Dick Grayson hunched over his pool table, eyeing the left corner pocket. The pool cue slipped smoothly between his index finger and thumb. With a loud crack his shot was successful, orange stripe 13 off the black ball. "Good job." Said his valued teammate Barbara Gordon. She rolled up the table drink in hand, smiling at the young teen. "Game." He said like he just finished a colonoscopy. "Don't get to cheery." Barbara said. "If you put half the effort you have working into having fun, you'd be a happier man." She advised, her indifferent friend. Ignoring the possible irony, Dick Grayson immediately turned his attention back to his stack of papers piled on top of the apartments island. "That was twenty minutes." At the age of nineteen, Dick looked at life like someone who had worked in a cubical all his life instead of a decorated hero. "Chill was last seen when?" He asked Barbara who gave up trying to get Dick away from his work and resumed the life of a computer wizard. "The number of sightings has dwindled in 2002, he was seen a total of five times, in 2005, twice." She informed. "If Carmine Falcone wants him dead, chances are he aren't taking any chances." Dick surveyed the files he printed from the Blüdhaven Police Department. He didn't mind using paper sometimes, isn't as easy to trace.
From first glance all Dick Grayson seen was a modest 2001 Ford Mustang parked outside a diner on the south side of town near the metropolitan border. It's color was black with white stripes. Leaning on the vehicle was a bearded fellow who stood at the same height as Chill did. This raised Grayson's eyebrow. The sketch of Chill looked allot like this man, minus the beard. His facial features looked identical as did his physical appearance. The fool forgot to cover his brown pupils with sunglasses. Dick seized the opportunity and ushered for Barbara to see his discover. "This...is the guy." He said. Dick Grayson arose from his stool and readied himself for patrol. "I traced the licenses plate, I got him on my tracker." Dick Grayson slipped into the body suit that hugged his torso with bulletproof Kevlar. Dick Grayson ditched the cape along with the name "Robin" in Jump City. He kept his staff. But what replaced his trademarked attire was more associated with the Batman's, not the Boy Wonder. Night-vision, gas filters, his utility belt Starfire once called "nerdy" he strapped around his black waist tightly. It was just another day in the cubical for the young Dick Grayson. And he just punched in for his eight hour shift. Once he placed the black mask across his eyes, Dick Grayson ceased to exist, he became Nightwing.
"You got my back tonight?" Dick asked, knowing the answer is "yes" it's always yes. Butthis formality acted more as a prayer before a family meal. "Initials and code names from now on." Dick Grayson reminded his already knowledgeable associate. The way he started his patrols was never glamorous. It reminded Dick Grayson of a man going out to pick up a pizza than the beginning of a long patrol shift. Escaping his semi-normal life up the fire escape his night began with the press of a button his Wing-Cycle rolled out. The streets were absent of life. A typical Tuesday night. Men in bed with their wives resting for the soul crushing work day. The wind crashes his ear drums, but that's how he liked it.
His ear rang, holding down the com, Nightwing listened. "Chill was last seen at the old oil refinery off Bakers road." Barbara informed. Dick drove on his custom made "Wing-Cycle", she sent him the route. "Thanks, Oracle." He said. "You hear anything about him?" Nightwing asks. "About Chill?" Oracle quizzically wonders. "No," he said. "I mean the other one." She knew what he was pertaining to. "No, haven't seen him since he went under 'rebranding'." Oracle answers. "Why?" She asks.
It's been a while since Slade has shown his face in front of Nightwing. He probably thinks he's still Robin, leader of the Teen Titans West, or he could think Dick Grayson's dead. "Batman could use some help in Gotham." Oracle commented, throwing Nightwing's train of thought in the garbage. "No," he said quietly, trying to his contempt with the word Gotham. "You can't keep running." She chides.
Nightwing pulled up to the oil refinery, a dark, damp, abandoned waste of space. He couldn't see a thing. Slipping on his Night Vision goggles, his surroundings changed to a bright green. "Found anything?" Asks Oracle. "I might've." He dusted off a sleek computer screen. It's still on. "Oracle, can you hack into this?" He asks, showing her the computer. "Shouldn't be hard." She nonchalantly states. "Any progress?" Nightwing asks. The red lock screen remained. "Someone keeps changing the firewall codes!" Oracle said, sweating from her brow. "It's a race then." Nightwing commented. "Go and find this jerk!" Oracle orders Nightwing, tracking the guards IP. "Got it!" Nightwing takes out his tractor to find the specific user.
"How do you know if he's not in Japan right now, sitting in his bedroom?" Nightwing asks, somewhat jokingly. "I know he isn't, If he did, I'd be getting different IP." Nightwing exited the refinery seeing the city covered by darkened clouds. "Oracle... -" no answer, he tried again. No luck. "Power's out." Nightwing didn't know what to make of this sudden turn of events.
His ears burned with the sounds of a deep melody. He followed the sound, much to his conscious warning. The refinery went up in flames, throwing the young hero on his back with a loud thud. He grunted in pain, staring at the embers raining down on top of him. His earplug rang with a horrifyingly calm, familiar voice. "I'm back, Robin."