Lynx felt a strange sense of peace, watching the people of Chinatown move below her like water through a creek, her own bleary eyes blurring the light leaking from shop windows into a soft glow. From her position kneeling in the tenebrous shadows of a rooftop, Lynx could feel her body swaying gently to the ebb and flow of the people. The only thing keeping her from being lulled to sweet, sweet sleep was the biting pain in her side-her sloppy stitches must have ripped open during her last escape-and the dull throb in her right hip and shoulder from being thrown into a wall earlier that evening.
A breeze picked up, blowing cool air onto the back of Lynx’s exposed neck, and pushing sweaty, sticky strands of hair that had fallen out of the gnarled mass tied at the crown of her head forward. With that rush of air, something caught Lynx’s attention from the corner of her eye. She languidly flicked her eyes towards whatever it was, and felt her heart clench in her chest.
Red Robin-the real one, this time-stood on a rooftop on the opposite side of the street and turned to face her. Lynx stood abruptly, the quick movement dizzying her. But before she could make for an exit off of the roof, heavy footfalls came thundering up behind her and a thick, meaty hand closed around her throat. Lynx clawed at the hand, however the force she could muster went largely unnoticed.
The attacker plucked Lynx right off of her feet and raised her high, her toes dangling some four inches from the rooftop. He moved to the front of the building with her in tow, and held her over the edge. With a final barking laugh, the thug released his grip. Lynx plummeted through the air limply and came crashing onto the hood of an old Lincoln. The fall was relatively short, but the impact was still great; Lynx could feel shards of glass combing through the hair of her scalp. With a groan she raised herself up, immediately regretting it when it felt as though her brain was jarring around inside her skull.
There was no time to recover, however-the attacker from the roof had jumped off, and was careening downwards directly towards Lynx, no doubt with the intent to crush her body with his own ample weight. Lynx managed to roll off the car, landing gracelessly on her hands and knees on the pavement below. Before she could push herself up, Lynx was suddenly yanked to her feet by her hair by a new thug.
Where do all of you keep coming from? Lynx wanted to scream.
The second thug grinned into her masked face, letting her hair loose so that she was standing on her own. He reared back and-crack! Lynx yelped pathetically, the contact of the iron pipe the thug swung at her head crushing her mask and sending her stumbling backwards. She crumpled to the ground, and saw blinding stars in her eyes when she dared to open them. Distantly, she could tell that blood was already pouring from her nose, running over her lips and chin.
Lynx squeezed her eyes shut in agony when a pulverizing weight pressed into her chest, forcing what little breath she had out of her entirely. Just as she had done with the hand wrapped around her neck, Lynx clawed lamely at the foot holding her down, but to no avail.
But then, to Lynx’s utmost surprise, the weight was lifted. Lynx gasped, gulping down air hungrily. With great struggle she rolled onto her side and pushed herself onto her shaky arms-then promptly fell, smacking the side of her mask into the pavement. Whoever it was that saved her would have to fight this one on their own.
But that was okay with Lynx; the pavement was so comfortable, after all,mhard and cold, biting into her sides.
Speeding through Gotham’s streets, his eyes had remained watchful. It was one of those moments where he would have wished to have a superpower at his disposal. Maybe x-ray vision, or super-hearing, just anything at all to help. But no matter how hard he wished, he was still going to be nothing less, and nothing more, than human. So he had to hope and wait, and maybe do a little bit of praying if it was something he could muster. But as he came to the area he was prepared to investigate, he parked and hid the motorcycle. Making his way to the roofs, he began his search at its most crucial part of the stage. He moved from one rooftop to another, eyes scanning every shadow, every face, every space he passed. He couldn’t afford to miss finding her. He couldn’t afford to have someone else’s blood be spilled.
So from rooftop to rooftop he went, pausing as he would reach an area with bigger crowds, watching them all closely. He knew Lynx’s appearance both with and without the mask, so she would be hard to miss if she was in her uniform. Then again, familiar faces tend to stand out all the more anyway, as long as one was paying attention. But time was passing far more quickly than he had been hoping. He felt as if he was making no progress at all. He was following the remnants of a trail that had been left over the duration of the the attacks. Lynx was being smart about things, which was not working to his advantage. He hadn’t expected anything less. She wasn’t staying in one place for long, and that was the smartest move. He wouldn’t have done any differently. But then again, why was she attracting so much attention? Why was she doing anything that she had?
It took him hours of endless searching, but as he reached another crowded area, he turned to look through the crowd below. His eyes snapped from end to end and caught no sight of the girl. He watched for her, closely and wordlessly. But as he had been about to move on and he turned towards the rooftop across from him, planning to shift his course, he watched as sudden movement caught his eye. It was Lynx. He watched her stand and seem to waver on her feet. Something about it was off. Even from where he was, he could see her expression and it looked tired and worn. Had she gotten herself injured somewhere along the way? Maybe it had been during the last event that claimed a civilian life. But that didn’t quite make sense. Who would have been her opposition? The authorities had never reached the scene in time to do much of anything. He hadn’t heard about Bette or anyone else making any kind of contact to lead to that. He would have been warned.
Something wasn’t adding up.
Of course, this was further, and quite blatantly, proven as a hand came to encircle her throat, and soon dropped her from the rooftop unceremoniously. By the time she had landed, he was able to jump to action. Jumping from the rooftop, he slowed his own fall and landed on the ground comfortably. Almost immediately, there was another thug that was approaching him. It seemed that he had gained unwanted attention. It wasn’t unexpected. After all, he had gone into things expecting some kind of fight — he had just expected that it would be with Lynx. Retrieving his bo staff from his belt, his knees bent in the slightest as it was positioned behind him, waiting for the thug’s move so that he could retaliate with an attack of his own. As he was rushed, he sidestepped and swung his staff to slam into the man’s jaw and side of his head, sending the top half of his body twisting away while he shifted his weight and swung his leg around to slam his foot into the man’s stomach. It sent him back, falling to the ground, allowing him to rush forward to Lynx’s aid.
By this time, Lynx was being pinned to the ground under one of the thugs’ weight, his foot seeming to make a brutal attempt at crushing her chest. Using both his speed, and putting his weight behind it, he threw a punch at the man’s face. Like his previous opponent, he was knocked back, but it didn’t seem to be for long. Settling into a readied, defensive stance with his staff, he stood protectively in front of Lynx as she remained pressed to the ground. Being closer, he could see her poor state. His mind had already thought through the new theory of what had happened, learning of Lynx’s lack of culpability. It seemed that in actuality, she had been the victim in stead. So not only had he allowed someone to die, he had allowed Lynx to get beaten to such a point. Guilt bit at him with renewed vigor.
The thugs had regained their footing, three facing him at once. Their sniggers of confidence only served to earn an irritated grunt. “Gotta pick on a lone cat? Can’t even go one on one.. Shame, really.” Lesson one, irritate and infuriate the enemy. Throw them off of their game. “But I think this could be fun. Easy, even.” It wasn’t a tactic he often used anymore. He wasn’t much of the chatty type at this point. Many people knew that already. But right now, he was vastly outnumbered. Lynx was in no position to fight. He had to keep them busy, get them out of the way, and then he had to find out a way to get Lynx to safety and take care of her wounds. “Or maybe you want to prove me wrong.” Distract, subdue, retreat. That was the game plan. If he could keep to it, and complete it successfully, then he would be off to a better start.