Jul. 29th, 2008 09:37 am
raptorcanaria: ([young blonde] bombshell)
It's a simple plan. She finds the bar just before the polls open, and follows the crowd of nearly a hundred street people to the polling station, just needing to catch them in the act.

She never gets the chance.

Just as they're approaching the station, an home homeless woman starts wailing, out of control.

"My eyes!" she screams, "my eyes! I can't see!"

Mo, Dinah's target, is conveniently near the distraught blinded woman, and clamps a gloved hand over her mouth before she can say anything else. He cringes away when the bearded man snaps at him, "what the hell did you pour down her throat?"

Mo has no words, and Beardie turns away in disgust, fielding the rest of his poll fixing flock down the street. "C'mon fellas, we don't want to be late."

Dinah doesn't follow. She can't. Still in the shadows of an alley, in the trash and the dirt, she stares, transfixed, as Mo closes his other hand over the old woman's nose and forces her down.

Paralysed with horror, Dinah watches him murder a blind old lady.

It's only when he drops the body to the floor like a lump of meat and strides away that she finds herself able to move. Not after him, but to the old lady. Fishnets tear as her knees scrape the road, and she gathers the woman into her arms, but already much to late. Eyes clouded with tears, Dinah holds her head back and wails silently.

By the time despair gives way to anger and determination; and she gets to her feet to chase Mo, he's already out of sight.

"No..."






The old woman murdered by Mo wasn't the only victim of the moonshine. As evening approaches and she starts hunting down her quarry, Dinah begins to discover more bodies. Three in the space of a few hours; faces distorted in pain, hands cold against stomachs or mouths, one in a pool of his own vomit. Each time, she finds the body too late to save them, and the even more people she finds looking sick and scared, are too scared to tell the woman in the costume what might be wrong.

The night is a failure, and Dinah just gets angrier and angrier. It doesn't occur to her to go to school the next day. She'll just have to ask around, and starts around the bars in the neighbourhood of the poll in question. It's not until the sun starts setting that she discovers a successful tactic.

Before Dinah can even start asking questions, as soon as she sits at the bar, the bartender passes her a glass of some brown sticky liquid.

"Uh, I don't drink."

"It's caramel water, sister." He's gruff, but friendly, giving Dinah a sort of patronising look. "None of the girls drink when they're walking. You are working, aren't you?"

He thinks she's a prostitute. Clearly it must be the fishnets - Dinah wonders for a second why her Mom never mentioned this, but she decides to go with the line. "Sure - but right now I'm mostly looking for Mo. He owes me, you know - for yesterday."

"Oh yeah," the barman says with a wry smirk. "I heard he was paying the local girls to take the aftrenoon off and vote. How much you squeeze him for?"

Dinah twitches her mouth sideways to give a look she hopes is naive hope. "$10?"

"I love to see Mo pinched but you sold yourself cheap, kid. You can find him holed up in the Wayfarers. And then get your butt back to school."

She wishes all bartenders were as cool as Justin. But this guy's rough concern makes her smile anyway as she slips out and heads towards the Wayfarers - a run down hotel a few blocks down. She gives the same 'working girl chasing payment' story to a half-interested receptionist, and sneaks her way up to the only occupied room in the place. There, Dinah crouches at the door and peers in the keyhole, to where her Mr. Beard is busy taking his frustration out on Mo. And the walls of the room.

"What was in those bottles, Mo? What was in those bottles?"

"But - but - you tol' me not to waste any more money, or - or - "

"Moonshine. You bought rotgut street liquor. You got any idea what the Roman's gonna do t'us if this turns into an election scandal? Do ya? It's not about some cheez precinct, Mo. It's a damn Empire we're messing with."

Mo takes the beating badly, and ends up cowering on the floor. "I can fix it, Larry. Honest to god. I can fix... fix..."

"You'd better." Larry pulls Mo up by his lapels, Outside, Dinah guesses what will happen and scurries away, hiding around a corner in the corridor. Just as she gets around there, the door is opened by Mo flying through it, surrounded by old bottles.

"'Cause what they'll do to us will make death look pretty!" Larry shouts from inside as the door slams back. as Dinah watches, Mo gathers up the bottles and runs out of the hotel.

Bottles.

Moonshine.

Oh god, he's going to kill them all.

Dinah gives him a head start to avoid Larry's notice, then follows, sliding down the banister and leaping into the street past the astonished receptionist.

"Hey!" she screams, "MO!"

He jumps, shattering the bottles in his hands, and looks back in fear before he starts running away.

It was stupid, shouting, but no more stupid than trying to run in these heels, what was her Mom thinking? Dinah sprints after him, following him out into the crowded main street.

"You're not getting away from me, you murderer!"

People turn to star at her, but they don't get out of her way, and he's already on the bus.

"I" Dinah puts on another spurt on speed and reaches out with her Mom's leather gloves towards the back of the bus.

"Won't." She's going to make it..

"Let..." aaagh!

Getting hit by a car behind her wasn't part of the plan. She's thrown back against the hood, and has to whip her legs up to prevent them being crushed to shatters against the bus.

"YOU!" As she rolls back, she recognises Larry at the wheel. Apparently he came to the resuce of his colleague, but Dinah really won't let him. She continues to roll, straightening out her feet to send her heels straight through the windshield, and into his face.

So that's why her Mom wore these ridiculous heels. She follows through and tires not to think of the grossness of sitting in the unconscious guy's lap as she drops down to reach for the brake. She fails, and the car slams into the back of the slowing bus, which she guesses is for the best.

One down.

Out of the car, Dinah leaps onto the roof of the bus as people crowd out in a panic. Among them is Mo, but instead of milling around the crash site, he tires to run away.

Dinah leaps after him

Her heel slams into his back and he falls to the floor, but still has enough fight in him to turn and punch his assailant in the stomach. He kicks her, and knocks the wind out for a second. Dinah responds to that by kicking him hard in the chin, and punching his face with enough force to knock him to the ground unconscious.

"I told you you wouldn't get away with this."

She stays until the police arrive, and arrest Mo and Larry on the witness statement from the Black Canary. she poses for a picture with one of the officers who apparently has always been a fan. They take the men away.

Within the week, Larry and Mo will receive visitors and later be found dead in their cells.

Someone got away with it.

Jul. 28th, 2008 07:45 am
raptorcanaria: ([young] suiting up)
It's an election year in Gotham City. Dinah can't vote, and none of her peers seem to care much about the election at all. Dinah is not like other fifteen year olds.

Her mother's made a few dark remarks about how Gotham's not what it used to be, and Ted mentioned something about the Roman when someone at the gym queried him about his voting choice. All of Dinah's current opinion came from her Dad.

Her late father.

She tries to ignore the posters around her as she waits for her bus home from Ted's. Seeing Garcia's smarmy face smiling at her from all directions makes her twitch in annoyance. If he gets in, her Dad had said, then Falcone would have not only Commissioner Loeb in his pocket, but the Mayor too, and Gotham really would become a mob town. Things had been bad enough to make her Dad quit the force before she was born, and they're only getting worse.

So she focuses away from the posters, and bides her time listening to the conversations around her.

"...find bodies for. Luckily, only three of them are female."

Immediately, her attention is fully caught.

"Awww nuts. Three dames? Where we gonna find three more dames to vote in tomorrow's primary? We already paid ten bucks a head for every workin' girl between Diversey and 42nd street."

"Now, boys, you know the routine. Each team delivers seventy-five votes or you'll be dropped from the pay roll. This city can't afford any dead weight. 'Cause if our guy loses, we're all out of jobs."

Poll fixing, she realises suddenly. These guys are involved in poll fixing, and presumably for Garcia. As they move past the unassuming teenager on the bench, none of them look around to notice her slipping off and trailing them, right to one of the localised hubs of his campaign. Still playing on her invisibility as a nobody teenager, Dinah finds a table inside and pretends to work, all the time listening to one of the men she trailed talking to a larger black bearded man.

"You got the voter registrations?"

"Yeah."

"All right. You get us a room in a flop and plenty of booze. And I'll hit the missions. And Mo - don't spend any more of my money than you have to. This stupid thing is bustin' me."

She doesn't see how much money trades hands, but when Beardy leaves, she can hear her guy mutter,

"Yeah, yeah. Ya cheapskate."

He leaves, she follows, amazed at how easy it is, to a deserted bar. There, she can't pretend she's meant to be there, and listens at the door.

"It's Monday," the barman mutters, no even looking up. "We're closed on Mondays."

"Your back room isn't," Dinah's target replies. "I need a favour, Sanders."

"You're outa favours, Mo. Come around when you've paid a few back. "

"M-m-hmm." He doesn't appear to be in anyway hampered by this. "And you probably wouldn't consider it so much a favour that you can have your Monday crapshoots without interference."

"You can't trade on that forever, Mo."

"Yeah, but I won't be trading at all if we lose the election. A friend's eye is a blind eye, if you know what I mean."

The barman says nothing more until he's retrieved a large crate and heaved it onto the bar.

"This stuff's been in the cellar since my brother was born, maybe before. Take it, mix it with the other and they'll never know the difference."

Whatever 'that stuff' is, Dinah doesn't think she's going to like it. At a sound behind her, she escapes into a dead end alley and watches as various homeless people start to turn up. 'Mo' directs them down to a cellar.

Dinah doesn't need to see more. She can guess what'll happen; they'll keep the crowd happily drunk then march them down to the polling stations tomorrow.

Unless somebody stops them.




There is no Black Canary operating in Gotham City any more: Dinah's Mom has started returning to work in the florist's, but she's kept off her street and the wig has been put away with a permanent air. She certainly isn't going to be around to stop the poll-fixing.

She's working in the store when Dinah gets home, so there's no one stopping the daughter from sneaking into the master bedroom and pulling out a cardboard box from the false back in the closet - the unmarked one containing fishnets and synthetic hair.

She ponders the bar for a second, but for this, she needs her privacy. So in the middle of the unholy mess of school books that is her bedroom, she tries on the outfit.

It's a terrible fit. Terrible.

A thin line of duct tape acts as a makeshift stocking seam, and a well placed safety pin makes up for other... assets that her mother has in more abundance. She need two pairs of socks to stop the boots rubbing. Even when it fits, it looks kind of bad, actually, Dinah has to admit. Nothing more pathetic than a little girl dressing up in Mommy's clothes.

But then there's the wig. She gathers up her own black hair and scoops it into the wig, in a way she's watched her Mom do a thousand times. She lifts her head, shaking long blonde curls over her shoulder and looks at herself in the mirror. Then she stands up even straighter, and smiles confidently at her reflection.

The Black Canary smiles back.
raptorcanaria: (Default)
Dinah Laurel Lance

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Dinah Laurel Lance is from the Post-Crisis, Pre-Flashpoint DC Universe and is © DC Comics.
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