Oracle and the Network

Chapter 12

Supergirl didn't patrol the city as much as her cousin, Kal. Partially it was her wanting to maintain a separate life from her responsibilities, and part of it was the tendency of life to just drop things into her lap to deal with.

Case in point: Supergirl was just minding her business when she sensed a woman with magnetic powers not too covertly following behind former super villain Emil Hamilton. With a sigh she changed into costume, then hurried over to see what was going on.

"Emil Hamilton, Repulse has come for you!" the woman declared, clearly having studied the sort of villain guides that Lex Luthor used.

"Go away!" Hamilton yelled as the older man started to run away, surprising the girl.

"I thought you WANTED..." Repulse said, surprised.

Supergirl watched Huntress load a blunted arrow in her wrist mounted crossbow and fire even as she swung down towards them. The woman heard the shot and gestured, then seemed shocked as the wooden arrow smacked her right in the forehead.

"Oww!" she staggered back then Repulse glared at Huntress. "Why you..."

Deciding things were going to just escilate more if she didn't get involved, Supergirl zipped through the air to stand between them. "What is going on here?" Supergirl asked with a frown.

"Kidnapping, I think," Huntress offered.

"You too will fall to the power of REPULSE!" the armored woman threatened Supergirl rather desperately, really.

Supergirl did a fast vision scan, determining that the lady was wearing a outfit loaded with technology. Sadly she couldn't determine the purpose of all of it, so she decided it was better to be safe than sorry.

"AIEEE!" the girl squealed as Supergirl used her super speed and bodily stripped the girl of her battle armor. In seconds she was naked and on the ground, even as the police began to arrive.

"Damn," Huntress muttered, impressed.

Supergirl turned towards Hamilton, her expression oddly sad. "Are you all right, Professor?" she asked him gently.

Rather stiffly Emil answered, "Fine, thank you."

"Could someone please explain what's going on?" Huntress asked as a cop wrapped Repulse in a blanket and loaded her up in a squad car.

Emil sighed. "Earlier today associates of Miss Repulse there was sent by Intergang, in a attempt to recruit me," he explained, "as I am not interested in working with maniacs driven by religion, I declined. So it seems they sent her to take me by force."

"I see," Supergirl said, "be careful, sir."

Huntress watched the old man go, then looked curiously at Supergirl. "You do realize he was probably lying, right? Repulse seemed to think he'd welcome being taken," she pointed out.

"Probably," Supergirl agreed readilly, "but can you or I prove it?" She shrugged, "Maybe they were negotiating a deal and he changed his mind. Maybe Intergang decided to stop negotiating. Either way..."

"Fair enough," Huntress nodded.

Realizing she was probably going easy on a possible villain Supergirl added, "He used to be a good friend of Superman. He was there for him during some of his toughest times, and... I think he has regrets over what happened to Emil."

Huntress smiled a bit sadly, but nodded once again. "Anyway, thank you for your help," she said, "I think I could have stopped her, but it would have been tough."

Supergirl grinned, "SURE you could have." Then again, she admitted to herself, Huntress was the female Batman, more or less. Changing the subject she noted, "You're one of the Birds of Prey, correct? My cousin disapproves of you."

"Yes I am," Huntress acknowledged then added wryly, "And my heart bleeds. Really."

Supergirl chuckled, "If it helps, Kal and I don't agree on some things. If you need any help, give me a call."

"Thanks," Huntress smiled as Supergirl took off.

With a smile Supergirl ascended, then a slight frown appeared on her face. This was her third run in with someone Intergang related... maybe she should take the warning Oracle put out a bit more seriously?


Renee Montoya was sharing a drink with her former boss James Gordon, her short hair falling rather messily into her eyes as they sat in the bar. The two of them started meeting not long after she got her Gotham private investigator license, and she had done some work for him too. The Gotham PD was no longer riddled with corruption like it was, but there were still enough bad apples that Gordon liked having a PI to investigate things off the record.

"She did WHAT?" Renee yelped, looking amused.

"Showed up in a limo, put me in the back seat then... well, you know," James Gordon admitted sheepishly. The Commissioner looked a bit shell shocked as he drank some beer, but also a bit pleased at being able to keep up with the woman.

"I'd almost think you were boasting," Renee teased.

James smirked slightly. "A bit," he admitted, "just a bit."

"And how is Babs taking it?" Renee had to ask.

That made James wince a bit. "We don't talk about it," he admitted, "but I don't think she approves. And honestly, no one wants to imagine their parents having a sex drive."

"Damn right," Renee agreed. She took a drink of her soda, "So, why the call?"

"The gang war is heating up," James admitted, "and we're stretched pretty thin right now. "I could use a reliable officer."

Renee raised her eyebrows, "You're offering me back my badge?"

"If you want it," James agreed.

Renee hesitated, then finally shook her head. "I'm sorry, but I've seen how the system fails people too often," she said, "I think I can do more outside the system."

"You sure?" James asked.

"Sorry," Renee smiled, shrugging.

"All right, fair enough," James nodded, sighing. "Can I still rely on you for private work?"

"As long as it doesn't interfere with my other commitments," Renee admitted, "I've got a lot on my plate, lately." She and Tot's 'Answer the Question' service, contract work for Oracle, occasionally working with Batwoman, and sometimes doing stuff for Batman. She was lucky to find time to sleep some days.

Just then Renee AND James' phones went off, almost at the same time. "I told them not to contact me unless it was a emergency," James muttered.

"Answer it," Renee ordered even as she did her's, "Hello?"

"Question, this is Oracle," the voice said calmly, "we have trouble in Gotham. Would you be willing to help out?"

"Yes," Renee answered instantly.

"Oh hell, Dr. Phosphorus is loose again?" James growled into his phone. "Right, right..."

"Got to go, chief," she told James as Renee got up, "Get the check, I'll pay you back."

"Hey!" James yelped, but she was gone.

Renee hurried down the street, phone still clipped to her ear as she demanded, "So, what's the situation?"

"Dr. Phosphorus has been sprung from Arkham as a distraction," Oracle answered seriously, "while a attack is being carried out against Wayne-tech in Gotham."

"While the police are too busy dealing with him and anyone else busting out of Arkham," Renee realized. "There's no way I can handle this alone," she cautioned as she ducked into a alley and pulled on her unique mask.

"I have a few people I can call in," Oracle reassured her, "and the team breaking in isn't that big. I think they were counting on everyone being drawn off by the distraction."

"I hope like hell they're reliable," the Question said as she hurried out from the alley, smoke curling around her body mysteriously.

"Oh they are VERY reliable," Oracle promised.

It took another five minutes to get to Wayne Tech, one of the newer towers in Gotham City. In the aftermath of the quake Wayne had rebuilt a lot of the city, alongside other corporations, and their headquarters was one of the most beautiful towers in town.

Sadly, that remarkable architecture was marred by a very large whole in the wall. "Guess that's where they busted in," the Question muttered.

"Looks like it," a woman's voice agreed as she swung down from a nearby rooftop, dressed in purple and black and wearing a familiar bat-symbol.

"You're the new Batgirl," Question noted with a sinking feeling. This was Oracle's idea of reliable? Oh crap...

Just then a figure in white and red came out of the shadows, carrying a staff. Manhunter was almost instantly recognizable, even though Question also hadn't worked with her before. "I take it you're the help Oracle promised me?" Manhunter asked, sounding disappointed.

'Oh even better...' Question thought with a sigh.

To be continued...