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|Series:||Birds of Prey|
|First Published:||November 20, 2013|
|Previous Issue:||Birds of Prey #24|
|Next Issue:||Birds of Prey #26|
Six years ago, Dinah Drake had taken over her old sensei's dojo following his death. Unfortunately, he had been the only thing preventing the local gangs from trying to get protection money out of them. With his death, she knew the day would come when they would come when they decided to make their move. On that day, she had warned that if they wanted anything out of the place, they would have to go through her. Underestimating her, they soon fell to her martial artistry. Sending them running, she warned that the dojo would be neutral ground, or she would come for them. Despite her success, though, one of her younger students had to withdraw from her instruction, worried that the gang would retaliate against him, given that he lived nearby them.
That night, Dinah worried that perhaps she had done wrong by fighting the gang - they might never fear her the way they did the old sensei. She had been losing students recently, and she could lose the dojo if she couldn't maintain enough numbers to support its maintenance.
As a heavy storm began brewing over Gotham, Dinah visited sensei Desmond's grave, remembering all he had done for her. He had caught her dumpster diving, and after seeing just how skinny she was, he offered her some pizza. He learned that her mother had given her up, and she had chosen to run away from her foster home. Impressed by her scrappy demeanour, Desmond Lamar offered her a job cleaning the dojo after classes. In exchange, he would give her a safe place to sleep and food. He would be her chance to get off the streets. The next morning, she had found him in the dojo praying. He was a Muslim, and prayed, facing the rising sun.
As he ran the dojo, Dinah began to desire the same teaching he provided his classes, and eventually, he obliged, and she became one of his regular students. After some years together, he had grown to be like a father to her, and she had begun to do much of the dojo's management herself. Eventually, though, he began to be plagued by headaches, and was diagnosed with brain cancer. Knowing he would soon die, he decided to leave the dojo to Dinah, promising that she had proven herself strong enough to handle it. Even after he was gone, the sun would still rise, and she would be there to greet it as he had every morning. Since his death, though, Dinah had begun to feel like she was merely acting as his shadow.
One early morning, as she rode the train by herself, it screeched to a sudden halt, a symptom of the blackout that hit Gotham before Tropical Storm Rene came. As the other passengers panicked, Dinah took charge, urging anyone who had a source of light to get it out and use it. She pushed open the doors, and led them all out into the dark subway tunnel. One of the passengers that night was Miz Ettie.
Elsewhere, John Lynch and his commander discovered that the Riddler had made good on his threats by blacking out power in Gotham. They had sent an agent into the field to investigate, but contact with him was lost once the power went out. Fortunately, he had a GPS tracker that was hardened against EMPs, though it had a small range. John Lynch was tasked with finding it.
That afternoon, Dinah had resigned herself to the fact that her students wouldn't attend her classes while the power was still out. She had not anticipated, though, that the dojo would be one of many buildings subject to vandalism and looting. Rushing out into the street, she spotted a neighbour's store being looted, and tried to intervene, but it was little use. The situation had become too dire. As she waded through the madness, she heard a man calling for help nearby, and discovered Agent Ye - the man whom Lynch had been sent to find. Having been gravely wounded from a stabbing, Ye pressed a device into her hand, and begged her to find Lynch. He died in her arms, but she had little time to consider her next move before a group of men dressed in ninja suits and armed with swords warned her to hand over the device.
Fortunately, her training was good enough that she was able to evade their attacks - barely. She did, at least, have the advantage of knowing the layout of her neighbourhood perfectly, and managed to escape. Nearby, Lynch and his men discovered Ye's body, and realized that somebody else must have knocked out the ninjas who lay strewn about him. Tracking the device's signal, they began to chase after Dinah as well.
After running for some time, Dinah realized that the reason they ninjas kept finding her was because they were tracking the device. Eventually, she found herself surrounded, and she knew that whether she handed over the device or not, they would likely kill her, so she resolved to go down fighting. Fortunately, she would not, at least, have to go down. Lynch and his men appeared, and began shooting all of the ninjas dead, leaving only one alive. Realizing that Lynch was the man she had been asked to find, she offered him the device, as he expressed how impressed he was that she managed to defeat so many of her attackers.
After being pressed, Lynch admitted that the device held information that may lead to the terrorists who caused an EMP blast using Marx Generators. The ninjas' connection, though, was unknown to him. As they drove her home, word came of an uncontrolled fire ahead, and Dinah realized with horror that the dojo was gone. It had been caught in the flames, and she had lost everything. Reluctantly, Lynch responded that he wouldn't usually recruit in a situation like this, but she had impressed him. Angry and hurt at the loss of her home, Dinah accepted the offer, wondering if this was the path Desmond had said was waiting for her. The sun would soon rise, and it would bring a new day and a new way to start over.
- Dinah Drake (Flashback and Main Story)
- Desmond Lamar (In Flashback Only)
- John Lynch
- Miles Craven
- Ye (Dies in this issue)