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Summary: A moral discussion occurs over the corpse of a gangster

Location: Chinatown-Gotham City

Participants: Batman, Elektra

Rating: PG-13 for Dead Dude




Chinatown at night in Gotham almost seems like another world. The streets are brightly lit, and there are festive paper lanterns strung between some of the lamp posts. Lining the streets -- and sometimes in the streets -- are vendors with their carts, selling food, drink, and novelty items to tourists and the curious. On the surface, the atmosphere is loud and lively.



Under the surface, things get a bit more traditionally Gothamesque. The stinking back alleys are dark and damp. Many of the cramped apartments are overcrowded with people brought overseas by the Triad and the tongs as little more than slaves, while the bosses live in spacious, lavish apartments.



One less boss is living in such gaudy opulence tonight. He is seated at his desk, while his still-warm lifeblood soaks into his shirt, staining the once white silk a bright scarlet. Behind him is a woman, clothed in red silk, her dark hair held back by a red headscarf. She smiles to herself as she wipes her gleaming sai clean on the man's very expensive coat.



Elektra is a very carefuly killer, making sure that no one sees her coming in or out. Unfortunately, she didn't add one variable to this job: the dark guardian angel of these streets. Batman has been doing the rounds recently, interrogating crime bosses for information on the Red Hood. Elektra's mark was only his latest interviewee. Or he was, before getting iced.



Watching the scene from across the street through a pair of Bat-noculars, he squints slightly. The woman is a stranger, not a usual member in the Gotham crime cadres. He doesn't care for outsiders, especially murderous ones, and so he decides to let her know just how unwelcome she is, and hopefully get her to the proper authorties.



Straightening up, he spreads his cap and takes a jump off the roof, stiffening the edges of his cape slightly to glide across the way, sticking his feet out to break the window facing the back of the target. Landing, he straightens up and glowers at the woman. He doesn't say anything, just lets her know that Batman is here. And that is very bad news for her.



"I thought you would have gotten here sooner." Her accent is American: flat, dull, boring; there is no hint of a foreign lilt. The assassin does not so much as glance up when the window is smashed in and the dark knight looms out of the darkness. Her cleaning task complete, she slides the sharpened sai in among the red ribbons which criss-cross one another around her thigh.



"I've been busy," Batman says, his voice a low rumble as he remain stalk still for the moment. "There has been a bit of a gang war going on, sparked by a man named the Red Hood. I was coming here to see Shin, see what he knew, only to find him dead. By your hand." He shifts slightly, reaching for something under his cape. "So I guess my only questions are, who are you, and do you know where the Red Hood is?"



"He had more powerful enemies than you." Elektra notices the movement. One moment she is standing in front of the Batman, and in the space of a heartbeat, she is beside him and the sharp point of her sai is pricking the underside of his chin. "Unwise. I do not want you dead. I do not know of this Red Hood." She answers the question of her name with a smile and a question of her own, "Who are you?"



Batman notices her start to move, only to realize she's next to him, with a very deadly weapon pointed at his throat. Needless to say, he doesn't move, doesn't so much as breathe more than he has to, hand resting on the tool he had been pulling out of his utility belt. "I'm Batman," he says, a decleration he's been makng nightly for about a decade now. "I protect this city, from madmen, criminals and murderers. Like you."



"The Batman is what you are; I do not think it is who you are." Elektra slides the point of the sai to trace the edge of the cowl for an inch or two before she withdraws the blade. "Underneath." She does not return it to its rightful place. Yet. "What I am is Perfect Death, Batman. But it is not who I am. You will run back to your... cave? Yes, I think you have a cave, if you are truly a bat man. You will learn who I am." She smiles up at him, briefly. "I have no interest in your city. The city is safe from me."



For the time being, Batman doesn't seem interested in moving, tensing up slightly as his cowl starts to be raised up, though it takes more effort than Elektra might assume, a thin metallic layer lining underneath. "I'm Batman, just as much as I am anyone who might be under his mask," he explains slowly, patiently. "I have dedicated my life, my whole existence to being the Batman, even whoever I might be under this mask. Just like you have clear dedicated yourself to becoming death's efficent agent." He pauses slightly, as she mentions that she's not interested in Gotham. "Tell Shin that your no Danger to Gotham," he says, slightly nodding his head towards the corpse sharing the room for him. "And then tell whoever sent you that they're interest in Shin makes them my enemy. As well as you."



Now that he has no deadly weapons pointed at his face, Batman finally attempts to make a move against the clearly trained assassian, jamming his elbow back forcefully in the same move that has him roll away.



Elektra blocks the elbow strike, managing to deflect the brunt of the attack. The sai remains firmly within her grasp, but is no threat to the Batman for the moment. "Him?" She gestures towards Shin with her sai. She does not make a move towards Batman. "I was a danger to him, clearly. To your Gotham, I am not. I have no interest in the wholesale slaughter of your people. I have no desire to choke them with fear-inducing gas, or blow them up, or feed them to giant plants. I am a killer; not a sadist. I shall pass along your threat to those who have employed my services."



Batman squints slightly. "And you expect me to let you walk out of here, without a word? Just because your target is already dead?" He shakes his head, bringing his hand out from under his cape. He holds a trio of Batarangs in his hand, not throwing them, but clearly prepped to if she plans to jet.



Now, she laughs; it is a low, throaty sound, better suited for an intimate setting than amongst death and violence. "No, I do not expect you to let me, but I will walk of here tonight all the same." She cocks her head a little to one side, and her long, dark hair falls over her shoulder. "You will, too."



Batman shifts his weight slightly, narrowing his eyes. "That's interesting," he murmers a bit, actually taking a single step forward. "You one of those who only kills justly?" He has been wrestling with that for a few days now, as he actually puts his hand down, slotting the batarangs back in their home. "Or are you just not accepting paychecks right now?"



"No one has given me a paycheck to kill you, Batman." Elektra takes a single step towards the window when Batman steps forward. She must be stepping on shards from the window, but there's no sound of glass crunching under her weight. Then again, she can walk across snow without leaving footprints -- glass gives her little problem. "Do you believe that I killed this man unjustly?" She indicates the corpse with a slight flick of the tip of her sai. "He has wronged someone, or else they would not have paid me to end his life. Do you know what kind of man he was?"



"A drug dealer. A ruthless killer. Rumored pimp of underage prostitutes," Batman says, rattling off the dead man's best known sins. "But that doesn't change how I operate, how I see things. Murder is never justified, not for profit and not for revenge." He steps forward another single step, glass crunching under his feet with little protest. "I understand not everyone shares this view. Part of the reason I exist."



"By ending this man's life, I have saved countless others -- regardless of whether I am paid for it, regardless of the amount of money I am paid for it, regardless of who paid me." Elektra takes another step back towards the window. The moon- and lamp-light from outside falls across her features, bathing her in a soft glow. "I choose my own jobs, for my own reasons. Someone has to do it." Her lips curl upwards, and her eyes -- dark blue, nearly black in the low light -- glint with mischief. "I understand not everyone shares this view. Part of the reason I exist."



Batman slowly continues to advance, the glass crinkling as he squint slightly, canting his head to one side. "You're not alone in that. Are you sure that you and Red Hood aren't kindred spirits?" he asks pointedly, now reaching for something else underneath his cape. His own features are as obscured as hers are dramatically highlighted, completely covered in shadows save for his reflective lenses of the cowl. They are less amused than hers. "Are you going to make me chase you?" he asks, sounding tired.



"I do not know this Red Hood. If you are using that name to insinuate some failure or shortcoming on my part, it is lost." Elektra shrugs a shoulder, and returns the sai to its place at her thigh, the sharpened edge managing -- somehow -- not to slice the red silk ribbons. "You may chase me tonight, but it will be in vain. You sound tired. You should go home, drink tea, relax." In the blink of an eye, she has crossed the distance to the window and is crouching in the frame, her body turned towards him. "I leave your city and its remaining people to you."



Every fiber of Batman's being tells him to follow her, hunt her down, do justice. But he also has other things to do tonight, and a pot of Alfred's tea does sound relatively soothing. He squints his eyes slightly before nodding his head. "Go," he rumbles, sounding vaguely defeated. "But know that if I see you again, I will be less forgiving about your presense. Leave now, Perfect Death, and don't look back."



There is something in Batman's voice, that note of weariness, which gives her pause. It strikes a chord with her; she heard a similar note in a beloved's voice not so long ago. And wrapped as the Dark Knight is in shadow, with only his silhouette visible, the way the 'ears' of his cowl come to points... her breath catches in her throat. She hesitates, for just a second, and then she is gone. Without a backwards glance, she vanishes into the night.



Batman notices the hestitation, making silent note of before stepping to her perch shortly after. Giving a quick glance over the city, he doesn't see her, and shoots off a grappling line to swing away, heading off towards his next meeting. Hopefully Carmine Falcone won't be stabbed...actually, he wouldn't lose too much sleep over that.

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