And space stares all around

October 16, 2014: Booster Gold stops by to check on Keith, Robin was doing the same.

Keith and Miguel's Apartment



  • Skeets

Mood Music:

Six P.M, Gotham.
Do you know where your villains are?

Keith is reclined on his futon, which itself is in the middle of a circle of salt. He doesn't need to be in the circle all the time, but it does make things more peaceful for him.

"You know, you don't really need to be here if you don't want to, Bird," Keith calls out to Robin. Gar had asked the Boy Wonder to drop by and stay with him for a little while he went and took care of something related to the base purchase. "I mean, babysitting a sick person isn't exactly the most thrilling thing in the world."

He'd sent a message to Booster earlier in the day to come by, as new developments had turned things a little pear-shaped. He wasn't quite sure if the man in the golden pants would have time, but it always paid to let your network know what was going on. Or so Gar had said.

"Besides, I still haven't opened that Bailey's yet." Keith grins a little, looking up from his E-book to taunt Tim a bit.

Taunting achieved. The Bird flushes a pale pink at the mention of the Bailey's as Robin makes coffee in the kitchen because while some are made up of 90 water, Robin is 90 coffee. "I don't drink. A — " begins only to go with " — friend gave me a hard time for getting hungover. I won't be doing it again. Too much on the go to let me be hindered by liquor."

And with a wave of his hand, he shrugs, "I'll head out in a bit for patrols. Honestly. There's a second Robin now, remember? Gothamites have nothing to fear when Robin Four is out trying to steal their girlfriends~" he virtually sings like the Bird he is.

The coffee pot is flicked on and the java begins to brew. "Plus things don't get crazy until the early morning hours. It's just warming up after dark." He winks.

When Booster Gold shows up, he does so politely. That is to say, he knocks on the door rather than coming in through a window, or worse, through a wall. Doorbells are too confusing. Although he is being careful, the rapping causes the door to rattle kind of alarmingly; he is in his suit, which means he's on the strong side. Skeets is floating around nearby, scanning everything in the vicinity, because that is part of his job description.

Keith tenses at the rattling. Then it occurs to him that someone with the strength to do that to a door would just kick it down if they had hostile intentions. Giving Tim a raised eyebrow, he slides off the futon and, careful not to disrupt the circle of salt, steps over to the door. He's dressed in a reasonable manner for housewear- tank top and shorts. Normally, when it's just him and Gar, he doesn't mind being in his underwear… but nowadays the apartment was getting more visits than it had ever gotten before. Being decent, therefore, was de rigeur.

After all, Oracle had irrupted into his StarkPad in the middle of movie night last night. If he had been watching a movie by himself, he would have been in his undies, and that was something he would have never recovered from.

"Booster!" Keith says, giving Booster a warm, though not terribly energetic, smile as he opens the door. "It's good to see you got my message. You remember my friend, right? Robin, the Boy Wonder?"

Robin holds up two fingers in the kitchen in a psuedo-wave. His foot taps on the ground until the coffee maker beeps and, with a crooked grin, Robin pours himself a cup. "Anyone else want some? There's plenty — " his grin evens out some. The notion of someone getting Keith's message has Robin shrugging once over. More death visitors. Which reminds him.

He points towards the window (where he'd come in) and to a rather strange looking package. "That's from the OTHER Robin, by the way." Inside is a brick of a putty like material coloured in a deep green. "He says it's for medicinal purposes. It may be an incendiary device. Approach with caution." There's a pause. "He had me deliver it when I told him he had to play nice. SO…" he shrugs.

"Hey, dude," Booster greets Keith, looking him up and down as if to assess whether the man is about to collapse or not. He seems to think this may happen, because he says, "Sit down, it's okay. Eh…" Pausing before he walks in, he looks at the salt, and gestures to it, one eyebrow arching up questioningly, visible behind his translucent goggles. It must be there for a reason, so he steps into the apartment with care, trying not to disturb anything. Skeets flies in behind him. "I remember. Nice to see you again, Robin. It's cool that Batman is real."

"Get this, Batman is some sort of legend when he is from," Keith says, "You should tell him that. It'll tickle him." Pause. "Or it won't. Have a seat, Booster. It's ok, you can step over the salt… don't disturb it, is all. Gar spent a lot of time making sure the circle was as close to perfect as he could get it. It helps me sleep." He gives the golden man a tight smile and then goes to get the package from the window. "So other Robin sent me a present. A plastic explosive, maybe?" he jokes as he sits down on the futon, starting to unwrap the package.

"So… Booster… remember that thing I told you about, about the people hunting me?"

Robin fights the smirk that threatens to take over his expression at the notion of Batman being real. "There's a lot of really impossible things that are true. I think Batman is one of the lowest of the impossible." He adds cream to his coffee (a first!) and gives it a quick stir before treading into the room proper. The notion of Batman as a legend has Robin's eyebrows twitching upwards, "Yeah. I don't think it'd tickle him, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want to see his face when he hears that."

With a quirk of his lips, Robin notes: "Nice to see you too, Booster."

A glance is given to Keith and Robin states, "He thought it might make you feel better. Or so he said. I dunno. I could see that in his own way an explosive could make you del better because you'd feel nothing at all. So yeah, caution." He sips the coffee and makes a face. No, he won't be having cream again.

"He's not a … legend, exactly. He's a being of historical dispute," Booster tries to explain to Keith and Robin, with regards to the Dark Knight. "The idea being he probably did exist but was also highly mythologised, making it tough to know the facts. I mean its way more interesting to find out there's more than one of you," he adds, to Robin. Then Booster waves his hand, realizing he is getting sidetracked. "I just assume this salt is part of the whole…" he gestures at Keith in a vague way. "The whole thing you're going through. But yeah I remember what you told me."

"Batman, mythologized. Hard to believe considering he's pretty mythologized already. What, did they think he ate souls and walked on air?" Keith peers into the package, to see what it is that the Other One has sent him.

"Well… long story short, Booster: They caught up to me. They ripped the Cait Sidhe out of my soul, and now I'm dying. At least, I'm dying until we find out how to fuse us back together… and manage to catch him. Lovely, eh?" he smirks. "Never a boring day in Gotham, I always say. Wouldn't that be right, Skeets?"

"Let the record show, I'm the third one of me," Robin states while raising a finger in the air, "and that the other current Robin is the fourth one. In this case, he is kind of getting sloppy fourths. Because. Nightwing got it. Then," Jason Todd, "then me. And new Robin." He shrugs and then silences as Keith explains his tale, leaving Robin to silence until the end, "There never will be boring days in Gotham…"

"That's very true, sir," Skeets replies to Keith. He turns in mid-air, remarking to Robin in his cheerful, polite voice, "That is also true, sir. Although there is a significant decrease in crime when we are from — albeit part of that is due to how — "

"Skeets, we'll have that discussion later," Booster says to his valet droid. "Okay, well…" He spreads his hands and says to Keith, "But you're not dead yet, so that's good. There's a little time to work with. So… how can we track this thing so we can jam it back into you?"

Keith looks at the brick of… putty. He is not entirely sure what to do with it, but he gets the impression that a certain green young man with heightened scent sensitivity might be able to identify it. So he puts it aside, carefully, remarking that it was very thoughtful of Robin Four to send it in the same way that Aunt Bathilda would remark that it is very… original that your friend Amber Angel has gotten a thirteenth piercing.

"We're not quite sure. Oracle sent us some magical texts that they think might be relevant… but I've got no mystical knowledge now that I'm separated from the Cait. And what's worse…" Keith says, and for the first time, despair creeps into his voice, "Detective Pezzini told me that there is some sort of Elder God Crisis going on that seems to be tying up every wizard and magician in the area. It would explain why I've heard nothing from the Zataras, or Rain and why we can't find Strange or Constantine… which means that we need to get creative and find someone with some sort of mystical background, and soon, or we won't be able to do research and I'm as good as dead and the Cait is free to roam and cause havok in Gotham."

Keith exhales and rubs his forehead. "… rather irritating to think that I may be a footnote in the history of the Titans as 'That guy who died three months into the founding of the team.'"

There's a beep at Robin's comlink and he shuffles towards the window. He murmurs a few words into it before shaking his head. "I'm sorry guys, I gotta — " there's a frown that tugs on his lips. "I'll come check on you after?" It's more a question than a statement, and not a particularly solid one either. "Take care guys…" and with that, the Bird is disappearing through the window again.

Booster tilts his head as he watches Robin slip out. He starts pacing, one arm folded behind his back, careful to not tread over any salt. He rubs his chin with his free hand. "Yeah, sorry, I don't know anything about magical stuff. I was a history major. Are the texts like… stuff you can't read without being magic? Or stuff you can't really understand without a bachelor's degree in mysticism?"

Turning, Booster says to Keith, "Nah, dude, don't think that way. At least we have some time to work with before you shrivel and die. That means we have a chance to turn it around."

"More like the second one. The stuff gives me headaches- it reads like Finnegan's Wake had sex with Aradia, The Gospel of the Witches and produced this… this… this stuff." He throws his hands up in the air, and then gestures to the text on his Starkpad.

"I'm not the magic expert, either. That was the Cait. And Raven, and the Zataras… they're all AWOL as far as I can gather. Either that or Shadowcrest has really, really bad cell reception, since it's supposed to be in some sort of alternate dimension."

Huffing, the redhead gives Booster an apologetic look. "Sorry… it's kind of frustrating. I wanted to keep you abreast of what was going on… but magic is magic."

Booster stops pacing and gives his head a little scratch. "Well… okay but why can't you use a computer to read it and like… you know, sort and cross-reference all of it. I mean it's text, wouldn't it save time to do that first? Even if you get magic people to look at it, they'd have to spend time reading it to get to the stuff that's important. You can do hella analysis on texts that way, generate your word clouds and so on. Right, Skeets?"

The golden robot tilts slightly upwards, tilts slightly downwards, then finally says, "Yes, sir. Hella analysis."

Keith gives Booster a lopsided grin and leans back on the futon. "Well, the problem is that none of this text is straightforward enough to facilitate that type of thing. See, from what I've gathered from some cursory research on grimoires… these things are written in riddles or in figurative language that is part of some sort of esoteric tradition. Like here…"

He points to a passage and reads it out loud. "'And for the preparation, the expence thou must be at will be but a trifle: all the instruments necessary are but three, viz. that which binds, that which lives, and that which dies. Put that which is immesurable, in weight about 5 dwts., put it upon that which binds, pour upon it the twice of its weight. Set them in the hidden chamber upon the cold fire until they are but pure essence, and thus it may be added to the prima materia…'" Keith looks up and smirks. "Got any of that?"

Booster and Skeets look at each other, which is to say that Skeets turns in the air so that the red 'eye' at the front of his form is facing Booster for a moment. When Booster looks to Keith again, he seems confused, although perhaps not for the reason expected. "Why wouldn't you just ask the computer to take the figurative language into account, then? It isn't exactly generative gene free-sequencing science, dude." He looks thoughtful, then. "But, speaking of that, what you said sounds like a recipe. It's still something that can be analyzed and cross referenced if you have enough data."

"Weelll…" Keith looks from Skeets to Booster. "How familiar are you with twenty-first century computers? We don't actually have actual intelligent computerss as of yet available to the masses. We've got some pretty hot research tools, but they require a lot of oversight and…" Keith taps the text "None of this text has been turned into proper text, per se, they're all page scans from 'historically interesting' texts, not stuff anybody has bothered to transcribe. Like the Voynich manuscript, it's scanned for preservation but not a lot of people are working towards making them text-searchable."

The redhead pauses, and hms. "That one they have at Stark Tower, that one might be advanced enough… and I'm sure that Oracle, as much of a tech wiz as they seem to be, does not have that technology or otherwise they would have done it already instead of sending us the texts."

"Uh, not very," Booster admits, with regards to current-age computer systems. "I'm having a lot of trouble trying to use them, they don't talk much. Anyway…" He and Skeets exchange another glance, then Booster tilts his head a bit, indicating the book that Keith opened.

Skeets floats down and his 'eye' glows, emitting a barely visible flat beam of light that scans over the page. Then, curved holo-screens pop up before Booster's face, translucent, so Keith can see 'through' them. Currently on display is the page Skeets just scanned, and when Booster touches it with his index finger, the text seems to lift away from the image. "Well, that page is done. Do you want the extra data like any trace elements on the paper, hidden watermarks, you know… bonus material. I dunno how much of this you have but I bet it wouldn't take long to scan it."

"My dear Booster… computers don't talk in this century. They parrot. We are … I don't know how far away before we are able to actually create sentience. If Skeets is people, then our computers in this age are the monkeys that have not descended from the trees just yet. They imitate, they have some of the higher functions, but they are a ways away, unless Tony Stark comes up with something." You never knew, with Stark.

Watching Booster and SKeets in action, Keith smiles, "Why don't I send you the texts and you can send them back to me when you're done?" Keith stifles a yawn. "I … seem to have a lot less energy these days, for some reason, and I feel like I'm about to fall asleep on the two of you. I'm sorry," he says, looking embarrassed.

He'd be infuriated, if he weren't so tired. It wasn't cool to kick a visitor out of your house. But he had to watch his energy, until he could get a magical 'physical' from someone, he had no idea if anything he did caused him to burn out sooner or not. But he did know that he had to take naps at several points in the day, and that couldn't be good.

"I wish I could stay awake longer so you could meet Gar, I'm sure the two of you would hit it off— he's Changeling, used to go by Beast Boy, but he got a Boy-ectomy." He says, repeating Gar's words.

"Dude, it's cool. Of course you're tired." Booster waves his hand as if to dismiss any concerns Keith might have about having the audacity to be exhausted due to dying. "Yeah, send that stuff to me. We can knock it out in a few hours. We," he gestures to himself and to Skeets, "Worked in … well, a history museum, is what you'd call it in this era. Skeets did docent and security work but he's equipped to do rapid analysis of artefacts. And once you have the data in words and numbers you can probably use a current-era computer to crunch it." Booster takes a step towards the door, hand reaching for the handle, frowning faintly as if he were debating whether to divulge more information. Keith is dying, after all. "I mean, I work with time, you know? Sometimes we need to get this kind of data together fast. Really fast."

Keith stands up, a little slow and wobbly, but then he walks over to Booster - again, making sure not to disrupt the circle.

"I understand. Hey, if I make it alive out of this, you'll have to tell me about what life was like in the future," He gives him a tired smile, "I'll make coffee. The good kind, not the battery acid version Robin seems to like."

And then he gives Booster a hug, out of impulse. It's not a strong hug, he's not very strong right now. In fact, there are moments where, for the briefest instants, he looks like he could almost transluscent… it never last more than half a second or so, but it could very well be a trick of the light. "Thanks. For the help, it means a lot." A strange smile comes to him as he realizes something. "You know, for four years I was basically dead while living and I probably wouldn't have minded if I had died then. Now? I want to live so badly- I want to go to school, spend time with Gar, get my name out there as a hero…" hechuckles "And then this shit happens. My life must be scripted by Woody Alle—" pause. "Okay, future boy, here's your homework: rent some Woody Allen movies. Then I'll be able to make the joke without having to explain the reference," keith says, stepping back, the smile turning into a smirk.

Booster smiles a little and gives Keith a pat on the back. A very, very careful pat, because the guy is looking fragile. "I know who that is, dude. I'm an actor. And a history major with a focus on the 20th and 21st century. Plus I took a crash course in the popular culture of this era when I was learning the language. Just don't expect me to quote stuff, it was a lot to take in out of context." His grin fades and he looks more serious now. "We'll get this figured out. Don't waste your strength on worrying."

"We'll work on getting you quoting. First thing I'm doing if I get better is throw a Princess Bride viewing party."

A pause. Then he blushes. "No, that will be the second thing I'm going to do."

But he doesn't elaborate. "But yes, we'll figure it out…" he casts a glance at the drawing on the wall which is hanging over his bed/futon, right next to the other poster. What Would Wonder Woman Do? Then he glances back at Booster, "Can't give up, and all that. Thank you for coming to see me, and thank you too, Skeets-" a lot of people would find it hard to consider the little ovoid as 'people', as Booster calls him, but he lives in the realm of the strange and the impossible. Robots are people? Of course they are, just as Cheshire Cats are.

Booster raises a gleaming fist, the light sparkling off of his golden ring. "Punching bad guys is just a small fraction of the whole superhero thing!" He opens his hand, palm-upwards. "Helping others is the most important part. I can do a lot of stuff… magic isn't one of them. But processing this data fast so you can get to the helpful stuff? We're on it." He points at Keith and winks at him, smiling bright as the sun. "You'll be better in no time."

"You're welcome, sir," pipes Skeets. "I noticed some dimpling here and there on the sheet I scanned, and while it may be nothing, I'll still ensure that such things are recorded. It's always better to have too much data than too little." The little robot bobs in the air as if he were nodding, before he follows Booster out.

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