❯ In the Shadow of the Bat – Spoiled Questions ( Chapter 11 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Spoiled Questions

Renee Montoya paused as she opened the door to her office, then closed the door as the brown haired woman said, “You didn’t have to sneak in here.”

The heroine called Spoiler leaned up against the wall, her black bodysuit absorbing the light. Over top that she wore purple gloves and swashbuckler boots along with a purple cloak. The final touch was a golden utility belt, in her case worn over the shoulder and across her front.

“Sorry,” Spoiler’s voice was muffled enough to be unrecognizable, “but I didn’t think the front door was a option.”

“True,” Renee agreed as she walked to her desk and unlocked the top drawer. She drew the papers out, “Here’s the report you asked for, all the data I could find on the League of Assassins and their activities over the last year.”

“Thank you,” Spoiler gave her a envelope full of money that she drew from beneath her cloak. As she began to skim through the papers she mused, “Any trends leap out at you?”

“One thing,” Renee said as she leaned against the side of her desk, “their targets have shifted a bit lately.”

“Oh?” Spoiler looked curiosity.

“They’ve only been hitting underworld figures,” Renee said dryly, “I can’t say with complete certainty but it looks like they’ve shifted how they’re doing business.“

”Or their boss has caused them to shift,” Spoiler mused.

Renee nodded, “That’s possible too.”

Spoiler tucked the papers away in a pouch in her cloak as she walked to the window and said, “If you learn anything new, contact me the usual way.”

“Use masking tape to make a purple x in the window?” Renee teased slightly.

Spoiler chuckled faintly, “How about just my cellphone?”

Renee chuckled softly as Spoiler swung out into the Gotham night, soon completely disappearing into the shadows. Her own expression became more serious as she sat back, silently considering what she had learned.

‘That kid isn’t ready to take on the League,’ Renee thought to herself frimly as she sat casually at her desk, wishing she had the Gotham police to ask for help. ‘Or at least a way to get a hold of the Batman.’

The phone rang and Renee reached for it, “Yes?”

Kate Kane’s voice was warm as the other woman said, “Love, you sound exhausted.”

Renee smiled, imagining her redheaded lover in the penthouse she lived in, in addition to using as her base as Batwoman. “I just got finished meeting with Spoiler,” she said, “you were right, it does look like she’s going after the League of Assassins.”

“That’s… not good at all,” Kate said after a moment. “Do you think we should try to stop her?” she asked.

“I doubt we could,” Renee said, “short of brute force. And to be honest that is not a route I want to go down.”

“Reminds me a bit too much of the Bat,” Kate agreed. “How about we tail her and offer our help if needed?”

“Sounds like a plan,” Renee said firmly. She smiled, “Do we call out our buddies?”

“Hmm,” Kate made a thoughtful sound, “we’ll probably need Oracle’s help to track her. Do the Birds still owe you a favor?”

“Yeah, I helped them deal with a Intergang cell,” Renee remembered, “I think they’d help out, especially if what I heard about Oracle and Batgirl is true.”

“Oh?” Kate asked.

“According to my source, Oracle was Batgirl’s mentor for awhile,” Renee revealed. “Wonder how Oracle feels knowing Batgirl now leads the League of Assassins?”

“I wouldn’t ask,” Kate said dryly.

“Fair enough,” Renee chuckled, deciding her curiosity would have to remain unsatisfied. “All right, I’ll call her,” she said, “catch you later.”

“Be careful,” Kate said, “I’ll be out patrolling, meet you when I get back.”

“Take care,” Renee said as she signed off.

Renee got up from her desk and closed the window, drawing the blinds down to seal off the room. From her belt buckel she drew a sphere of puddy like material even as she pressed a switch, releasing a strange gas that changed the color of her clothes and hair. As the gas spread she pressed the puddy to her face, spreading it to erase her features and become the Question.

The communication device Oracle gave her worked like a charm, and soon Question is connected to their network. Huntress replied first, “What do you want, Question?”

‘That’s friendly,’ the Question thought, hiding a smile. “To save a life, hopefully,” she answered coolly.

“Huh,” Huntress hesitated then sighed, “Sorry, it’s been a long day and looks to be a even longer night.”

“I know how that feels,” Question agreed.

“So,” Huntress said briskly, “how can we help?”

“You’re familiar with Spoiler?” Question asked.

Huntress seemed surprised, “Yes, we worked together before she faked her death.”

Question leaned against her desk as she revealed the research Spoiler had been doing as well as her connection to Batgirl. “I think she’s planing on going after the league of Assassins,” she concluded.

“She’s good,” Huntress said after a moment’s thought, “but not that good. What do you want us to do?”

“I understand Oracle has access to satellites,” Question said, “is it possible she can monitor the city and let me know when Spoiler moves? That’ll give me a chance to get some back up together for her.”

“I’ll ask Oracle, but I don’t see why not,” Huntress said.

There was a crackle and a third voice cut in, “This is Oracle. If it’s to help Spoiler, I’m willing to do it.”

“Thank you,” Question smiled, feeling a surge of relief.

“Question,” Oracle continued on, “have you considered my offer to become one of my regular agents?”

“I’m willing to help as needed,” Question answered them tactfully, “but I really don’t consider myself a joiner.”

There was wry amusement in Oracle’s voice as she replied, “Fair enough.” In a brisker tone she continued, “I’ll start scanning Gotham now, and if I spot Spoiler on the move I’ll use this signal device to let you know.”

“Thank you,” Question answered.

“By the way,” Huntress jumped in when Oracle signed off, “I’d like to help when you go after the League.”

“We’ll call you when we move out,” Question promised before hanging up.

Stealthily the Question climbed out the window onto a fire escape, standing there as she looked out at the alleys of Gotham city. Drawing her trench coat around her the Question descended the stairs and walked out into the night, waiting to see what it would bring.

Like every night in Gotham there was trouble, you just needed to know where to look for it. A mugging in crime alley was dealt with quickly, the victims sent on their way out of the dangerous zone. From the bad side of town the Question fought to the good side, stopping a attempted museum heist as a group of high tech crooks ran for safety.

“Ah ah!” a figure swung down to strike a fleeing man, “Bad crook.”

“Thanks Batwoman,” Question smiled as she rounded up the last two men and bound their hands with police style cuffs.

“Well, a Falcone,” Batwoman noted as she hauld him over, “I thought Holiday had gotten them all.”

“Al Falcone,” Question recognized the small, weasel-like man, “you cam from Sicily to revive the family fortunes?”

“Damn freaks,” the brown haired man muttered, “before they came along the Falcone name meant something.”

“It still means something,” Batwoman said as they tied him up too, “it’s mud, now.”

The police arrived and both of them ducked into the shadows, watching as they were arrested. “Harvey,” Question murmured as her old partner Bullock hauled one of the men up, hustling him towards a squad car.

“Do you miss being a cop?” Batwoman asked quietly.

“I miss the people,” Question admitted, “I don’t miss the dirty cops, the political pressures and all the rest of the crap.”

Batwoman reached out to gently squeeze her shoulder, and they each exchanged a tired smile. “I think we can call it a night,” she said softly.

“Let’s,” Question agreed as they walked off together.

To be continued….

In the Shadow of the BatOne Night in Gotham
In the Shadow of the Bat – The Spider Returns