- Heights? You think I'm afraid of heights? You bargain-basement Hawkman?
- -- Batgirl
Appearing in "All Snug in Their Beds"
- Charise Carnes (First appearance)
- The Disgraced
- Cherry Hill District
- Three Towers Business Center
Synopsis for "All Snug in Their Beds"
In the parking garage of the Three Towers Business Centre, Batgirl feels some guilt over having to beat up a group of car thieves. However, these car thieves have allowed their crimes to escalate. Meanwhile, there wouldn't even be any cars worth stealing in the Cherry Hill District, were it not for a charity gala at the Three Towers. After taking out most of the thugs, Batgirl spots one of them making a run for it. As she follows, she hears an ear-piercing scream from around the corner, and discovers that the thug has got his leg caught in a bear-trap.
Immediately, Batgirl's demeanor changes. The injury is bad, and his tibia and fibula are likely shattered. He's losing blood, and she tries to keep him calm while she calls 911. She asks him his name and tries to soothe him, realizing that he can't be much older than 16. His name is Ricky. Suddenly, she is interrupted by a stern, muscular woman in an evening gown. She claims to be part of the security detail for gala, and urges Batgirl to leave, as she is trespassing. Batgirl refuses to leave Ricky alone, feeling that the bear-trap is suspicious enough, and that it wouldn't be safe to leave him before emergency services arrive. Despite Ricky's pleading, Batgirl leaves, swearing that if she finds out he was killed or mistreated, she will come back for them.
Meanwhile, Charise Carnes makes her speech at the gala, explaining that her family had built the Three Towers in Cherry Hill in order to have a beacon for hope that the place could become a better, safer neighbourhood. Lois Lane, who is covering the event, notes the irony, given that the Carnes family pushed five blocks worth of residents out of their homes in order to build the towers. Charise's parents died before they could see Cherry Hill become a safer place, but she intends to finish the job with the help of a group of volunteers called the Three Towers Army. As a result of their efforts, crime has dropped by 46% in the area.
Afterwards, Lois scrambles for an interview with Charise, pressing the fact that most of Gotham believes that the girl got away with murdering her entire family. In tears, Charise responds that her appeal cleared her in the eyes of the law. Lois doesn't buy it. Charise' security sends Lois away, and in private, the girl remarks that people have an extraordinary capacity for cruelty, as she remembers how she had to sit on a floor covered in her own family's blood as she was made to watch their killer cut them up. Then, she had been convicted of the very crime she had witnessed. From behind a curtain, a voice calls for Charise, and she peers in to see a naked and scarred man, whose eyes have been sewn shut. He begs for her to kill him, and she responds that his death will not come for some time - perhaps never.
Barbara, meanwhile, returns to her apartment, feeling regret that she didn't stay behind to make sure Ricky got the treatment he needed. On top of that guilt, she hasn't heard from her roommate Alysia in two days. Last she'd heard, Alysia had met a guy. Finally, a call comes, and Alysia asks Barbara to come get her. Alysia has wound up in jail, after protesting at the Occupy Gotham demonstration in front of a Wayne Enterprises building. Barbara bails her out, and they go to a diner to get Alysia a meal. Barbara tries to defend Bruce Wayne's urban redevelopment plans, but Alysia instead praises Charise Carnes' approach, noting that "saviours from above" have failed to make Gotham a better place, thus far.
The following night, Batgirl returns to the Three Towers to make sure that Ricky got taken care of. She is surprised to find a masked woman waiting for her, dangling Ricky over the edge of a nearby building. Apparently, the "treatment" that Ricky received was an amputation. Still dangling him precariously over a sheer drop, the woman explains that she is there to offer Batgirl a position with a vigilante organization called the Disgraced. However, there is a test involved. She releases Ricky from her grip, and he begins falling. Batgirl immediately goes after him, and the woman comments that she has just failed the test.
Just as Batgirl manages to grab Ricky in mid air, a woman with wings careens into her, sending the three of them crashing into an elderly couple's bedroom. Ricky makes his escape while Batgirl faces off with the new adversary. She hooks her Batrope to the woman's belt, and then anchors it to roof of the building. As the woman flies up, she is suddenly yanked back by the rope, and Batgirl lands a heavy punch.
The winged woman introduces herself as Katharsis of the Disgraced, and warns that their leader Knightfall has risen. The Gotham that Batgirl knows is dead. Gotham crime is dead - and so is Batgirl, once Knightfall descends.
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