Repeal the beating ground

October 18, 2014: Booster, Fenris, Gar and Keith gather at the site of the Cait's first sighting to compare notes.

Galleria Mall

Open-air mall in Gotham



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Mood Music:

Galleria Mall

The day after the first Cait Sidhe sighting.

The message sent to one Booster Gold read: «Booster, this is Keith. Can you meet me at the Galleria? I need to know about last night. Thanks!»

The area around the open-air mall is still not back to normal, with intermittent and unexplained electrical failures still cropping up at random. The corner ATM had to be sealed after it gave away a good size of its stored money on an apparent eletronic whim, and the Cross/Do Not Cross signal lights across the street have had their dual light figures replaced with unsettling and at times rather scandalizing actions.

The stores suffered minimal damage from the panicked running and fighting, but there is a noticeable area where the Cait Sidhe unleashed its signature Chaos Wave- it is an area at least fifteen feet in diameter, in a perfect circle. Inside that circle is a small forest of tiny, knee-height trees sprouting from the concrete itself.

"Wow…" Keith mutters as he takes in the effects of what happened here. One of the walls closest to the circle has sprouted flowers. With tiny eyeballs. They are unsettling. "Why couldn't I do stuff like this when he was inside me?" he asks The Green One with a slight smirk.

"Because you were doing it, not him," Gar Logan, aka 'The Green One', says. He leans forward to sniff at the wallflowers, keeping a safe distance; they look like they might be somehow connected to the Opticoptoleggis Muriphage that currently lives under the driver's seat of his Smrt Cr. Maybe it's the male of the species? Or something. They seem to be following his movements anyway.

"What kind of trees are those? Do you think the mall would pay for the unique and special decor?"

When Booster shows up, he is wearing a black crew jacket over his super-suit, with the well known 'Soder Cola' logo embroidered on the back. He drops out of the sky and lands lightly, walking over to where Keith and Gar are inspecting the weird flora. "Hey, dudes," he greets them, with a casual lift of his hand. The small trees get a glance from the tall blond man, but his expression remains pretty neutral; he probably does not really know what to think about them. Or if there is anything he ought to be thinking about them at all.

"They're…" White, furry catkins. He looks at the tiny trees several times over to make sure they are… yep, they are "… Pussy willows. Of course." Keith rises from his crouching position.

And there is a golden man, falling from the sky. "Booster!" Keith gives him a wide grin, "So good of you to make it, looks like you saw my other half here last night, from what the Gazette said?"

"I see that your missing elf-bits are just as fond of puns as I remember," Gar snickers. "At least he didn't make it a pond full of cat-tails. Though, really, that would be pretty cool as well."

He looks up as Booster appears, and quirks an eyebrow at the Soder Cola pitch. Wow. That's so very Minute Men.

"Yeah…" Booster narrows his eyes a little, not at Keith or Gar, just at the memory of tangling with the Cait. "You could say that. It was causing a lot of trouble." He looks up and around as he walks in a slow circle, just surveying the area. "It was also being a huge jerk. There was this giant uh…" He rubs his chin with his index finger as he searches for the correct word. "Canine yelling at it, I guess he knew how to handle the situation." Turning back to face the pair, he explains, "I grabbed it and I was going to beat the heck out of it then thought I'd better not. Maybe I should have, though, because it ran away."

Speaking of, a Way opens right behind booster and out steps… not giant wolf. Rather, Jeremiah Wolfson, a tall lean man who throws off predatory vibes like they're going out of style.

"Mmmmmm. I thought I sensed others here. Hello Keith, Garfield…" He glances over at Booster and grins. "Citizen…"

"And speak of the huge wolf-" Keith grins and looks around at the Galleria after Fenris appears. It sure is deserted today, bad for business, "Fenris, this is Booster Gold. Booster, Fenris. You may remember him being much larger, and going 'woof'…" the redhead frowns. "A huge jerk, eh? Maybe you two can give us a rundown of what happened over a drink?" He gestures to one of the nearby open air cafes. It looks like they could use the clientele.

"Barking at a cat makes it run away. Got it," Gar says, grinning at Keith. "I guess, if you're the right wolf doing the barking."

The appearance of the Right Wolf is almost as if it were planned. Gar secures a table for the others, and grabs a few of the 'to-go' menus … if they're using the table they should pay for it, after all.

"Nice to meet you, dude," Booster says, to Jeremiah. His head is tilted to one side, and then he seems to accept that this guy was running around as a giant wolf without further questions. He tells Keith, "I wasn't around when it started, I was on location doing a commercial…" Booster plucks at his jacket. "There was a lot of screaming and a blackout, some trampled people that needed to be rescued. So it was already a thing before I came in…"

"Whereupon the Cait did it's thing." Jeremiah sighs. "Played a few tricks and got away. Speaking of, are you okay… Booster, was it? I didn't quite catch your name but you seemed rather upset at the last trick." Fenris has no idea who the woman the Cait imitated was but the impersonation was definitely not something that worked out in it's favor.

"That was … please tell me that Cait Sith didn't do the 'Your Mama' thing. That would mean I have to get UGLY when I put down the druids," Gar says with disgust. He hands out the menus and sits.

"Chocolate shake. Yes. Definitely need the blessing of the new bean. Sadly there's no chocolate coffee ice cream made with real coffee and real chocolate in this list."

"Trampled people. Ungh. And then he did something to you?" Keith asks with concern, he orders a San Pellerino, because yay for overprized water with bubbles. "I'm sorry. He should know better… he does, actually, but he's a Fae. Knowing doesn't mean squat for them." He rubs the bridge of his nose and sighs, "I fear ending up with blood on my hands after this is over over what he may or may not do. So why did he flee?"

A muscle pulses at Booster's jawline when he clenches his teeth. In a level, quiet voice he says to Jeremiah, "I'm fine. Thanks, though." Perhaps he would not have said more than this, but Gar guesses correctly. So, he agrees, "Yeah, it was my mother. It portrayed her looking roughed up, bloodied. My dad used to beat her up when I was a little kid." There is a chilly glint in his blue eyes, visible through his goggles. "She died recently, so I shouldn't have been fooled, but… you know how it is." Lightly folding his arms across his chest, he adds, "No offense, Keith, but if I ever get my hands on that thing again, it's going to be sorry."

"I'm not sure why it ran. Not because it was scared of me, certainly. It knows me. We've played this game before. When Booster touched it though it wailed and screamed and writhed, like the very act caused it pain." Fenris thinks about that for a moment. "Oh yes, and it's collared."

Keith's grows still as the grave when Booster relays what happened. He reaches out with one hand to put it on the man's shoulder, saying "Booster… I'm so sorry." How could the creature be so… was he ever that insensitive when he was a part of it? "Beat the living shit out of it if you have to. Just… make sure it's alive by the end of it. I still need him to stay alive."

He looks at Gar, the expression in his eyes saying everything. He obviously took the Cait's misdeeds as an affont upon himself as well. After all, it was the fusion of the two that made Vorpal possible, aside from his own continued existence.

"Pain?" Keith is taken out of his musings by Fenris' observations, "Booster, are your gauntlets made of cold iron, maybe? There are few things that could cause pain to a Fae…" Whoa. Whoa. Wait. More revelations? "What do you mean with 'collared', wolf?"

Collared. Gar starts a slow burn. NO fucking way are those auto-caudophagic imitations of a past best left dead and extinct going to be collaring his cat.

"Control. The hypocritical assholes didn't like it that he was 'bound' in you, but they couldn't lock him down fast enough themselves. I am going to go rotgrub on their asses," the Changeling growls, eyes going red again.

Booster holds up a hand, a casual gesture to Keith as he says, "It wasn't you, and not your fault." The chilly anger that was there moments before is already gone, or at least well concealed behind the young man's more typical, carefree looking exterior. "I don't think there's that much iron in my entire suit. There are some ferric compounds, that's about it, though."

"Iron wouldn't have made it writhe like that…" Fenris muses quietly. "Or at least, I think it woudln't have."

The Old Wolf is silent for another few minutes as he thinks. "Ah yes, the collar, sorry…" He digs into a pocket and holds out a thorn, a curved, hooked thorn. "He has a collar of these. It's a spell, I'm fairly certain. It keeps him from… it forces him to indulge his nature, I'm fairly certain. That's why he didn't react when I told him he'd made a promise."

Seeing the slow burn on Gar's features, Keith leans over and hugs Gar's arm, giving him a little squeeze. "Hey… breathe, it's ok," he says quietly and trying to provide some sort of comfort to Gar. The thorn repulses him, though, and he shakes his head. "A plant… more of that 'The Green' trickery thing that they used when they put Gar under a curse?"

A thought. "Do you wear anything on your hands that is metallic? Your gloves, maybe?"

Gar is not mollified. He stands, and sniffs at Booster, his head going all 'McGruff the Crime Dog' for a moment. SNIFF SNIFF SNIFF… "Woof. Man. Your space deodorant is pretty good, but that (sniff sniff) never smelled anything like that, or that, or that," and he points to the bracers, and the ring, and the gold part that hides the time-circuitry. All of them made of things that aren't part of the local ecosphere… they don't interact with things and make the usual wreath of secondary smells.

The dog-head goes away as Gar shakes, ears flopping for an instant before he stops. And he glares at the thorn.

"Yeah. They like their stabby things, don't they. Too bad I'm not the master magician, I could reverse it on them from the outside."

"Well… yeah. A lot of stuff I'm wearing has some kind of metal in it." Booster holds both hands up now, turning them front and back as Gar sniffs at him. He then points at his suit, saying, "Twenty Fourth century…" He points at his blasters, "Twenty Third…" He taps his gold ring. "Thirtieth. I mean if this thing is an ancient being it seems weird that anything I'm wearing might affect it, especially since some of these materials are alien. Oh…" He rubs his chin, looking thoughtful. "Although it's from some other realm, isn't it? That makes it alien, too."

Fenris looks thoughtful. "We can rule out anything that isn't on your hand. Your hand was the only thing that touched it." Pause. "What are your gloves and ring made of? That's about as good as I can do for now." Fenris also examines Booster's suit and ring, though he's not sniffing. He's looking for magical resonances for either order or chaos.

"So he doesn't come to us because the collar… keeps him from remembering? So he's basically a major dick, all of the time, because he's got a collar of chaos digging into his flesh? Those sons of a—" Keith grumbles, echoing Gar's anger. And then he looks at the thorn.

"Is that thing charmed with chaos? I could try to touch it… see if maybe it'll give me an idea of what's going on through his mind?"

That's because Keith is wearing Bad Idea Jeans.

"That would be a no," Gar says. "No touch the magic pokey thing. If it's poison for the Cait Sith it's extra-poison for you."

Yes, Changeling has seen Bad Idea Jeans before, and while they fit nicely in the butt, they always make you look like a hipster. Such has been his experience, in both the magical and mundane worlds.

"I just put this stuff together, I didn't make it," Booster tries to explain, holding his hands up briefly. "My blasters are alien in origin, we're not exactly sure where they're from… they were recovered in an excavation. I know my ring is Valorium, but that won't exist until the 30th century." He slips the L* ring off of his finger and holds it up. "It's an alloy, Thanagarian Nth and something else. The something else is what allows the cyberpathic link." He says this as if he'd read it off of a display placard, which is actually the case. "I think you guys have contact with Thanagar in this era, although overall I've noticed that exoplanet contact seems pretty scant." He shakes his head a little, as if in disbelief. "Almost no one on this planet even knows what Interlac is."

Fenris seems to perk up at that. "Wait… did you say 'Thanagarian'? We may need to talk later. What's Nth metal and… actually… can I see that ring? I'll return it." He wants to prod it with some mana and see how it reacts. Or if it burns him as well.

"What is Nth metal? What is this Tallula —Thana — that name you mentioned?" Keith looks hopelessly lost. He stands up and walks up next to Gar, putting a an arm around his shoulders and glancing down at the ring. He is cautiously eager to see what Fenris has to say, because if the ring was the thing that hurt the Cait… then they would have made progress, and that is very important at this stage. "Do you know what Thanga… that is, hon?" He asks Gar, quietly.

Gar … might have had a little contact with off-planet people. There might even have been a Thanagarian encountered in that still-classified mission to a still-classified Possible Non-Terrestrial Location. He does know that the Thanagarians aren't supposed to be here, and that the Corvinus went on and on and tl;dl about them.

"Yeah — bird people from space… I thought you might've met one but you said she was a chicken, and the Thanagarians are hawks." He nods at Fenris, "That's gotta be it. The ring. The metal in it must be like cold iron with a vengeance."

"Sure." Booster just tosses the ring at Fenris, a careless throw that seems to self-correct and go right to the man's hand. "This is how I fly, the stuff generates an anti-gravity aura. Try it on if you want, but don't fly away, it's kind of … bonded to me. It might stop working if it gets too far from me." Casually pointing Gar's way, Booster says, "Yeah, the hawks. They do all kinds of stuff with Nth metal. I don't think there are any native sources of it on this planet, though."

"Mostly I want to…" Fenris pours mana in it and watches as it recoils in oddly ordered patterns. "Well that explains that. It forms ambient energy around it into predictable patters. The Cait is a being of pure chaos. No wonder it didn't like being touched. You were reformatting him just by touching him." Which would have eventually killed him.

Keith's eyes grow wide. "You mean that thing could have… erased him?" Okay, so good news/bad news sort of thing. "That woman was a hawk. I just called her a chicken because she stole my phone. Do you think she has that metal, too?"

Because now Keith is worried. "This metal could help us capture him or at least herd him. But…"

"I'd expect that she has at least a hand weapon made of it, yes, and it's probably just as dangerous to the druids," Gar says. "I wish you'd been less chickeny and more hawky in the description. Knowing there's a Thanagarian Hawk-warrior on Earth is kind of important."

Note to self: when Keith tells you something new and he seems to have been annoyed, keep at him until he gives an objective description.

"If there's a Thanagarian on the planet, they're gonna have Nth metal," Booster agrees, with a nod to Gar. "Not like this," He gestures at the ring that Fenris is experimenting with. "I don't think another one exists in this era, although I haven't looked… these rings can communicate with each other, see. But the hawks usually have a lot of Nth metal on hand, and in its pure form. Uh…" He looks at Keith, a touch askance. "Are you on good terms with this woman?"

Fenris quirks an eyebrow. "Wait… you've met a Thanagarian? A female one? The one perhaps, that tried to kill a friend of mine a couple weeks ago?" Not to distract too much from Keith's problem but this is a very, very interesting development. If they could make peaceful contact… this might help against the Cait…

"I don't know. There was this black raven with glowing eyes circling around me, and then suddenly BIRD WOMAN coming at me… or at least I thought it was me. And then I threw my phone at her to scare her off." Keith says, looking embarrassed because it does sound rather cowardly.

The world was a lot scarier when you felt reduced to a sliver of yourself. "She took it away so…" he gives Fenris a look, "If you want to contact her, she has my phone number. Like, literally. I was going to buy a new phone with Gar after this…" it was a good thing they had stopped here before that, then.

Looking over at Gar, he looks sheepish. "I'm sorry, I had no idea that the Thongolele… the Tapanga… THEY were even a thing. I'm not on good or bad terms with her, I'm not on any terms whatsoever, she simply swooped away."

"Wait. Black raven with glowing eyes? That sounds a lot like the Druids' summonses. What can you describe about the woman. Was she wearing a helmet, was she wearing an x-shaped harness? Did she have a weapon, maybe looking like a medieval weapon?"

OK, yes, Gar has seen Thanagarians. At least the ones who were helping out the (lizard race redacted) to oppress the (feline-derived energizer race redacted) or possibly trying to help free them, it wasn't ever clear.

Note to self, part two: NEVER let Keith get away with just a quick 'Oh, this thing happened' - make him tell the whole thing. That, or get one of those robot spybot things to follow him around 24/7.

"Okay. Yeah." Booster tilts his head, one arm resting across his abdomen and his other elbow propped in that hand. He points at Keith. "You need to find her and ask her if she'll help you. To be honest, after last night… I'm not too sure this Cait is going to let me get anywhere near it again. I think it was pretty scared at the end, and now it knows I have something that can hurt it." After a brief pause, he adds, "Not to mention a good reason to hurt it." After another pause, he looks thoughtful as he taps his index finger against his chin. "Terrifying someone was a pretty novel experience for me. I wonder if that's what it's like for Batman all the time."

"Add a bit of psychosis and you have it." Fenris offers Booster his ring back. "So Nth metal. I wonder if we could find more… cage him with it, at least long enough to force it back int oyou Keith. Which we still have to figure out how to do."

Keith ums at Gar's interrogation, and says "… yes, that is a very faithful recreation of her. Although I'm not sure if she had a weapon, I didn't get to look at her for very long because of the man with glowing wings and big blades coming up behind Rain and I-" wait, had he forgotten to tell Gar about that, too? The week had been so insane, and he had been so low in energy that he wasn't entirely sure what he'd been able to tell his boyfriend and what he had thought of mentioning but forgot.

"Just… don't kill him, Booster. I still need him to live. As for the forcing him back on me… Zachary Zatara is doing research on that. That collar has to go, somehow, though. I don't think he would be too reluctant to come back, if he could have use of his own thoughts." Keith rubs the back of his head. "That chaos wave he released last night sort of gave me some more energy. I wonder if maybe he was trying to signal to me…"

"Or maybe that's just wishful thinking." Keith glances over at Gar, to see how the news of the glowing wingy knifey man will go over.

"You know him better than anyone. If he was calling out, he was calling out to us," Gar says. "If it was to call the dork-druids, then he'd probably have brought one or more of their guardian dickcheeses."

He rubs his forehead a bit, thinking about the other things.

"So, someone with glowing wings and big blades - was that like, solid wings or light-wings? And if it was light-wings, was it like animal armor or was it egyptian tattoos? And what did they do with Rain?"

This is just getting better and better with every minute.

"I don't kill, Keith. Not even pain in the neck exo-dimensional troublemakers." Booster gently presses his fist into his other palm and there is a faint crackle as his knuckles pop. "I'll just have a little chat with him." He gives one of his camera-dazzling smiles, albeit with his eyes narrowed more than usual. "Oh…" His attitude and expression lightens up considerably, as if he were incapable of holding on to negative emotions for more than a few minutes at a time. Opening his hand, the ring seems to fly the last few inches from Fenris' fingertips into Booster's palm. He replaces it onto his ring finger. "Yeah, how do we go about getting that put back into Keith, anyhow?"

"Well if Keith doesn't have any idea I'll have to do some digging. In my time I squirreled away a lot of arcane lore. I can find it again, maybe find a solution. It'll take me some time to remember where it all is thouhg." Fenris pauses, considering. "Which doesn't mean you shouldn't keep trying to contact others."

"Well, Strange is out of the question- Pezzini says there's some sort of "Elder God Crisis" or something, so he's going to be very busy. RIght now Zach and Rain are our best bets with research. And you, Wolf." Keith looks at Garfield, more questions.

And ones he can't answer without being completely embarrassed. "I… his wings sort of… glowed, I think? I'm not sure if he had tattoos, I was kind of fading by that point and when Midnighter arrived, I let him take over. I sort of. Kind of. Fell asleep." He conveniently finds something fascinating with the grain of the table. He stares at it like George Seurat would stare at lamp-posts at night. "… I woke up back in bed so someone took me back home." Oh god, please let it not have been Midnighter. Please.

"All this talk of putting things into me makes me sound like I've got USB ports all over," He quips, though a little weakly because embarrassment.

"No way I'm upset, Keef. Not like you've got tons of energy. So it could have been either of the Seraph or, what did they call him, Electro-wolf? And we don't know what happened to Rain."

Gar scruffs Keith's hair around. "Aw come on, we all know you're not USB compatible. I prefer 'recombine' myself. Or 'reunite'."

He orders a Great Restorative: two chocolate milkshakes. One for him and one for Keef. He'd share, that's all cute and stuff, but the guy needs the energy.

Booster is frowning in thought during all of this. He has very little knowledge when it comes to arcane matters. When Gar says 'recombine', however, he brightens up. "Oh, it's like genetic blending? I know how to do that. I mean, I got a B in my tenth grade bio-recombination and cloning class." Cheerfully, he shares, "I made a frouse. Although it got out, I think a rat caught it." He holds his hand up to indicate size, although the implication is something more like a great dane than a small rodent. Booster shakes his head. "So. Yeah. If you need help with that, otherwise I don't know what more I can do."

Fenris cants his head at the mention of 'Electro-wolf.' "Mmmmm. Sounds like we have an interesting gallery developing around you Keith." He stands. "I'll start running down those caches. It'll take me some time between that and patrolling. I'll be in touch. Soon."

Then he opens a way and is gone.

"Yeah, and most of that gallery is painted by Edward Munch," Keith looks relieved that at least Gar isn't upset, and leans into him to sip his milkshake. While he's got more energy, it's clear that at least for now he is getting tired quickly.

"Thanks, Fenris… you've got my number, let us know…" Wait. "Er, call Gar's number." Because hawk woman. THen again, if Fenris wanted to contact her, he needed to call Keith's number… so it works either way. Yawning a little, he rests his head on Gar's shoulder.

"Don't be silly, Booster. We definitely have need of you. Not only did you help stop the mayhem last night, you also have something that can be used to catch him. So… don't sell yourself short." Another yawn.

"… I think I'll finish this in the car, hon. I'm a little.. yeah." He hates this, his energy reserves suddenly drupping out from under him like this. One, two, three hours of sleep and he'll be back up and fine for hours- until suddenly he isn't fine and needs sleep. Rinse, repeat. But there's nothing he can do for right now.

"I'll keep you up to date on everything, Booster."

"We should get home soon, Keef," Gar says. "You're getting pale again. Yeah, I'll get us some to-go containers."

He gives Booster an interesting look. "We just finished sequencing the human genome a few years back and we've got barely any competence at the exogenetic part of things. I don't think you'll find the equipment you'd need, but then, the Cait Sith isn't going to have anything close to human genetics anyway. It's … chaos manifested as a humanoid felinoid with a meta-stable persona matrix, if you want the Space Trecky Babbletalk. You probably couldn't find any of the tools you'd need to do that kind of work."

He hands a credit card to the waitperson so any food or drink can be covered, and to-go containers are provided. Thus the cycle of evil commerce continues.

"Oh, a lot of alien life forms don't have DNA codes, at least not the way we think of them for Terran creatures," Booster nods at Gar, apparently with understanding. "But ultimately, it's just an instruction list, and this Cait probably has something like that. Otherwise it wouldn't know how to be what it is. But you're right, the equipment wouldn't exist in this era." Booster makes a shooing motion at Keith with one hand, then. "Go on and get some rest, dude. I know this situation isn't solved but I think we're making a little progress."

"Yeah, progress is good…" Keith yawns and stands up once the containers are here. One container goes under his arm, and his hand reaches for Gar's. "We'll stayin touch, Boost… c'mon, I demand cuddles and a warm blanket." And a yawn, almost big enough to dislocate his jaw. "… curse this thing. I feel like the goddamned Dormouse."

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