"Brain Damage": With an entire office full of Choke's sleeper agents swarming around them, the Birds of Prey struggle to stay alive without taking lives themselves. Black Canary orders [[Tatsu Toro (Prime Earth
- Hope you're ready to do a lot of talking. Or a lot of bleeding.
- -- Black Canary
Appearing in "Brain Damage"
- Brendan Hill
- Darlington Building
Synopsis for "Brain Damage"
With an entire office full of Choke's sleeper agents swarming around them, the Birds of Prey struggle to stay alive without taking lives themselves. Black Canary orders Katana to hold back, but she has less success in reigning in Poison Ivy's killer instinct.
In the utility basement of that building, Batgirl and Starling have cornered Trevor Cahill, because they believe that he is Choke. He doesn't deny it, and begins muttering a nursery rhyme; a trigger for his mind-control. He urges Starling to shoot Batgirl in the face, and it's all that Batgirl can do to dodge the bullet.
With Choke's thralls still swarming, Black Canary desperately uses her Canary Cry, sending everyone reeling. Meanwhile, Batgirl is forced to knock Starling unconscious, which allows Cahill to escape. She gives chase, and warns Black Canary that Trevor is Choke, as Canary surmised, and that he is getting away.
Black Canary tries to catch up, and Trevor ends up cornered between the two women. Rather than let him talk, Batgirl simply knocks him out, and they bind and gag him. Black Canary explains that she had suspected him from early on, because he knew too much about the stroke drug involved, and was too eager to help. So, she had incorporated him into the group, just to be sure. Starling traced him through his tablet computer, and then it was just a matter of getting close enough to catch him. Batgirl warns that Starling has been compromised, and shouldn't be trusted. Black Canary takes is dismissive, saying that Starling is the only member of the team that she does trust. Batgirl is insulted, and leaves.
Two hours later, the girls confront Trevor in an abandoned aqueduct connection. He is uncooperative in responding to their interrogation, so Poison Ivy attempts to use her plant pheromones to take the answers from him. However, he begins reciting another rhyme, and it becomes clear that Ivy has been affected as well. Somehow, her suit of plant-matter is repelled from her human skin. Trevor gleefully explains that he has planted a suggestion in her mind that The Green cannot coexist with her human body, thereby separating her from the source of her power.
Angrily, Starling places her gun to Trevor's head, and demands that he reverse the suggestion. He merely responds that she should shoot Katana in the stomach. Suddenly, Black Canary realizes that Batgirl was right, and knocks Starling aside before she can shoot Katana. With all of the other team members subdued, Katana steps forward, and with finesse, slices off Trevor's head.
Black Canary is horrified, not only because she needed answers from him, but because she is opposed to murder. Katana explains that her Soultaker Sword has collected his soul, and her husband, who is also residing within the sword, will ask the important questions. Black Canary expresses some doubt of the truth of the sword's nature, and Katana is offended, leaving.
Meanwhile, Starling comes to with no memory of having tried to kill anyone. She refuses to listen to Black Canary's claims that she was affected by Choke's control. With her team falling apart around her, Black Canary tries to convince herself that they are still a force for good in Gotham City - but then she remembers Trevor's severed head.
Later, Black Canary breaks into Trevor's apartment, and while she looks for evidence, she feels an overwhelming urge to destroy his possessions. Batgirl appears, and the two of them reconcile. Batgirl promises that no matter what, they will always be good friends, and they'll figure out whatever's happened together.
Not long after, Black Canary gets a call from Katana, who warns that the man she killed was not Choke after all.
- This book was first published on March 21, 2012.
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