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Commissioner Gordon and Detective Melody McKenna arrive at the Three Towers complex in Cherry Hill to find a defensive Charise Carnes, who reminds them that the DA threw out the charges against her based on McKenna's claims that she is the vigilante known as Knightfall. They are not there to talk to


Quote1 You think I don't know? You think I don't understand why you can't see what happened? It's because you couldn't fix this. You couldn't save everyone. And it's got you tangled up so bad you can't think. Quote2
-- Batgirl src

Synopsis

Commissioner Gordon and Detective Melody McKenna arrive at the Three Towers complex in Cherry Hill to find a defensive Charise Carnes, who reminds them that the DA threw out the charges against her based on McKenna's claims that she is the vigilante known as Knightfall. They are not there to talk to her about that, however, though McKenna is enraged by Carnes' teasing. The Commissioner explains that he is there to request Carnes' help in finding a different killer - Batgirl, who killed his son. Taking on a sympathetic disposition, Carnes offers to help in any way she can, granting him access to surveillance tapes for the two nights that Batgirl was seen at the complex. Despite her cooperation, Carnes is still concerned that Gordon has his sights set on her.

Meanwhile, his daughter Barbara is out shopping for once with her friend and roommate Alysia Yeoh. The experience is welcome, given that Barbara's injury and recovery made her withdraw to the point that she barely had any friends to do anything with, until now. As their credit cards make them both increasingly indebted, Barbara is put off by a pair of young men who begin giving them cat-calls. Alysia suggests that they just ignore it, but the resigned way in which she says it makes Barbara uncomfortable. The men are persistent, and as they become more aggressive, the fear in Alysia's voice drives Barbara to lose control of her building rage.

As they pass through a food-court, she grabs a plate from a table and smashes it into pieces, brandishing one of the sharp-edged shards like a weapon. To Alysia's great surprise, she addresses the men, and warns that she will forcibly separate them from their genitals if they don't leave she and Alysia alone. As the men run away, Barbara looks at the broken plate in her hand, and sees in her mind the Batarang that she had thrown at her brother, piercing his eye, and sending him falling to his likely death. Comfortingly, Alysia puts her arms around her friend, and suggests that they go home. Barbara realizes that if she doesn't do something to deal with all of this rage, it could destroy her.

Later, McKenna and the Commissioner are still on the case, and Melody suggests that Jim doesn't need to do the legwork on this investigation. He ignores her, and when she further suggests that she doesn't believe that Batgirl could be entirely responsible for the crime, Jim warns that his eye witness account trumps her hunches. Conceding, Melody pulls over, and they prepare to question Ricky Gutierrez, a young man with a record whom Batgirl has been seen with of late.

Ricky, meanwhile, has just received a call from the leader of the Sixty-Eight Kings street gang, who are not pleased to have had their territory encroached on by Ricky's elder brother. They think Ricky's just as responsible, and require that he come and watch them use a new high-tech gun on his older brother Rolo, or else they will come for his mother and for Barbara. Worriedly, Ricky warns his mother to stay with her sister.

As Barbara and Alysia are getting into the door of their apartment, she receives a call from Ricky, and is happy to hear from him. His tone, though, worries her, as he explains that he can't see her anymore, admitting that he's not a good choice for her. She intuits that he must be in trouble, and he assures her that it's probably the last time he'll be in trouble, choosing not to explain that the reason it will be the last is because he's probably going to get killed. As she reminds him that the criminal aspect of his life is over, Ricky apologizes and hangs up on her.

Not long after hanging up, Commissioner Gordon arrives at Ricky's door, and he decides to sneak out the fire-escape. That happens to be where McKenna is waiting, having guessed that he might make a run for it. Desperately, he shoves her aside, causing her head to collide with the steel railing. Gordon rushes past Mrs. Gutierrez, and when he finds Melody unconscious he calls for an ambulance and puts out an APB on Ricky, warning that he is dangerous. As he searches through the house, though, Gordon is taken aback when he discovers a photo of Ricky and his daughter Barbara together.

As Ricky seeks out his brother Rolo, Barbara attempts to follow him using the GPS tracker she placed on his phone. At the same time, a pair of beat-cops recognize Ricky, and begin following him as well. They manage to corner him against a wall, ready to shoot him down, and Barbara is forced to disguise herself and fight off her father's own police officers for Ricky's sake.

Ricky, meanwhile takes the opportunity to enter the abandoned building where his brother is being held by the Sixty-Eight Kings. The man with a gun to Rolo's head is the same man who had his ass kicked by Barbara while she and Ricky were on their date. Now, he wants revenge by making Ricky watch Rolo die. From the skylight above, Barbara counts eight armed gangsters, and hears the police sirens coming. This cannot end well. Betting on herself, Barbara crashes through the skylight, and hopes she can handle it on her own.

Elsewhere, Knightfall and her cohorts learn that the police are assembling around the Sixty-Eight Kings' hideout. Given that she gave that gang amnesty and supplied them with weapons, Knightfall assumes that it is a move to catch her. In response, she has Bonebreaker assemble The Disgraced - a group of would-be criminals who were all foiled by Batgirl at one point. With their help, Charise Carnes intends to see Commissioner Gordon dead.

Barbara realizes quickly that she will not be fast enough to take all of the gangsters down before they make a move on him or Rolo. She doesn't expect him to defend himself and his brother. Angrily, Ricky lashes out at Tyrell, the Kings' leader, and warns him that this is over. As the police arrive, Tyrell's fellow gangmembers book it. Barbara discovers, though, that Ricky is intent on killing Tyrell, and Tyrell isn't doing much to prevent it, taunting Ricky with threats against his mother.

Just then, Gordon and his men burst in to see Barbara, Ricky, Tyrell, and Rolo standing there in tableau. Ricky is armed, and they warn that they will fire if he doesn't drop the weapon. This spurs Tyrell to raise his own weapon to take down Rolo - he has nothing to lose, after all. The Commissioner takes a shot, and concerned for Ricky, Barbara knocks him out of the way. Unfortunately, he was hit.

Commissioner Gordon has just shot Ricky Gutierrez, unaware that the boy had just been trying to protect his brother Rolo from the wrath of the Sixty-Eight Kings street gang. He is also unaware that the girl currently crying over Ricky's wounded body is his own daughter, Barbara. She had been on one good date with Ricky, and she had liked him - but now he was dying, and it was her father's fault. If things go wrong for her here, she could be unmasked, and ruin everything.

Barbara is not content to go down that way. Instead, she begins fighting the cops, drawing them close to her so that nobody can get a clear shot at her. She knows that, somehow, somebody set up this whole ordeal. Tyrell and the Sixty-Eight Kings had been armed with expensive weaponry by somebody powerful. That somebody is Charise Carnes - aka Knightfall, Barbara is sure. She is the only one in Cherry Hill who has the kind of disposable income and influence required. So, Barbara decides it's time to get out, get Charise, and then get out of the vigilante business forever. Spotting Tyrell reaching for his weapon, she clubs him over the head, and nearly punches her own father in the face when he lays a hand on her. In an awkward moment, she drops her fist, and simply runs out the front door.

Trying to escape through an abandoned train yard, Barbara hopes that Ricky will get the medical treatment he needs to survive when she feels the muzzle of a police-issue handgun against the back of her head. With little time, Barbara asks Detective Melody McKenna to answer a question before calling the capture in: why would Knightfall arm a gang of street punks with high-tech weapons? Melody responds that Carnes calls it outsourcing. Arming a gang with superior weapons usually sees every rival gang in their territory wiped out. After that, she cuts support, and arms someone else the same way. The cops never bother to do anything about it, because dead thugs are dead thugs. Suspiciously, Melody demands that her captive turn around, but Barbara warns that the detective would probably rather not know who she is. Melody at least assumes that she has caught Batgirl, and realizes that it would be better to let her go.

Wishing she could check on Ricky at Gotham General, Barbara instead returns home to her roommate Alysia. Having received a number of agitated calls from Barbara's father, Alysia worries that something is up with her roommate, and offers an ear if Barbara has anything to reveal - perhaps about her late nights and bruises. Unfortunately, Barbara has fallen asleep on the couch before she can get any answers.

That night, the Commissioner breaks with protocol and heads home alone. Looking over the photos of his family, and seeing his lost wife, his lost son, and his estranged daughter, he feels crestfallen.

The next day, Barbara visits Gotham General, and finds Ricky's mother outside his room. Worriedly, Barbara wonders if she will hold a grudge about the fact that her father shot one of her sons and jailed the other. Instead, Mrs. Gutierrez leaps out of her seat and hugs Barbara to her. Over coffee, Mrs. Gutierrez complains that the police won't let her see Ricky. They've told her he is in a coma and may never wake up. Uncomfortably, Barbara suggests that she could beg her father to let the woman see her son, apologizing for the situation. Mrs. Gutierrez professes that Barbara has nothing to be sorry for, having done nothing but bring Ricky happiness. Feeling the weight of the sad irony on her shoulders, Barbara bites her lip, but is spared the tears by a call from her father. She doesn't pick up, but she hears his voice-mails, begging her to talk to him about what happened. Sadly, she decides it's time to explain things.

As night falls, Jim has been sitting alone, drinking for some time when he is surprised by a visit from The Mirror, who is not prepared for Jim's ability to fight back. Elsewhere, Charise Carnes has Bleak Michael ensure that the Mirror knows that the Commissioner's death is to be messy, but that he should take no pleasure in it - after all, Jim Gordon is a good man. Unfortunately, their assassins are off the grid. Hurriedly, Jim rushes up the stairs toward his gun, thrusting Gretel aside. In the upstairs hall, though, he receives a heavy shock from Grotesque.

Outside the house, Barbara arrives, noticing with distress that the power on the entire block is out - and that Bleak Michael is standing watch nearby. Realizing that she had little option left, Barbara decides that it is time to don her Batsuit, one last time.

Barbara crashes through the wall of her father's brownstone, dressed in the garb of Batgirl that she has been reluctant to wear, knowing that Jim suspects her of his son's murder. Attempting with difficulty to hold back Knightfall's group of criminals, selected carefully from foes with a personal vendetta against her, Barbara tries to get Jim to the basement where they can regroup. Once there, Jim warns that despite saving him, things are not even between them, and in fact, he doesn't trust her.

Meanwhile, with news of Batgirl's intervention, Knightfall suggests that the Disgraced pin Jim's murder on her, given that she's already wanted for murder. Taking that lead, Bone Breaker begins calling down into the basement, warning that this is Batgirl's last chance to escape alive. She cannot hope to take them all on alone. Worriedly, Barbara admits that she likely can't, and will have to rely on whatever her father's plan is. Seeking out his old footlocker in the basement, Jim produces his old blue uniform, along with his service weapon. Unbeknownst to her other employees, Knightfall orders Bleak Michael to burn the house down with everyone in it, should things go awry.

First Barbara attacks with a handful of concussive batarangs. This affords her the advantage of surprise and disorientation. That in combination with the narrow hallways of Jim's brownstone gives her an advantage over their numbers as well. Seeing things going wrong, Bleak Michael prepares to make his move, and kill everyone. Fortunately, though, Jim managed to sneak out of the house while Batgirl was fighting the others, and clubs him into unconsciousness with his old nightstick. Taking another old relic from his past from his footlocker, Jim produces a portable Bat-Signal, hoping that he will be able to get some help, though he is not on speaking terms with Batman of late. Overhearing Jim's warnings of the police's imminent arrival, Knightfall orders everyone to fall back. Batgirl is still hungry for a fight, but Jim warns her that they only got lucky - and that luck should not be pushed.

Hearing sirens on the way, Batgirl realizes that she should leave, but she finds her father's gun to her head, and he announces that she is under arrest for James Gordon, Jr.'s murder. Angrily, he explains that he has tolerated the vigilantes' actions in Gotham because they don't kill - but she crossed that line. He always knew what James, Jr. was, but even so, her actions will have consequences. Grimly, Batgirl responds that he is forgetting the reasons for her actions. She had been concussed by a hit to the head with a sledgehammer. James, Jr. was planning to kill Jim's wife, and had only just killed two GCPD officers. Jim's insistance on blaming her for James' death is because he blames himself for failing to save everyone involved. Barbara suggests that if he believes that she didn't do everything she could to save his wife, he should pull the trigger of his service weapon - easy enough, considering how recently he did so, with Ricky.

Softening, Jim responds that he didn't want to shoot the boy, but Barbara presses that he had seen the gun and made a bad call. It was a human mistake. She too, is human, and begins peeling off her mask, reminding that she will never earn his trust if she keeps secrets from him. Turning away abruptly, Jim responds that he doesn't want to know, begging her to stop. He reminds that he is a cop - a good cop. If he had wanted to know who was under all of the capes and cowls, he would have made it his business to know. Sighing, he admits that he will not arrest her tonight, but that she is no longer welcome there, ever. Through her tears, Barbara realizes that while he doesn't believe that she's a killer anymore, he isn't willing to hear the darkest secret that she needs to share with him - he doesn't want to see who his daughter really is.

On her way home, Barbara receives a call from Ricky's mother, and learns that Ricky has finally wakened from his Coma. This news gives Barbara a revelation. The whole reasons she became Batgirl in the first place was hope - something she needs to find in herself again.

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Links and References

Batgirl Year One TP
Batgirl Storyline
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Batman Blind Justice TP
Batman Family Storyline
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