Cassandra Cain

To call Cassandra Cain; otherwise known as Blackbat in the Gotham underbelly; anything other then an extraordinarily gifted martial artist would be severely misleading, every hastily told, hushed story of her extraordinary fighting feats are greatly under-exaggerated, she is, as the Batman himself stated in his personal files, nothing short of perfect, and that perfection comes with a hefty price. The daughter of the morally bankrupt premier assassin David Cain and the exceedingly deadly Lady Shiva Woosan, Casandra was raised by her father as an experiment in complete isolation and deprived of speech in an attempt to create Ra’s Al Ghul’s most deadly bodyguard, The One Who is All. David Cain's intention was to force Cassandra's brain to interpret physical movement as a language, to train her to unconsciously read people in the same manner someone fluent in any spoken language would thoughtlessly read billboards and signs, then to make her first instinct to predict, with uncanny accuracy, the next move her opponent would make and strike before they could make it.

Her relationship with her father was rife with contradiction during her childhood and has only grown more complicated as she's grown older, in the beginning any attempt she made at affection was met with savage violence but as she grew his heart softened and there were brief moments of normality inter-spliced between all the times he'd wound her so she could learn to ignore pain and fight through it. In the years before things went terribly awry, the whole of her training, brutal and barbaric as it was, became more and more like a game for Cassandra, several of the recorded sessions in the hoard of recovered tapes David Cain had made showed her smiling when she'd succeed in making her otherwise vicious and abusive father look upon her with satisfaction. It wasn't until after she murdered Faizul, a local triad boss in Macau, that David Cain was faced with his mistake, he hadn't considered how Cassandra would interpret death, how she'd be able to read, in intimate detail, the terrifying finality of it and understand, in the agonizing minutia of every last breath, what it meant to take a life. When she ran David Cain let her go, shocked by his oversight and hurt by her need to leave, he kept his distance, knew reconciliation was impossible and didn't resurface in her life until after she had begun to find her place in the Bat-Family, he had been paid to assassinate Commissioner James Gordon and Cassandra, before becoming Blackbat, stopped him.

During the years between her murder of Faizul and facing down her father Cassandra drifted about the world in search of redemption as a dyslexic mute and eventually found her way to Gotham City, she caught the Batman's eye when she bravely burst into an abandoned building near the one she had been squatting in after hearing rampant machine-gun fire. Inside, members of the Bertinelli Crime Family had gunned down four made-men of the Panessa Crime Family and their wives and children, Cassandra had been too late to stop the homicide but dolled out swift retribution, taking down the shooters in seconds with what would look like ruthless ferocity to an eye less trained then the Batman's, but he saw her blindingly fast retaliation from a much more technical standpoint and knew, at a glance, from the way she moved, the actions she set up but didn't take, she was an overwhelmingly well trained assassin. Her actions had been reason enough to reach out and ascertain her intentions, and her training would have made it absolutely mandatory, but what struck him the most was how she had done just enough to take the mob men down, nothing more, she could have viciously crippled each one, left them as paraplegics surviving on machines and straws, but hadn't, she had been, considering what she was capable of, remarkably gentle with them. After a fairly lengthy period of building up the Batman's trust through months of careful observation Cassandra found a home in the Batcave under his care and occasionally accompanied him on his patrols, earning her place as the Blackbat.

A guarded secret for months, he slowly introduced Cassandra to the other members of his inner circle and began to gradually integrate her into a semblance of a normal life, letting her move into Wayne manor and spend daytime hours out under supervision of an out-of-costume Batgirl, Shelly Chase, with whom Cassandra formed a strong bond. The rest haven't warmed up to Casandra, the intimidating, unapproachable super assassin, and kept their distance, with some outright demanding the Batman keep her away from them, a request he has complied with for far too long. He now believes, after nearly two years of close to constant observation and scrutiny, Cassandra would greatly benefit from living with someone closer to her own age that could bring her even further out of her relentlessly tight shell and show her a life beyond the redemption she still seeks.

Short and small but sturdy, Cassandra is much stronger then her slight frame would lead on, she is almost entirely made up of tight, compact little muscles, her abs are particularly impressive, though too well defined for some, and she's been referred to on several occasions as a female Bruce Lee by various members of the Bat-Family. She has innumerable long healed over scars scattered all about her body, most of which are bullet wounds left over from her horrific childhood training, and it gives her nude form a disquieting quality, something she's not all that eager to share, so seeing her out of costume, be it her never ending supply of tight black jeans, tight black turtlenecks and black sneakers or as Blackbat, is an exceptionally rare thing.

Her almond shaped, brown eyes are striking and posses a long-lived quality her youth shouldn't, she's made it to the other side of numerous gauntlets through Hell and it shows in the way her gaze takes in the world, on occasion her hard eyes soften and take on a joyful, exuberant light, usually during the high that comes with her too intense training regime or when she finds herself under the approval of the Batman or Shelly. Her hair has always been a disorderly mess up until only just recently, cut by her own hastened hand to a manageable length and forgotten about until it became annoying again, she's been treated to a bit of a makeover by Shelly under the Batman's behest however and is doing her best to maintain the cute style the hairdresser felt suited her, to varying degrees of success.

As Blackbat Cassandra looks like a pint-sized, pocket Batman with a yellow classic-Bat symbol outline across her chest and a massive yellow utility belt that's far too big for her thin, little waist, it gives her a disheveled, unhinged look she didn't do any favors to dissuade when she haphazardly covered the open mouthpiece of her cowl with a stitched on bit of fabric she ripped from her already raggedy, threadbare cape. To most she's nothing more then an intense black blur of fierce motion, somehow capable of dodging bullets, leveling mobs of men and women in moments and even laying the Batman himself flat, to her the rest of the world is a labyrinth of quandaries, an impossible to penetrate fortress of social eccentricities and peculiarity, all too often what a person says with their mouth and their body don't match up and it's frustrating for her.

When the Batman first came upon her Cassandra's vocabulary was nonexistent, she communicated through nods, shakes of her head and other general gestures and took an exceptionally long time to master the dozen or so words he taught her during their initial months together. Hopelessly dyslexic with anti-social tendencies, Cassandra has since learned quite a few words and short phrases but whenever possible, she prefers non-verbal communication, such as nodding, pointing, or shrugging her shoulders, and will occasionally touch the Batman or Shelly's cheeks to express caring, unfailingly leaving the big bad Batman embarrassed when she does so.

The guilt Cassandra bears weighs her down considerably, she dangerously undervalues her own life and risks it with abandon, she dearly wants to be a good little soldier and pushes herself far too hard, putting in as many hours on the job as she possibly can, oftentimes leaving at dusk and returning at dawn after training endlessly during the day, she frequently needs to be told to stop and regularly combats against exhaustion, forcing herself to carry on despite wobbly legs and double vision. She's acutely aware of how she's really only good at one thing and terrible at everything else, knows she should strive to change but worries by doing so she puts the edge she has on that one good thing at risk and is reluctant to truly apply herself, something she knows hasn't gone unnoticed and is thankful hasn't been thrust in her face just yet.