Midnighter In The Garden Of Good And Evil

<November 28, 2014>: Midnighter drops by the castle to catch up with Keith.

The Titans' Castle

The hilly territory rises abruptly at the western edge of the
valley, and the entire area is part of a limited development zone. Many roads
lead there, and off one such road, a half mile into the woods, a strange
three-lobed granite 'castle' stands, three circular towers connected by a
curved wall twenty feet tall, enclosing a garden-like courtyard dominated by
a large fruit tree with grafts from many different kinds of apple, cherry,
and peach.
The tower closest to the compressed-gravel road is the one with the
obvious entry door. The area has cameras and other sensors scattered
throughout, and may have other entrances and exits.



  • None

Mood Music:

The sound of a motorcycle engine can be heard in the night air and not long after, the Midnightcycle pulls into the courtyard. Not that it's called that but it seems the thing to do in Gotham to name your toys after yourself. The rider pulls to a halt and looks over the castle for a few moments before riding right up to the door and shutting the bike down. "Knock knock." he says as he walks up to the door and then waits.

The door opens after a minute or so. "Well, this is a little unexpected." Keith, in sweatpants and a loose-fitting black shirt eyes Midnighter with curiosity. He's limping slightly as he stands back from the door to let Midnighter in, a brace on his right ankle. "I take it you were just passing by the neighborhood and decided to storm the castle?"he asks with a slight smirk.

Midnighter looks Keith up and down before walking in, pushing the door shut behind him. "Returning to Gotham from New York and I thought I'd look in on Waller's assets." he says as he looks around the interior. "Not bad. Who'd you get to pay for this one?"

Keith smirks, "I'm nobody's asset, Midnighter. Neither is Gar." he leads Midnighter past the parlor and into the living room proper. "Would you believe Zachary's real uncle is actually Scrooge McDuck?"

Midnighter isn't going to debate it. If Waller wants them, she'll get them one way or another. That's just how she is. "Metaphorically. Why don't you show me around while you tell me how you managed to hurt yourself."

"Nothing much to say, really," Keith makes his way down one of the hallways and leads Midnighter towards the spacious library, where there are still some stray papers here and there from Gar making training plans and strategies. The walls are lined with built-in bookcases that go all the way to the ceiling. Robin may or may not have had a geekgasm when he first walked in here.

"I was in the neighborhood in Gotham and I ran into uber-werewolves trading in ancient egyptian artefacts," he says, as if it were an everyday sort of thing.

"I wasn't doing too bad next to some red guy with a huge arm, when on eof the wolves howled and stunned me. It was some sort of magic in that howl." The young man shrugs. "He punched me clear across the room and into the crates holding the aforementioned artefacts."

"Werewolves in Gotham. It sounds like I'm returning just in time. Or maybe even a little late if you finished them off." Midnighter states as he slowly walks around the room examining the books. The red guy with a huge arm could only be one person. Hopefully. For certain definitions of person. "That would probably be the demon, Hellboy. He works for BPRD." Midnighter's made a habit of familiaring himself with the non-classified rosters of the agencies under Stormwatch. And perhaps a few classified ones as well.

"You people and your acronyms. What's the Burpd?" the redhead walks over to the door to the courtyard and opens it, leading Midnighter to it. It's still being tended to, and with winter almost here there's not much to do outside of routing out the last signs of invasive species. Still, the central tree, although now almost bereft of leaves, is still impressive. Lights have been placed around its branches, but it is clear that the work hasn't been finished yet to make the courtyard a festive sight for the holidays. Keith had to stop halfway due to his injuries and now it's up to the other team-mates.

"Hellboy, nice codename, very reassuring. No, I don't know if 'we' finished them off. I was knocked out and I woke up in Mercy."

"The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense." Midnighter informs Keith. He walks over to the door when it's opened and looks out briefly but is obviously uninterested in the incipient holiday tree. "Then I may have to hunt them down. What was their purpose in Gotham?"

"Again, beats me." The shortcut through the courtyard is faster than going back to the first tower and to the dining room area. He walks into the room, which is rather spacious and comfy, and says "I do know that the werewolves that attacked us were not common ones. They were created by the Circle Oroboros after kidnapping lycanthropes and performing some sort of disgusting magic on them. Twisted them. Made them something frightful and extremely powerful. So while I don't know what their ultimate goal is, I know who created them. I was actually trying to find clues of these kidnapped lycanthropes when I ran into them. Nasty pieces of work."

"They're the ones who want you dead, correct?" Midnighter asks. "And now they're kidnapping… people." Do lycanthropes count as people? "And turning them into weapons against their will." It's obvious he does not approve. "Is there a way to reverse the process? I don't want to kill them unless I have to. Those in the Circle though need to be put down permanently."

"You're asking me about magic of which I have no knowledge," is the reply Midnighter gets. "When you want insight on Faerie magic, the Cait would be more than happy to weigh in." He slips into the kitchen for a second before coming out with a pitcher of transparent red liquid. "Passionfruit tea? When it comes to the magic humans use, the Cait has no knowledge of it beyond the basics, it's as natural to him as gills to a rabbit. But of what he does know, it's that there is seldom an effect that is not reversible. The issue usually is that the amount of power needed to reverse an effect is proportional or sometimes even greater than the amount of power that was needed in order to create it." He pours himself a glass of the tea.

Midnighter nods at the offer and watches Keith as he goes to get the tea. "Tell me about the Circle." he says once he's returned. "Everything you know no matter how unimportant it might seem."

"Antediluvian group of druids bent on stopping the advance of civilization." The redhead sits down after pouring midnighter his share. Midnighter will notice that Keith's movements are slow and deliberate, clearly avoiding any brusque movements with his upper body. "It was believed that they were gone until they appeared again during the Wild Hunt. "

He sips his tea, thinking of anything he might know. "They hide out in one of the Wild Realms. Pocket dimensions, probably, hard to find."

"Can you get to it if you knew where it was?" Midnighter asks. He takes his glass and sits down opposite Keith. "I'm thinking we should go hunting them and put an end to the trouble they're causing. And the least, I'd like one to question about those werewolves."

"You mean, could I rabbit hole there if I knew where it was?" The young man asks, looking at the Midighter out of the corner of his eye.

A shrug. "If that's the only way you could get there." Midnighter says. "And can you find out where it is? It's usually better to take the fight to them instead of waiting for them to come to you after they've had time to plan."

"No can do, Curly," Keith sips his drink. "I don't know where they are and I can't travel between dimensions. When a Fae is bound to a mortal soul, their powers diminish. The Zataras have gone MIA for a while, so that has left us without any mystical spellweavers on our side to do research. Our white witch is still being held captive by Namor."

Midnighter considers that then nods. "All right. There's always enough problems to keep me busy so I don't need to go looking for more. But when you learn more, tell me. And when you're ready to go after them, we'll go take care of it."

"So there's the question- you got any fancy witches or spellcasters hiddein up at Stormwatch over there?" Keith sips his tea, "Figured the Wall would try to cover all eventualities."

Midnighter can only shrug at the question. He can't answer for Waller. "Ask her. She can get a message to Hellboy for you as well. Maybe he does or knows a way to do what's needed."

"Fair enough." Keith swirls the remaining tea in his glass, pondering something. "So… what got you so hard on the kill everybody path?"

He gives Midnighter a sidelong look. "Hatred like that usually has a story behind it."

Taking a sip of his tea, Midnighter studies Keith over the rim of his glass before answering. "You're making assumptions. I don't hate them. I'm merely cleaning up humanity's waste and making the world a better place for those who try to live their lives without hurting anyone." After a moment, he smiles a genuine smile and adds "It's a dirty job but someone has to do it."

"Very Nietzchean. There's a quote about that somewhere, though." He refills his drink.

"The use of deadly force carries epistemic problems with it, but I'm sure you've gone over all of the arguments in your mind and decided that the need for justice is more important than errors of judgment?"

"Catching them in the act doesn't leave much room for errors." Midnighter points out. "Almost certainly fewer than with the court system and corrupt cops, district attorneys almost only concerned with political advancement, rookie defense attorneys fresh out of law school whose idealism is larger than their experience and juries made up of people who barely understand science and are swayed by their prejudices."

Keith raises an eyebrow. "Because you are not swayed by your prejudices at all, Midnighter." he sips his tea quietly. "Considering you just painted enormous sections of the population in vast generalizations-" a smirk. "I'd love for you tell Detective Pezzini she's corrupt. I'll come by to take you to the hospital."

"If you want to take that as a blanket statement, feel free. There are good cops, honest attorneys and intelligent jurors. But all it takes is one of the above to make true justice unlikely. If you're good with that, that's your problem. I am not." Midnighter says simply.

"It goes both ways, Midnighter. All it takes is one vigilante obsessed with his own concept of justice to destroy the very concept of justice." Keith stands up to put the empty pitcher away. "And it's what I worry about. You tread a very thin line over the edge of madness, just as Batman does. No, Batman's madness doesn't come from the lack of killing. He could be killing criminals in Gotham left and right and he'd still be as unhinged. All he does is stare at the abyss to the exclusion of everything else, and it's showing." He grabs his glass and goes over to the bar to serve himself from the mini fridge. A fruit juice, because his pain meds are already bad enough without alcohol. Wouldn't be a wise thing. "It's not too great of a leap in thinking to think that the problem is all the vigilantes who refuse to kill."

"Justice must be very feeble if one man can destroy it." Midnighter points out. "As I've never met the Batman, I'll take your word for his mental state. But again, I've never said you refusing to kill is the sole problem. It is, in fact, much greater than that and goes right up to the most powerful people in the world. I don't have the resources to topple them, though so I do what I can and help the people who can't help themselves."

"The concept of justice must be very feeble indeed if it can only be enforced by death," Keith answers, looking at the juice in his glass. He sips it. "A while back you said that a refusal to kill doesn't 'address the problem' of criminals existing. Do you think the role of justice is to prevent criminals from ever existing?"

"And yet again, you are making an assumption." Midnighter says. He sits back and watches Keith. "I am not bestowing justice, riding around like some white knight righting wrongs and balancing the scales. I am making sure predators don't continue to prey on innocent people. It's that simple."

"Potato, patato, why do you do it?" Keith says.

"Because I enjoy it." Midnighter answers. "Why do you do it?"

"You enjoy killing people?" the young man raises an eyebrow, mixing some mango nectar into his orange juice. It's an acquired taste, really…

"Yes." Midnighter answers simply. And quite unapologetically. "And I'm one of the best there is at it." Nothing like pride in your work though really, he's just acknowledging a fact. "If you didn't enjoy what you were doing, you wouldn't be doing it either."

"You're a pretty sick puppy," Keith chuckles. "I enjoy what I do, but that isn't visiting death on people. That's the markings of a psychopath. You're up to your balls in that abyss I mentioned." He downs his glass after taking a set of pills- painkillers, it's time to renew the dose. "If I were you, I'd get a boyfriend."

"Are hunters psychopaths because they enjoy killing?" Midnighter counters. "I just choose my targets to benefit humanity as a whole. You're also probably equating enjoying killing and the compulsion to kill. Or assuming one leads to the other. Why are you so obsessed with debating me about it? Are you unsure of your own motivations? You have, after all, admitted you'd kill if you found it necessary. It's all about the definition of necessary, isn't it?" At the suggestion, he actually laughs. "I've yet to meet anyone who'd be suitable."

"Unsure? Please. I'm a fucking cat. I'm more sure about a single fart than you'll be about your next decision." Some of the Cait occassionally bleeds through the barriers of personality. Keith's smile turns very cocky and self-confident as he says that.
"I simply don't look forward to the possibility that you might decide to come after me or Gar in your topsy-turvy concept of necessary." he licks his lips at the taste of the nectar still lingering.

"So just to make sure, that's never happening."

"Then don't become predators." Midnight says simply then adds, "Cat." Who's in a relationship with the one who can turn into any predator he wishes.

"It's not in our nature. But killing is in yours. I don't know what to expect from you, Midnighter.

"I don't kill. My definition of 'necessary' is very simple- when there is no other resort. But I can say this about anyone who would ever take Gar's life…"

He starts wiping the glass, looking at its edges. "I don't kill. But I can make the life of anyone who ever did that such a living hell that they would beg to be dead every waking hour of every breaking day." Keith sets the glass down, his face is more serious than anyone has ever seen him. "The Fae, after all, have spent millennia learning to be cruel without killing anyone. I'm bound to an expert."

And then the mood changes, as a gentle smile breaks his face, erasing the cruelty. "It's only because I'm such a nice guy that the Cait's nature doesn't really have free reign. So let's keep it that way, hm?" People often underestimate both Keith and Vorpal because he's easy to smile and joke, or because he is young and inexperienced. But the truth was that his soul was in touch with a madness that was older than the Joker's and, in some ways, far more terrifying. It was only a stroke of luck that that spirit had found a soul who was, basically, an extremely kind person. But sometimes kindness had limits.

"Now that sounded like I was threatening you. But it's not. I'm not the threatening type." He yawns a little.

Keith might not be the type but Midnighter is. He just doesn't feel a need to. "We'll hope it never comes to that then. You both do some good here and I'd rather not have to hurt you." Or worse. "We are, after all, on the same side when you get right down to it."

"Hopefully it'll stay that way. I don't mean to kick you out, Minuit, but I just took some pretty heavy pills. In about fifteen minutes I'm going to be a puddle on the couch and not much company for a while, and Gar won't be home until much later. Unless you don't mind watching some inane television," He smirks. "Hundreds of channels, nothing is ever on."

"No, I have werewolves to look for in Gotham." Midnighter stands and sets his glass of tea down. It's barely been touched. "Get in touch with Waller and let me know what you find about the Circle."

"When I'm coherent enough for long enough to do so, I will," Keith says. "These drugs are… something else. Yesterday I spent fifteen minutes talking to Gar, and he wasn't home yet…" he leads Midnighter to the front door.

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