Secret Identity: Madison Castle
Age – 15
Height – 5′ 5″
Weight – 125 lbs
Hair – Blonde
Eyes – Blue
Build – Athletic
Throughout her short, but amazingly eventful life, Madison has had several key moments that have severely altered her personality. Though Maddie was always been a relatively serious child, the loss of her adopted parents and seeing her birth mother murdered in front of her, has only served to intensify her already serious nature. A once fairly well adjusted child, she has now become quite brooding at times. Before things in her life went sour, she was friendly and likable. However, Maddie has a tendency to push past friends away from her.
Besides distancing herself from old friends, Maddie tends to avoid making new ones as well. This being said, Maddie developed a very close bond with the Red Hood, Jason Todd. Her heroic name came partly from his own name and from the pet name he gave in their time together, “Little Bird”. Other than Todd, Maddie’s deepest connections are to Lilly Allen better known as Velocity and Jack Drake, Tim’s son who always seems to make her laugh.
Madison possesses the normal human strength of a teenager who regularly engages in intensive physical exercise. Before becoming Redbird, Madison trained in gymnastics, and ballet. She is trained in several different forms of martial arts and she is proficient in Baritsu, Kajukenbo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Krav Maga, and Judo. She has also been trained in Parkour and is proficient in it as well. She is proficient with tonfa and escrima which meshed well with the Baritsu and Kajukenbo.
She has learned other skills such as forensics, criminology, stealth, disguise, and escapology. She has a natural affinity as a detective.
Redbird’s base costume is a tight-fitting bodysuit made from advanced materials that give it resistance to tearing. In addition, the suit also contains various defense and protection mechanisms layered into the suit’s fabric. It is bulletproof around the upper torso and back and is insulated against electricity and mildly fire resistant.
Her mask, like Batman’s has defense mechanisms such as electric shock or stun gas in order to prevent unauthorized removal. She also has a thin sheet of lead lining to protect her identity from those who have the power to see through solid objects. The cowl has special visions, like infrared vision (heat sensors), light vision, and ultraviolet vision. The cowl’s visor is also a digital camera for obtaining evidence. On the left side of the cowl was a high-gain antenna for an internal comm-link, allowing Redbird to stay in contact with her allies. The comm-link could also scan police radios and other communication frequencies. The cowl’s Kevlar panels provide a level of protection for her head against firearms. The sides of the temples have small armor inserts to protect from concussive blows.
The bracers of her gloves are made from a special ceramic polymer that allows her to deflect melee attacks. The gloves also have joint armor-reinforcement in the glove, from the wrists and knuckles to the fingers. There are also very low yield electrical shockers in the fingertips of her gloves, which are used to control the structure of her cape but would only feel like a small static shock to another human. Additionally, Redbird hides a few pieces of her arsenal in her gloves, such as an additional lock pick. The knuckles of her gloves contain a small amount of lead shot to increase the force of her blows.
The basic design of the boots is modeled on tactical boots, but they are made from lightweight rubbers and are much more flexible to allow for full extension when kicking. The boots features a unique “slingshot” ankle reinforcement design that acts as both armor and as reinforcement for the ankle joint when kicking or landing from high distances. The bottom is a flexible split sole design and is textured for a variety of surfaces. The boots also has steel toes, making them much more effective when on the offensive.
Her cape is bullet proof and is also used as a sort of wingsuit; when an electric current from the gloves of the suit is applied to the cape, the shape-memory fibers aligned into a semi-rigid form resembling wings, allowing Redbird to glide short distances. The hood attached to the cape has an additional Kevlar weave to give her head extra protection.
Like all of the other members of the Bat-family, Redbird uses a utility belt, which carries Batarangs, Batclaw, Bat-tracer, first aid kit, cryo grenades, acetylene torch, lock pick, miniaturized toolkit, rebreather, smoke pellets, Bat-taser, stun (flash-bang) grenades, evidence bags, zip tie cuffs and Listening devices.
Her most used weapon is a pair of two shatterproof polymer tonfa held in special holsters on her belt. Her tonfa’s carried a few other extra surprises as well. They house a limited charge taser good enough for one attack per charge, and a miniaturized Bat-claw. With a quick motion, the tonfa extends from twelve to twenty one inches long. Her last line of protection is the chest emblem on her costume. In an emergency she can remove the emblem and use it as a throwing disc which has a thermite charge in it to be used as a last resort.
Redbird’s main mode of transportation is the Red Robin, a customized Batcycle. A modified street-bike with a 786 cc liquid-cooled V-4 engine. It contains a computer-controlled carburetor and bulletproof wind-guard. It has a Batcomputer controlled GPS. The body of the motorcycle is not only bulletproof, but also bullet absorbent in order to prevent stray ricochets from hitting innocent bystanders. The windshield is coated with a transparent polymer rendering it bulletproof as well. Extra dense vulcanized rubber protects the wheels of the Crimson from ballistic impact. The headlight of the Crimson contains laser systems for on-road combat, though Redbird rarely makes use of this feature. A modified exhaust system allows the driver to emit a cloud of black smoke designed to obscure the vision of pursuing vehicles.
Madison was raised in a very happy upper middle class home in Gotham Heights. She was a straight A student since Kindergarten, athletic, and popular. All that changed however the moment Damian Wayne came into her life. She woke up one night with him standing over her. He explained that he was there to save her and her family, but he had arrived too late and her parents were dead. As Damian told Madison that the only way she could be safe was to come with him, the Batgirl burst through Madison’s window. Damian laughed as he attacked her. The two fought in front of the scared girl. The whole time the one called Damian kept yelling and laughing at Batgirl, taunting her. Asking her where the Batman was and how it would feel to die in front of her daughter.
Madison sat in shock. Daughter? She knew she was adopted, her parents had never hidden that from her, but that the woman who called herself Batgirl was her real mother? As this hit her, Damian howled with what seemed like both joy and rage, he slid his sword through Batgirl’s stomach. He slid the katana out of her belly and turned and smiled at Madison. He took one step toward Madison, when Batman himself joined the fray. He looked down at Batgirl bleeding out on Madison’s floor and then to Damian. He roared with anger as he charged Damian.
Madison slipped nervously off the bed and down to the blood stained floor where Batgirl lay, her breathing labored. Maddie’s trembling hands pulled the mask back and looked into her mother’s eyes. The older woman smiled and her hand lightly touched Maddie’s cheek as her life left her. Batman had returned at that point, and knelt down next to Madison he looked at the girl and amazingly pulled his own mask back. There were tears in his eyes. He explained that as insane as Damian was, he told her the truth and that Stephanie was her birth mother and was his closest friend and had been his partner for many many years. Maddie started to cry. Batman put his hand on her shoulder. He helped her up and took her to Wayne Tower, and explained that he was Tim Drake and that if she wanted it he would train her to bring justice to Damian for her adopted parents and her birth mother as well. Madison nodded and agreed to join Tim.
Over the next few months Madison was trained not only by Batman, but by the former Nightwing; Dick Grayson, Cassandra Cain another former Batgirl, and now the chief agent of Batman Incorporated, and the former Batman himself, Bruce Wayne. After six months, Madison became Robin. Once she became Robin, Maddie joined Cassandra on a trip to Europe to tour the Batman Incorporated facilities.
While in Europe, Madison trained further with Night Runner the French member of Batman Incorporated. One night as she was out on patrol with Night Runner and Cassandra, they found a cadre of League of Assassin members and defeated them. Madison listened in on a conversation between Night Runner and Cassandra. She over heard that the League of Assassins was now led by Damian, the one that murdered her parents. At that moment she made her mind. Maddie set out that night, back to where they found the League members. She scoured the area for clues as to where Damian was. While she investigated a voice called out to her. The voice called her “Little Bird”. She whirled around to find a man with a red mask wearing a leather jacket hiding a red bat underneath. He called himself Red Hood and that he knows her costume well. The two investigated the League of Assassins base and found clues that led to the Himalayas. Red Hood told Robin to go home and that he would take care of it, but Maddie angrily disagreed. She told him she was not about to let him leave without her. Begrudgingly, Red Hood agreed and the two left out for the Himalayas.
The two arrived in Southeast Asia and were attacked almost immediately by League of Assassins members, led by a woman named Prudence. During the fight, Prudence turned on the other members of the League and helped Red Hood and Robin to defeat them. She then told the two that she had finally paid her last debt to Tim Drake and her years as a double agent for him in the League were over. She would lead them to the League’s mountain side temple, the Torri Ta ‘l-xirka, then she would disappear forever.
The Assassin lead Robin and Red Hood up mountain passes for weeks, as they hiked both Red Hood and Prudence trained Robin. Unlike her previous trainers, they focused on a more punishing style that challenged Maddie to become a tougher fighter. The whole time Red Hood never once called her Robin, only Little Bird. When she had enough, Maddie yelled at him demanding to know why he didn’t call her Robin. Red Hood took off his mask and told her is name, Jason Todd. He had been Robin after Dick Grayson, but he had nearly been beaten to death in the line of duty, and after years of pain and suffering he finally became the Red Hood to find his own path. He told her that she needed to find her own path too and that the name Robin only brought bad luck and death. This made Maddie think, did she want to be a part of some legacy, or did she need to find her own way to get revenge on Damian? Finally they reached the summit and the citadel and were immediately attacked by citadel guards. The three put up a brave fight but Prudence was killed in the assault and both Red Hood and Robin captured.
Red Hood and Robin were marched in front of Damian who sat on a large, ornate throne. The new head of the League of Assassins smiled down at his two prisoners. He ranted that they were the best that the Batman could send after him was an insane, washed up former sidekick and a child. He stood up from the throne and walked toward Madison. He grabbed the R above her breast and laughed that Drake had made the girl Robin. Madison snarled that he had killed her father and that she would kill him for that. Damian laughed again, and pushed the girl back to the ground. He turned back toward Jason Todd. He surveyed the other former Robin for a moment before speaking again that Todd could have been a great addition to the League of Assassins. That Todd had greatly disrespected his mother by not accepting her offer to join them. Jason grinned and called Damian a momma’s boy. Damian backhanded Red Hood sending him sprawling across the marble floor. Damian returned to his throne and sat back down.
For several moments he stared at the two silently for several moments. Then he sat forward intently staring at the two, until he finally spoke again. He told them of his plans for Gotham. That soon he and his people would be in place, that they were ready to unleash his wrath on Gotham to wipe the unclean from his father’s city and remake it as a Utopia, a shining example of what can be. Jason laughed calling him an idiot and saying that as much as he disliked Tim, that he would stop him. Damian threw up a hand in defiance, and had his two prisoners thrown in the dungeon below.
The two heroes sat chained in the dark, musty dungeon in silence for what could have been hours or even days when Jason finally spoke. He apologized for getting Maddie involved in all of this and that there may not be a way out for them. The girl heard the sadness in Jason’s voice and felt hopelessness well up in her. She was going to die like her parents, like…her mother. As they sat there, the door swung open and a female figure walked through. The woman immediately set about freeing both Jason and Maddie. Jason introduced the woman as Talia, Damian’s mother. Maddie was shocked as the woman looked no older than Damian himself. Talia told them that Damian had become as insane as her father was and that while she could not flee and join her beloved, but she could not allow two of his associates to be killed by Damian’s hand. She also told them that Damian had gotten his hands on a rare plant toxin created by Pamela Isley. He would use this toxin to “infect” the plants which would mutate them to release this toxin into the air with its pollen. No harm would come to the trees, or even to the animals that lived in the city, only humans. Even though she believed as Ra’s and even Damian did that the world needed to be wiped clean, she could not allow her beloved to die along with the rabble. She asked them to stop Damian’s plans and save her beloved. She could get them time to stop him and his plans.
The two raced out to the dungeon and back into the main part of the citadel. They knew they didn’t have long before Damian launched his assault on Gotham. As they neared the chamber that Talia had told them was the control room that housed the held the control platforms for the toxin. They were remotely controlled to give the League’s teams plenty of time to allow them to retreat out of Gotham until everyone was dead and the toxin was gone. If the control room’s equipment was destroyed, then the toxin could not be brought online and would need to be manually done. Maddie took out the comm-link from her belt and for the first time since she ran away from Cassandra, she flicked it back on and contacted Batman. She told him where she was, and what Talia had told them. She explained that she was with the Red Hood and they were going to destroy the control room here and would send Batman the coordinates of where the League would be administering the toxin. Batman told her they would be talking about her not following orders and running off. As the comm clicked off, Maddie couldn’t help but feel more than a little bit guilty that she had disobeyed Batman but she knew if she hadn’t Gotham would have been destroyed.
They entered the control room and immediately attack the League’s agents inside. Jason set C4 on the control while Maddie sent the information to Batman for the placement of the devices. They ran from the control room as it exploded. From the directions that Talia gave them, they ran to a small hanger that was near the control room. The door slid open and they stood in front of Damian, the katana he used to kill Maddie’s parents leisurely dangling at his side. Jason and Maddie both attacked the former Robin, but he held his own. After several moments of intense battle Damian managed to knock the Red Hood unconscious as he dove to protect Robin from an attack. That left Maddie alone with Damian. He smiled at the girl as he twirled the sword in his hands. Damian smiled broadly as he pulled the sword back to strike Madison down, when a cable wrapped around it and yanked it out of her hands. Damian turned to see Cassandra Cain standing behind him. Damian pulled a small control out of his belt and clicked it. There were several explosions near the base of the tower. He told them that he would destroy them all and remove all of his father’s pieces from play before destroying him and Drake. With another flick of the remote a trap door opened below him allowing him to escape. Quickly, the three members of the Bat-Family jumped into Cassandra’s Batwing and flew away from Torri Ta ‘l-xirka as it crumpled against the mountain.
Hours later the Batwing landed in Taiwan and Jason Todd got off of it. Maddie begged him to join her on the trip back to Gotham, but Jason smiled and told her he couldn’t, that he didn’t fit in there. He was following his own path just as she would need to follow hers. He hugged the girl and told her that he would always be there if she needed him.
Back in Gotham, Tim dressed down Maddie for sneaking away from Cassandra and Nightrunner and running off with Jason. He told her that if that ever happened again she would no longer be Robin. She sat thoughtfully for a moment then looked back up at him with a wry smile. She told him that Robin didn’t suit her any way that she needed to follow her own path. She still wanted to be Tim’s partner and was sorry she ran off, but that Robin was something that should go to Tim’s son Jack. She needed her own legacy, to be her own person. Tim agreed and the two began designing a new costume and identity for Maddie, and soon Redbird was born.