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Birds of Prey

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Chapter 1

“This had better be good,” Glynn announced as she closed the door to the Clocktower. “I’m-“

“Retired, with a sister to look after and you can’t just go running off to fight crime whenever you damn feel like it, I know!” Raoul replied, wheeling over to greet her. “And don’t worry, it’s good. Or bad, more to the point, very very bad.

Raoul, better known in the world of capes and crime fighting as Oracle, was an information mastermind. Once upon a time, Glynn had helped him found the Birds of Prey, but that was in the past, and Glynn was retired.

Raoul pulled a series of ctv shots up onto the many screens that lined the Clocktower. “I thought you’d want to see this,” he said.

Glynn stared at the images. “I thought we took that cult down,” she whispered.

“Well, we clearly didn't do a good enough job because here they are. The Bats are all caught up in a mission in Bloodhaven, my top agents are down and we need an operative who knows the organization.”

Glynn didn’t think twice. “Any back up?” she asked.

“Just Courage,” Raoul replied.

**************

Courage, of course, did not refer to the emotion so much as the former mafia princess turned crime fighter. Known as Huntress on the job, her civilian name had apparently been adopted from a pet rooster. Slightly mad or not, the name was fitting; no one could doubt Courage’s valor. And good thing too; they were working in Gotham after all.

The location was a club named Haven, a seedy place not far from Crime Alley. While it had never had the best of reputations, Oracle reported that known Drakirraa had been seen entering and leaving it for weeks now. As such, he suspected that it might be acting as a new base for the malevolent cult.

Back in costume, Oracle on her com and Courage at her heels, Glynn vowed that Black Canary would put a stop to it.

The club was packed solid with party goers, every one of the undulating in time with whatever tune the DJ was pumping out. It was hot, sweaty, revolting – and certainly no place to hold a meeting of the occult. It had to be a cover for the entrance to another space, which meant searching. Unfortunately, the mass was impenetrable to anyone who would not join the dance.

Huntress moved easily, dancing like she did this all the time; which, to be fair, she probably did. For Glynn though, there’d never been a worse time to be tone deaf.

She tried pushing through, to no avail, tried following the movements of the people around her. Eventually she resorted to the nine times tables in order to keep the beat. Huntress has searched half the room in the time it took Black Canary to cross the floor.

Unsurprisingly, it was Huntress who found the entrance; what looked to be a cleaning closet actually camouflaged a long corridor with a locked door at its end.

If they’d had more time, they might have picked the lock. As it was however, the chanting that came from beyond the door indicated that there was already a ritual in progress and that meant someone’s life was in danger.

Glynn pushed her foot through the door with a side kick above the handle, then a back kick below it, rounding out the move with a body slam into the door itself, splitting the wood away from the lock and forcing the door open.
Who ever said that breaking boards was a useless skill?

The now open door way gave them a clear view into a wide forum, a large dias to the side and drakirraa filling the space. The Draaka herself stood on the dias, a knife raised over a struggling roll of cloth that could only contain a human being.

“Canary cry?” Huntress asked hopefully.

“Nope, they’re immune and it would alert everyone within a half mile radius that Black Canary’s on the job again. We’ve gotta do this the old fashioned way.”

The Draakaa shouted a war cry and her hoard rushed towards them, she herself abandoning the sacrifice to join the throng.

"%#@&!" Glynn swore.

The two superheroes retreated into the corridor, forcing the acolytes to come at them in pairs. The drakirra might have had numbers, but Glynn and Courage had skill and experience on their side.

Glynn kept to the right, kicking low and backing up as the bodies of injured and unconscious drakirraa piled up on the floor. Huntress meanwhile, used the walls as spring board, leaping over the acolytes’ heads and delivering blows to the backs of their necks.

Finally, a roundhouse kick each took out the last of their foes. With the last of the drakirraa out of the way, Huntress volted over the bodies to free the hostage, while Black Canary covered the exit, eyes peeled incase any of the drakirra recovered.

Huntress peeled back the hood of the Drakiraa’s would-be sacrifice to reveal a shaved head and a domino mask covering almond shaped eyes; Nightwing, eldest of the Bat Brats.

“Well this certainly explains what the Bats all have their knickers in a twist over.” exclaimed Courage.

“My thanks for the rescue,” he muttered, as Huntress went about untying him.

Nightwing nodded to Glynn, a simple gesture that conveyed so many things, but she quite deliberately ignored him. The danger was passed, Oracle would send a clean up crew as soon as it was light. So far as Glynn was concerned, her role in the world of superheroes was over.

For good.



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