Orphan #2

Recap of episode one ending with the death of Jefferson Johnson in the arms of Cassandra Cain while rain pours down over them. 


The rain continues to pour down as the look of anguish spreads across the face of Cassandra Cain, but slowly that anguish takes on the look of anger as she gently lays Johnson down on the roof and reaches up to pull her mask down over her face. She slowly stands up and walks to the edge of the building and looks down.

We go to ground level and see the men searching the alley for the runaway hostage. 

NORIKO ITO

Silently, the black figure of Orphan drops down behind them. One by one, she systematically dismantles each of the thugs. Breaking one arm, one leg, a nose. Soon, all of the thugs are down, scattered all about the alley. 

She reaches into a pocket and produces a piece of paper with something written on it. She remembers back to when Jefferson Johnson handed to her as they were getting ready to leave, asking her to deliver it if something happened. At the time, Cassandra would have no reason to believe that he would not make it. 

SLOANE TAYLOR

Moments later, out of costume, Cassandra is hailing a cab. As one pulls over and she gets inside, she hands the paper to the cab driver and says simply, “Here.”

As the cabbie drives off, Cassandra leans against the window and watches the scene approach and move by her.


David Cain, Willow, and Marque are standing in that same alley moments after Cassandra leaves as he surveys the damage she has caused. “It’s her. Your sister is here playing hero,” says Cain as he turns to the others. “Finish them. We don’t want any witnesses.”

ASHLEY MARIE CHASE

As Cain turns to walk out of the alley, we hear the sounds of violence as Willow and Marque finish off the thugs in the alley.  Soon, the two sisters join him as they begin to walk down the sidewalk.

Willow turns up to her father, “What now?”

“We find her and give her a chance to come back. Willingly or not, we will not leave Gotham without her,” he says as a driver opens the door to the limo. David ducks inside and Marque and Willow exchange a look amongst them that isn’t a pleasant one before joining him inside.

ORPHAN
EPISODE 2
AND SISTER MAKES THREE

The cab pulls over to the side of the road and Cassandra gets out of the back and hands over some crinkled bills to the driver before walking up the stairs. 

The rain has let up as she slowly walks up the steps and glances down at the letter in her hand before she reaches over and presses on the bottom. 

MARK CROSS

“I’m coming!” comes the sound of a female inside and moments later the door opens and a face peeks out, “Can I help you?”

Though she seems to know what the woman is asking, Cassandra hasn’t any way to explain herself so she just shows the letter in her hand. 

DANIEL DREAM

“That’s Jefferson’s handwriting…” the woman says as she opens the door and motions for Cassandra to come inside. Cassandra dips her head respectfully as she steps into the home and the woman closes the door behind her. 

Once inside, Cassandra uses both hands to present her the paper and the woman, who looks very confused, receives it.

XIUHUA ZHOU

“Did something happen to Jefferson?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t understand. Can you tell me what happened?”

Cassandra struggles for a bit, frustrated before finally saying, “No.”

RISA

“Well, come inside,” the woman says as she leads Cassandra into the living room. Cassandra sits on the couch as the woman slowly opens the folded piece of paper in her hands and starts to read. After a few moments, tears begin to roll down her face and she slowly sits down on the ottoman behind her. 

Cassandra watches her, shifting uncomfortably in her seat. She has no clue what was in the letter.

With tears streaming down her face, the woman suddenly smiles at something she read and then slowly folds up the paper and sets it on the table. “Do you know where he is?”

“Yes.”

“Can you take me to him?”

“Yes.”

Cassandra rises as does the woman who walks over and embraces the girl. Cassandra is confused at first but then puts her arms around the woman. The woman then releases her and grabs her jacket and the two walk out of the home.


Loud buzzing causes Barbara to jump, nearly spilling tea all over herself as she sets the water down and rolls over to the screens and focuses on the one that shows what’s outside her door.  She pushes the button on the console.

“What do you want, Dick?”

Dick Grayson looks up at the camera, “I need to talk to you. Can you let me in? It’s important.”

There is a long pause as Barbara considers whether or not to let her ex come into her home. He seems sober enough, so she reluctantly presses the button and watches him disappear into the building. 

A few moments later, Dick steps into the room, “What do you know about this new spook in town?” He slams down a USB drive on her desk. 

Barbara is finishing up making her tea as she places it gently in her lap and wheels herself over to her computer. “Spook? Really? You may have to be more specific considering this town is infested with spooks.”  She places her tea on the desktop and then reaches for the USB.

“Some girl is going around trying to clean up Gotham. Had a run-in with her the other night.”

Barbara hasn’t done anything with the drive yet but as she hears his words, she looks at him curiously. “She attacked you?”

Looking somewhat embarrassed, Dick shakes his head. “Not my finest moment, but it’s on the drive from the camera in my car.”

“Well, this I have to see,” she says as she starts to plug the drive into her computer but pauses, “You’re not giving me a virus, are you?”

“Goddammit, just watch the video.”

She plugs it in and they watch together as the scene unfolds where a drunk Dick Grayson gets into it with some small-time thugs and is rescued by Orphan. 

“I should upload this to YouTube,” Barbara snickers as she pauses the video. “What is the problem here? Sounds like she saved your ass.”

Dick Grayson shakes his head, “What is she? 19? 20?”

Barbara turns her chair towards him, “Are you kidding me right now?”

“What?”

“How old were you when you took up as Robin?”

“That’s different because I was a…”

Barbara interrupts him there, “A what? A boy? Are you serious? Did you see her? She has precision, skill, compassion, and a sense of justice. She’s a better fighter than you, or I for that matter, could ever have been.”

Dick scoffs at that remark.

“Mother Panic seems to think she’s from the League of Assassins.”

That stops Dick in his tracks, “What? You’re in contact with Mother Panic now too?”

“I didn’t stutter, Dick.”

“You’re saying Mother Panic thinks she’s here to kill someone?”

Barbara shakes her head, “Haven’t you listened to a word I said? She’s a hero, Dick. Like you used to be. I want to help her but we’re having a bit of a communication problem…”

“Wait, you’ve been in contact with her?”

“Mother Panic brought her to me a few days ago, just as confused as we are right now.”

A serious expression crosses Dick’s face, “What? Are you running a faction of heroes out of this place now?”

Barbara shakes her head, “I’m just dealing in information right now. But, I need to find out more about this Orphan…”

“That’s what she’s calling herself?”

“Yes. It seems significant, but I haven’t been able to produce a single piece of evidence about who she is or where she came from. It’s like she just conjured herself out of thin air.”

Dick nods his head, “So, what’s that communication issue?”

Barbara turns back to her computer, “I’ve scanned every language in the world and she doesn’t speak any of them. She barely speaks at all. A word here or there, but she seems to understand what we’re saying. I need your help to figure this out. If I can get her here, can you help?”


Later that night, Orphan is perched on top of a rooftop. She is thinking about what happened earlier in the day when she escorted Jefferson’s wife to identify the body of her husband. She also wondered what was on the paper she delivered that caused the woman to smile in the face of her husband’s death. 

Words. Something about the words.

Something catches her attention as she springs into action and leaps from rooftop to rooftop until she drops down into an alley. A man is down, bleeding from the neck as a group of thugs surrounds him. One of them picks up a gym back and opens it up and inside there is a lot of cash. 

Things begin to happen very quickly at this point as Orphan begins to take out each thug systematically until the alley is littered with their unconscious bodies. She reaches the bleeding man and realizes it’s too late for him as he has no heartbeat. 

She reaches into his pocket and pulls out his cell phone and dials 911 and sets it down next to him. 

She reaches for the bag of money and opens it up where she sees a piece of paper and opens it up. 

More words. They may as well be gibberish for all she knows. She can’t read them. 

But she knows who can.  As she hears the sirens approaching, she leaps up onto the fire escape and disappears onto the rooftops above. 


Orphan climbs into the window of the clock tower.

“You can’t use the door like everyone else?”

Barbara Gordon is seated in front of her in her wheelchair.

“No.”

Orphan pulls her hood down and removes her mask after setting the gym back on the ground.   She reaches into the bag and pulls out the note and hands it over to Barbara. “Read.”

“Where did you get this?”

“Read.”

“Orphan,” Barbara has yet to figure out the identity of the woman in front of her, “Tell me where you got this.”

Cassandra shakes her head, “No.” She points to the paper, “Read.”

Barbara unfolds the blood-splattered paper and looks at it. She glances up at Cassandra briefly and then back to the paper. “It’s a ransom note.”

Cassandra doesn’t appear to know the meaning of that word as she looks at the woman curiously. 

Barbara reads the note aloud:

“Bring $100,000 to the pier of Gotham Harbor at midnight or the boy dies.”

Both Cassandra and Barbara look at the clock. It’s 11:20. 

“Show.”

Barbara wheels over to her computer and pulls up a map of Gotham Harbor and points. “There.”

Cassandra points to the printer.

Barbara hits a button on her computer and the printer comes to life.


Cassandra had taken the paper and left the clocktower moments before Barbara picks up her phone and dials.

“I don’t know what it is about her. She can’t read or write and she barely speaks. But she seems to understand. Can you head over to Gotham Harbor? She’s on her way. Kidnapping.”

As she hangs up, Barbara begins to tap into the camera feeds near Gotham Harbor.


Violet Paige hangs up the phone and presses a button on her smartwatch and suddenly, she is suited up. She hops on her motorcycle and as the door opens, she zooms out onto the street.

“What kind of girl can understand, but can’t read, write or speak?”

This is the confusing part of it for Mother Panic as she zips in and out of traffic, heading towards the pier.  


Over at Gotham Harbor, David Cain, Willow, and Marque are waiting. Marque is sitting on a box, playing with a large strand of a chain while Willow seems to be playing some game on a cell phone. 

David Cain, however, is pacing. He glances at his watch. 

11:30.

He spent a good deal of time and money setting this up to lure Cassandra back. When she ran away at the age of seven, he was disappointed. Somehow, someway, she developed a sense of compassion which in reality only hurt her ability to do the jobs that David needed her to do. The fact that it took twelve years to track her down, that was annoying. 

But again, he trained his daughter well.

He glances up and notices Willow on the cell phone and walks over and slaps it out of her hand and the phone lands on the ground, breaking apart. 

“Father!” she says with exasperation. “I was almost past that level!”

“I need you to focus,” David Cain says.

Marque sighs deeply, “There are three of us and only one of her. Why are you worked up over this, father?”

David walks over bristly and takes Marque’s chin in his hand and makes her look at him, “Because I trained her differently than I trained you. I realized my error and made corrections, however in doing so neither of you is the fighter that she is. Alone, she would decimate either one of you. Together you have a chance.”  He releases her chin and she reaches up to rub it a little.

“You have no faith in us. We told you that we would take care of this.”

Willow pipes in, “Why do we need her back again?”


Orphan arrives at the pier and moves silently towards the building that Barbara pointed out on her map. As she gets closer, she can hear the voices inside but she doesn’t comprehend what’s being said. Her understanding doesn’t work that way. She has to see the person speaking to understand them, otherwise, it’s just noise to her.

She climbs a few boxes until she is on the roof of the building and she slowly makes her way towards the center.


David Cain suddenly turns around.

Marque starts to say something but is immediately hushed as David steps towards the center of the room, looking upward towards the ceiling. 

“She’s here.”

Marque and Willow glance at each other. It’s Marque with an evil grin as she slides down from the box where she’s perched. 


Orphan moves gently across the roof of the warehouse until she comes to a skylight. She peeks down and sees a man and a woman down there. The man is dressed entirely in black and is standing completely still. 

The other woman is dressed a little more comfortably, wearing some sort of black and white bodysuit. For some reason, neither one of them has moved to cause Orphan to be curious.

It’s then, as the man looks up, that her mind is suddenly flooded with images of her childhood as she quickly recognizes the man as the one who raised her until she ran away. 


David Cain finally moves as he points up to a beam in the warehouse and turns back to say something to Marque but she’s not there. 

She’s not anywhere.

He looks at Willow who points towards the open door.

David Cain curses gently under his breath.


Orphan holds her head as she remembers this man and what he had her do as a child, almost as if she were in pain. Suddenly, from behind, a chain wraps around her neck and her hands move from her head to the chain around her neck and we see that Marque, with her cocky grin, is behind Orphan. The other end of the chain is in her grasp. 

Marque starts to pull hard on the chain and drags Orphan across the roof of the warehouse as Orphan’s body skids across the rooftop. 

Marque starts to run, pulling that chain behind her with Orphan attached until she reaches the incline and she stops as Orphan tumbles down over the side and off the edge of the rooftop and the chain suddenly becomes tight. 

David Cain and Willow run out of the warehouse to see the body of Orphan hanging from a chain off the roof, kicking and flailing.

“Marque, let her go now!”

The only response being heard is the sound of crazy cackling from atop of the roof. 

David turns to Willow, “Go make her let go. Now.”

Willow sprints off as David looks up and sees Orphan struggling with the chain locked around her throat as she hangs helplessly. 


Mother Panic zooms towards the pier on her cycle and as it comes into view, she twists the accelerator pushing the cycle to go faster as she gets off the main road and down an embankment towards the row of warehouses that line up next to the pier before skidding to a stop and shutting off the bike. 

She presses a button on her suit and the helmet surrounding her head disappears. She sees something going on and begins to jet over towards it.  She spots David Cain, knowing him after getting his information from Barbara Gordon earlier and immediately goes on the offensive. As soon as she gets close enough, David easily ducks her as she lands on the ground and the two face off.

“I don’t know why you’re in my city, David Cain, but I think it’s time you cut your stay short,” she says as they stare off.

Cain smirks and shakes his head, “Just coming to collect what’s mine.” He nods up to the hanging Orphan, who has just managed to swing back enough to use her feet to kick her off the wall with enough force that she flips herself back onto the roof, causing Marque to stagger back a few steps.

The chain falls from around Orphan’s next as she glares at Marque through her mask and then moves into a fighting stance. 

Marque smirks at her, “If it isn’t my long lost sister. Not gonna make it out of this alive, you ungrateful bitch. If you think we’re just gonna let Father take you home with us, better think again.

At the mention of ‘we’, from the side comes Willow who tries to engage with Orphan but her blows are easily dodged. Willow turns to Marque, “Father’s not going to be happy if you do this.”

Marque begins to laugh before abruptly stopping. “He’ll get over it.” She charges in.

Meanwhile on the ground, Mother Panic turns back to Cain, “Last I checked, we don’t own people here.”

“How very naive of you,” smirks David. “I bet you believe in fairy tales and happily ever after, hm? She’s coming back with me and I’m afraid there’s very little you can do about it.”

Pressing a button on her suit, her head is covered with a protective shell as she gets ready to fight, “I guess we’re going to have to do this.”

David charges towards her.


Dick Grayson arrives at the clocktower and takes a seat next to Barbara who is at her computer console. She has managed to tap into the pier’s video feed and is watching the action. 

“What’s going on?”

Barbara turns to Dick briefly, “Orphan and Mother Panic are at the pier confronting David Cain and these two unidentified females.”

“She calls herself Orphan? As an orphan, I can’t say I’d pick that as a superhero name,” Dick says as he turns his attention to the fighting.

“I just want to know what David Cain wants with her.”


Back on the rooftop of the warehouse, Orphan hasn’t said a single thing as the three have a bit of a standoff. 

Marque turns to Willow, “Who’s father fighting?”

Willow shrugs, “No idea. I’m sure he can handle it. How about you let me handle this one?”

Willow sprints over and engages with Orphan, who manages to dodge every kick, fist, slap and attempts to grab onto her until finally Orphan has had enough and she drives the palms of both hands into the chest of the other woman, sending her sprawling onto the ground. 

Willow looks at Orphan with shock, as if she’s never been challenged like that before or at least in a very long time.  However, Marque comes from behind and Orphan manages to duck a swing from her as she engages with Marque now and just like before, Orphan can predict every move by Marque until she finally sees an opening and she grabs Marque by the wrist and flips her over, sending her skidding across the top of the roof.


“I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Dick. “I think I know why she can’t read or write anything. She was never taught. She was taught to read body language.”

Barbara looks at him, “What are you talking about?”

Dick points, “Look, every swing, every kick. Every attempt to attack is easily dodged by her as if she can see what’s happening before it happens. And it’s just dodging. She can see where and how her opponent is going to strike long before it happens. Her opponent’s body gives her away. She can read intent. This is how she knows what we’re talking about. She doesn’t understand words, she understands what we’re saying by reading our body language.”

Barbara shakes her head, “But how did she read the body of the woman behind her? She wasn’t even looking at her.”

“Look,” Dick says as he points to the screen, “She was watching the first woman. The reaction of the downed woman gave it away.”

As the video is rewound, Dick is proven right as there is a reaction on Willow’s face as Marque tries to jump Orphan from behind.

“You’re right,” says Barbara.

Dick grins, “That may be the first time you’ve ever said that to me.”

“It may very well be the first time that it would be true.”

Dick’s grin fades. “Not funny.”


At the pier, David Cain has taken a few lumps at the hands of Mother Panic as he gets to his feet, dusting himself off. “You’ve got a few tricks and that fancy suit you have protects you well. But, I’m afraid I can’t stay around here playing games with you. Time to end this.”

“You haven’t been able to yet,” says Mother Panic, preparing to go back into battle with him.

He spits some blood from his mouth, his lip a little swollen. “Just testing your capabilities.”

She’s a little surprised that he’s been this easy. For a master assassin, she expected him to be far more difficult to deal with. 

As they meet for battle once more, she’s able to grab him with ease and toss him against the side of the warehouse. 

A sense of uneasiness comes over her.

David Cain lies motionless, except for his breathing, as she approaches. “Are we done?”

He opens his eyes and looks up at her and slowly rises to his feet. “Just…”

Suddenly, he grabs her and pushes her up against the wall of the warehouse and he reaches for a large cable that is attached to the circuit box and yanks it free causing all of the electricity in the building to go out and he shoves the live end of the cable against her suit.

The electricity flows through each individual nano-piece, short-circuiting each one as tiny pieces of the suit begin to fall into a pile on the ground, leaving Violet Paige open and exposed. 

“Shit,” curses Paige as this all happened too quickly and she tries to leave, but he places a hit right to the jaw, sending her to the ground. He drives a boot to the midsection, driving all the air from her body.  As she gasps for air, he leans over. “I’m an assassin. I could kill you right now and be done with it, but I’m not here for you.”

He rises and looks up towards the roof of the warehouse, wondering what’s taking so long. As he steps off, Violet reaches over to grab him around his ankle. 

He shakes it free and then raises his boot and steps down hard right on her head.


On the rooftop, Orphan is flanked on either side by both Willow and Marque. Marque has her chain out and swinging it around her, while Willow pulls a knife from its sheath and is preparing to strike. 

Orphan rotates herself around, trying to keep at least one of them in view at all times. Suddenly, in slow motion, things begin as Orphan turns to look at Marque. Willow throws the knife towards Orphan. 

Orphan bends back as the knife moves over her. Marque sees the knife coming at her, and tries to spin away from it, but it cuts into her shoulder as it passes by. 

Angry, Marque flings an end of the chain towards Orphan, who catches it as she rights herself. Orphan suddenly charges Marque and boots her in the chest, sending her over the side of the warehouse towards the ground. 

The sunlight on the roof suddenly gets dark as all power is lost to the building. Willow is charging towards Orphan from behind shortly after Orphan kicks Marque but as Willow reaches Orphan, she uses Willow’s momentum to send her over the edge as well.

The scene goes back to normal speed as Orphan runs over to the side to see that David Cain has taken out Violet Page and he is walking away from her.  As he disappears around the corner, Orphan leaps down and rushes over to Page, helping her up. She hoists the woman over her shoulder and carries her away from the pier. 


David Cain arrives on the rooftop to find everyone missing. He looks around to see both of his daughters coming out of the water, soaking wet and more than a bit angry with each other as he shakes his head, rushing over to the other side to see Page is gone and there’s not a sign of Cassandra either.


Violet Paige is still out as she lays on a couch. Barbara Gordon wheels herself back into her computer room as she replays the fight scene. It was pretty impressive. Cain was able to dismantle Mother Panic’s nano-tech based suit with a large amount of electricity. Page is very lucky to be alive right now. 

The scary part is that David Cain knew exactly what he was doing from the very beginning. 

Barbara wheels herself to another door and slowly cracks it open. We see Cassandra is fast asleep on a bed without a care in the world. Barbara closes the door and wheels herself back to her computer as she watches David Cain and his two wet daughters getting into a limo and it drives off.

One thing is for certain, she doubts they’ve seen the last of Cain and his clan. 


As the limousine pulls away from the pier, David Cain sits stoic and angry. His eyes look a little to the left, then a little to the right and then back again. 

We finally see what he’s looking at.

Both of his daughters are sitting across from him, soaking wet and not happy at all. 

“Sorry, father,” says Willow.

“Yeah, sorry father,” adds Marque. 

“There is no room for apologies. Failure can never be forgiven. You know the rules,” he says as he continues to stare daggers at them.

As we look at the two young women again, we can be assured that they know the rules and what’s coming next for them.

David Cain reaches for his phone and dials. “I may need a favor.” He pauses as he listens before responding. “Gotham.” 

Another pause.

“I look forward to it.”

He places the phone down as the scene shifts to the exterior of the limousine as it drives away.  

TO BE CONTINUED

CREDITS

Cassandra Cain/Orphan   NORIKO ITO

Barbara Gordon   SLOANE TAYLOR

Violet Paige/Mother Panic  ASHLEY MARIE CHASE

Dick Grayson  MARK CROSS

David Cain   DANIEL DREAM

Willow  XUIHUA ZHOU

Marque  RISA