Kei Meets Nightwing


Nightwing watches you come in. "Playing spy are we?"

Kunoichi Kei blinks. “Who are you?”

Nightwing nods, dropping from the rooftop, his black uniform darkening as the sunlight hits it, a dark blue "N" across his chest and going down his toned arms. "I saw you the other night in the parking lot behind those cars, listening to that scuzball and the punk girl. I'm Nightwing, by the way."

“You mean you were spying on me... that's not nice!” Kunoichi Kei ponders this for a moment and bites her lip. “I'm Kei.”

Nightwing shakes his head. "I wasn't spying on you. I was spying on them, dear, You just got caught on camera. Really, you gotta be careful. If I was someone else..."

Kei nods. “I already ran afoul of the Pimp once... he's dangerous... so why are YOU spying on them?”

Nightwing smiles and sits down on a park bench, looking at her. "My top reason, other than they are both scum, is that this feud that appears to be turning into an alliance has the potential to rip this city apart. And I don't want to see Empire City turn into another Bludhaven. One Bludhaven is more than enough for this world."

“Are you from Bludhaven? I've head it's a mess!” Kunoichi Kei looks all around for her boyfriend Kid Crossbow in case this guy proves to be dangerous.

Nightwing laughs a bit. "Well originally I am from Gotham but I left to make my own mark. And yes it’s a mess. So you have never heard of me?"

Kunoichi Kei shrugs, “You must be that Nightthing that Belle mentioned in the morning meeting a couple of days ago... hai?"

“Nightthing. Yeah, that's me.” Nightwing stands up. "Look, you're a good kid. But just some friendly advice here, you really should stop trying to impress Belle. Honestly. Work on just doing the right thing, using your head and milking your strengths.”

Kunoichi Kei eyes the man she just met. “Tanks I tink... but as a superheroine intern I tink it's important to impress my boss if I can...” She grins.

Nightwing smiles brightly at the girl. "Trust me, I know a bit about trying to impress one's mentor. And she will be impressed, really she will. But you can't force it nor can you allow it to cloud your better judgment."

Kei asks, “Really? Who was your mentor?”

Nightwing winks at her, firing a grapple line into an adjacent building. "I gave you the clues, all you need to do is the math. Take care, Kei. And remember, I will be around."

Kunoichi Kei nods and eyes him warily as he zips off, only allowing herself a grin once he's gone. What is with boys wanting to protect her anyway? Still it is neat that they care. She wonders if Kid would be jealous.

Nightwing swings up and upward, doing a flip and shooting another line out, seeming to glide through the air with practiced ease. Cute kid, he thought. Reminded him a lot of Babs when she first started out. Still, he knew he would have no problem keeping an eye on her as she seemed to be intent on taking the Pimp and Punks down as well.

******

Kunoichi Kei sees Papa enter one his Gatorbait clubs and gets an idea. Maybe she could sneak under the club through the sewers and spy on him that way.

Papa Pimp goes inside and makes a phone call. "Someone has got to be able to find a way to bribe the mayor of this city for me."

Nightwing narrows his eyes, shooting another grapple line and swinging over the deserted city street, his bright blue eyes watching Kei. That girl...he thought. Still, he had to admire her resolve and her tenacity. He flips and lands on a building adjacent to the club. He checks his GPS device and follows Kei's red blip on the screen.

Kunoichi Kei amazingly uses pencil to wedge open a manhole cover and climbs down the ladder. The floor is damp and about every other light in the service tunnel is out, but she can see just well enough to find her way back towards where the club should be.

Papa Pimp still speaks on the phone inside his club. "You are telling me, the only way to bribe Mayor Dee is to somehow arrange for a Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup? First of all, who is Stanley and what does his cup have to do with this?"

Kunoichi Kei stops as she hears faint music on the other side of a stone wall. She digs in her pack and finds an unsharpened pencil that she puts to her ear and to the wall. "Ohmygawd... he's bribing the mayor!"

Nightwing continues watching the club, waiting for the Pimp to come back out. He sets up a small parabolic mic and aims it at the club. He turns a few knobs, getting feedback and some static. He starts fine tuning it, the oscilloscope waving as it seeks the frequency of the nearby airwaves. He starts tuning through them, finally homing in on the Pimp’s trademark voice.

Papa Pimp hangs the phone up. "Now how do I find Stanley?" He walks into his office, shuts the door, and begins the elevator descent underneath the club. "Mikhael. Good to see you. Are the gators hungry?"

Kunoichi Kei continues to listen, shocked to find out there really is a way to get to the mayor she had thought completely above reproach.

Papa Pimp nods. "Good. Don't feed them yet. Those damned Punk Girls are nosing around. They'll probably be drawing Team Muscle's interest. We have to make sure those gators are hungry and in a bad mood. We may need them."

Kunoichi Kei 's eyes widen a bit at the mention of the gators, but it doesn't stop her from continuing her search for any connections from the sewer to the club.

Nightwing frowns a bit, catching only the end of the conversation. Figures he would be trying to catch the mayor and bribe her. Apparently he knows that corruption is worse if it starts up at the top and goes downward. His voice faded from hearing range as he apparently made his way downwards. He had another name anyway... Mikhael.

Kunoichi Kei finally finds a promising point where water seems to be flowing out from under the club. Then she realizes it's probably the gator pit. She takes a deep breath and takes a look, discovering a metal grate across the opening beneath water level.

Papa Pimp walks past the gator pits, watching the gators stomp through their own miniswamp as they search for something to eat. "Make sure the Ho Squad is on standby at the ready, Mikhail. That stupid Denise probably led Team Muscle here and didn't even know it... What? The Danger Dolls? Please! They don't worry me."

Kunoichi Kei sits for a moment thinking and comes up with what she thinks is a brilliant idea. She'll remove the grate, let the gators escape into the sewers and have free entry into the club. She jumps into the water and goes to work on the grate, turning a coin into a screwdriver.

Nightwing swings across the street in one fluid motion, doing a double somersault and landing silently in the shadows of an alley. Been on the sidelines long enough, he thinks as he stalks into the back of the club. He finds the grate, open of course, from where Kei descended. Making sure no one was around, he climbs downwards, making sure to close it behind him. Amateurs, he thought.

Papa Pimp walks to his underground fight room and begins to work out. "The Danger Dolls are led by a big-breasted bombshell whose tits are larger than her brain. Two of the Danger Dolls are blondes. Enough said there. Kei is in over her head. The only real threat of that whole team is that other Japanese one. She's like some kinda ninja. But one ninja against my Ho Squad is odds I like."

Kunoichi Kei quickly removes the screws and kicks the grate loose, her school uniform hanging wetly from her still dripping body as she climbs up the wall above the opening to watch the hungry gators exit.

Papa Pimp is unaware that his gators are leaving their pits and headed down the path Kei just came from... and straight towards Nightwing.

Nightwing extends his climbing claws from his gloves, hearing the sounds of movement up ahead and some very deep growling. Uh oh, he thought. He leaps upwards, bringing his feet up and getting flush as he could with the ceiling of the sewer, his costume adjusting and darkening, camouflaging him in the shadows.

Kunoichi Kei counts the emerging beasts, thinking she saw twelve on her previous incursion. Her count gets to eleven and she waits impatiently for number twelve, beginning to wonder if maybe the gator passed on since the last time she was here.

The gators continue on past the hiding hero, rumbling towards the far end of the sewer and the opening that would lead them out into the main sewage system plant and, eventually, into Empire City itself.

Kunoichi Kei finally loses her patience, takes a deep breath and drops down into the water, swimming through the opening into the makeshift swamp under the club. Her head rises slowly out of the water and looks all around.

Gator Twelve floats casually in his small little pond, seemingly napping as his closed eyes stare directly at Kei.

Kunoichi Kei stares back and nearly pees her panties... as if that would matter considering they're already soaked through. Should she swim for it? Or is the creature actually asleep and no threat?

Nightwing watches them pass and waits until the last goes around the corner. God those things were huge, he thought. Wait a second, what in the world are they doing out of the pit he thought as he dropped silently down from his spot? He creeps forward, making his way to the opening and catching Kei swimming inwards. Wait to go, he thinks as he slips into the water.

The gator rolls onto its back and then back onto its belly before its head slowly slipped under water.

Nightwing reaches into a part of his boot and takes out his miniature breathing mask and fixing it to his face before slipping under the water. I'm glad I took those swimming lessons from Aqua Man he thought as he turned on his night vision. He catches site of something even bigger up ahead under the water and two skinny legs kicking underneath.

Kunoichi Kei tries not to panic even as the gator demonstrates it is definitely not asleep. She begins to breaststroke away from where she saw it, eyes scanning the murky water but being able to see little in the dim light.

The gator completely disappears under the water. Just a few seconds later, the heroine feels something under the water bump into her and then move away.

Kunoichi Kei stifles a scream, emitting only a tiny eep, digging in her pack and finding a few blank CDs that she flicks wildly through the water with amazing force like spinning blades, hoping to hit something.

Nightwing his costume darkens and lightens as appropriate, matching colors with the dark and murky water as he watches the movements of the gator and what appears to be Kei moving back towards the opening. Don't antagonize it, he thinks as he sees shiny discs manifest in the water. He swims upwards and crests the surface, taking out his grapple gun "Kei! Over here!"

There is a loud roar, the gator suddenly thrashing in the water, then its tail rises, showing a CD imbedded into it, then the tail disappears, the head comes up, eyes open and searching.

Kunoichi Kei’s only thought as she hears her name called is that her presence has been discovered. She dives under the water even before the words "over here" can be heard, swimming away from the sound of the voice and straight into a thrashing gator, bubbles exploding from her mouth as she is rolled to the bottom.

The gator's mouth opens as it thrashes with Kei at the bottom of the pond. Its jaws start to draw nearer and nearer to her face. Meanwhile, at the end of the sewage line, the other eleven gators break through and begin to stalk towards the Sewage Treatment Plant.

Nightwing facepalms, shaking his head. I should just let her be gatorbait, he thought. He dives back under the water, swimming quickly and grabbing her ankle, as he sees the gators mouth just inches from her face. His other hand still has the grapple gun and he points it up, squeezing the handle and firing a line up and out, the line going tight and slingshotting them both out and up from the water, back towards the opening.

The gator snaps its jaws shut, just missing Kei's face as she disappears from the water in the nick of time.

Kunoichi Kei struggles frantically with the huge amphibian, kicking her legs wildly and swinging her backpack at its open snout. The annoyed gator rears back and attacks with renewed vigor just as his meal is snatched away from it.

Footsteps suddenly start to click on the walkway above the gator pits. There is a terrified "nooooo please" from a female voice, followed by a "I told you not to be stiffing the club on your lady's drink tip outs, Britney."

Kunoichi Kei finds herself in the arms of the strange man who spoke to her earlier, sans skirt which she suddenly realizes remains in the jaws of the gator's mouth. “Err… hiya Nightthing... long time no see.”

The other eleven gators make their way past the Sewage treatment Plant and start to head down one of the roads leading back into Empire City.

Nightwing goes through the opening, grunting as he tumbles with her, going down in a splay of legs and arms before finally sliding to a stop, her body atop of his as he looks up at her. "What in the world are you trying to do, Kei?"

“I overheard the pimp talking about bribing the the mayor and I wanted to find out more so I snuck into the club... but more to the point what are YOU doing following me... like a stalker!"

"Nooo, please, don't toss me in the pit!" "If you would do as your told, Britney, I wouldn't be feeding you... to... the... gators? What the? Where the hell are the gators?"

Kunoichi Kei wriggles her wet form around as she tries to pull away and get up.

The final gator starts to make its way towards the entrance and its escape.

Nightwing pushes her off with a mumbled curse, doing a kippup and looking back through the opening into the swamp. "Saving you from being gator bait is my wager. Don't look now but I think we have company."

Britney is spared as the 'bartender' speeds off to warn Papa Pimp that the gators are missing.

Kunoichi Kei cartwheels across the wet stone floor in her soaked blouse and panties and wraps the straps of her pack around the snout of the emerging gator, buckling them tight before bouncing away and back over to Nightwing. “There... that ought to hold him!”

Meanwhile, across town...."911 emergency... alligators are in the streets of Empire City? Where are you located?"

Kunoichi Kei stands there in her soaked blouse, looking bedraggled. "So what do we do now?"

Nightwing watches the gator struggling with the straps around its snout "Can you distract that thing and keep it away from me?"

Kunoichi Kei blinks. "I don't believe this! Now you're asking me to BE gatorbait?" She shrugs. "I suppose so... I'll just lead it off down the sewer..."

Papa Pimp emerges from his workout as the Ho Squads is quickly assembled to meet with him in the gator pits.

Nightwing looks at her "Its out of the water so you should be on even ground with it, " he says as he backs away and looks around briefly before leaping and flipping upwards, extending his climbing claws again and sinking them into the stone surface of the ceiling.

Kunoichi Kei nibbles at her lip for an instant and then waves to the angry amphibian, calling to it as her crosstrainers splash through the puddles, her wet blouse clinging to flexing buns as she runs. "Come on, little Gator."

The gator strains to break the bond on its jaws...to no avail, so it turns and tries to lash at Kei with its tail.

Kunoichi Kei is tripped by the lashing tail, but manages to put down a hand and cartwheel over it, tails of wet blouse smacking the upturned curve of her bottom, coming immediately back to her feet. “Yikes! Bad Gator!”

"What do you mean my alligators are roaming the streets of Empire City?" Papa Pimp asks as he stares down at his empty gator pit.

Nightwing waits to make sure its focus is on Kei before he climbs horizontal with the ceiling, over the two and close to the opening. His suit changing colors with the shadows to camouflage him, he stops just shy of the opening and peers over the lip and up, spying Papa Pimp and his Ho Squad on the walkways above. He extends his claws from his boots and sinks them into the ceiling as well, stabilizing himself.

Kunoichi Kei leads the gator on through the storm sewers towards the Empire Municipal Zoo.

Papa Pimp rages, "Then get down there and find out how they got out, Mikhail." "Right away, Papa." Cautiously, the "muscle" drops into the pit and starts to wade towards where Kai and the gator escaped.

Nightwing stays perfectly still, breathing controlled as the muscled fem starts making her way towards the opening. C'mon he thought, look then leave. He knew he could take her but that wasn't his point for staying behind. He continued to watch her, every muscle tensed and ready for action.

Mikhail pops back up. "The grating has been removed, Papa!" Papa Pimp scowled. "Who would... Danger Dolls! After them!" Soon, the entire Ho squad is in the pit and headed down the sewage pipe.

Kunoichi Kei gets the zoo personnel to help with the gator and then calls Belle to tell her what happened, slumping lower and lower as the voice on the other end down dresses her. "And I kinda need a change of clothes too, Belle..." "Kei, you'll have to find your own clothes, I'm going out with a tranq gun to shoot gators from an airship..."

The Ho Squad quickly returns. "The sewage pipe is empty. The gators have been stolen!"

Nightwing finds just the opening he needs, he thinks as the fems turn their backs to address the Pimp, he moves one arm and fires a small wing shaped device up and hit the walkway on the underside of it, the device making no sound as it impacted the lip. Gotcha, he thought. Now he could finally get out of here as soon as they squad figured out what they were going to do.

Papa Pimp rages, "I want those alligators replaced. Immediately. And get a hold of that Devious Denise. Make sure to tell her we have a deal! I will pay Brute whatever he wants if he will bring me a Danger Doll to feed to my new alligators!" Papa Pimp storms back into his workout room, leaving the others scrambling to obey his orders.

Nightwing makes his escape as the others start to vacate the area. He stops at the grate and grunts, pushing it open and up, quickly climbing out and catching his breath. “Finally got a bug inside that place,” he thinks, “I hope Belle isn't too pissed at Kei.”

Kunoichi Kei watches as the DDSTV airship waft over the city, a heroine in blue hanging from the gondola, tranquilizing the escaped gators one by one. "I'm gonna be in so much trouble when Belle gets home..."

(January 2009)