Silence. Gotham is still, too still. Somehow it worries me more than when I'm in the middle of a battle. I tilt my head and listen to the stillness. Something is stirring on the docks. There are men unloading cargo. At this time of night? I launch a line and take flight. Landing silently behind some crates, I watch to see what the men are unpacking. They're smuggling guns. Well, this should be fun. I boost myself up onto the crate I've been hiding behind. An approach from above is going to be my best bet. Thank God I was a Flying Grayson. I leap from the crate and descend on the bad guys, casting a shadow that rivals that of my mentor. The men look up, scared and surprised, but only for a moment. As I land in their midst I realize that the men are laughing. They've stopped unloading the guns and have actually thrown their heads back in laughter. "It's the Boy Blunder. Where's your daddy, Birdboy?" sneers the nearest smuggler. I roll my eyes under my mask. Is this guy serious? He actually thinks I need Batman to take down this crew. "Bats must really be getting lazy if he sends his sidekick," chuckles another smuggler. "Come on, little bird, are you going to stand there all night?" demands a third. The second and fourth one each lunge for me, but collide when I take flight. I land on the chest of the third one, before roundhouse kicking the first. The ones who collided are on their feet and running for the guns. I indulge myself with a quick smirk before letting the bad guys in on my secret.
The surprise on their faces makes listening to their lame jabs worth it. Most people in Gotham don't know that the left and right sides of the main dock fold under to allow more ships in the harbor when necessary. It's a feature that was added some ten-odd years ago. When the sides start to collapse and the cargo crates slide one by one into the water, I don't bother with a second smirk. The first guy has gotten a hold of a gun that has already been unloaded and is firing at random. Too bad no one smuggles pump-action shotguns… I somersault my way through the hail of bullets and manage to get a Baterang into the middle of the gun. It crackles and sparks in the guy's hands and he is forced to drop it. Done messing around, I slam a knee into his face. He goes down hard, out cold. "Boy Blunder," I snort. The others have guns now and have opened fire. This is getting old. The acrobatics I use to avoid the heavy fire would make my parents proud. Even Batman might have a smirk to spare. I slide in under the gun of the nearest guy and take him out at the knees. His gun goes skidding across the dock and into the water as I kick him in the ribs, producing a sharp crack. "Sidekick," I mutter.
I launch a hook into a beam overhead and disappear up into the darkness. The last two guys fire continuously upwards, but neither of them are even close to their mark. Eventually they stop. "Did we get us a little birdie?" one of them asks. Up until now, he was the only one who hadn't spoken. They poke around the dock a little, presumably looking for my body. Wait for it… I leap from the beam and put one foot into each of their backs. They go down face first, neither managing to hang onto his gun. Before either can recover, I haul them up by the backs of their jackets and knock their heads together. "Not so little now," I chuckle. I drag them both to the middle of the dock and leave them there. The first guy is still out like a light, so he's easy enough to add to the pile. The last one with the broken ribs is awake and speaks as I'm dragging him over to join his buddies. "But you're the underdog," he chokes out. I put Batcuffs on each of them and then cuff them together. "Then I guess this one is for the underdogs," I snap. The sirens are audible now. "Give the commissioner my regards," I grin. As a parting gift, I push the last few crates into the water. The few guns left on the dock will be sufficient evidence. I make my way back to the entrance to the Batcave. Bruce is at the computer when I enter. "Anything interesting tonight?" he asks. "Nothing out of the ordinary," I report. He turns the chair around to look at me. "Did you have fun without me?" His voice is dripping sarcasm. "As a matter of fact, I taught a lesson about sidekicks and underdogs. Sometimes they're the ones you have to watch out for," I laugh. "A sidekick is just a young hero, Dick. There's a learning curve. Eventually, you'll triumph as the hero you are," Bruce grins. "Thanks, Bruce. Now this hero needs a shower." "I'll say. You were at the docks tonight, huh?" I stick my tongue out at him. "Very mature, Robin." I laugh all the way to the locker room.
(Image Source: robin-i/10-850/)
Dick Grayson as the Boy Wonder. He may be an underdog, but don't count him out.