[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*****************