A Boost

Summary:
<January 10, 2015>: Keith and Zatanna are out for coffee, they run into Booster Gold.

New York

The coffee capital


Characters

NPCs

  • Civilians

Mood Music:
The Coffee Song


The news media loves to sensationalize murder stories, as well as glomming onto anything tangentally related to such tragedies. When Barry Allen was bailed out of jail by Booster Gold, this caused a minor stir; why would the actor and superhero do this? Where did the money come from? Booster was not forthcoming with these details, leaving some bloggers to come up with their own theories. One of the more popular if unkind stories is that this was just another publicity grab by a Hollywood phoney.

In any case, none of this can stop Booster from doing his job, not the acting one nor the superheroing one. He emerges from a Sundollar Coffee shop near the edge of Greenwich Village, with a to-go cup in hand, the steam temporarily dulling the shiny surface of his supersuit. A few people are using their phones to make vines or instagram the tall hero, which he pretends to ignore while holding himself with as much poise as possible because he likes to look good in his candid photos.

Keith usually doesn't get instagrammed n his human form. It's easier to recognize the purple cat than it is to pick his human counterpart from out of the crowd, especially when he usually goes for a low-key wardrobe rather than high fashion. Old habits die hard. "… so Gar thinks I should apply for an on-campus job with the security people, so I guess that's something." He says to his fellow team-mate, Zatanna Zatara. "So maybe I'll start making money soon, which would be good since my funds are getting low. Anyways, I'm feeling up for a hot chocolate, how about you?"

Zatanna, dressed in a cherry red sweater dress, black leggings and knee high boots, as she walks beside Keith nodding "I think that sounds like a great idea" Zee smiles and waves as a young boy waves to her. Glancing over to the young man she nods "Coffee, actually… sounds divine. Where to?"

"Mr. Carter, why would you support a murderer? What's your relationship with Allen?" One twenty-something man is asking this of Booster, holding his smartphone out before him to get video footage.

Booster stops ignoring the people paying attention to him, eyeing the guy who shouted out this question. The man could just be a blogger, but Booster likes them; he owes a lot of his early exposure to the blogosphere. "I don't know Mr. Allen. I do know that he hasn't had a trial, though. In a just society, you don't detain people who aren't proven guilty of a crime. If you want a longer interview than that, contact my agent." Booster floats up into the air, ready to fly off, but then he spots Keith and his companion. Those goggles he wears make it easy for him to pick anyone out of a crowd. Flying over, he lands before Keith and Zatanna, with a friendly greeting of, "Dudes."

Keith blinks as the flying man settles before them, but soon he breaks into a grin. "Lo and behold, It's a Booster Gold. How re you doing? Why, I don't think I've seen you since the Christmas party." Where he talked of The End Of Days, and all that. "Have you met Zee? Zatanna Zatara, I mean," he gestures to the magicienne with a grin, "I can't remember if introductions were made at the party, people were running in and out all of the time."

Zee had to duck out of the Christmas party early, just after Booster was introduced to the group. The greeting of 'dudes' gets a raised eyebrow as the young magician smiles and holds out a hand "Pleased to meet you properly. Call me Zee" Glancing at Keith, she smirks a little "The party was pretty chaotic while I was there."

"Not formally, no," Booster answers, flashing one of his thousand-watt grins. He shakes Zatanna's hand. "Pleasure to meet you properly, Zee." He gently agitates the contents of his coffee cup, letting them stir as he tells Keith, "Things have been busy, that's all. The show, general hero business… a few off-continuum matters that needed seeing to… that kind of thing." Glancing around, he says, "Are we blocking foot traffic? I don't mean to hold you two up, I just spotted you and thought I'd drop in to say hello."

"Don't just fly off, there's lots of catch-up we have to do," Keith says and smirks, "And I have to admit I'm a little curious about some things. There's another coffeeshop a bit down the street-" It's New York, after all, "Zee and I haven't had our dose, wanna walk with us over there and have a chat?"

Zee keeps smiling and nods at Keiths statement "Please, join us." The Mistress of Magic isn't sure what Keith wants to discuss, but she's happy to listen. "I know a little about you, most of it's probably your publicists… it would be nice to get to know the person."

"Sure." Booster's attention is drawn away for a split second as he winks and points towards someone taking a phone-photograph of the little group. "I'd like to know what's up with you guys, too. Anyway, lead on. I don't recommend going back to the Sundollar I just came from, it attracted at least one newsy or blogger. If I show up again they'll think I'm baiting them." He considers this for a moment, then admits, "Which I sometimes do, but at the moment, I'm not."

"Right. Cuppy's Coffee is just a block away this way," he points across the street just as the picture is snapped. He'll probably look like he's giving Booster and Zatanna a tour of the city. He walks across the crosswalk when they get the green light.

"What's been up with us? Well, we've got a magical assassin who comes in and out of mirrors and reflective surfaces and can create duplicates of herself terrorizing the place. There's two women who are killing heroes in the area, some sort of 'anyone you can kill, I can kill more' crap… and then there's apparently a Hollywood actress who can brainwash people by looking into their eyes. Meredith McCorr. Head of some crazy cult from the sounds of it. We've got our hands full… oh, and the Robin who was dead is no longer dead, but he is now gone rogue and is an assassin who is working for his grandfather Rasalgoo. Or something like that." He has to ask Kate about that name again, it didn't sound right.

"Would you say taht's more or less it, Zee?"

Zee smirks slightly as she watches Booster 'play it up' for the cameras. Following along with Keith, she nods as he shares the update "Ra's al Ghul" Zee corrects automatically, "And the other Robin has taken some leave too." She shrugs a little and grins at Keith "You forgot about the bar brawl on New Years Eve that Bunker and I got into." Glancing to Booster, she looks questioningly "Why on earth would you bait them?" she's referring to the media of course.

"It keeps them on their toes," Booster explains, to Zatanna. "It also shows you which reporters do their work and which ones make stuff up to get attention. Not everyone can be as good as Lois Lane, but they oughta try." He looks thoughtful, then, digesting the news from Keith and Zatanna. "Robin, the one who visited the studio? I liked him, seemed like a nice guy. That sounds weird, that he's gone off to be an assassin."

"He's also the one who tried to give me a block of heroin, you know. I don't think I told you that story." Keith smirks. "He was strange and not altogether right. Oh, yeah, we also hired a caretaker for the castle. She's… kind of Fae-touched. I'm not entirely sure if she's an actual fae or if she spent some time in Faerie… but she's neat. We also have a new member… Misfit. She uses chaos magic like me, and she teleports." He looks at Zee "… and yeah, that new year's brawl. You get all the fun New Year parties, it seems."

Cuppy's Coffee looms ahead and Keith walks in leading the others in. "So… tell me about this guy you bailed out? What's going on there?"

"That's a good tactic. One I'll remember." Zee looks thoughtful as she nods at Boosters explanation and listens as they discuss Robin "I didn't know him… and I haven't met our new custodian. Most of this happened while I was on tour. Made coming home a bit like an early Christmas with all the news." Keiths comment about the bar brawl earns him a small wink "I guess I do…" she laughs as they enter the Coffee Shop. Keiths question to Booster has her looking interestedly at Booster.

"Being strange and even doing things that are technically illegal don't make someone a bad person," Booster points out as he follows the others, breezing into Cuppy's with a cup from a rival coffee place in his hand. "Anyway. The guy you're wondering about is Barry Allen. He's just a dude. Works with the police, I guess he's a crime scene scientist, that kind of thing." His shoulders roll in a shrug. "He was arrested on suspicion of murder and they set his bail pretty high. I'm like… ninety-nine percent sure he's not guilty. I know he had to be out of that cell so he could work on proving his innocence, so I took out a loan and got him out of there."

"I see… sounds like a Murder She Wrote setup. Think this Allen dude could use the help of the Titans? We've got a diversity of powers and approaches…" he hms, walking up to the counter and looking at the choice fo rhis order.

"We don't have a Robin for now, so we're a little short on the detective skills, but we've got everything else."

Zee peruses the menu and listens as Booster speaks "Do you know this Barry person?" She cocks her head and frowns slightly "It's a really nice thing that you did…" The rival cup of coffee gets a Zee smirk and a small shake of her head before she continues "What makes you so sure he didn't do it?"

"He might need further help. I left my contact information with him if he wants it," Booster explains, after sipping his coffee. "That's all up to him now, of course." His head tilts back as he seems to gaze through the roof, thoughtful after Zatanna asks her question. Finally, he answers her query as to whether he knows Allen with, "Not exactly. And I appreciate your sentiment although I wasn't helping him to be a nice guy, it's just something that needed to be done." He frowns then, as well, although the expression is subtle. "The truth is… well, in a nutshell… I'm from the future. I keep tabs on specific people and specific moments in time. You could say that Allen was on my list, and needed to be free."

"Right," Keith says, grabbing his coffee and leading them to a table. "Being from the future must make things very interesting… I mean, technically speaking, you're basically living in a diorama from the past, to you. This Allen person is that important, hm?"

Zee orders a coffee and follows Keith as he moves to a table. Booster gets a considered look as Keith speaks "Is it really an exact diorama or have things changed?" Settling into a chair, the young magician crosses her legs and leans back glancing between the two men.

"Things always change." Once the others are seated, Booster sets his coffee on the table and sits as well. "Every time we move through a particular parcel of duration, things will be a little different. Details often don't matter. Right on up to deaths… saving someone's life or letting them die may not have any real impact on the overall shape of that timeline. But… it -might-." He relaxes back in his seat with a sigh, as if he had just explained everything.

"… is it strange that I understand more when Zee talks about magic than when you talk about science?" Keith asks Booster with a blank look. "… I swear, I wish I could understand some of the things you do, but then I get the impression the Time Police would come out of the ether and zap me to take me to the planet Magrathea for trial or something." Mixed references, but-

"That actually makes sense" Zee relaxes a little further as she drinks her coffee. "It's like the wings theory… close up the beat of a butterfly's wings is miniscule but it could have massive effects a long way away." she shrugs "Or so they say. Whether you save someone or not, is a similar thing. And this Barry Allen person, he's one of those people who makes a difference in the future?"

"Heh." Booster grins a little, giving Keith a sidelong look as if the red headed man had just said something pertinent, but did not want to acknowledge it outright. He rests his arms behind the back of his chair as he looks to Zatanna, saying, "Yeah, it's a lot like that. Not everything is significant in the larger scheme… but some big things are. And some small things are." He rubs his chin, then, thoughtful. "He might make a difference in the future. But in this case I think it may be something in his past."

"Doesn't that mean it's already happened?" Keith tilts his head, "Meaning you'd have to … port back to the past, and then go…" wait for it. "Back to the future." He gives Zatanna a sidelong glance to see whether she groans or…

Zee just stares at Keith, she doesn't groan but her hand twitches slightly like she might want to ''gibbs slap'' him. Boosters sidelong glance is seen and she cocks her head in a mute question before continuing "I guess you don't know what is and isn't important."

"Well… in this case, there's a puzzle I'm still working out," Booster admits, to Zatanna. He rests his elbows on the table now, fingertips of one hand resting on his coffee cup. "Time isn't that linear, Keith. I'm not sure that this event in the past has even happened, yet. The continuum can eat paradoxes, that's not a big problem. It's kind of…" his hands lift and gesture vaguely. "Reticulated. Everyday decisions cause new branches all the time, but they eventually merge back in. Unless its major, like…" he pauses, then arches a brow. "If we went and prevented World War II from happening. You wouldn't change this continuum, you'd just create a new one. I mean, that is a continuum that actually exists already. But we're not in it." Booster grins faintly. "Sorry, I realize this probably all sounds nonsensical and I'm not sure it's really answering any questions…"

5r "Wait, you mean to tell me that there's a 'continuum' where Hitler didn't invade? Where there's six million extra people-" Keith pauses. "Wait, no, not six million, because those six million would've gotten married and their children would have had children…" he drifts off, imagining (or trying to imagine) the entire scope of all of those extra lives having more extra lives, stretching towards infinity. "I think I'm getting a headache. But what you're trying to say is that you can't actually change time, you just create more of it?"

"Working it out, that's cool really." Zee sits forward, folding her arms on the table in front of her "Basically Keith… look at your movie reference just there… they went back, made a change and then found themselves in a different time line." shr frowns slightly at Booster "That's what you mean, isn't it? Parallel stuff and all that."

Rowan arrives from OOC Land.

Rowan heads to the IC Nexus.

Booster points a finger-gun at Zatanna and clicks his tongue at the back of his mouth. "Yep. And sometimes those parallel lines merge back together. Sometimes they diverge significantly and you essentially get other dimensions. That's not the source of all exo-dimensions but a lot of them happen due to time divergences." He looks thoughtful once again, then says to Keith, "It's not that we create time, it's that the time is there and we create the events. Sometimes we can change those events. In rare cases, time can be created or destroyed, but in general it's like uh…" Booster looks around and gestures at the coffee shop interior. "Energy and matter."

Keith looks at the coffee shop, eyes darting from one corner to another. Matter and Energy. Energy, like the kind of energy he got from downing his triple-espresso, whichin about twenty minutes would have him fidgeting under the table, his leg bouncing up and down a little with the sheer boost of the caffeine as if he were a drummer in a band. Like the band he was in (briefly) highschool where he attempted, rather disastrously, to play the drums. Unfortunately, he found out, it is rather hard to keep time accurately when you've had so much caffeine that the world seems to slow down around you. He wondered if that is how Gar felt when he turned into a hummingbird. He had once had a chance to hear to a hummingbird's heartbeat in school- listening to the real thing was far more awe-inspiring than the Katy Perry song of the same name, which just made Keith wonder why the hell the woman was allowed out of doors anymore, especially when she decided to wear those Garfield-green wigs.

He pulls himself back from the mental rabbit hole (it happens regularly) and he sips his coffe. "Well, that's rather terrifying to think. The possibility that I exist somewhere else in another timeline. So… is it possible that in another timeline, Booster, I became a crook?"

Watching Keith as his mind whirls off, Zee laughs as she waits for him to come back to them. Sending a smile to Booster "That's really kind of fascinating… " then Keiths asking his question and the raven-haired woman, still leaning on her elbows, sips her coffee as she listens.

"Yes," Booster tells Keith, without even trying to gentle his answer by pausing to think. "I mean, I haven't met that Keith but the possibility absolutely exists." He grins a little, mostly at Zatanna. "I know it sounds like we don't have free will, but I see it this way… to have free will you need to have the opportunity to make choices. If there's an infinite multiverse then all of those choices exist. Ehhh…" He waves his hand as he picks up his coffee. "That's kind of simplistic, but it works."

Keith frowns. "Then the choice doesn't mean a thing. The choice matters because you made the choice in exclusion of all other choices. It's an 'or', not an 'and'. I chose to help people, not rob them. Or at least, that's how it would have been. But if I did choose it… then my choice is invalidated. Any life I've saved has been erased by every life I've taken… and don't tell me that it wasn't I who did it, because it was me. That's the whole point, isn't it? It's me making the choices, it doesn't matter if it's here or there, I'm still Keith and they are Keith as well." He looks at his coffee, somewhat losing the taste for it.

It was probably conemplating things like these that sent Roberta Ann Sparrow over the deep end. He takes a sip.

Zee grins back at Booster, totally engrossed in the discussion "OK this is just awesome. Red pill / Blue pill. Stay asleep or wake up…" Keiths ramblings have the young magician rolling her eyes, just a little, before she sighs "You can only take responsibility for what you do in this timeline… stop overthinking it." Booster gets her attention "Infinite choices, infinite outcomes, nothing predestined… I get it." Zee sips at her coffee "Basically, we have free will /because/ we have choices. It's like one big 'choose your adventure' book."

Booster nods to Zatanna, then turns and gently gives Keith's shoulder a pat as if to comfort him. "It's not as cut and dried as that. You, this you, would not choose to become a crook. If, in this past, you did decide to be a thief then you quickly realized it wasn't right, and you became a hero… that offshoot would have merged back in to this continuum, a sort of detour." He sits back again. "The thing is that crime and law is largely defined by society. If there is a different reality where helping someone is illegal… then helping someone makes you a criminal. And there are realities with very different moral and ethical ideas than what we have in this one." Booster lifts one shoulder in a shrug. "This is just an example, of course, just so you can see what I mean."

Keith is clearly not convinced. "I'm going to have to build myself a dimension-hopping machine to kick my ass in those other dimensions where apparently my brain left me for another man," he grumbles. And he'd do it, too, if he could only find a way.

"Back to the Barry fellow, where might I visit him, should I decide to offer him the Titans' friendly hand?"

"See" Zee nods at Keith as Booster pats him on the shoulder "I'm not the only one who agrees with that." Leaning back once more, the young magician lets Keith change the subject as she sips her coffee.

"I don't think he's allowed to leave the city." Booster shakes his head, and then he smiles. "I think he's listed… are phone books still a thing in this era? Whatever the equivalent is to that in this era. I could just look up his information but it's ah. Not really legal for me to do that, and it wouldn't be ethical for me to share it without his permission. But he isn't going to be difficult to find, he worked with the NYPD."

"Shouldn't be hard to find then," Keith nods, taking more sips of his coffee. "So how are things going with the JL? Congrats on your nomination, by the by. Looks like you will be working with my friend Kate."

"Of course you couldn't…." Zee agrees with Booster as she flourishes her hand and presents him two cards, produced out of nowhere. "You can though, pass on our details, if you wouldn't mind. Here's how he, and you, can contact me. I'll pass the details on to Keith." It's so simple really. Sitting back again, the young magician sips her coffee "Yes, congratulations. That is a big honour and responsibility."

"Gosh, thank you, both of you." Booster sets his coffee down and takes the cards Zatanna offers. "I actually wasn't expecting to join them… honestly, I wasn't sure that I could join them for a few reasons but Superman assured me everything would be cool." His smile brightens; he has a tendency to look as if he were glowing, even when he is not. "I'll get this to Mr. Allen, I'm sure he's still confused about why I helped him. All of this stuff about time, causality, and so on… I normally don't discuss it. I'm going to have to with him."

"You're a better man than I, Michael. Before I actually had the chat with him, I'd tell him 'actually, I'm your great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandsom from the future…" he grins, "But that would be cruel. Especially the part where I would have told him he marries Scarlett Johanson…" he looks at Zatanna.

"Oh god, I'm an awful person. Maybe I am a villain at heart."

Zee giggles slightly at Keith "Yes you are a villain but we still love you regardless." The young magician nods to Booster with a cheeky grin "You have my cards, one to pass on and one for yourself." Finishing her coffee she puts her cup on the table and leans back again.

"I won't let this information fall into the wrong hands, don't worry." Booster gives Zatanna a wink, one of his playful and typical gestures. The cards get tucked into a small slot that opens in one of his wrist bracers, clearly the only practical 'pocket' option he has in that super suit. "You know, Keith, it's tempting sometimes to use my knowledge of the past and future to get people to do stuff for me. It'd be too easy, though, and I guess that's one of the reasons I avoid it—"

There is a minor flash of light through the window of the coffee shop, from a celphone camera. One of the probable bloggers from the Sundoller seems to have tracked Booster down. The man of gold says, "I think I may need to step away so you two can finish your drinks in peace."

Keith gets a mischievous look on his face. Some ideas percolating in his caffeinated brain about Zatanna and Michael, and-
"Yeah, well, I've been tempted to ask whether or not my name is known in the future the same way you seem to know of other Titans- but then I get a mental image of Doc Brown bellowing about altering the future. In any case-"

FLASH! Aaaah! Coming through the window (dun dun dun dun dun dun dun). Keith looks at the blogger and raises an eyebrow, giving him a We Are Not Amused look. "Perhaps it might be for the best. Saaay-" Keith's mental percolator goes drip drip drip- "I've got tickets for the CIrque du Soleil, Gar got us two tickets but we're not going to be able to attend because of a last-minute appointment and it's too late to reschedule. How do you guys feel like going in our place?" he asks Michael and Zatanna.

Zee's used to a certain level of celebrity and the flash going off doesn't really bother her as she waves it away. Keiths offer of tickets has her blinking and she falls silent waiting to hear what Michaels response will be.

Booster has taken a few steps away from the table, perhaps to protect Keith and Zatanna from getting dragged into the gossip train, but he turns and says, "Oh, sure. I mean, if Zee is up for it. Contact me and let me know where and when… Zee, Keith can give you my data. Later, dudes." Although the words of this last part are casual, he speaks them as if they were a formal farewell. He then turns to head out of the other exit, so he can avoid the phone photographer, flying into the sky while still holding his cup of coffee.


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