At long last, an update! After this, there will two more fights, and then a few interludes before the final wrap. After that, I’ll post up a preview to my next story and then take a break. If all goes well, I’ll get it all ready for the New Year, but I’m not making any promises, as my schedule is hectic.
Birds of Passage
Nightwing vs. Bane
: 18 + 6 = 24Bane
: 8 + 3 = 11
No one starts flatfooted.
Bane has had the time to prepare a Master Plan, and rolls an Intelligence check: 19 + 5 = 24; when he activates it, Bane will have a +2 for 3 turns before it decreases.
Nightwing gets a Hero Point for the Complication of Bane being here, bringing him up to 4 Hero Points.Round One
Nightwing realizes that he needs to down Bane before he uses his Venom, and as such, moves in and Power Attacks
3, getting 15 + 14 – 3 = 26. Bane gets 2 + 11 = 13 on Defense and is hit. He rolls 17 + 6 = 23 and is unharmed.
Bane activates his Boost, and Demoralizes
as a move action, gaining a +2 bonus from his Venom enhanced scream (also, his improved Strength modifier in turn improves his Intimated modifier). 13 + 25 + 2 – 5 = 35 vs. Nightwing’s Intimidate of 15 + 10 = 25. Dick fails badly and is demoralized. He has 9 Rounds of Boost left.
“First Jason, then Deadpool, and now you,” Nightwing said, “This is not my day.” He could feel his body want to shake. But he refused to let it. Bane was able to break Batman, and he was one of the most intelligent and powerful non-metahumans alive. But Nightwing couldn’t let his fear show. Letting the brute see his terror would only give him another advantage. However, in all irony, the dread encircling Dick did do something useful: it flooded his mind and cleared it of the hundreds of questions that would have blinded him otherwise.
But enough of that, Nightwing commanded himself mentally. I’ve got to find a way to down him…fast
Bane chuckled darkly. “You must feel confused, little bird. Don’t worry, I’ll explain-”
“No thanks!” Nightwing shouted, jumping up into a flying kick. If I can hurt him enough before he uses his Venom, Bane will lose his physical edge! he thought desperately. In a strait fight, I can win if I keep moving.
Bane saw this coming and easily deflected the attack before slamming on his Venom infector, all with one motion. “GRAAAH!
Nightwing gulped. Life was becoming very bleak for him.
Nightwing decides to play it safe, Defensive Attacking 2, getting 5 + 14 – 2 – 2 (from being Demoralized) = 15. Bane’s Defense is 12 + 11 = 23. Nightwing moves as far away as he can.
Bane moves in and Power Attacks 2, rolling a 1. He has 8 Rounds of Boost left.
Moving quickly, Nightwing weaved backwards, taking precise, wide steps, keeping Bane’s reach while simultaneously staying temptingly close. Bruce had told him the key to beating a physically superior opponent was the same as the key to wining chess: expediency. Powerful men like to feel mighty, so they often use more strength in their blows they need to, causing them to burn up energy quickly. With a combination of speed and cunning, Nightwing could trick Bane into using pure brute force. And that could be a predicable mistake Dick could make him regret.
Smiling in a taunting manner, Nightwing lashed quickly with his escrima sticks before moving back. The attack missed, but it caused the desired effect.
Roaring with furry, Bane chased him down. Pulling his arm back, the lummox slammed his fist down at Nightwing, only for the acrobatic to fly up onto the handrail with practiced grace.
Nightwing Acrobatic Bluffs as a move action, getting 15 + 21 – 5 = 31 vs. Bane’s Sense Motive check of 13 + 11 = 24. Nightwing Power Attacks 5, getting 7 + 14 – 5 = 16; Bane’s Defense is 15 + 4 = 19. Nightwing misses.
Bane All-out Attacks 2, getting 17 + 10 + 2 = 29 vs. Nightwing’s Defense of 11 + 14 = 25. He’s hit. Nightwing rolls a Toughness save of 1, and uses a Hero Point to re-roll, getting 16 + 6 – 3 = 19. Failing by 8, Dick is Bruised a fourth time (remember the injuries he got from Red Hood) and is Stunned. Nightwing now has 3 Hero Points. Bane has 7 Rounds of Boost left.
Bane lunged with his hands outstretched, but Nightwing had already somersaulted over and behind him.
Without missing a beat, Nightwing landed and started winding up to deliver a powerful roundhouse kick.
Only, just as he started the attack, Bane turned around and jumped out of the way with more agility than his enormous frame looked capable of.
“Fool.” That was Nightwing’s only warning as a powerful fist shot out from under his kick and slammed him into the wall.
Nightwing is Stunned and unable to go.
Bane goes in for a grapple, getting 13 + 10 + 4 (from Nightwing being prone) = 27 vs. Nightwing’s Defense of 10 + 4 = 14. He hits, and the two roll opposed checks. Bane gets 20 and auto-succeeds, and chooses to deal damage. Nightwing rolls Toughness at 19 + 6 – 4 = 21 and is Bruised for the fifth time as well as Stunned again.
Nightwing is Stunned and unable to go.
Bane continues to grapple; because Nightwing is Stunned, he can’t resist and auto-fails. Bane chooses to deal damage again. Nightwing rolls a Toughness of 15 + 4 – 5 = 14. He fails by 13 and is Stunned and Staggered.
Nightwing is Stunned and unable to go.
Before the stars started clearing in Dick’s head, he felt Bane’s powerful hand wrap around him.
Nightwing struggled weekly, but Bane just responded by throwing him into the wall.
Nightwing felt the force of the attack rush throughout his frame like a great wave. Just as the shock was starting subside, Bane crushed him against the wall again. This time, Nightwing fell limp, half-unconscious.
Because Nightwing continues to be Stunned, Bane auto-wins the grapple. He pins Nightwing.
“Now that I have your undivided attention,” Bane said darkly, smiling at Nightwing’s bloodied face, “I think I will tell you a little story. One you might find interesting.” His grip on Dick’s neck was solid and unyielding. The youth had no way of escaping, it seemed.
Nightwing rolls Bluff to try and trick Bane. He rolls 19 + 12 = 31 vs. Bane’s Sense Motive of 2 + 11 = 13. Nightwing is successful.
Despite his predicament, however, Nightwing was not beaten. If he could stall for time, perhaps the Captain America and the others could find him and help.
“Don’t bother,” Dick taunted, grinning with blood running down his mouth. “I already know what you’re going to say. Something along the lines of how you broke the Bat and how much of genius you are and how hopelessly doomed I am.”
“Insolent boy,” Bane hissed darkly, tightening his grip. “You have no idea how much of a pawn you have been. Everything that has happened has done so because I planned it that way. I manipulated you into coming here with Captain American and the rest of your friends, and I manipulated Jason Todd into working with me.”
Nightwing uses the last of his Hero Points to recover. First, he rolls 13 + 3 = 16, succeeding in removing his Staggered condition. Then he recovers from 2 of his Bruised conditions, leaving him with 3. He now has no Hero Points.
“That’s funny”, Dick said, taking in a breath with each word, “Because Deadpool pretty much said the same thing.” Nightwing started to will the pain that coursed though his body to subside, to be put in its place. Though he hurt all over, Dick would be able to move quick enough, if he just stalled for the right moment. He had to keep Bane grandstanding. “Looks like you’re competing with a nutcase over leadership of a crumbling gang. Kind of pathetic...”
This time, it was Bane’s turn to laugh. “Ignorant fool! Do you even know what the Birds of Passage are?!”
Nightwing’s baffled silence was all the answer Bane needed.
“They are a shard faction of the League of Shadows; once the hands of the great Ra’s al Ghul.”
Nightwing gasped at the revelation. Batman’s greatest enemy was related to this?
“The Birds forefathers where sent by Ra’s to retrieve that which he required to further his operations that money or manipulations could not acquire. Only they where disloyal and given to avarice, so Ra’s had them purged. Those that survived the genocide became the Birds of Passage, an ever moving criminal family that stole only the most valuable and challenging of treasures.”
“So,” gasped Nightwing, “where are you getting with all this?”
Under his mask, Bane smiled darkly. “A year ago, Ra’s al Ghul approached and honored me with the chance to be his vassal. He had told me that in order to prove myself worthy of his empire, I would need to compete with another. Both of use would have to have to take control of the Birds of Passage and use them to deliver a gift to Ra’s and a crushing defeat to our rival. Then, the winner will become Ra’s prize vassal and second in command. My enemy thought to have Red Hood and Deadpool infiltrate the Birds and seize control from the inside. Then, by manipulating you into joining the Birds in order to save your lover’s life, or simply killing you, he would present the beginnings of Batman’s shattering family as a gift to Ra’s al Ghul.”
“Don’t…I…feel…special,” Nightwing gasped, pulling at Bane’s grip. However, in truth, he was just putting on a show. The pain throughout his body, though still present, was no longer overriding all his senses. He could breath just fine, and if need be, fight. All he needed to do was get out of Bane’s grip and then hit him before the brute could use his Venom again.
“Obviously, my rival is a much a fool as much as you,” Bane went on. “I predicted his every move and have foreseen both Deadpool’s and Red Hood’s betrayal. His plot is in shatters, his web of influence and intrigue without profit. I have won!”
“So, do tell,” Nightwing asked, “just who is this rival of yours?” After all that had happened, there where still players Nightwing didn’t know about. Now would be as good a time as ever to find out just how deep this insane plot went.
“You have not figured it out on your own? And you call yourself a son of the Bat.” Bane smirked. “What good will it do you anyway? As I have said, I have won.”
“Not yet, you haven’t!” cried out a voice from behind Bane’s enormous form.
Bane rolls a Notice check of 11 + 9 = 20 vs. a Stealth check of 11 + 12 = 23. He detects nothing.
Unarmed Attack roll of 7 + 12 = 19 vs. Bane’s flatfooted Defense of 12 + 4 = 16; hit. Bane rolls Toughness (he no longer has his Venom boost); 12 + 5 = 17. He’s Bruised, Stunned, and releases Nightwing from the grapple.
Before Bane could turn around, a roundhouse kick slammed into the side of his face. The great powerhouse fell to the ground, catching himself on the railing.
Now free from Bane’s grasp, Nightwing fell to the back, dazed.
Growling, Bane lashed out at behind with a backhand, but his assailant had already jumped over him. Red Hood
landed next to Nightwing, tall and strong.
“Looks like you could use a hand, Dick,” Jason said, taking an aggressive stance. “Feel like double dating?”
“With you, normally I’d refuse,” Nightwing responded, still surprised at the turn of events. However, he quickly took readied his escrima sticks and faced Bane. “Given the circumstances, however, I’d be glad to.”
“Miserable whelps!” Bane shouted, getting down low like a predator ready to strike, “I will break both of you!
Red Hood will temporarily be allowed to use Hero Points. Because Bane knocked him unconscious during the last encounter without any rolls, he gets a Hero Point. Nightwing gains one for taking a one-sided beating from Bane and still having bravado during his villain-rant.
Nightwing: 3 Bruised, 1 Injured, 1 Hero Point
Red Hood: 2 Bruised, 2 Hero Points
Bane: 1 Bruised, 1 Master Plan