"Cut Short, Cut Deep": Batgirl realizes that she has not fully recovered psychologically from the shooting that crippled her years ago. When the Mirror pointed a gun at her, she froze, and failed to save Detective Douglas Paulson
- I'm a skeptic, Gregor. I don't believe in miracles. And if someone is handing them out... why should I, of all people in the world, be the recipient?
Appearing in "Cut Short, Cut Deep"
- The Mirror (Flashback and main story)
- Rupert Ansell
- Sacred Hands of God Hospital
- The Hollows Cemetery
Synopsis for "Cut Short, Cut Deep"
Batgirl realizes that she has not fully recovered psychologically from the shooting that crippled her years ago. When the Mirror pointed a gun at her, she froze, and failed to save Detective Douglas Paulson from being shot to death, and failed to stop the leader of the Brisby Killers from being thrown out of the hospital window to his death.
The Mirror prepares to make his escape, but Paulson's partner, Detective Mel McKenna - who blames Batgirl for his death - points her own gun at the killer. She is unfortunately suffering from a likely concussion, and can't aim her weapon properly. She is forced to impotently shout after him as he leaves and Batgirl gives chase.
Batgirl vows to catch the Mirror, chasing him across rooftops and finally leaping down and kicking him from behind. Unfortunately, she misjudges her speed, and both of them are thrown off the edge of a building. Desperately, they both grip an outcropping gargoyle. Strangely, the Mirror seems to have unfinished business. Sympathetically, Batgirl reaches down to help him, but he reveals that she is on his list of intended victims, and wrenches her by the arm from her foothold, throwing her into a free-fall.
Desperately, Batgirl releases her Batrope, grappling onto another outcropping. Unfortunately, her trajectory brings her to street level, and she slams hard into the side of a moving taxi. Naturally, this angers the cab driver, and Batgirl is forced to drag herself up, nurse her cracked ribs, and shuffle away.
Back at the hospital, Detective McKenna refuses medical attention, despite being quite shaken. Eventually, Commissioner Gordon appears, and commands McKenna to allow the attending physician to look at her. He orders that she take mandatory bereavement leave and return after the department psychologist clears her. Before she leaves, McKenna warns that there will need to be a second warrant; one for Batgirl's arrest. The Commissioner is visibly shaken.
Batgirl follows Mirror's trail to the Hollows, an exclusive cemetery reserved for Gotham's rich and privileged. He senses her presence quickly, and calls out to her. She leaps out, but she is no match for him, and he lands a heavy punch in her gut. Knowing that she can't take another hit like that, Batgirl resorts to her wits instead, trying to tire him out by dodging his attacks. Charging him, she manages to steal his list from within his robes. He swipes it back from her hand, enraged that she would dare to look at it. Then, the sound of sirens fills the air, and before she can react, the Mirror is gone.
Without anywhere else to go, Barbara Gordon changes out of her costume and winds up at her new apartment. When her roommate Alysia Yeoh answers the door, she is surprised to see Barbara there, crumpled, wounded, and seconds away from blacking out. Barbara wakes in Alysia's bed. Alysia spares little time in drawing attention to Barbara's obvious injuries, and warns that she is one minute away from calling the police. Barbara assures her that she is not being abused, and is not a criminal - but she won't tell her what's really going on. Barely convinced, Alysia offers to make Barbara some soup. Awkwardly, Barbara asks to borrow something cute to wear.
Later, in her borrowed dress, Barbara has a date with Gregor, her physical therapist. He has worries about the ethics of dating a patient, but Barbara reassures him. They walk through the park, and he asks her why she doesn't talk about when she regained the use of her legs. Barbara responds that she doesn't believe in miracles, and wonders why - if someone is handing them out - she was a recipient. Gregor tries to assure her that some miracles do happen, and that her recovery doesn't have to come at a price.
Later, Barbara does some research at the library, following a lead she picked up on from Mirror at the cemetery. He had mentioned fire, and she assumes that it must have been significant to his reason for being there. She cross-references fires with people who match the Mirror's physical description, and finds the story of a federal agent, Jonathan Mills, who was the sole survivor of a car crash.
Batgirl heads to his apartment, finding that the windows have been rigged with alarm trip wires. The alarms seem to be deactivated, though, and she breaks in. Inside, she finds a veritable arsenal of weapons. Suddenly, the Mirror appears on a large video monitor and addresses her. He explains how he had been forced to watch as his family burned to death in the back of his car while he survived. He feels responsible, and believes that he should have died too.
The Mirror shows her a news clipping showing a man who collapsed on some train tracks, but was saved by a stranger. In response, the Mirror has placed a bomb on the train that the man rides to work daily - for a sense of closure. The Mirror plans to use whatever means necessary to bring an end to all miracles.
- This book was first published on October 12, 2011.
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