gwenfrankenstien: Oracle with text reading "Big Sister is Always Watching" (big sister)
[personal profile] gwenfrankenstien
30 images, not dial-up safe. Image descriptions included.

[img: Dinah Lance in her classic costume, holding the wig, listening to the messages on her answering machine.

Machine: "Dinah, this is Bank of Seattle--" BEEP! "Ms. Lance, you are in arrears--" BEEP! "This is the credit depart--" BEEP!"Dinah... This is Oracle.

I need help with something and I think you're my best choice. It will require some travel. Danger level is uncertain.

I can't tell you much more on the phone. There's a first-class ticket to Gotham waiting at Gate E-Two at Seattle-Tacoma International in your name.

If you're available, please let me know."]

And so, with nothing more to go on than a cryptic phone message, Dinah flies to the other side of the country.

[img: Dinah, in costume but sans wig, looking at the shiny new car Oracle bought her.

Dinah: "I THINK I'm love.

I'm going to LIKE this job."]

This is about twelve pages into the very first ever Birds of Prey story. '90s-BoP-writer Chuck Dixon is under the impression that he was not writing a love story, I am not exactly sure how he got that idea.

[img: Dinah holding a cassette tape (remember those?) and putting it into the car stereo.

Dinah: "'Listen to me.' Curiouser and curiouser...

Oracle: "Dinah, this is Oracle. All of your expenses are covered. You're staying at the Ritz-Marlton on Grand off the Park Drives. Everything will be explained when you get to the room."]

[img: A Canary-shaped pendant and a pair of stud earrings, both with concealed radio transmitters.

Oracle: (voiceover) "There's an earpiece and micro throat mike in the darawr of the dresser. This will give you twenty-four hour contact with me from anywhere in the world by satellite uplink."]

Big Sister is always watching.

[img: A guy in a red shirt, talking on the phone. I forget who he is, but if Star Trek has taught us anything it's that the guy in the red shirt doesn't actually matter.

Red Shirt: "Hello?"

Oracle: "You don't know me. But if you don't do what I say, you'll GET to know me."

Red Shirt: "I sense a veiled threat here."]

This is just to show that as creepy as Oracle is with Dinah, that's nothing on how she treats people she doesn't care about.

[img: Two panels. The first is Babs at her computer; the second is Dinah in the field talking to Lois Lane, who is off-panel.

Babs: "Your friend is extremely astute. Say hi for me."

Dinah: "My... Partner

... Says 'Hi.'"

Lois: "I see. He-- She--"

Dinah: "Sorry-- Can't say."]

She's also even more secretive with people who aren't Dinah.

[img: Oracle talking to Catwoman via the radio-earrings (which Dinah left in Selina's car)

Babs: "The Canary has a sender matched to the same co-ordinates."

Selina: "So you can hear her but not vice versa.

So do you have a NAME?"

Babs: "ONLY to vigilantes."

Selina: "Touché."]

So you see, by Oracle standards, the fact that Dinah knows her codename and her gender is a big step!

[img: Two panels. Babs at her computer, with Dinah visible on one monitor; Dinah looking at her new laptop, startled.

Babs: "I've done all the programming. It's task-dedicated. You just touch the screen."

Dinah: "Like this?"

Babs: "You're wearing your hair different."

Dinah: "You can SEE me?"

Babs: "There's a realtime video receptor with this unit."

[img: Dinah at the laptop, Dinah making a pot of coffee, with a towel covering the laptop screen (and the webcam)

Dinah: "So why can't I see YOU?"

Babs: "My identity has to remain hidden. We've DISCUSSED this."

Dinah: "Even from ME, huh?"

Babs: "DINAH!"

Dinah: "See? I AM getting the hang of this."]

Now Oracle can see Dinah's face and Dinah still doesn't even know her name; it's putting some obvious strain on their relationship.

[img: Babs in her washroom getting ready for a shower, talking to her online friend Bumblebeeb.

Bumblebeeb: "Do you ever get out?"

Babs: "Is that an invitation?"

Bumbleeeb: "Could be. Would you say yes?"

Babs: "I don't get out MUCH."

Bumblebeeb: "I'd love to meet you."

Babs: "I'm not sure, Beeb. I kind of like our relationship the way it IS."

[img: Two panels. Babs talking to Bumblebeeb; their computer with Babs' message on the screen.

Bumblebeeb: "I'm not hiding anything. Are YOU?"

Babs: "Let's just say I'm more comfortable on-line than face to face. Catch you later.
-- Rollthunder"]

Meanwhile, Babs has a mysterious-voice-on-the-computer friend of her own. They only know her as Rollerthunder and she only knows them as Bumblebeeb. Like Dinah, they want to meet her face-to-face; she hasn't told them her name, gender, or even occupation.

[Dinah with private investigator Jason Bard.

Jason: "The name's..."

Dinah: "Jason Bard."

Jason: "How did you--"

Dinah: "That's my little secret."

Oracle: "Keep it that way, Dinah."]

Babs' ex-fiancé isn't even allowed to know Oracle exists.

[img: Two panels of Babs at her computer, talking to Bumblebeeb.

Bumblebeeb: "Did your friend understand the danger?"

Babs: "That doesn't make any difference?"

Bumblebeeb: "Sure. You shared the danger."

Babs: "But she's in PHYSICAL danger. I'm NOT."

Bumblebeeb: "You care about her."

Babs: "Yes."

Bumblebeeb: "You're partners."

Babs: "I guess we are."]

[img: Another panel of Babs talking to Bumblebeeb.

Bumblebeeb: "Then you share the risks."

Babs: "How?"

Bumblebeeb: "She risks physical danger. And your heart is endangered for sending her there."]

No commentary, I just think this part is cute.

[img: Dinah, talking to Jason Bard about Oracle.

Dinah: "Funny thing is-- She's my best friend in the whole world-- But I don't know who she is."]

I love this panel. Oracle is unquestionably the most important person in Dinah's life-- And she's never seen her face.

[img: Four panels. Dinah in a red convertable, talking to Babs through her earrings; Babs in her chair, talking to Dinah with a headset; Closeup on Dinah's face; Closeup on Babs' face, looking shocked.

Dinah: "What do YOU do for downtime, Oracle?"

Babs: "Not MUCH, really."

Dinah: "Where ARE you these days?"

Babs: "Still in Gotham."

Dinah: "You didn't GET while the gettin' was good?"

Babs: "I'm kind of... Committed."

Dinah: "That's right. You're sort of BATGIRL, aren't you?"

Babs: "Uh, WHAT?"]

Dinah sometimes accidentally gets close to figuring out some of Babs' secrets. Babs kind of panics.

[img: Dinah, trying to hear Oracle over the explosions as she and a deposed dictator try to escape a bombing.

Dinah: "Can't hear you, Oracle. Can't hear anything but RINGING."

General: "Who are you speaking to?

Your controllers?"

Dinah: "Believe it or not, I don't really KNOW, general.

Let's find a friendlier neighborhood, okay with you?"]

Dinah risks her life for Oracle every day and she still doesn't actually know her name.

[img: Nightwing, in Babs' control room, talking to Dinah while Babs is busy.

Dick: "Just a friend. Babs is 'occupado' right now."

Dinah: 'Babs'?

Dick: "You KNOW who you're calling..."

Dinah: "Yeah... But a man has never answered before."

Dick: "Black Canary, right?"

Dinah: "And you would be--"

Dick: "CLASSIFIED, for now. But if you work with Oracle, you're good enough to figure it out."]

In fact, Babs doesn't tell Dinah her name. Dick does. By accident.

[img: Dinah and Catwoman, on Apokalips.

Selina: "So who IS Oracle?"

Dinah: "I don't know."

Selina: "What's she LIKE?"

Dinah: "I've never MET her."

Selina: "You're risking your life on orders from someone you don't even KNOW?"

Dinah: I know ENOUGH. Back OFF, Kittycat."]

Selina doesn't understand their relationship.

[img: Babs surrounded by people, at some sort of computer/tech convention.

Babs: I'm here to MEET someone.

And I have no idea what they LOOK like. OR their name.

Or why I'm even HERE."]

Meanwhile, Babs is finally ready to meet Bumblebeeb IRL. Well... Mostly ready.

[img: Babs and Bumblebeeb, who has been revealed to be Ted Kord. A panel of the two of them talking, and then a close up on each of their awkward faces.

Babs: "You have a BUSINESS here?"

Ted: "Naw. I'm just shopping around."

Babs: "What do you DO, Ted?"

Ted: "I develop... HARDWARE."

Babs: "I'm a... POLICE DISPATCHER."]

They are surprisingly bad liars.

[img: Ted looking surprised and a bit angry as Babs reveals his secret; Babs trying to get away before Ted reveals hers.

Babs: "You're the BLUE BEETLE."

Ted: "uh.

Could you keep it DOWN? That's not the kind of thing--

Why would you--?"

Babs: "I KNOW, Ted. There's no use denying it."

Ted: "Wait a minute..."

Babs: "Gotta ROLL, Ted."]

[img: Ted, smiling, leaning in to stop Babs from avoiding this.

Ted: "You're ORACLE."

Babs: "Who's--"

Ted: "How ELSE could you know I was the Beetle?"]

So now that everything's out in the open between Babs and her sort-of-boyfriend, let's cut back to her girlfriend for a bit:

[img: Babs talking to Dinah, looking tired and then shocked.

Babs: "It really has nothing to--"

Dinah: "TALK to me, Babs."

Babs: "I never TOLD you my name--"]

Dinah knows her name now. Babs isn't sure she's ready for that kind of commitment.

[img: Babs, Ted, and Robin in Oracle's headquarters.

Ted: "The Canary calls you Oracle. She doesn't know your real name?"

Babs: "Dinah doesn't need to know anything about me. It's better that way."

Ted: "Then you've never even met?"]

[Babs smirking.

Babs: "Oh, we've met.

But she doesn't know that."]

Someone needs to write (or link me to?) the fic where Dinah had sex with a cute girl in a wheelchair and didn't find out for years later that that was her boss, because look at that face, this definitely is a thing that happened.

[img: Babs, in her other HQ near the Gotham Harbor, talking to Dinah.

Babs: "It's Blockbuster. Lady Vic is one of his first choices for murder."

Dinah: "Well, they're looking for you."

Babs: "For Oracle by name?"

Dinah: "I think that's ALL they know.

Like you're an urban legend or something."

Babs: I'm going to break a rule here.

How soon can you get back to Gotham?"

Dinah: "To my place?"

Babs: "MY place. Well, my vacation home, anyway."]

[img: Babs in a wetsuit, talking to Dinah, who's on her way there.

Babs: "I can hold."

Dinah: "I just realized. I don't even know what you look like."

Babs: "Well, I'm not exactly at my best right now.

But you should see the other guy."

Dinah: "Attagirl."]

And so, when Babs is reaching the limit of what she can be expected to get away from, Dinah mounts a rescue.

[img: Babs, sputtering to get to the surface after swimming to get away from her pursuers; Dinah, reaching her hand out to rescue her.

Babs: "puh! gasp. gasp."

Dinah: "Looks like I got here right on time, huh?"

Babs: (shakily) "oh god..."

Dinah: "You ARE Oracle, right?"

Babs: (shakily) "Not Oracle...."]

[img: Dinah hugging Babs close, having just rescued her from drowning. Dinah’s hand is on Babs’ breasts, and Babs’ hand is reaching for Dinah’s butt.
Babs: (shakily) “Barbara. Call me Barbara.”]
And so, after several one shots and miniseries and nearly two years of monthly comics, Our Heroes finally meet face to face.
So ends the first chapter of their epic love story.
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gwenfrankenstien: Cartoon version of Mattell's Frankie Stein doll, the teen daughter of Frankenstein's monster (Default)

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