A Long Way 'til Sunrise
Chapter 5: Making Sense
Officer Dick Grayson yawned as entered the Bludhaven Police Station. He had barely slept, having spent the majority of the evening thwarting an illegal gun shipment after taking Clancy out on a date, despite his better judgment.
He tried not to think about how it had been nearly a month since Barbara had furiously told him to go back to Bludhaven and stay there. He still called upon her Oracle services, but their interactions were strictly professional.
Shaking his head slightly to clear the thoughts away, he walked though the doorway that separated the main lobby from the bullpen of officer's desk. That's when he noticed that something was amiss.
"Hey Grayson," his partner Amy called out from her desk, "why didn't you tell me?"
He walked over to her desk, still surveying the scene. It looked like Christmas, at least Christmas for a police station. There were boxes everywhere with officers pulling out brand new equipment from each one. He spotted a photographer taking a picture of several officers posing in brand new bulletproof vests from a large package.
"Tell you what, Ames? I don't even know what's going on?"
His partner rolled her eyes. "Deny it all you want, rookie, but I know there's something going on with you and the Gotham commissioner's daughter."
He frowned, wondering what that had to do with anything until something on her desk caught his eye. It was something he would recognize anywhere: Barbara's smile. He grabbed the morning paper off Amy's desk and stared in shock at the large picture of Barbara Gordon and Ted Kord seated at the large, executive conference table at Kord, Inc.'s Gotham office. The headline read: "Gotham Citizen Bestows Mighty Gift to Sister City." He quickly scanned the article.
BLUDHAVEN. The Bludhaven police department was surprised late last night when a shipment of over ten million dollars in new supplies, including computers, arsenal, lab equipment, and safety devices, were delivered courtesy of Gotham's Kord, Inc. office. Barbara Gordon, information broker, IT analyst, and daughter of Gotham's police commission, James Gordon, signed a multi-million dollar contract with Ted Kord, C.E.O. and president of Kord, Inc. to provide extensive and exclusive services to upgrade the company's IT, security, and research departments. Gordon will not see the majority of her compensation as she asked it be used to provide services to the Bludhaven police department. Gordon claims that while she is proud of how well funded her father's own police force is funded, she worried about her sister city to the South. "I was born in Bludhaven, but have never been able to give back to the community that I called home for the first five years of my life. This is my chance to give back to the city."
The article went on, but Dick stopped, confused by the quote. He hadn't known that Barbara was born and partially raised in Bludhaven. He was also incredibly embarrassed, knowing now what all her lunch and dinner meetings with Ted Kord were about. He had battled her time and time again to not go out with Kord, and would often find some way to interrupt their interactions. Now he saw that she had been meeting with him to work out a contract to fund his office.
"She's just as worried about me as I am about her," he mumbled under his breath.
He dropped the paper on the desk. "Nothing, Amy… nothing…"
"C'mon and help me unbox the new server before we hit the streets."
Though he smiled as he helped lift the elaborate piece of equipment from its cardboard container, it was bittersweet. He was touched at Barbara's care and generosity, but he knew that he had to repair the damage he had caused.
"Can I get you anything else, Master Bruce?" Alfred asked after delivering a cup of tea down to the cave.
"No, thank you, Alfred. I'm just conducting a little research."
Alfred glaned up at the large screen of the computer. "Ah, Greek Mythology, an excellent subject, sir. We studied the subject extensively in Eton. Might I be of assistance?"
"I was conducting my random sweep on the Justice League. While I didn't find anything on Checkmate or Maxwell Lord, I did find Diana conducting research on Barbara."
"Miss Gordon, sir?"
"Yes. She was researching her lineage. After investigating her mother's family, she stopped the search. I looked into her files and found that she has been researching a family line that is rumored to be descended from the gods. I am researching those gods to see if I can discover what exactly she is looking for."
"I believe what you seek cannot be found by the usual methods, sir," Alfred began as he scanned over the names on the screen, "the myths connecting these figures to the Princess Diana can only be found in rare books."
Removing his cowl, Bruce turned to looking appraisingly at his eldest and most trusted friend. "What can you tell me, old friend?"
"Well, sir, as you know, Zeus and Hera are the king and queen of the gods and had three children together: Hephaestus the metalsmith, Hebe the cupbearer, and Ares the god of war. Zeus had many affairs and many other children, much to the demise of the jealous queen. She favored few beyond her own kin, but when Heracles, a bastard son of her husband, proved his worth after she challenged him and became immortal, she agreed when Zeus chose Hebe, her beloved daughter, for marriage to the hero."
"What does that have to do with the Princess? I know that Heracles is her father from before he was made immortal, but I was under the impression she could not travel to Olympus."
"Yes, sir, but Hebe became her stepmother and favored her greatly. Heracles and Hebe had two sons, but no daughters. Hebe turned to Diana and visited her frequently. Because of this, Diana was also favored by Hera."
"Hmm," Bruce marrowed his eyes as the wheels in his mind turned. "That explains why she always prays to Hera for strength. I always thought it was odd that she did not call out to Artemis or Athena."
"Yes, sir, when the queen of the gods favors you, I believe that is who you will call."
"That still doesn't explain the search."
"Well, sir, it seems that Ares, who was constantly at odds with the Amazons' patron goddess Artemis, started a great war in the heavens after Hebe was murdered."
Alfred sighed. "I'm afraid there is little recorded on the matter, sir, only that it caused great unrest among the immortals. They say Hebe did not go to Elysian Fields, nor to the underworld. Hades and Persephone, who ruled over the underworld, were charged by Ares. He claimed they had part in the matter. It all went down hill from there."
"Could Diana be searching for the murderer, or for Hebe?"
"It is possible, sir."
Bringing up his hand, Bruce rubbed absently at his chin. "It still doesn't make sense. Shouldn't at least one of the Gods, or the Fates know?"
"Well, sir, Diana was not only favored by Hera and Hebe, but of Athena and Artemis as well. It is said that all four goddesses entrusted the Amazon princess with many important tasks."
"Perhaps she is still on asignment."
"Either way, Master Bruce, there was always something unsettling about that particular myth."
"Yes, sir. Hebe was not meerly the cupbearer to the Gods. Her beauty was second only to Aphrodite and she had powers of preminition. It was odd that she was the one to fall."
The lines on Bruce's forheard furrowed deeper. Nothing was making sense and something deep within told him he needed to find the answer before something unfortunate happened.
"Hey! You're not supposed to be Oracle-ing!" Dinah scolded as she walked in the lab of the clock tower to find Barbara at the largest of her crays.
"You spend more time here than at your own apartment," Barbara chided as her fingers flew across the keyboard. "Why don't you just move in and get it over with."
"But you need your priiiiiivacy," Dinah relpied sarcastically.
Snorting, Barbara pressed a few more keys before shooting a wicked smile at her friend. "Privacy? What's that?"
"Oh har, friggin' har to you! I think you actually hate being alone."
Something about her words made an odd feeling well up within Barbara. She fell silent for several moments as Dinah prattled on about her latest dating disaster.
"I'm almost afraid to ask what you two are talking about," Helena walked into the room and leaned against a table.
Barbara was snapped out of her reverie. "Oh… I was just tuning Dinah out as usual."
"Let me just wrap up this e-mail and I'll fill you in on your next assignment, ladies."
Helena plucked a snickerdoodle from an open cookie tin on the table she leaned against. "Who are you e-mailing? Making another hot date-that-isn't-a-date with Kord?"
Rolling her eyes, Barbara turned back to her monitor. "No. I'm just answering an e-mail from Kori."
Dinah and Helena exchanged a look.
"I saw that." Barbara called out in a motherly tone, though her eyes hadn't left the monitor.
"I'm surprised you took to her so easily," Helena responded before taking another bite.
Raising a red eyebrow, Barbara shot a haughty look. "I'm friends with you, aren't I?"
Helena promptly began choking. Dinah gave her a hard whack to the back. "Touche."
"You really don't hate her? Not just even a little bit?" Dinah asked.
Red curls swung back and forth as she shook her head. "I was with Jason when she and Dick were together getting and then… well… the incident happened right after their almost-wedding. She's never done anything to me but be nice. Besides, she's been through a lot."
Dinah and Helena exchanged another look. Everyone they knew had "been through a lot" and Barbara never let anyone use that as an excuse. Why was Kori, the one person everyone expected Barbara to hate with an intense white-hot jealousy, also be the one person she couldn't be nicer to?
Superman had left the Watchtower and was now heading back into Metropolis for a routine "patrol", as Batman would say. While flying past the Lex Corp tower into the blazing colors of the setting sun, his super hearing picked up a strange conversation coming from Lex's office.
"Delia, this is ridiculous," he heard Lex thunder at what was obviously his blushing-bride-to-be, Delia Theodorakis, "Do you have any idea…"
"Lex, please!" came a sobbing feminine voice the hero assumed was Delia. "I made so many mistakes, I have to set things right. I want my Jacinda back!"
"Oh for God's sake, Delia, you are out of your mind! Do you have idea who she is connected to?"
"You have connections, too, Lex! Please! I want our little girl back."
"She's hardly a little girl, Delia. I don't even think that she would want anything to do with us…"
"That's why it has to be this way."
"If anyone can do it, Lexi, you can. Please. You promised me we would be a family again."
"I did, but not like this… I thought we could give her some time…"
"We're running out of time… please…"
Landing on a nearby rooftop, Superman opened a com-link to Wonder Woman and restated what he heard. Delia, who had rekindled an old romance with Lex, was part of a family Wonder Woman had been heavily researching. Their lineage traced back to the gods and it was Jacina, the love child of Delia and Lex, that Wonder Woman thought may be who she was looking for. In a bizarre and strange coincidence, Delia had not only been involved with Lex Luthor, but also Roger Gordon, the biological father of Barbara Gordon. Too much coincidence for his taste; he had learned that from working with Batman all these years.
"My conclusion," Wonder Woman began, "was that Roger Gordon caught Delia in her affair with Lex and realized the baby, Jacinda, was Lex's and not his. Delia left with Jacinda, then Roger married Thelma and had Barbara. Delia didn't go back to Lex, she took off and left the baby somewhere. The natural selection is with one of her siblings or cousins. Unfortunately, that leaves the child's last name to be either Theodorakis, Andreou, Papadopoulos, Nikolaidis, Cristopoulos, Diakos, Lekkas, Ruvelas, Tselikas…."
"Diana!" While Batman was insistent about using only codename over the com-links, Superman and Wonder Woman often relented when they were talking only with the other. Considering how much Batman tapped League communication, they should consider otherwise.
A sigh came over his earpiece. "I have been researching every possible combination of Jacinda with all the surnames connected to the Theodorakis family. There are 57 women named Jacinda Theodoraskis in Greece alone. The numbers aren't that much better with the other names. I've narrowed down 109 possible Jacinda's that meet the criteria of who could be Lex and Delia's daughter."
"They all have the same birth date and birth place?"
"Kal-El, we're talking about a crooked Bludhaven cop with mob connections, a flighty shipping heiress, and a villainous tycoon. I've never seen so many falsified records with no trails."
"Have you entertained the notion of asking Jim Gordon?"
"Are you crazy? I might as well just go to Bruce."
"He might know something. Hasn't he recently been in contact with Delia?"
"Yes, he is concerned Delia wants to connect with Barbara for some reason."
"Yeah, Lex mentioned something about their focus being on family."
"At some point, you're going to have to involve Bruce. He could've had this solved for you by now."
Another sigh. "I'll consider it," was all he received before the transmission ended.
As Superman flew off again into the dying light of the yellow star, he smiled to himself. His amplified hearing abilities had alerted him to the almost undetectable tones, signifying that someone had been listening. Diana never was good at keeping things from Bruce.
"Did you get that, Batman?"
"Copy that, Robin. Cross reference all possible candidates, and trace all falsified records to the original source."
"I got it, Boss. Keepin' it off the Oracle system."
At first glance, all of this was more strange than anything else, but as the fading light of the Gotham sky trailed in the Batmobile's rearview mirror, it was all causing the Dark Knight to become very concerned.
Lex Luthor was marrying Delia, his former mistress, who was the first wife of Barbara's biological father. Lex and Delia were looking for their long lost child, Jacinca, who had no biological connection to Barbara, but Delia was still interested in speaking with Barbara. Jacinda was fitting the profile for a person of extreme interest in a lineage case Wonder Woman was working on.
None of this should matter. None of this should affect Barbara. None of this should make the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.
But all of it did.
Somewhere amongst all of these things that shouldn't matter, Bruce felt it was all leading to another bull's-eye on Barbara's back. He may not have been able to stop the last bullet, but he would stop this one. Metaphorical or not.
Story Notes: Barbara's origins get a very warped face-lift in this story that will interconnect her to all the other shenanigans going on.