Witches Brew

October 18, 2014: The heroes head to the forest to get some information from a group of witches. I know it sounds weird, go with us, here.

Gotham's Eastmann Park

Gotham has parks? Could have fooled me.



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Mood Music:

Gotham isn't Kate's usual scene, but her friend lives here, and her friend needs help. Which means Kate can be found here in Gotham most nights lately. After all, when else do you get to drive the Batmobile?

"WOOOO!" Kate shouts from inside as she takes a corner at a speed not at all meant for this sort of vehicle, clipping around a corner and just missing an old, Gothic light post. "Okay. You have some nice equipment," she informs Damian, roaring through the streets like…Well, like a New York cabbie. "You keeping track of the turns? It's supposed to be some old park, someone said something about ley lines."

Ibn al Xu'ffasch seems right at home in the co-pilot's cockpit, managing some controls. "You say the nicest things about me," he remarks offhandedly as he flips some of the keys and knobs on a console in front of him. "Take a right here. We're not far."

Usually, this Robin has his hood up and attempts to be akin to his father in mysteriousness. Now, however, the hood of his cape is down revealing his green domino mask and hair that spills out over everywhere. His white gloves continue to tap at keys. "Ley Lines?"

Gotham is where Spoiler is lurking, in the hope of catching a certain Boy Wonder and the sight of the bat mobile earns it a tale, a motorbike racing the streets behind it, a purple cape flying out behind it. She crouches over the handlebars, her mask covering the lower half of her face, the blue eyes bright.

"Something to do with magic and power. Like power lines for magic juice, or something like that," Kate summarizes for Damian, taking the next corner with a little less threat of damage to property. It's not that she's a bad driver. She's very good, actually. It's more that she's having way too much fun seeing how this thing handles. A glance at a few instruments gets her attention, a new blinking light coming on when Spoiler joins in the chase, and she lets go of the wheel with one hand long enough to tap at it. "That one's new," she points out. "What's it for?"

"Someone's following us," Damian says. He's not nervous-sounding, but he does lean over to the console, brushing elbows with Kate swiftly. "Turning to reverse camera." Though his eyes are covered by his mask, the Boy Wonder peers at the changed monitor. "It's…Spoiler. What is she doing here?" he wonders aloud.

Spoiler rides the bike as if it is another part of her, hurling it into corners and, when Kate takes that corner with flair, Spoiler puts the bike into a spin, showing off a little too, picking up the route again without trouble. She is, apparently, having fun with the bike that she lost a couple of times now.

"Is a Spoiler something I should be trying to lose?" Kate asks with an arch of her brow, zipping around a battered old car ahead of them on her way to the park. "Because we can do some neat stuff here, but this thing is roughly as inconspicuous as a tank, so. And the bike's going to be a little bit more manueverable."

"Not particularly. She dates the simpleton who shares my name. Why? I cannot be sure. If she's following, it may mean she wants to talk. Despite her taste for inferior products, she could do well in a fight. Maybe she'll come with us," Damian offers.

The bike is easily maneuverable and Spoiler makes the most of it, even having that little more fun, more showing off, with a wheelie past the car. They can't see the grin under the mask though.

"Captain Awesome's got a girlfriend?" Kate smirks out the window at the bike maneuvers. "Did not see that one coming." Whether she means Tim having a girlfriend, or the bike…In short order, she's pulling up in the empty parking lot of a neglected old park on the edge of the city, driving up around the fence meant to keep people out at night.

"I thought he was gay, personally. To each their own. It's surprising he could find someone with her quality. We should stop and talk to her," Damian says as he flicks some more controls. "A few people here and there in the park according to scanners. What are we looking for exactly?"

The bike follows, swerving into the park, going off road comfortably, the purple cape flying behind her.

Kate snorts at Damian's commentary, shaking her head as she pops the doors and tosses the keys back to him. "Witches. Druids. Dumb people who think they're going to do something good or important by killing our friend." Climbing out of the vehicle, she swings her quiver over her shoulder, pulling her bow out in turn as she looks after Spoiler. "We've got to find the cat, and apparently these sort of people know how to do that. So we're not killing them," she adds with a stern look at Damian. "We're twisting their arms."

Damian sighs, "Fine."

He gives an upwards nod to Spoiler as her vehicle approaches. He readjusts the scabbard on his back, pulls up his hood, and prepares himself for glorious battle. He presses a button upon his utility belt and the Batmobile begins to go through it's shutdown procedure. "Shields," he mutters, and the coccoon-like armor plating begins to cover his father's vehicle.

The nod from the … other Robin brings the bike towards them again, purring to a halt beside them. "Joy riding with the bat mobile? That totally can not go wrong…" The snark is delivered with a grin that creases the corners of her eyes, obvious despite the mask covering the lower half of her face. Since she saw Damian last, the outfit has been a little upgraded, hints here and there that Robin might be helping out. "Want a hand? My suburb is quiet right now…" It is, with the Cluemaster in jail, anyhow.

"I've got a feeling I couldn't scratch that thing if I tried," Kate grins at Spoiler, flipping down her purple shades and toggling a switch on the side of them to adjust for the darkness. "And I won't turn away help. Witches aren't really my usual thing. I'm Hawkeye, by the way," she introduces herself, stepping forward to offer over a hand in a friendly gesture. "Robin the umpteenth here says you go by Spoiler?"

"Absolutely, Spoiler. We could use someone with your effectiveness." Damian shrugs his shoulders, "You'll find the Hawkeye here is an excellent driver. Amongst other things." But as she accosts him with her words, Damian chuckles at Kate. "The umpteenth? It took many times to get it right. The Facsimile would struggle not to admit that. Besides…you're one to talk."

There is a hint of envy in the look Spoiler sends Kate, and her next words make the source obvious, "Does she handle like she looks?" The hand is taken and Spoiler grins again, the blue eyes bright above her mask, "Yeah, I spoil their games, see." She is young, that much is obvious, "Witches?"

"Umpteenth, I like that…" The murmur is soft, and she adds, "So, what are we doing?"

"Hey, if you're the second, it's an homage," Kate informs Robin with a smirk before looking back to Spoiler. "I caught a lead that there's a coven of witches who use this place for…whatever witches do. Maybe they're bad, maybe they're good, but there's a chance they can help us get Vorpal's other half. Maybe. I don't know, but I'm not going to sit and do nothing, so I'm trying this. So the goal is to talk to them. And if that doesn't work, then to do a little arm twisting. Assuming they're even out here."

"If you're the umpteenth, you're the perfected version," Robin retorts. He tilts his head towards Spoiler sarcastically after Kate's done speaking. "She says no killing. Tt."

Spoiler shrugs, dismounting from the bike, parking it up, the purring cut off. "Arm twisting isn't killing, we don't have to kill to do what we do." The quiet reply to Robin has a touch of that snark in it, "Not if we're good enough, but maybe …" She shoots him a look, a challenge done silently.

"Dead people aren't in the habit of talking," Kate points out to Robin, gearing up and starting to hike into the park. It's quiet out; smart people in Gotham spend even less time going through parks at night than smart people in New York do. But in the distance, around a bend, behind a copse of trees, there's a faint flicker of light and murmur of voices. It could be bums around an oil can. Or it could be a witches sabbath.

"Heh," Robin laughs dismissively at Spoiler. "All that and funny too. I'm sure you and the Facsimile stay up late, trading your zany quips, and talk about boys all night long." "Right," he says, changing his demeanor as it appears Kate is ready to do business. Why he's doing this is not necessarily clear. It's pretty clear that Keith would not do the same if Damian was on his death bed. What gives? Nevertheless, the Boy Wonder follows along, treading so lightly upon the top of the ground that he makes nary a sound.

Damian earns himself a look from Spoiler, her eyes narrowing, "Jealousy doesn't become you." The quiet reply is soft before she turns, following Kate, her steps careful, the cautious consideration of the scene in front of her drawing a gesture from her, that she will go around, circling to come in from the other side.

Kate nods to Spoiler's gesture, hand raising to flicker something in ASL before she catches herself and switches over to something a little more universal. There's a gesture indicating that she's going to move straight ahead, and directing Damian toward the trees for a better vantage.

Inside the circle of trees, there is indeed a group of…Well, witches might technically be correct, but they look more like a biker gang than a bunch of mystics. Aside from the glimpses of more mystical designs among their tattoos. And the fact that they seem to be mixing something over the fire.

Damian whispers quietly between his teeth, unable to give up on the challenge that Spoiler poses, "Jealous is not me, Blonde. Do not mistake my factual comments a week ago for jealousy. Do not overplace your importance." But as Kate directs him, Damian scamps quietly towards the trees and kneels low. His hands go to his belt, and from where Kate and Spoiler are it is difficult to see, but he's obviously prepping some weaponry.

"Mine? I meant that you are jealous of him. I don't think I'm special." A matter of fact reply, before she circles around, withdrawing something from her own belt, a weapon that appears to be a stick of sorts, something new and shiny for her. She vanishes from view, ending up on the other side of the fire, waiting for Kate's signal.

Kate gives herself a good count of thirty, giving the others a chance to get into position, before she just…steps out into the clearing. Like she owns it. "Hey, hi there, sorry to interrupt," she calls, raising the hand not occupied by a bow to wave at the group, who turn and reach for weapons. A few even raise what look to be wands. "Yeah, no, really, whatever you get up to here, that's all you. But I was wondering if you could help me find…someone/thing."

"Little girl, didn't nobody ever tell you not to go walking in the woods at night?" asks a tough-looking woman with a bandana tied over her hair, one of those wands clutched in her fist.

Damian lifts a black cylinder up to his lips, ready to send a blow dart toward the lady who dares speak so mockingly to Hawkeye. But at the last second, he thinks better of it. Dead people can't talk. But other can unconscious people. He stays still. Yet, if this woman makes a move on his ally (and really, his only friend), he's gonna give her some nice knockout juice.

Spoiler doesn't appear from the other side, but she is there, prepared and ready, a pellet in one hand, the weapon in the other. Kate invited her to play, and that means something, especially when everyone else is telling you to go home…

"Yeah, see.." Kate swings up her bow, arrow nocked and string drawn as she turns a tight smile on the woman. "I learned that lesson the hard way. So now the woods at night know better than to mess with me. So." She takes a breath, gaze flickering among the group as some level wands and others level guns in her direction. "Who wants to talk about summoning a Cait Sidhe, and what it costs?"

The mood of the group starts to get ugly when Kate raises her bow. When she asks her question, though, it changes. Suddenly, the toughs…aren't so tough. In fact, they seem to want to get out of there. Quickly.

"We've got nothing to do with any of that, and we don't want it, you hear?" the woman says as others start to back toward the collection of bikes on the other side of the clearing. "No part of the hunt!"

Damian seems to tighten his concentration as Kate mentions about her learned lesson. But as the tone of the conversation changes, he emerges from the tree-line. "We're making it your business, ladies," he says, shrouded under his hood. "Stop. Stay. Talk a while."

And on the other side of the clearing, there is a figure in purple, standing there, with spark plugs in a pile at her feet. "Someone had a part in it. Are you going to let them tar you with that brush, 'cause you won't help? Either way, you aren't leaving until you talked to her."

Kate can't quite help a grin when she catches sight of Spoiler's work, winking at the other girl across the clearing before turning her attention back to the others. "Our friend's in danger," she explains. "Unless he can get the cat back. So someone's going to tell us what we need to do to catch a cat."

"No one here is," the woman shakes her head intently, eyeing the bikes as if trying to decide if she can make them run without spark plugs. "Look, we've been caught in the hunt, and not a one of us wants to go back, see? So if you're wrapped up in it? You really ought to run."

Robin watches from the edge of the shadows, just far enough out of the way of the fire-light. He lets Kate do the talking as she's the expert on the situation. One thing he won't do, however, is run. A teammate is in need. Despite their differences, Damian will not abandon Keith.

"Well, we bought the hunt to you, and you can't run. So you better help us, hadn't you?" Spoiler adds her tuppence, her body poised, ready to step in, the first sign of true danger watched for.

"Between you kids and the hunt? Hell no."

And that's where it all goes to hell. At a gesture from the leader, members of the gang start to scatter, but not without firing parting shots of their own. There's gunfire, sure. But there's also spell-fire, some of which consists of very literal fire, spraying out toward the trio of young heroes.

*THIP THIP THIP* Robin sets out three sleepytime darts towards the witches as he reacts almost before anyone can think. Being trained for 18 years by sadistic ninja assassins has its advantages (The dis-ads we'll talk about some other time). He flips the cape downward in a sweep, blocking the fire before it can reach him. When it's clear, he lets out a guttural cry of fury and rage, as he leaps towards one of them with katana wielded.

Spoiler throws the pellet, a flare of smoke engulfing a number of them, and those drop, sleepy time for them from the smoke. It seems someone raided a store of …someone else. Then Spoiler leaps into action, a flip of her body taking her from the place the fire landed, flying over to engage one of the women, the baton flicking out to sweep legs from under her.

Kate releases an arrow toward the leader before going into a roll toward the cover of the trees. It means she misses exactly what happens with her shot, which is that the stun arrow, before it can hit the witch, sparks off as it meets with something from the wand. A few bullets go toward Robin, though they miss wildly as the shooters go down from either darts or smoke bombs. "No sword!" Kate calls toward Robin when he lands.

"I know, I know," Damian replies as he leaps into the air after one of the witches. His quick leg movements give the appearance that he's actually walking on invisible steps before he brings the butt of his katana down upon the neck of one of the women. Sighing, longing for blood, he puts the katana away as he lands. As another of the witches comes towards him, he easily evades by leaping so high. Rather than falling to the earth, he instead is walking along the branches of a tree. "Fool," he mocks the witch.

Spoiler is fighting in earnest now, her gymnastic roots showing, the combination with martial arts obvious. A foot connects with a woman's head, followed by a movement that sends the wand flying, leaving her witch on the floor, breathless, disarmed and alive.

"Let the rest go!" Kate calls to the others, eyeing the catch so far. "We've got enough for some answers."

"Alright," Damian responds. The next time anyone looks at him, he's sitting up at the base of one of the branches, high upon the tree. "I'm going to assume you're not a fan of my 'Rough Treatment for Hard Answers' routine."

Spoiler stands, resting her foot on the chest of the witch she captured. She shoots Damian a glance, before returning her gaze to Kate, waiting for another command.

There's a reason soldiers don't bunch up. If an explosive device goes off, they don't all die. There's a reason criminals shouldn't bunch up. When they're running toward Midnighter, they don't all die. Some of the witches need to learn that. Paying so much attention to escaping the three heroes, three of the witches don't even see Midnighter before he steps out of the shadows. A shuriken takes the furthest one in the throat, his staff crushes the throat of a second and then comes down, up then down to entangle the legs of the third, trip her, then come down hard on her head. "You really shouldn't let them escape and hurt others in the future." he chides.

"Hey!" Kate protests as Midnighter gets with the murdering, shooting a glare at him. "Who said they were hurting anyone to begin with, mister assumptions? We're looking for information." She swings her bow across her back, then looks back to Damian with a grimace. "Depends on how rough we're talking," she says begrudgingly. "If they're going to be difficult, I don't have any problems with encouraging them. But we're supposed," she shoots a look at Midnighter, "To be the good guys."


Robin shakes his head as the Midnighter shows and throws Kate's plan into disarray. He's really glad he's high up in the tree and not down in the word melee that will likely ensue.

Spoiler doesn't wait, flying towards Midnighter, her intent obvious. A shove aimed at his chest, from the woman with outrage filled blue eyes, glaring at him, "They didn't harm anyone! We bought the trouble to them, they aren't villains or murderers…"

"So you're beating up innocent people for information?" Midnighter asks dryly, not buying it at all. As he walks toward them, he unsnaps his staff and stows the parts in his jacket. "If Robin is unable to convince them to tell you what you wish to know, I've had some success in convincing people to be cooperative." And then Spoiler is headed his way and shoves him though he shifts his weight so he doesn't budge. "It's good to see you again, too." he tells her.

"I doubt they're entirely innocent," Kate allows, stepping over to one of the blow-darted witches and nudging the woman with one foot. "They're witches, and since they admitted to being caught up in the Wild Hunt, I'm guessing they've done their share of ugly things. On the other hand? I doubt they had a lot of choice about getting caught up in the Hunt, to judge by the way they tried to run. So in summary, dick move," she informs Midnighter, though she doesn't waste any time trying to hit him. Instead, she crouches by the downed witch. "What'd you hit them with?" she asks Robin, though she keeps an eye on Spoiler at the same time.

"An herbal toxin of my own devices. Without the antidote—" Robin leaps down from the tree with only the slightest of grunts. "They will be asleep for between 8-10 hours, depending on weight. If you'd like the antidote, here it is." He hands over a trio of vials with some flourescent blue liquid in them. "Rub it on the wound. They'll wake up within a few moments."

Spoiler shoots Midnighter a glare, the new mask allowing him to see her eyes at least, "Always a pleasure but if you can hold off killing people for ten minutes or so…" Snark delivered with a tilt of her head, ad she turns back to Kate, watching the other woman with a touch more interest after her lecture to Midnighter.

"I think I can amanage that." Midnighter agrees, not at all put out by Spoiler's attitude. "Eleven might be pushing it though." He walks around her and toward Bishop. "What is it you are trying to find out and for what purpose? This doesn't concern Vorpal, does it? I know that his situation involves the mystical."

"Got it in one," Kate answers Midnighter, taking the antidote from Robin and rubbing it against the dart wound on one of the witches. "I heard a rumor this coven had had a run-in with the Wild Hunt after a summoning gone wrong. I figured if anyone would know how to find the cat, they would. They weren't really interested in talking much, though. More for the running."

Damian wanders over to some of the fallen women who went down at Midnighter's hand. To the woman with the crushed throat, he attempts to check for a pulse. If he finds one, he'll take a thin straw from his belt and make a breathing hole for her at the base of her neck. To the woman with the shuriken to the throat, he puts pressure and pulls out a medpack. The one who took the head shot from Midnighter's boot will be next.

Spoiler is listening, turning to watch Midnight for a moment before she crouches, checking on the third witch he picked off, her movements echoing Damian's concern for them. "So ask them again now. Vorpal deserves the help…" Obviously, she likes him for some reason or other.

The wounds weren't actually immediately lethal, just incapacitating. Albeit serious. "A magical catnip ceremony?" Midnighter suggests, leaning a shoulder against a tree to watch Kate and her prisoner. He glances over toward the others a moment before looking back.

"Pretty much," Kate admits at Midnighter's guess. "Or at least we're hoping for something we can use." As the witch starts to stir, Kate leans over to twist the woman's arm into a submission hold, bracing herself. "Good morning, sunshine," she carols. "Time to have a little chat."

The woman groans, gaze flickering over the gathered people with a panicked look. "I won't go back! I can't go back! It's madness, don't you understand?!"

Robin looks over his shoulder back at Hawkeye, "We need to get these women to a hospital right away if you'd like to save them." He doesn't say anything to Midnighter. They've already had a talk about this sort of thing, and the elder had already exploited some weaknesses in the commitment to his father's beliefs.

Robin's words get Midnighter a look from Spoiler and she shakes her head, "Take the one you want over there, we'll call for help for these, an attack from an unknown person when we were trying to talk…" She turns away, anger at Midnighter obvious in her movements, as she heads away a little to contact the ambulances.

Midnighter steps over to stand by the woman's head and look down at her. "You're not going anywhere. You will though answer what's asked of you." He doesn't need to make any threats; it's implicit.

Kate shoots an irritated look at Midnighter when Robin mentions the hospital, nodding to Spoiler as the other girl takes care of it. "Look, we don't want to call the Hunt," she tells the witch. "Personally, I didn't think they were all that much fun when I ran into them. But we want to know how to call a Cait Sidhe. And how to put it back into a person it's been taken out of."

Robin is starting to sound annoyed. "Just tell her, lady. You should see what she can do with an arrow tip. It makes sadists cry. Save yourself a lot of anguish, pain, and ice."

Midnighter gets an irritated look when Kate thought they were dead. And he gets an irritated look when she discovers they're alive. Totally can't win. Totally don't care. "She's trying to save a friend of hers." he tells the witch. "And she cares enough to commit completely unprovoked assault on anyone she thinks might know something." Thus indirectly getting some fleeing witches seriously hurt. "There's no telling what she'll do to someone she thinks is holding back information."

"You were forced to ride the hunt, or be ridden in it," Kate adds with a sharp smile. "I fought them off. So I suggest you cooperate." The woman stutters, but the hold puts too much pressure on her shoulder to let her escape.

"I don't know!" she insists. "I don't know. We weren't- We were experimenting, trying something else from the book. But I'll tell you where the book is! There was more in the book, more you can- If you know someone who can do magic, they can use the book!"

"Out with it, woman," Robin spits snidely. "I've not been able to use my blade today and your tongue is about to be fully loosened." He reaches up towards the handle of his katana in its scabbard and stalks towards the woman. Un unsheathes it, just an inch, but enough for the blade to gleam in the moonlight.

At the mention of the book, Midnighter steps back to the tree and leans against it to watch. Kate is interesting. Damian is very interesting.

"Robin," Kate murmurs when Damian comes out with the threats, though she arches a brow at the woman. At that the witch starts to rattle off an address, and directions on getting into the vault where the book is kept. Kate takes note, then nods once, holding a hand out toward Damian. "Any more of those darts?"

It works perfectly and Robin puts the katana fully back into the scabbard. "Thank you," he mutters. "Spoiler will have notified the authorities and gotten the ambulances," Damian says to Kate. "We should leave. I drive this time." Off the beaten path the Batmobile roars to live and begins to run over shrubs and small trees as it makes its way across the park towards them.

As the Batmobile approaches, Midnighter smiles just a touch and wanders back over. "This should prove interesting. Notice that she didn't mention anything about security? Alarms? Guards? Magical wards? Dont' be so quick to render her unconscious."

Damian hands some of the darts over towards Hawkeye with his gloved hand.

"Fair enough, your ride," Kate calls back to Damian, shaking her head to Midnighter. "I'm sure they've got all of those things in place, and I'm sure we're bringing the nice lady with us," she replies. "I'm also sure I don't want her listening or talking while we're getting around to it, so I'd really rather she was asleep. And since when did you care about what happened to them, anyhow?"

"I'd prefer not to see you two die." Midnighter counters. Not them; you. "But as you wish. Let's go then. It's my understanding that Vorpal doesn't have a great deal of time."

Kate arches a brow with a look to Robin when Midnighter invites himself along. Apparently this one's on him. In the meantime, she hits the witch with another dose of sedative, then puts her in a fireman's carry as much as she can to drag her over to the Batmobile.

"It's fine," Robin says to Kate, assuming he knows what she's thinking, and inwardly wishing he'd have volunteered to carry th ewoman instead of having Kate do it. It's going to be very cramped in the Batmobile. The young hero dips down and back into the space between the seats to pull open some compartments for extra seating. Not likely to be comfortable.

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