Leyline Blockage

Summary:
January 1, 2015: A disrupted Leyline attracts all types of heroes to deal with it.

Gotham

Dirty, stinking, corrupt Gotham


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


Meet Jericho Trent. Hacker. Soldier. Other things depending on whom you ask and when. He's had an intersting life these last few years. The Chinese definition of interesting that is. That used to be a curse you know. 'May you live in interesting times.' It's not been all bad but a lot of it has been rather odd. Case in point: Jericho's been in Gotham for a few hours running down a woman that he met in another dimension. Well, this dimension's version of her. Don't ask, the story only gets more confusing from there. The relevant part is he's only been in Gotham a few hours. And Gotham's an odd city but not usually if you're just passing through.

Unfortunately Jericho has a built in weird magnet, and it's decided to turn on. Just inside Otisburg the hacker's HUD suddenly lights up with a language few people read. Demonic. And it's telling him that something magical just opened up beneath him.

It's nothing directly dangerous fortunately. Normally the hacker's luck is that it's a demon or a dragon or something of that ilk. Today it's just a ley line flaring, but it's doing so in a way that's interfering with all the local network signals and, oh, inverting the local magnetic field. That's not gonna get noticed…

***

John hasn't been following Jericho. Sure, he might have magically enchanted a scrying crystal to help him track the fellow, and he might be following him /now/, discreetly, but he hasn't been, you know, stalking him. Much. Often.

Still, he'd parked House a few blocks away and was walking around with a cigarette between his lips, hands tucked in his trenchcoat pockets, collar up and generally looking surly and suspicius.

***

It's Evelyn's day off, lucky for her. Direct orders from the co-director. Go to R&D, get checked up, take the day off. You've done really well. Put in light of her luck lately, this actually puts her in a bit of a decent mood. The lab found a /lot/ wrong with her body. All of her neurotex cores weren't functioning, there was water damage, breathing actuation was damaged, wires were broken, and the frame around her reactor core was dented and broken. Still, that aerogel core is strong. Not everything was fixable within the hour, some of it is going to take a bit of time to fabricate new parts, but they were able to fix her leg and arm.

Now she wanders Gotham, her day off. She doesn't need to watch Tony. Doesn't need to feel responsible or write a report. No pushing papers today. No handlers. Her thermos is filled with a piping bit of hot chocolate as she walks down the street not far from Jericho but approaching in that direction. Her usual attire, a pair of jeans and a sweatershirt for the weather. It's a bit light for the temperature but the cold is sort of refreshing. Brisk.

***

Aquaman has the perfect disguise… he dresses like Arthur Curry. Sure, people see Clark and the glasses and the fumbling about like an uncoordinated bafoon and they don't see the Man of Steel… even if you know, they see both of those men almost daily. But Aquaman all anyone sees is the shiney. The shiney crown. The shiney armor. The shiney trident. The shiney… wife. Whatever. But when he doesn't want to be noticed, he dresses like he used to, like his dad did, and no one ever notices. Ever. A puffy winter coat with a worn out seam at the base, a pair of faded jeans going out at the knees, work boots who's toes are scuffed and scraped all to hell, a plain black knit hat pulled down over his ears with the ease of a man who wears one every day. He may as well have 'longshoreman' on a sign following him around.

He doesn't do this often, but often enough. Aquaman is famous, or perhapse infamous, and it makes getting a feel for things difficult. People act weird around a guy with a giant spear who glitters. Around a dock worker? They mostly just stay upwind for fear of fish smell. Heh. Fish smell. Arthur's lips quirk under his beard at that thought. He wipes the smile from his face as he remembers why he's in Gotham. His information says the weapons that sunk one of his ships came from a Gotham company, and he feels some recon is in order… before he starts smashing potentially innocent business labs. Atlantis is already suffering enough bad PR.

***

Zee's teleports are interesting. Mostly they take her exactly where she wants to go but sometimes, like now, they don't work as expected. There's a quiet 'pop' and a raven haired woman appears in front Jericho, wearing a pair of form fitting jeans, tshirt, jacket and a pair of boots.

Smiling at the Hacker as she walks closer, Zee calls out "My teleports only seem to misbehave when I should be somewhere else…." Maybe that won't get her shot.

***

Jericho's HUD is full of scrolling characters that make most people's eyes bleed and he's a bit on the distracted side as Maxwell chatters in his ear about resonace and flaring and how this is all generally very good.

And if Maxwell thinks it's good someone should probably close it or siphon the power off or something. Not that it'll be Jericho. He's got the magical ability of a houseplant.

Zatanna's appearance before him makes hims reach for his sword on reflex before he realizes who it is. "They seem to put you right around me a lot." The last teleporter that happened to was at least doing it on purpopse. "So this is all fun and vaguely horrifying." He says nodding in the direction of the park where he can see a green glow starting to errupt. The hacker's amber eyes glint and glimmer as if someone lit a torch behind them, the more so when he sees another woman he recognizes.

"Agent Evelyn?" He hasn't seen Constantine yet and wouldn't know Aquaman from Adam. Or Arthur, in this case.

***

"This seems to be the second time I've come across you in some kind of trouble," Constantine says, having snuck up behind Jericho rather artfully. He gives Zatanna a meaningful look, then turns his eyes back on the demon-infested man. "Are you the blighter playing merry havok with the ley lines?" He pulls a pair of 3-D glasses from his pocket and puts them on, looking around the area. "Cor, looks like someone burst a magical fire hydrant in here. Like a bloody Jackson Pollock painting," he says, looking around the area. He whips the glasses off and hands them to Zatanna. "Take a look, luv."

***

Aquaman isn't really a magic kinda guy, not /really/. But his people on a whole most decidedly /are/. They're literally steeped in it, their past, their present, their everything revolves around the magical forces that surge and flow through Atlantis. Arthur's doesn't exactly know any spells, but he can feel when things are 'wrong'. It causes his feet to slow, and he pauses near a curb to scrap something from his boot while he tries to narrow down what's giving him the heebie jeebies. He picks up Constantine's words from nearly a block away, hsi brow furrowing. Great. This is not what he needs right now, especially as he's currently Tridentless… He should leave undercover work to Batman, clearly it's not his thing. He begins to make his way towards the group, focusing on their conversation as he nears.

***
Evelyn could've just kept walking. Kept going and ignored the group of people gathering, but seriously. Someone just popping in a moment ago that wasn't there before? Yeah, that gets her attention. Her eyes flicker over to Zee and Jericho immediately. Oh, she recognises one of them. The others? Not so much. She stops, grasping the strap to her messenger bag which is slung over her shoulder. Come on, Evelyn. Just keep walking, don't get involved..

Don't do it! Don't.. Noooo..!

And then she heads over. Joining the group, she looks between Constantine, Jericho, and Zee. ".. Agent Evelyn?" She echoes, looking at Jericho. "Not today.. Just.. Evelyn."

***

"My teleports seem to put me where I'm needed, it's not just" Zee shrugs that off, she's getting used to it now. Constantines meaningful look gets a frown from the young woman, obviously a point of contention for the two of them. "John, what a suprise to see you here" she says rather wryly and as the other woman joins the group, Zee nods "Hi Zatanna, or Zee if you like" She'd say more but that energy erupting is a bit hard to ignore.

"Fun and vaguely horrifying, you have a way with words Jericho" Zee murmurs as she peers at the scene and then to John. As John hands the glasses to her, Zee takes them and puts them on "Oh, I see what you mean… that's what, a ley line doing what exactly?"

***

It's a ley line flaring with magic like a fire hose with puncture holes. It's got so much in it that it's starting to leak out onto the surrounding landscape with rather surprisng effects… like causing all the trees in the park to start growing out of control… yay?

The hacker Evelyn may remember but his eyes didn't glow back then the way they do now. "Constantine I have the magical ability of a particularly anemic fruit fly. So no, that's not me. I happened to be passing by when it started though." When he sees the park start to go all Mesezoic on them he blnks. "Well that's probably not…" His eyes widen and he ducks, reaching out to pull Evelyn down with him as the two are buzzed by a mosquito the size of a house cat. "… good."

***

"Doing what it's not /supposed/ to do," Constantine grimaces. "They're like… water lines. The energy of the world flows through them. They're connected to the universe itself- energy, magnetism, it's all connected. But once in a very rare while, they go wrong, and this one looks like it is fit to burst. Someone," he says, starting to pace around, and swatting an irritated hand through the air at Jurassic Flies, "has managed to corrupt the flow of this one, though I'm not sure quite how yet…" he says, walking a ways down the street.

***

Evelyn furrows her brow while raising another. This conversation is weird. "Ley line? Are we talking about Pendragon books? I don't understand." Obviously, she can't see or sense any of the things happening regarding magic. She's not a magical construct. She can't help but stifle a snerk, "Are you guys LARPing? What game is it?" She's read a few of the books, for entertainment value, really. She doesn't particularly have any friends who would be willing to play that with her. The themes are pretty fun sometimes, though.

Oh, she's not on guard today. But when she's suddenly pulled down and something /buzzes/ over her? Alert mode. A pistol is snapped from her back, jammed in the belt line of her jeans and hidden under the sweater, just tucked in there. That's the benefit of a small concealed carry. Pushing down on Jericho's back while pushing herself upright, she snaps the pistol out and fires a couple rounds at the mosquito. The hot shells scatter on the pavement. Oh, quick draw competition winner 2015. If there were a competition.

Regardless hit or miss, she points the smoking pistol at the ground and looks at the others, "Shit..! What was that?"

***

Aquaman watches the giant bug zip past, his brow knitting in earnest annoyance. Great. "Giant misquito?" he offers helpfully as he nears the group, his eyes moving away from the bug to scan the area for any other threats, "Admitedly that's just a guess. Weird. Not usually active in winter… the little ones I mean." the size of the creature doesn't seem to bother him, the fact that it's a 'not frozen time bug' does? Longshoreman sure is glib… but it's Gotham. He's likely seen weirder.

***

As she removes the glasses and goes to to hand them to a now physically distant Constantine, Zee watches the mosquito buzz Jericho and Evelyn and fends of midges and flies as she moves around.

"You work out what's wrong, John, I'll try and contain the magic spill… I use the air around the line, I think I can hold for it a bit." The Mistress of Magic puts the glasses back on, focusses on a spot near the overflowing ley line and holds her hand out in front of her "I really should change for the occassion, but no time!"

~ tuP a cigaM dleihS nI ecalP ~

The air will seem to shift around the area and if successfully, the magic will be contained to the area… but not for long. Zee can only hold the shield for a short while. "Work it out quick, John."

***

The mosquito that Evelyn shot at jerks as it's hit. One of the wings flies off and it crashes into the pavement about ten feet away. And it is as the 'longshoreman' says, a giant mosquito. With a proboscis the size of a steak knife.

Jericho reaches into the leather case at his back as Evelyn lets up on the pressure on his back and produces… well at first it looks like a giant leatherman but quickly unfolds into a large curved blade at the same time that his wrists and forearms get covered with what looks like liquid silver. Just in time too because it seems to be the land of eternal spring in that little park the way those dog sized bees are gathering at the edge of the place.

"So… someone should probably turn the water off." The hacker says as several of the bees suddenly shoot out toward them ahead of Zee's shield. The lead one meets the business end of Jericho's blade, as his traces flare blue, and gets cut in half lengthwise. Then the blade folds again to become a small carbine and he begins snapping off shots at the circling giant bees who seem to think he, Eve and Arthur are not welcome.

So yes… interesting times.

***

"You can't /turn/ the water off," John calls back. "I just have to find where it's stoppered. Zatanna, come here!" he calls after the leggy magician. "I need help with this! We've got to bleed off some of this energy in a slightly less… buggered fashion so I can get it unjammed! Can you open a font up and put all the energy right up into the air, /away/ from everyone?" he demands, reaching into his coat pockets for what looks like a large set of forceps.

***
Evelyn looks satisfied as the mosquito eats it. Still a deadeye. That's nice, because she hasn't shot a gun at a range for a couple months. Kind of hard to get practice in when you're in ops mode. Letting go of Jericho, Evelyn stands back up and looks confused by the situation. "What's happening?" Of course, there's little time to respond as bees the size of puppies and dogs start popping up. That's a bit of a surprise. Immediately she opens her messenger bag and swaps her tiny black holdout for a much larger Wildey 475.

The barrel on that thing is at least eight inches long, and it's a /pistol/. For those times when you need to shoot through a car to hit your target. "Font? Water? Is there a mutagen in the water supplies? What's — fuck!" Ev's chatter is cut short as she lifts the pistol.

BANG! BANG! This gun is /not/ quiet in the least. The recoil itself is mildly an issue, slide coming back and ejecting some very large shells. The first shot misses one of the bees, but the second one neatly obliterates a chunk off her target.

***

Aquaman's arm whips through the air in a sort of lethargic back hand and one of the bugs simply explodes in a shower or ichor, "So," he says, reaching up to pull his winter coat off with a ripping sound, baring the gleaming golden armor to the winter air, "you guys think they like shiney things?" he asks curiously as the jeans and knit hat join the coat in tatters. In a town as dingy and bleak as Gotham, Aquaman stands out like an LED covered disco ball in a dark cave. He blinks, "Well… crap." he states as a large humming noise and a really unexpected amount of large insects begin to converge on him. He really needs to talk to his armorers about something in a dull gray color, you know, something less… regal. And target-making. He grunts as he crosses his arms over his face and begins to weather the storm of impacts as he's dive bombed. "This stuff never happens to Batman but the one time I'm in his town who do the giant monster creatures attack? Me. Figures." seriously, what is he? A giant creature magnet? Also ow. And ow. And ow again. These things actually kinda sting.

***

The energy it takes to hold a magical shield in place is immense, and Johns words distract Zee for a fraction of a second too long and the shield falls. Removing the glasses, Zee jogs towards John and as she reaches him considers "I think so… it would be like my shield but open topped… " Taking a deep breath, the raven hair woman holds her hands out like she's holding a large cup on either side

~ esoH epiP tceriD cigaM nI ehT riA ~

"That's the best I can do, John… now do something." the Mistress of Magic seems to have achieved what the Hellblazer wanted.

***

And do it fast. There are a lot of… really angry insects that think that Arthur is either a flower or food. Or a windshield judging by the amount of bug guts now covering the man. But it's not all fruit flies and honey bees. As noted, a few wasps and yellowjackets have decided that Arthur needs to be repeatedly stung. Some of them don't survive the experience.

Jericho has wound up with his back to Evelyn, alternately shooting down bees that are not distracted by Aqueaman's +20 Armor of Shiney Distraction or flipping his gunblade to blade mode and hacking the wings and limbs off anything that gets too close. More of the latter than the former though since Evelyn is both a better shot than he is and since there are a lot of things getting close. "Well. The world has temporarily gone nuts." He explains as he cuts a wasp in half.
The woman behind you is an efficent killer. I approve. The code imp in his systems informs him.

Shut up, Maxwell.

***

Constantine rushes towards the head of the font, where it's stoppered, where it's blocked. He seems to have some kind of magical shield in front of him- though closer inspection would reveal he's got a can of DEET and he's spraying it wildly in the air in front of him.

Sliding to a stop on his knees, he reaches some asphalt and digs into it with the forceps. They pass through the asphalt like it's mud, going deep, deep, Constantine's arms following it until he's buried up to the triceps in the stuff.

He stiffens, then straightens, hauling up like he's lifting something broken. There's a *snap* and he goes flying backwards, a chunk of something orange arcing over him and hitting the ground along with the forceps. There's a suddenly, palpable feeling like an electrical field shutting off- all the lights dim, all the hair on the neck goes flat, and the unmistakeable sensation of pressure against the back of the eyeballs just… disappears, as the ley line is unstoppered.

***
Evelyn does indeed find herself back to back with Jericho. This gun only has so many shots, so each of hers finds its target. When insects begin swarming Aquaman, she turns and begins blowing bugs out of the sky near him. This undoubtedly showers the king in insect goo and guts. It's the /least/ she can do for Aquaman, who she surely recognises now. She knows who's who. It's her job as a SHIELD operative.

Reaching into her pack, she drops one empty bit of ammo and slaps in another. Pulling back the slide and loading in the next round, she's ready to go again. When the magic is unstoppered, an orange bolt of energy licks up Evelyn, invisible to anyone not really tuned to seeing magic. Oh, it tries to collapse her electrical field, and only partially succeeds. Her reactor kicks up to 11 and pushes up to compensate for that lack of power, and there's no interruption of service for this robot. "Aquaman, watch out!" She shouts, blowing a wasp out of the air that was readying to divebomb him.

***

Aquaman is the worlds shineist windshield. Splat splat splat go the bugs. Ow. Ow. Ow. Seriously. What the hell are these things /made/ of? Also, he's going to have to swim for like a mile to get this goo out of the scales on hi- The orange light hits him and instead of washing over/through him, seems to hit his armor and PUSH. Aquaman's feet dig furrows in the street as he's shoved, his body leaning into the preassure for a moment before the magic flows around him like water and moves on it's way, leaving him sort of… steaming. He peeks out from behind his arms, "Is it over?" he asks hopefully. Bug ichor that's covered him has now been cooked to a nice crispy crackly crust. It prolly would have been better if his armor weren't all resistent to magical foo, it wouldn't have fought the current for that moment. "Cause I'd like it to be over now." This is not his most heroic outing… he didn't even get to really smash anything. He just sort of stood there and… yeah. Stood there.

***

Zee feels the change in the energy and drops her hand and her own power. Dropping to her knees, bracing her hands agains them the raven haired woman looks to the worlds shiniest windshield and nods "John did it… but he'll want his forceps back" Without looking around Zee calls out "John, how're you fairing?" It'll be a hot bubbly bath for the Mistress of Magic tonight.

***

John just lays on his back, chest heaving, staring up at the sky. At Zatanna's question, he lifts a hand into the air and elevates his thumb skywards, before letting his arm flop back down to the pavement. He squirms and peers upwards, then reaches for the little chunk of glowing orange, hissing at the heat it emanates. Fishing in his pocket, he rolls to his belly and crawls towards it, wrapping it up with a piece of handkerchief before tucking it in his pocket. "Blimey, I need a fag and a drink," he mutters.

***

That orange… thing in John's forceps is steaming. And if one were to examine it, it's covered in celtic writing and draconic iconography. Entreaties to a 'Devouring Wurm' to damn the flow of his own life force to wipe away the blight of civilization at this place.

Jericho doesn't look. He shakes bug goo off his blade and wipes it clean on his shirt. He can wash it later. The blade folds away and goes back into the leather case behind him. "Arthur Curry…" His systems have identified the man. "You, sir, are one hell of a distraction."

The hacker offers Evelyn a wry smile. "Always seem to run into you when something's going to pot. Nice shooting though. Good to see you again." Zatanna and Constantine get grateful nods, but really, Jericho's not gonna stick around to shoot the breeze. It's Gotham and it's getting weirder. And it's right about this time that the little imp usually seen with him makes an appearance, sticking his head out of stepping disk that opens up to his right.

"Right on time K'nert." He grins giving the assembled crowd a wave as he steps into Limbo and the disk closes behind him.

***

Evelyn dusts herself off and clicks the safety on her pistol when the last of the weirdness is blown away. "What.." She still isn't clear on what's happening here. Did someone just use some kind of bug-incinerating weapon or superpower? Heck, this whole place gives her the heebie jeebies. The thought that it's magic never crosses her mind. Looking between Aquaman and John, she just shrugs, lowering her pistol.

***
Aquaman stands up and then steps out of the shin deep furrows dug by his feet. Every movement causes flakes of blackened bug guts to fall from him like crinkly snow flakes made of ick. "Heh. No one calls me that." he says, shooting a small smile Jericho's direction. Then of course the guy just walks through a glowy portal and vanishes. Aquaman blinks. "Ooooof course." cause Gotham. One of his arms hangs at his side, not limply, but clearly not comfortably either, and the crispy icky around his shoulder doesn't seem to be flaking away like the rest, as if it were matted there. He nods to the woman with the way to big gun in thanks, then Zee and John. Them at least he knows from their JLA files… you know, before he quit the team and they sold out to The Man. Or whatever. "So that's it then? No demonic invasion? No interdimensional beings from other worlds? No grand ancient magical cult raining blood and fire?" he brushes a big of crust from his face and beard.

***

"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for participating in this event," Constantine says with a cough, rolling to his feet and staggering upwards. "Blimey, that could have been bad," he says, stretching his back and wincing. "I think I pulled something in my back, though," he complains, walking up to Zatanna and Aquaman. He looks at Arthur for a moment, then pulls a face. "Bloody hell, if it's not the ruddy King of Atlantis," he says, reaching for his cigarette wallet. "What the bloody hell are you doing topside?"

***

Pulling herself to a standing position as John approaches, Zee looks to the other woman and nods. "Nice shooting" Johns comment has Zee peering at the big disco ball, back to John and then to Arthur again. "Your arm, I can try and heal it if you want…"

***

Evelyn opens her messenger bag, slipping the wildey inside while keeping a bit of distance from the group. She smiles at the compliment and returns a simple, "..Thanks." Then she turns to leave in a light jog. Maybe the place is really giving her goosebumps, or maybe she has some other reason. But she's off in no time.

***

Aquaman just quirks a brow at John, "Why is everyone surprised to see me when I'm not under the waves?" he asks rhetorically, "It's like they all forget where I was born." it's a whole thing with him. "I was seeking a corporation that was key in the construction of extremely advanced particle weaponry recently used to attack one of my vessels. I had questioning for those involved." the good humor on his face has leeched away during his explination and what's left is a far more stern countenance. He glances around, "A hunt I believe no longer viable considering the attention we are garnering." TMZ is likely on it's way now, they love Royal stories entirely to much. Arthur's starting to grow very annoyed with them. "No thank you Zatana, I will heal in time." somewhere along the way he went from 'guy caught in a crazy situation' to 'King', his tone, his inflection, hell the way he /stands/ has been altered as they speak. "And more accurately, I havn't the time to wait for you to work. Soon the media will arrive and it's best I am not here when they do." he eyes the pair of them, "I imagine I'm not alone in that sentiment?"

***

The regality, or is it regalness?, of Aquamans bearing has Zee stepping back slightly and nodding. "Media, I can handle but I'd rather not tonight, so I'm heading off. Hope the arm gets better quickly." Looking at John, Zee smirks a little "Twice in one day, hey? Let me know if you need anything with what you picked up." As she starts walking away, she casts a wave over her shoulder "Hot bath with bubbles for me, night all." Zee speaks, in strange backward way of hers, and with a small 'pop' disappears into thin air.

***

"Blimey," John mutters. "Guess I'll go put this somewhere safe," he says, patting his jacket pocket. With a wave at Aquaman and a tip of an imaginary cap, he staggers off, back to where he'd parked his ride, looking as much like a town drunk off a bender as a man who just prevented a major magical explosion.

***

Aquaman watches Constantine go, his eyes narrowing ever so slightly. Somewhere safe. He makes a mental note to have his Council of Magi look into the man more thuroughly then a simple reading of his file. He did the same with that demon possessed creep show that Batman allows to live in his city and he's glad he did. It's always best to be prepared, and anyone that stock piles things that can make giant creatures is on his List. Still… He sighs and walks over to a manhole cover in the street. Pulling it up with his hand, he eyes the dark hole and makes a face before shuddering at what wafts out of it, "Tiny gods that's just… unspeakably disgusting.

Aquaman then disappears into the darkness of Gotham sewer system, the manhole cover clattering into place over his head. Mera will never let him hear the end of this…


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