|Series:||Birds of Prey|
|First Published:||February 20, 2013|
|Previous Issue:||Birds of Prey #16|
|Next Issue:||Birds of Prey #18|
Gotham City falls into darkness in the wake of Black Canary's unexpectedly powerful Canary Cry, which destroys a power station. Without any electricity, it isn't long before the city descends into looting and crime. Thought she hopes her companions won't blame her, Starling is well aware that this is not the first time this has happened, and though she agrees to cover for it this time, she demands an explanation as soon as possible.
Strix, though, is less inclined to give Dinah a pass. She attacks her, and indignantly, Canary kicks her away, remarking that the former Talon should not be judging her. The ruckus catches Batgirl's attention, and she demands an explanation. Obediently, Strix bends down, and scratches a warning into the ground: "she will kill all."
Nearby, the Basilisk agent the Birds of Prey were seeking emerges from the wreckage, realizing that he has heard that sound before, back when Black Canary stopped him at the Iceberg Casino. That sound has haunted him since - but this time, he has come prepared. Meanwhile, his companion Sergei remains beneath the debris, begging for help. Ignoring him, the man explains how he has brought six devices called "Heartstoppers" which lock onto the electrical pattern of the nearest human heart, and then destroys it at close range with powerful shocks. He and Sergei will be protected from them by special protective wristbands. The Birds of Prey, however, are in trouble.
As Batgirl asks for a little clarification on Strix's message, one of the Heartstoppers latches onto her chest and begins shocking her over and over. Quickly, Strix rips it away from her. The detached device eyes Strix, and determines that she doesn't have a human heart, and passes her by. Realizing that all of them are under attack, they seek cover, desperately.
Starling, meanwhile, has separated from the group, clandestinely calling in to Amanda Waller to report on the surge in Black Canary's powers. Angrily, Waller warns that if Starling fails to report anything to her, she and the rest of her team will be disposed of. They are interrupted by the sound of gunfire. Waller explains that this is a private paramilitary strike team sent to respond to attacks on American infrastructure - like the destruction of a power station. Despite the fact that she is already deeply indebted to Waller, Starling asks her a favour.
Seeing the armed gunmen approaching, and still on the run from the Heartstoppers, the Birds of Prey make a run for it. Black Canary is frustrated that she can't use her cry to help, lest it cause even more damage than the last one. Meanwhile, Condor's telekinetic defences are failing, and they need another way to protect themselves. Against Batgirl's wishes, Strix decides to leap out and destroy the Heartstoppers herself. Though she manages to destroy one, she is also riddled with bullets by the strike team. It is only her healing power that saves her.
Discovering the wreckage of the broken Heartstopper, Dinah recognizes it as Basilisk technology, and realizes that the agent they're seeking must still be alive and controlling them. Batgirl insists that it be she who goes after him, and not Dinah, suggesting that Dinah use her Canary Cry against the strike team if they get too close. Dinah can't afford to tell her friend why that idea isn't a good one.
Dinah is left alone with Strix, and though the Talon rescues her from yet another Heartstopper attack, she holds the device in place, and gives Canary a look that suggests that she will kill her if she doesn't get the answers she wants. Uncomfortably, Dinah explains how her husband Kurt's presence had always been tied to the intensity of her powers, and lately, when she uses her Canary Cry, she has seen visions of his face. Whether she is crazy or not, the result is the same: she is a walking weapon of mass destruction. After a pause, Strix releases the Heartstopper, and Dinah braces herself, but the device simply falls to the ground, dead.
Meanwhile, Batgirl and Condor discover the Basilisk agents, and force them to explain the destruction to the authorities. They have Starling to thank, though, for the disappearance of the strike team, having called in a favour to a "business associate". Their job complete, she suggests that they all go out for drinks.
- Birds of Prey
- Catwoman (Cameo)
- Amanda Waller
- Kurt Lance (In Flashback Only)