" I smile up at him, then he cups my face and kisses me softly
"Their mother is also wriggly" a flash of mischief crosses his face but I know nothing will materialize from it, I simply kiss his nose and say
"Not as wriggly as an acrobat"
He lets a light chuckle escape his smirking lips
"Come on! Let’s go have breakfast. We have mouths to feed"
I smile widely and pull my robe on. As I tie the knot loosely around my stomach I silently glance at the window
"It was just a dream, nothing more nothing less" I think to myself. As I turn and make my way down the stairs it’s almost like a long lost echo in the back of my mind.
I make my way to the kitchen and stretch out…I smile as I see he attempting to cook for me.
"Don’t burn down the house" I grin as he looks up from my comment and huffs playfully. I slide my hands from behind over his abs and kisses his neck.
"I’ll make some coffee" I offer
"Yes and hot chocolate for you" he reminds me by pointing at my stomach. A small smile forms over my face as I nod
"Don’t worry I know" I reassure him. I switch the coffee maker on and boil milk for my hot chocolate… I pour out cups and after a quick sniff of the coffee aroma i hand him his cup. He smirks at me sniffing the cup and shakes his head slightly. I smile my cutest and most charming smile as I sip on my hot chocolate.
The door bell rings.
"Wonder who that is?" I look from the door to him
"Well I did get you something" He smirks and turns back to frying bacon.
"Oh what is it?" I ask inquisitively like a small child.
"Remember that necklace you wanted for Valentines day?" he asks still looking down at the bacon.
"Yes!" I respond immediately
"Well it isn’t that" he laughs and points at the door "Go get it while I plate up breakfast love"
Curious at the possibility of all the things it could be I skip lightly to the door, mountains of probable items racing thru my head … Never thinking what it really could be………. My hand reaches out for the door knob and in a swift movement I grab and twist, pulling it open …. A smile ready to greet the person at the other side…..
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But a smile awaits me too…. A ghostly smile…. A smile to make me cringe and gasp in horror… A smile of terror that has plagued my dreams for almost 3 years …. A smile of a mad man… A smile of The Joker.

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That sinking feeling fills me up again, that feeling of dread, that feeling you get when you know you’re about to suffer from excruciating pain… That awful sense of déjà vu that you never want to experience, ever.
All I can say as I see his gun rising in an almost slow motion effect, all I can think about in that one moment to say is…
"No…"
BANG!!!
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The sound rings through my ears my everything like a nightmare. Echoing. Never stopping. A reflex action is there and I hold the spot on my stomach where the bullet went thru. My babies. No. Not them. What more could the monster take from me. Why them. No. NO!
I lift my hands ……. Covered in blood. No! I’m their mother I’m suppose to protect them. No……….
Then all at once it happens again. That feeling of falling as I drop in a suspended motion towards the floor. Falling and nothing in the world can’t stop it from happening….. Nothing. Not Dick racing over to me…. Not the fates design…. Not all the prayers in the world…. My eyes roll back into my head as I fall into and endless darkness….. Nothing can stop me falling …. Nothing.
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My mind swims in darkness… Darkness…. Surrounds … Me… Completely. People say that all you need is a simple moment of hope for darkness to vanish from your life. All you need is a single ray of light in a room consumed by darkness to dispel it into oblivion for ever. Where is my moment of hope? Of happiness? Of light? I’m surrounded by darkness and I can’t make out where it begins or ends. Where is the light I need to help me?

As I feel myself slipping into the depressing dark…letting it take over me
 I hear a voice
"Barbara …"

I focus trying to forget everything and just focus on that voice calling me….I listen intensely… The origin is…. I turn towards my right …. I slowly open my eyes and squint into the endless abyss of darkness ….. I see something… Some…one…. And suddenly I see it… The same woman that visited me the first time I was lost … Delphi the Greek oracle…

"Why do you doubt yourself, Barbara?"
I look down embarrassed to look at the woman I has embodied for so long, the symbol of strength I had once showed the world a woman could be.

"I once told you all you need to be strong is inside of you" Delphi’s voice has hurt in it but also disappointment but most of all it feels like a mother that is worried about her child, the path she walking on.

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"You are a powerful woman, you can do so much, do not give in child"
I look up at her and try to hide my tears. She wraps her arms around me
"My child remember what you have done, what you still have to offer, and what you still have to do"

I look up at her mask and I see her  remove it…. And yet again I see my face as hers. I nod in understanding. I know what I have to do.

"You are a powerful woman, you can do so much, do not give in child"
I look up at her and try to hide my tears. She wraps her arms around me
"My child remember what you have done, what you still have to offer, and what you still have to do"

I look up at her mask and I see her  remove it…. And yet again I see my face as hers. I nod in understanding. I know what I have to do.

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She looks at me like a mother would after letting her child go… I let go of her embrace and I feel that falling sensation again…

But this time in falling into a light… And then it surrounds me… And I’m falling into … Life …

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My eyes feel heavy … But there’s a voice saying

"Open them" … Haven’t I done enough why can’t I just give up and give in and sleep, have a rest … Because there is yet more work to be done. You are still needed. Now more than ever. Open your eyes.

I feel like fighting, like running away from this voice, but then I see it and realize how can I run from myself.
"open your eyes"
"why should I?"
"because there is work to be done and Barbara Gordon is no slacker"
"I’ve done enough, I want to rest"
"Done enough? Open your eyes and see what you have, then complain"
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"What do I have?"
"What most don’t have, a second chance"
I stay quiet and look to the side realizing what she is saying to me.
"Go on Barbara" She my other self sneers "Prove to the world why you deserve this chance" she pulls away massive curtains revealing thousands of mirrors reflecting me, in my Batgirl suit.
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"Prove you deserve this, deserve to live"
I ball my fists up against my sides and narrow my eyes at her snide comments. I scream back at her “Because I have yet to prove my worth to the world! I have yet to prove I am worthy of everything! But I will! I’m not going down without a fight! NOT NOW, NOT EVER!!!” I hear her laugh and say “try your best” but it gets drowned out by the crashing and near deafening sound of all the mirrors breaking… I am thrust into a blinding white light … But this time I’m not falling… No I feel my body ascending and rising up……………………
And then I open my eyes
Gasping I look around and realize I’m in a hospital.
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************************************
[4 weeks later]
After I had woken up in the hospital room my realities were shaken to the core. I had found out I had been living in a dream induced world. A fantasy. A world where all my deepest desires were to come true, to keep me happy. I was not Mrs. Richard Grayson. I had never married Dick, or even gone on all those dates or made love to him. I wasn’t even anywhere near being pregnant. I had been kidnapped by the Mad Hatter as Barbara Gordon, daughter of the Gotham Police Commissioner, and in this sleep induced dream world state he had been trying to get information from my memories. Trying to access them or hack into them. The Mad Hatter did not intend to come face to face with one of the most highly trained brains in the world. Batman had taught me what I needed to know to keep my brain and memories locked up like a bank vault. As a result of my heavy brain wave activity and my subconscious discovering it was all just a dream, and fake and shocking me into reality, the machine and technology in question let of a 0.75 of a second spike in electrical feeds. That’s all it needed for the batman to find me. And here I am now, alone but not lost. I know what I have to do. Like Delphi said I have all I need to make a difference within me. And like my shadowy self dared me, I’ve been given a second chance, time to prove I’m worthy of it.
I lived my dream, my fantasy. And for what it’s worth, it made me happy to be with him. Even if it was a dream.

But I am Gotham’s protector. I have to sacrifice my happiness to safe guard the city. I am batgirl and I am oracle. I shine a ray of hope for heroes that are lost and I bring those that are unjust and corrupt to justice. It is an oath I swore to uphold. I am The Dark Damsel, and this is my time now.

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