20150220-That's Show Business!

Summary:
<20 February, 2015>: HYDRA tries to crash Zatanna's show. It doesn't work as well for them as they hoped…

A Nightclub

A great place to put on a show!


Characters

NPCs

  • HYDRA agents.

Mood Music:
I Put A Spell On You


Not withstanding the difficulties that Zee has had in getting a regular show up and running, one of the hotels in New York has booked the young Magician to perform for a charity gala. It's been publicised for several weeks, on TV, in newspapers, social media, the works… and Zee's received several emails, tweets and the like from fans saying they're going because she'll be there. It looks like it will be quite big.

With all the publicity, it's a bit difficult for the Mistress of Magic to keep it quiet and several of the Titans have insisted on coming along, most have not been to one of her shows and they're interested. What can a teen magician do?

Right now, Zee's on stage, performing, dressed in her costume: Swallow coat, Unitard, Fishnet Stockings, Thigh High Boots, Top Hat and the diamond encrusted collar that Jericho delivered from Illyana.

Yes, she really does pull a rabbit out of the hat, NO she doesn't saw a man or woman in half… at least those questions are answered. "Now before I do my next trick, I want to remind everyone that the purpose of this evening is to raise funds for a great cause: Doctors Without Borders. Please remember to make your donations before you leave" and with a flourish of her hand, Zee starts her next set of magic tricks. Stage magic, of course, not 'real magic'.

Support for the team! Yah! Well, and Garfield Logan is a fan of Zatanna Zatara. He's been to her show more than twice, and he tries to get permission to record parts of it for their friend Danny who is a REAL big fan, but who cannot come because he's … a bit large to fit in the venue, though, technically, the venue could fit inside him. Anyway. He's in a balcony section with a decent view.

Agent Robert "Bob" Dinkins has always wanted to be a minion. He's excited that he has been elevated from Abschaum vierten Klasse to Einstiegs- G├╝nstling. Hydra ranks are usually in German. He's pretty sure that it was a promotion. Anyway, he's in disguise, wearing a nice evening suit and with a fellow Hydra agent in a lovely dress … Boris really pulls off that drag … kind of troublesome that. Still. The man is matchless with a sleep dart gun. He refocuses to the stage, where the Target is performing common stage magic.

The electrical team is in position, ready to take out the lights while Team Two, across the room, will deploy tear gas and other distractions. Then Bob and Boris can slip onto the stage, attach the Hydra-Portation Beacon to the fishnets, and they'll all be gone before you can say HAIL HYDRA!. Erp! Not out loud though!

"How is she doing that." Booster Gold, or actually, Michael Jon Carter — he is not in costume at the moment — is in the audience with his eyes narrowed as he scrutinizes every movement Zatanna makes. Despite Zee's comely outfit, Michael's focus has shifted to her magic tricks, because he is completely boggled by them. He has never seen an actual stage magic show before. It is fortunate that he has access to costumers due to his daytime soap, as it helps him wear era-appropriate clothing to such events; he has a navy blazer on over a cream button down shirt, but without a tie, because those give him trouble.

Keith is rather amused by seeing Booster in Period Clothing. To someone who knows the man's origin, it is easy to wonder how much of a culture shock it all must be. He did insist that he come to Zee's show with them because, well, Zee was a team-mate, a superb performer, and it is always nice when your friends support you…

Unlike that second grade show back in the day when nobody showed up. There he was, standing in the spotlight dressed like a banana and ready to sing his ode to Potassium, and the glaring hole of his absent mother and grandmother in the bleachers almost had an aura of his own. That is the day that the spark for showbusiness died inside him and he swore he would never put himself out like that anymore- he was never going to be anyone's fruit ever again!

And then he met Gar.

(Rimshot)

His mother and grandmother did have a very good reason to miss the show-namely a flooded house. But who cares about details like that?

"You're not supposed to know, Michael," Keith confides to Michael, "That's the whole point- it's for her to know and for you to wonder for the rest of your life."

Poised to strike, the electrical team makes a few checks before contacting Bob, the electrician's voice crackling in the minuscule earpiece. "All agents in place. Ready to go on mark."

Of course Zee has said Gar can video the performance, she'll even use part of it for her promo reel if she can and it gives her something to critique. Self improvement and personal development for the win!

Unaware of Michaels questions and Keiths answer, Zee moves through the next series of tricks… something with scarfs and doves. How she got permission for the doves to be in the building, and we have to pity the custodians who have to clean up With another flourish, she takes a bow, smiling that bright stage smile of hers. "And now… for my last trick… may I have a volunteer from the audience…."

Gar continues videoing. His ears are twitching though. Did he hear someone say "hydra" just now?

Boris — the lovely woman with long blond hair in the slinky black dress with the tiny gold sequins sewn at apparent random over it to enhance the curves almost like scales for a snake — Boris stands up and raises her hand, smiliing. Oddly, the gold canine on the left side is the only thing that breaks the perfection of the picture.

"Are those real birds?" Michael wonders to Keith, because live animals are also amazing to him. He is still trying to figure this all out. "It's not like she's wearing baggy clothing. Where were they?" His eyes roll upwards as he rubs his chin, thinking through the problem. "I guess she compressed them. Although… I think birds die if you compress them?" He isn't sure. He makes a mental note to look this up, later.

Volunteer? Don't look at him! Keith was wary about his own tendency to affect luck, way too aware of it to ever volunteer for a magic trick. It could go fabulously well… or something could happen to make it go terribly, terribly wrong, even with someone as experienced as Zatanna.

The stage could catch on fire, for example. When the striking blonde volunteers, though, he is relieved. "Exploded birds would sort of ruin the effect, I think," Keith agrees, and smirks at Gar, "Gar, can you tell Mister Analysis here to just enjoy the fishn-I mean, the magic tricks? Or else I will volunteer him for the next trick."

The leader of the electric team watches the scene through his monitor, spy-tech provided courtesy of the small camera planted in the room. He takes in Boris' volunteering and mutters something about showing off. But it made sense, getting close to the Target before giving the signal.

Maybe Zee cheats a little when she does the bird trick… maybe she really uses 'real magic'. She really doesn't like harming creatures or people in general.

There are several volunteers from the audience and Zee takes a few moments to assess them. The big, redheaded guy, the tiny brunette or the tall blonde in the slinky dress. The dress will look good on stage. Zee gestures to the woman and claps her hands "A big round of applause for our volunteer please, Ladies and Gentlemen. And what is your name?"

Gar watches the woman approach the stage, being helped by her male companion. He's not quite sure what bothers him about the pair. Does the man not actually like her? He's not comfortable touching her, he wiped his hand off unconsciously when he finished. Is this one of those Reality Show couples?

Boris allows Bob to steady her until the ninja stagehand takes over - ninja stagehands are like that, invisible except when they choose not to be. Her answer to Zatanna is, sadly, not in a deep gravelly Doctor Girlfriend voice. Boris introduces herself as "Natalia" and has a perfectly fine, if a bit throaty, contralto voice.

Bob waits at a table near the stair, telling the usher that he'll be needed to help her down from the stage.

The blowgun/dart kit looks rather like a cigarette, and she has it slipped into a pocket that shouldn't be there on the black dress. Indeed, as far as anyone who isn't Edna Mode or a spy could likely tell, there is no pocket there.

Michael is clapping his hands, but he still looks faintly incredulous, gaze riveted to the stage. He may be enraptured with trying to figure out the tricks, but this may just be how he is enjoying the show. Sitting back, he lightly folds his hands together, fingers interlaced and he says, "Maybe Zee is gonna pull her out of the hat." Which is improbable, but he seems to think something like this is likely.

"Man, that hat of hers is evil. She can pull squirt bottles out of it." How does Keith know this? Let it be a mystery. Let it be said he no longer tries to steal pancakes at breakfast. "I'm sure she could pull anything she wants out of that hat, though. Some people get all of the cool powers." The redhead smirks and sips his drink.

"Hey, who turned out the lights?"

The question is seconded by the patrons all around, gasps and little exclamations escaping them as the power is cut. At the same time, Boris makes use of his own dart gun, putting it up hastily to his lips and shooting the dart in Azatanna's direction…

"What!" Zee speaks from shock more than anything and looks around the stage in confusion. She hasn't heard the dart being sent in her direction and she's certainly not aware that she's in danger, yet. Frowning to herself, she looks to the emergency exit lights and speaks: ~ eroM tghiL morF ycnegrmE sthgiL ~

and flourishes her hand as she steps forward, into the path of the dart. It hits the sleeve of her jacket and embeds itself, a small amount of the toxin being deposited on her skin.

As the emergency lights flare up brightly, Gar is putting the camera away… don't ask. He's also putting his clothes away. Somewhere. Somehow. He's shifting and jumping for the stage: for a moment, a sugar glider sails down, then a big green … what is that? A "Box Jelly" Jellyfish that large shouldn't exist, but does - as "Natalia" blows three times more, and darts sink into Gar's oddly translucent, quivering bulk. Blorp.

Across the room from Vorpal and Booster, on the other set of stairs going up to the stage, a pair of grim looking men attempts to make their way into position. They're carrying some sort of bracelets.

Natalia, still maintaining her pretense, shriekes and backpedals away from the giant Cnidarian, 'accidentally' knocking over a stage ninja who saw her blowdart at Zatanna. (Boris outranks Bob. Boris is a vertrauensw├╝rdige Speichellecker.)

The electrical team activates their Recall Bracelets, their job complete. Now it's up to the Agents to get the Target out.

It takes Michael a moment to react when the lights go out. As far as he knows, this is part of the trick. He sits there a little awkwardly, but Zatana's cry of surprise causes him to… light up. The glow surrounding him is faint and golden, a mild aura that outlines him. If the blackout is part of the act then this may be distracting to the people seated around him. Fortunately, Michael Jon Carter is all but immune to embarassment.

Once he sees that things really are going awry, Michael rises from his seat and then keeps rising into the air. "Darn it!" he exclaims, because naturally he is not wearing his blasters as they are bulky and would have been noticeable in this outfit. He flies towards the stage, but without his goggles it is difficult for him to tell who is doing what, and he is keenly aware it would be bad form to punch the wrong person. He lands by Zatanna and the blob that is Gar.

"Booster, where are-" Keith stands up as Booster makes his way to the stage. Whipping the small mirror out of his jacket, the young man looks into it and says:

"We're all- in total darkness. Damnit!" Booster may have his own illumination source, but Keith does not. He needs to be able to see his eyes in order to effect the transformation, so for the time being he is stuck being Keith O'Neil.

He's not entirely sure what's going on, and his senses aren't cat-keen in this shape… but the fact that a lady on the stage seem to be holding things up to her mouths and pointing in Zatanna's general direction… well.

He can see enough by Booster's glow to at least make that bit of drama out. However, there is not much he can do right away due to the fact that he was on a balcony with Gar and Booster. There's people panicking and moving around the theater, which makes it hard for someone who can't fly…

"Oh, screw it." He reaches down and grabs the plate of hors d'oeuvres that had been delivered to their box seat at the balcony. Delicious little hors d'oeuvres which will not get to be tasted. Trying his luck, the redhead throws his arm back and throws that plate like a frisbee, trying to hit the lady with the blowgun somehow. If not, at least he hopes it won't hit Gar. Or Booster. Or Zee…

Note to self: Get himself a grappling hook for occasions like these…

Zee's feeling a little woozy, that dart hit her just enough and she kind of stares at the jellyfish thing that lands next to her. Then there's Booster "I'm not feeling so good, you two" Just as Vorpals frisbee tray comes hurtling by… and she stumbles a little as she brushes the dart from her coat.

Digest, taste, consider. Gar-Jelly shoots out one of his fronds to catch up the dart and pulls it in to digest and consider as well. He says, in a voice that _cannot_ have come from a jellyfish, "Zee, you've been nicked by a sleep dart!" and all four darts are some how propelled out of his Cnide Hide towards Boris… who evades two of them, catching one in the chest and one in the abdomen. She blacks out almost instantly, and Bob scrambles up onto the stage to twist the knob on her dainty little wristwatch. Both Bob and Boris/Natalia disappear like magic SCIENCE as their recall beacons activate.

Meanwhile on the other side, the two burly guys are closing in on Zatanna, mere feet away now.

Gar … can't shift back to human yet. The dart-poison hasn't digested yet. He'd fall over asleep.

Michael is turning towards Zatanna when the plate thrown by Keith hits him edge-on right in the face. There is a loud *CLANG* from this, and although the tall blond man flinches in surprise, he seems unhurt. The same cannot be said for the platter, which ricochets off and slaps flat-first into the face of one of the approaching men. Michael glances out at the audience with a look as if his feelings were bruised — why would someone throw objects at his precious face?

Michael reaches out to put an arm around Zatanna to draw her in close, and his faintly glowing forcefield flows over her as well. With his free hand he grabs at the shirtfront of the other thug, lifting him up off of the floor and using him as a blunt object to clobber his companion, who is still reeling from getting face plated.

"Booster, watch ou-" Too late. Keith winces at the *CLANG*, but then that wonderful little chaos node works in his favor, taking care of one enemy and providing Booster a bludgeoning weapon. The redhead watches from the baclony as Booster clobbers the other man- quite successfully.

"I meant to do that," He says to no one in particular.

Struggling in his jelly-mind to find a better animal to be … AH! That'll work! Gar turns into a human-ish about his usual height, but maybe half again as broad, and about one-half some sort of mustelid with a whitish-green fur back and dark-green fur on the front, and fairly long claws. His face is a bit weaselish and he looks at the Hydra thugs and shakes his head and shrugs.

"OK, any more Hydrants out there need pissing on?"

Honey badger Gar don't care about Hydra agent's delicate sensibilities.

"Sleep dart?" Zee starts to speak as Boosters arm draws her in "I'm o.k Booster…" and then that clang. "That was HYDRA?" she sounds truly concerned. "I guess Jericho was right, after all."

"What the heck was all that about?" Michael wonders, still keeping Zatanna close and within his forcefield as he looks around, in case he needs to punch someone else. The immediate danger seems to be past, however, so he tenatively releases his grip on the magician. Not to abruptly, of course; if she's woozy he does not want to just let her fall to the floor.

There's a FZZRT! and both unconscious men disappear, and someone backstage yells "HAIL HYDRAAAGGGH!"

Gar-badger dashes back and there, sprawled over a piece of machinery that looks like stage magic, but is not part of Zatanna's equipment, a weedy looking man smoulders. Apparently the leader of this particular foray, he's learning that failure comes with consequences. That or his retrieval band malfunctioned.

Gar comes back out. "It's dead, Jim," he says to one of the stage ninjas.

Meanwhile, Keith is trying to make his way to the floor and to join his team-mates. He's totally not going to admit throwing that plate, in case Booster asks. "ExcusemepleaseexcusemesuperherocomingbyEXCUSE ME-thankyou" he mutters. He bet Superman never had days like this. He will eventually get to the stage, but not before being tossed around by the ebb and flow of the mass of patrons trying to find their way in the emergency lights towards the exits.

Zee can stand on her own and does as Michael releases her "Thank you, for that." Blowing out a deep breath she looks around "Apparently I've made a HYDRA hit list. They're trying to take out unaligned Mages… " she frowns slightly "I'll need to contact Jericho, soon… that was a kidnapping attempt…" Zee might be in over head about now.



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