|First Published:||November 13, 2013|
|Previous Issue:||Batgirl #24|
|Next Issue:||Batgirl #26|
With a super-storm on the way toward Gotham City, Barbara Gordon found that her provisions for handling a disaster were vastly inadequate. She had gone to the gas station to pick up some supplies, and the place had been packed with panicked citizens, including one man who had pulled a gun on her. Despite his actions, she knew he was just a normal man, driven to the brink by the situation, but all the same, she was forced to run for her life. When she made it home, her father Jim, was already on his way out, and despite noticing how shaken she was, he placed the responsibility of protecting her home and her younger brother on her shoulders while he was gone.
After spending some time on her contingency plan, which involved moving all of the breakables away from the windows, Barbara was interrupted by a knock at the door. It was Officer Peters of the GCPD, warning that her home had been declared a likely flood zone, and she and James, Jr. would have to be evacuated to higher ground - but they would only be allowed to bring what they could carry. Despite their father's warning to protect the homestead, Barbara and her brother searched the house for things they would need, reluctantly eschewing things of only sentimental value, knowing it would all be washed away in the floods. After going through her own room, Barbara turned to her father's room, and considering that none of the things inside would be there when she got back, she opted to take some of it.
Barbara and James were ushered to a fire station, where crowds of others had been taken as well. While shuffling inside, Barbara was bumped hard by a friendly man named Henry, who had been evacuated from Coldlight Island. They struck up an acquaintance, choosing cots next to one-another in the shelter. After a while, he noticed that her mind seemed to have been elsewhere, and she admitted that she was thinking about her father. He hadn't been able to answer his phone. She was thinking about how desperate and dangerous people can become in Gotham - especially at a time like this.
As they worried together in the dark, James noticed that the windows had begun to leak - but not because of the rain. The water had begun to rise from the foundations. The firehouse was built over a sinkhole. Before long, the building was flooding with water, and Barbara grasped at her brother, and swam to find purchase on a pole. Gripping it tightly, she worried for Henry and the other people who could easily drown, but James warned her to let them die or they would drown them both. She was unable to be so cold as that, and left him holding onto the pole to help those she could.
Swimming toward a nearby couple, Barbara offered them her hand, promising she was stronger than she looked. She dragged them through the flood waters to the pole, and ordered them to take hold, while cursing herself for having been concerned about her stuff when peoples' lives were at stake. Urging her brother to climb higher, toward a hole in the roof, Barbara led a gathering of survivors to relative safety, but even as she approached the top of the pole, her hands slipped. Fortunately, a hand grabbed her by the wrist and tugged her up. It was Henry, and together he and she led the survivors to the roof. Cleverly, he ripped a ladder from a nearby wall, and laid it across the gap between the firehouse and the next building over, urging them all to carefully crawl across. As they did, though, Barbara began to hear booming noises from nearby, and realized that the noise wasn't thunder. It was explosions. Peering through her father's binoculars, she discovered that the explosions were coming from Coldlight Island, Henry's home. She began to worry that with Coldlight's destruction, it signalled the forthcoming doom of Gotham City - of her homestead.
Carrying the ladder to the other end of the roof, Henry warned that they'd have to cross to the next building, for safety. As he crossed it, though, the ladder broke, and it was only quick reflexes that saved him from falling to his death. He pulled himself up onto the roof of the opposite building, and warned that the others would have to jump, urging them to throw their packs across first. When they did, though, he turned his back on them, taking as many packs as he could, explaining that it would be worth enough to get him set up after Gotham goes under. In this situation, people would become desperate. He had become desperate, and he was leaving them all to die.
Angrily, Barbara resolved that she would not sit and wait for a hero. She would be her own hero. Taking a running start, she leapt across the gap, and pounced on Henry, listening to his collar bone snap under the force. An untrained fighter, she would never have been a match for him, but she tried all the same, fighting for the sake of her family. Eventually, he had her pinned against the edge of the building, with rain pelting down, and he prepared to kick her down into the water. Realizing that she would drown if she fell wearing the combat vest she had taken from her father's room, she tore it off, and rolled aside. When Henry brought his foot down, it broke through the weakening roof, and he fell, along with the packs full of personal effects that people had felt they could not part with - and they weighed him down.
Not wishing to see him die, despite his actions, Barbara called out for him, peering out over the edge, and was relieved to see him come up for air, and swim away, promising that he would see her around. Returning to the others, she helped them to safer ground, and prepared to survive the storm - but the worst of it was still to come.
- Gotham City
- Coldlight Island