Banzai hopped from rooftop to rooftop, though her mind was a million miles away, replaying an argument over and over again. Don't see you here, she thought resentfully. Where's that chair you were going to tie me to? You'd have to catch me first anyway and there's no way even you can do that. She was the fastest, most colorful superhero unable to outrun her own traveling cloud of black resentment. You're just a child, a brat, a tagalong. You do nothing of importance, can't be trusted with anything like the real adults. You can't keep yourself safe, can't keep anyone safe.
In fairness, Banzai knew she was being ridiculous. Knew that if she'd said a single one of her circling thoughts aloud that she'd hear just how incredibly pouty and childish she sounded. And, if she really wanted to be honest with herself, she knew that being out here wasn't the brightest thing. None of her contacts had heard of the Butcher's arrival yet, but there was no guarantee that they would. Not until it was too late.
And anything that counted as 'too late' with someone called 'The Butcher' was probably not something most people walked away from.
Of course, Banzai very rarely dd anything as pedestrian as walking.
Not that thinking about any of this stuff was going to help her right now. Not worrying about the Butcher, not thinking about Eliot, not an endless loop of hurtful words and recriminations. She needed to remain sharp, in the now, that was how she would keep herself safe, keep everyone safe. She dropped down into a silent crouch on the street and made her way over to the pretty blonde girl standing in the rays of the streetlight.
"Hey Jewels," she said. "What news?"
"Nothing yet," Jewels replied. "People are still leaving, people are still scared. There's a blurb in the paper with the chief of police taking credit for the sudden dip in petty crime. It's hilarious." She sounded more disgusted than amused.
"Well, I'm guessing violent crime is gonna spike real soon," Banzai snorted. "You sure you don't mind doing all this? You didn't really sign up to be the point of contact for a bunch of informants working for a local superhero."
"I didn't exactly sign up to be murdered by the Butcher, either," she pointed out. "And if we get right down to brass tacks, I didn't intend to come to Baltimore and be a hooker. The one thing I did agree to was to give you what information I had. This is just an extension of that."
For the first time since Monday, Banzai found herself smiling, the bottom edge of her mask wrinkling on her cheeks. "Thanks, Jewels. I should get going, there's more of Baltimore to patrol. And not every criminal got the memo to go."
Jewels sketched a sardonic salute. "Any further orders?" she asked.
"Nah--" Banzai paused. Thought. Considered. Sighed. "Just one," she said, and dug out her phone. Pulling up a picture of Eliot, she showed it to Jewels. "If you see this guy, give him the same info you'd give me."
"Oh! I know him!" Jewels said. "He's been stalking around Baltimore for a few days now. Are you working together?"
Banzai laughed. It was bitter. "I--no. No, we're not."
"But you know him?"
"I thought I did. Doesn't matter now. The important thing is that he knows the Butcher and he has plans to deal with him."
- Baltimore, Thursday Night