"Die For Me": With Lady Shiva arrived in Gotham City, Nightwing has taken it upon himself to seek her out. Unfortunately, most of the crimes taking place in Gotham are nothing to do with her, and he has few leads. After severa
- Sonia... she didn't let Shiva intimidate her. She found a way to finish what she started. So can I!
- -- Nightwing
Appearing in "Die For Me"
Synopsis for "Die For Me"
With Lady Shiva arrived in Gotham City, Nightwing has taken it upon himself to seek her out. Unfortunately, most of the crimes taking place in Gotham are nothing to do with her, and he has few leads. After several wrong guesses, he eventually stumbles on a minor government bureaucrat's murder, which might actually be Shiva's work. He has Lucius Fox, who happens to be awake, look into it while he finishes dealing with some thugs and get changed for his civilian commitment to the morning construction update at Amusement Mile.
At the circus, Dick checks with Jimmy Clark to see if he's managed to sign any more acts to their cause. Fortunately, two acts have decided to accept Dick's offer, despite a more attractive offer from a Floridian enterprise. Jimmy himself was accosted by the same group, but decided to stay. Though it is rumoured that Dick Grayson is a flake, Jimmy has seen how reliable the young man has become. They are interrupted by young Christina Sorrano, the child of the new trapeze artists The Soaring Sorranos. She has heard all of the rumours about the fires and the murders that occurred with Haly's Circus, but Dick assures her that he will do everything in his power to keep her family safe.
After returning home, Dick receives a perplexing call from Sonia Branch, the daughter of Tony Zucco; the man who killed his parents. She also happens to work for the bank who holds the mortgage for Amusement Mile. They also had a date - or business meeting (Dick doesn't know which) - last night, which she had to bail on. She directs Dick to her assistant Melody Martin to reschedule.
In the meantime, Lucius has found out that the man he asked about was a regulator for the banking industry, and caused a stir recently when he discovered a foreign investment loophole that could be exploited for international money laundering. Apparently, this discovery made him unpopular with certain criminals with large investments. As it turns out, Sonia Branch is a key witness in the SEC investigation. Perhaps, Shiva's targets are involved in that investigation, and Sonia is in danger of becoming one.
On his way to scout the SEC building, he is attacked by Lady Shiva. Though she is impressed with his improvements since she first encountered him as a boy, she is still a very formidable opponent for him, and he can barely hold his own. He criticizes her chosen profession, deriding her decision to kill. She responds that her works are comparable to the crimes of many American corporations and energy companies who exploit and pollute. Like the perpetrators of those more acceptable crimes, she is unhampered by conscience and guilt. Assassination, for her, is an ancient and honourable profession.
As they fight, Dick happens to spot Sonia down below, walking toward the building. Shiva notices her too, and tries to throw her weapon down to kill her target. Dick tackles the assassin, throwing off her aim, and alerting the security to the threat, saving Sonia's life - for now. Rather than run from the building, Sonia runs into the building, to finish what she started. Inspired by her determination, Dick attacks Shiva with renewed vigor. Still she is too strong, and she kicks him in the ribs, discovering that he is still nursing a wound there, subconsciously guarding them. Rather than finish him off, she simply moves on, claiming that she did not actually miss her target. Confused, Nightwing calls after her, demanding to know who hired her. Might it have been the Joker?
As it turns out, Shiva was hired by the Penguin, who has caused the SEC to postpone its hearings by having the regulator murdered, and staging a fake terrorist attack on the building itself. With that distraction in place, he can now begin to reorganize his laundering operations. His decision to tip off Nightwing to Shiva's presence was a ploy to either save him the cost of paying Shiva if the vigilante caught her, or to remove an annoying bat-problem if she killed him.
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