2019-04-20 - Hoopla Hoopla The Carinval's In Town


Zatanna gets a ping on the wards she set up at the Schools. She and Batman arrive just in time. As does a carnival

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Apr 20 00:00:00 2019
Location: Upper East Side

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Wards are an amazing thing, really. Particularly when they can be tuned to 'listen' for specific signatures and the ones that were placed at Baytard Taylor have just given the Mistress of Magic a buzz. Multiple buzzes, in fact. Someones or somethings are … there!

When Zee arrives, along with whoever she calls to help out, it's near the after school centre attached to the school. There's a shady guy dressed in gang colours along with a young blonde woman. The young blonde woman is talking to a girl of about a six and offering her candy as they stand there.

There's no one else around - everyone's inside. Did they lure the child out?

Just down the road sits a van. A van that seems oddly out of place here.

There's a special kind of theatricality that comes from totally eschewing showmanship. Many mages like to arrive places by opening big glowing portals and marching through, like people showing off their sports cars when they pull up. Zatanna is far, far more low-key. "Just close your eyes for a second. If you don't, you can kinda get reality whiplash."

Zatanna reached out to Batman, and anyone he chose to bring along is fine by her. Hands get joined, and those eyes get closed… and in the blink of an eye, they're there. It makes Batman's disappearing tricks look like an oaf stumbling through a china shop. She aimed for the roof, so as not to be spied just… blipping into existence. It's always good to keep that part out of sight.

Close his eyes? Underneath the cowl, Batman lifts a brow. He's stood up to much more than this. But, in this case, he needs to be prepared. As soon as the Zatanna has teleported the pair he snaps his eyes open, the lenses flaring to life as he takes in the situation quickly. Scanning over the pair in the courtyard, those lenses flare and narrow. "Zatanna, take out the van." he growls, before he runs to the edge of the rooftop.

He's not sure how Zee will react to seeing him back in action - frankly he doesn't care at the momemt. He leaps from the rooftop, sleek, streamlined as the bat launched and descended upon the pair in the courtyard and the child. The cape flares to life and spreads, dropping the three into shadows as he drops towards the gangbanger, looking to slam directly into him with his landing, the fluttering of his cape the only sound to announce his presence. Like Zee, he is not for show.

The Van starts to move. It starts to creep forward in a way designed to be as unobtrusive as out of place vans can be. It's a good thing that there are no adults around or this would not be sneaky in the least but as it is, well, the kid isn't likely to notice by herself, is she?

When the heroes arrive the door to the Van rolls open and people pile out of it. Three of them. The reaction to Batman from THEM is immediate.

It's gunfire.

It's not typical gang gunfire though. Spraying and wild. Whomever these Denim Crows used to be, they clearly have some background is this, moving in a spread and firing in a controlled fashion. They know that once the fighting starts they're on a short timer.

As the Bat falls on the threesome, the girl shrieks in fear, taking a couple of steps back - away from the woman.

The blonde is wearing a jacket with a stitched crow on the back, heavy duty boots and serviceable pants. "Come on, honey, it will be alright. You're Mommy asked me to get y—-" her words are cut short as the shadow forms over them, the girl drawing back has the blonde grabbing for her, fingers closing firmly about her wrist.

The guy, tall and lanky with an air about him, spins as the sun is blocked out. "The goddamn Batman." The descending batman is met with a pistol being aimed him. No hesitation either, the trigger is squeezed.

|ROLL| Bruce Wayne +rolls 1d20 for: 12

Zatanna stays on the roof, because, well, she doesn't have a gliding cape or armored greaves or any of that stuff that makes jumping off a roof both easy and fun. She could levitate her way down, sure. But there are more important concerns right now.

Zee doesn't even get a chance to appreciate the Batman's return to action, because as soon as he's in sight, that van door swings open and there's… gunfire! "Oh, fuh…" Zatanna catches herself, and casts a hand in the direction of the shooters. "Lla snug mrofsnart ot wollamhsram!"

Where Zee got 'marshmallow' from, who knows. Maybe she's hungry, or thinking about hot cocoa. The effect on any of the guns below that fall prey to her magic is that suddenly pulling the trigger just makes a squishy mess in people's hands.

Batman cuts the cape's spread as soon as he sees the pistol come free, not waiting for Zatanna to turn it into a Peep. Slamming foot first into the gangbanger, he aims to take him down first, as he leaps from him towards the woman. Someone once suggested that Batman wouldn't hit a woman? Nothing could be further from the truth as he slams the palm of his hand straight into the blonde's chest to knock her backwards as he lands.

The child is his target, especially as the van opens it's doors to open fire. Arms wrap around the girl, and he turns to present his back to the incoming fire, using his armored form to protect himself and the child from the gunfire. "The bullets!" he snaps at the mage on the roof, not wanting to give her away. But the guns - the guns will work. As long as those marshmallow peeps still can't shoot.

A few of the rounds already fired pierce through the cape, striking the armor of the vigilante as he rolls away and sets the child down. "Stay behind me." he tells her as he rolls to his own feet, turning his attenition towards the van as he flecks out a pair of Batarangs - but he's not going to be able to jump away and protect the child at the same time.


"The hell?!" There's several variations of that exclamation but it doesn't take the three approaching men long to discard the yellow sugar encrusted guns and draw knives instead. No ordinary knives, these seem to be made of some manner of glass. Two of them rush in on Batman himself while the thired moves to get the kid and try and get her away from the Goddamn Batman and into the van.

The blades come in. The people using them are clearly trained in their use. These are NOT simple street thugs. They're behaving more like ex-military cartel soldiers. And the blades themselves? Preternaturally sharp. Impossibly sturdy. Even though they're only propelled by human muscle they may give Batman pause even through his armor.

Zatanna can see them from where she stands. They're gossamer.

The pistol fires several times before the gun turns to marshmallow. When it does, the guy looks … rather comically stunned. "Huh …" the pistol is dropped as he pulls two knives from the belt he's wearing. Batman too can see, these are gossamer blades. They might well be able to deal him damage.

The Crow takes a batarang in one shoulder. It lands with a thud - he's wearing armour himself. Then he lunges at the caped crusader, slashing viciously and professionally, near the collar bone and throat, before falling back and circling.

The blonde flies back, landing heavily. She's dazed and out of the fight … for the moment.

"Batman?" The children is a mix of awe and terror as she shelters behind his form. He might not have to worry about her scarpering - just yet.

Batman knows what they are as well. Zatanna informed him of them, and he's had time to prepare. And a prepared Batman is possibly the most dangerous one of them all. His hands toss the first pair of Batarangs as the military men exit out of the vehicle as he tries to be the wall between the Crows and the child. "Annataz, teg eht dlihc! Elpitlum snoisulli!" comes the order towards the magician. It's easier to speak to her in her language to keep the fight fluid and use her as the trump card.

After the batarangs strike, the next weapons that are pulled are much more primative. They're crudely merged into his gloves as he waits for the first strike to come in and he brings up his armored gauntlet to defend it — an armored gauntlet that has been lined with cold-forged iron. It may not be as sleek or as nice looking as what he's used to using, but he only had a few days to prepare.

Now for the test as he uses the unforged greave to protect himself from the gossamer weapon - and that Zatanna's research is spot on as he kicks out towards the first Crow as the gossamer meets his cold iron defense.

It's a lot easier to hear Batman shouting to her when there's no gunfire going off! Zatanna can be grateful for that later. When Bruce speaks to her in her own trademarked backwards tongue, she picks up on what he's saying immediately. Sure, he doesn't have the innate magic power to DO something by talking like that. Even for Zatanna, it's just a focus, a means of channeling.

"Lavinrac, emoc ot nwot."

'Multiple' illusions is underselling it a bit. Suddenly, no one is in a big parking lot anymore. It's noisy, and cramped, and… it's a carnival. The ferris wheel looms overhead. There's the smell of cotton candy, and barkers are demanding that people stop and get their weight guessed, and electronic noises, and bells ringing, and cheers from a distant rollicking roller coaster…

Zatanna steps out from around the corner of a tent, putting herself right in front of the child's position. She's not in her civvies anymore: she's in full sexy-tuxedo, fishnets, and top hat. She pulls a thin cane from her sleeve and grins. "Hey, kiddo."

One of the batarangs is deflected by a knife. The other finds its mark in a shoulder and the target cries out. They can't tell what he's saying but they pile on the hurt anyway.

The first knife to shatter makes them pull back to evelauate a little. Not fast enough. The now weaponless crow is kicked to the ground and then…


To anyone who did not for some odd reason see the Carnival that Zatanna has 'called' to town the reactions of the men with the knives would look very odd. The crowd feels so real. The sound of the canned carnivale music. The barkers. Where'd the bat go? They look around trying to track him through the press of phantom people. They know this cannot possibly be real… but their senses are telling them it is.

Zatanna isn't immediately recognized by them even if she can be seen. She fits in perfectly with the images she's conjured.

"Spread out. Find them. Start slicing people if you have to." The leader says.

It's not going to take long to get to 'if you have to.'

The blade in the Crows hand shatters, leaving him holding the hilt and a knife in another. "What the fuck, man?" He curses "The fuck…" he curses again as the tents and the carnival form around him. He's momentarily distracted, trying to fall back to join his fellows.

That should give Batman an in.

The girl looks up at the fishnetted Magician "Zzzatana?" Scared and confused, Zee won't miss the adoration there. A knife comes flying right towards the Mistress of Magic, expertly thrown as the downed blonde recovers and desperately tries for the child.

Fortunately, Batman had the chance to memorize the layout of things before Zatanna brings the carnival to town. Dropping into a crouch as the first gossamer weapon shatters, there's a slight uptick of the corner of Bruce's mouth. 'Science, bitches.' as Helena would say. Now with the illusion in play, the Batman moves into play. Two down, two to go. He didn't see what happened with the attack on Zatanna, his concentration fully on trying to take down the last two trained thugs.

As one of the men passes by the fortune teller's tent, Batman's armored hand suddenly reaches out, grabbing the man by the back of the collar to drag him back within - and slam his head into the real life monkey bars that exist beneath the illusion. "Your future calls for a lot of jail time." he growls, his attention turning towards the others that remain, and he goes on the hunt again.

Zatanna is less fazed by a knife coming right at her face than most people probably would be. It's still a scary, adrenaline-pumping thing, of course! But she's caught bullets with her teeth as part of her act. Her reflexes are very oddly specifically great in the scenario of 'high speed projectiles aimed at her moneymaker.'

Zatanna ducks, and the gossamer blade spears her top hat and takes it right off of her head. "Yikes!" she says, which seems more like stage patter than anything. (In the unrevised real world, the knife sails through the air and embeds itself in a wall. No top hat has actually been harmed.) "C'mere, kid!" Zatanna tries to grab the girl into her arms, to protect her if not pick her up. She's still holding that thin cane with a curved end, a stage prop and not an actual walking stick. It makes a nice thing to point with, to guide the eye away from where it's supposed to go. She points at the blonde who threw a knife at her: "Srac repmub." Keep looking at the cane, because suddenly the bumper cars are going to come loose from their tent behind the blonde. If he's not fast enough, the guy is going to look really ridiculous in the 'real world,' getting knocked off his feet by nothing at all.

The one Batman has grabbed groans and goes down. He's not getting up any time soon. That's two of the three from the Van decidedly down.

He sees a flash in the corner of his eye as the last one comes right at him. Two knives in hand. One gossamer knife and one a good old fashioned KA-BAR. Being the expert he is, Bruce will easily recognize the russian derived knife fighting style the man is using. He's good too. He's not Batman good but he's better than pretty much anyone you'd care to pull off the street.

And he's aggressive. He seems to know or suspect that there's armor in that bat suit. So he goes for where the joins in the plates should be, always moving, always looking for a place to get leverage and put in a fatal blow. Or… what he hopes will be one anyway.

Where IS Zatanna anyway?

Crow #1, the one that had been trying to grab the girl, tries to avoid the crowd around him. Accidently bumping into one of the 'stands'. He goes right through it, stumbling because he expected something to be there. For the next few moments, he waves his hand back and forward, watching it go through the illusion each time.

"It's an illusion!" he calls out, eyes widening in realisation. "He's working with Zatanna!" as he launches himself at the big black bat. Trying to bring his last knife down where the shoulder meets the neck. Yes … while the other guy is attacking as well.

"Zzzatana…" The girl throws herself at the Magician, utterly trusting. The Mistress of Magic can feel the girl tremble.

The blonde woman is coming at a clip towards the raven haired beauty, brandishing another knife in her hand…. until she's whacked in the legs by one of those cars. Over she goes…

As Crow #1 comes rushing into the fray at the Bat, there's a breath of anticipation. The armored greave is swung upwards, over his head, to shatter that Crow's knife on the cold iron that's within. Unfortunately, this leaves him open to the attack from the second and more trained Crow. The systema is immediately recognized, as Batman is rejoined in the battle by the last attacking man. The gossamer blade slams into the armored plate of the side armor of the batsuit - sinking into it. There's a grunt from the man in the Batsuit - but no acknowledgement of the man's skill. Praise is saved for allies. The armored gauntlet, however? That's driven straight down to snap the blade in half. Part of it will remain the batsuit, and the assailant draws back a nub of a blade.

Systema was developed to be brutal - efficent. Batman can see it in the man's movements. He's been drilled, trained - it is the easiest and most proficent use of what is natural talent to turn one's self into a weapon.

True masters of systema are artists in their own right, the fluidity of the battle flows around them, and Batman knows this will not be an easy battle. Leaping backwards from the pair, he flips and turns, landing on the edge of the seasaw. When the Crow comes back in, Batman's hands move, hard strikes meeting time and time again as the two parry and strike, a hard punch rocking the jaw of the Batman as he's knocked down for a moment. But again, the Batman rises. Like the ghost he's rumored to be, as the two men come in to strike again, Batman moves forward.

He dodges and counters several strikes from the second Crow, before his attention turns to the first Crow, that he rushes, his cape billowing as he leaps at him to slam him into the ground and use his momentum to push the breath out of him as he twists and flips away, taking out several small rounded balls. Tossing them, then explode, adding to the chaos by spreading smoke throughout the area. The Bat's visor flickers to life, pushing away the obtructions to bring up heat signatures. Zatanna and the child's forms are immediately marked as friendly green as he rushes from the smoke to slam shoulder first into the blonde woman from behind, leaving the two men in the smoke alone for a moment - and to Zatanna's tender mercies - and all that smoke.

When the (illusory) bumper car does its thing, Zatanna tries to keep the girl close, to the point of wrapping an arm around the kid's waist so that she can't run far if they're prompted to separate. Zatanna can navigate her illusion-carnival-world perfectly — after all, she created it and is currently working hard to maintain it. That's why, instead of pressing her advantage and trying to take on the blonde in a fight, she runs with the girl to Batman's position. It's not far, it's just around a few corners that don't actually exist.

It seems like Batman is rushing to her at the same time, though! She can already smell the smoke, and the fact that her eyes are watering a bit tell her that BATMAN isn't using magick illusions. "Here, I need you to go with him. Stay under his cape. He'll keep you safe, okay?" Zatanna nudges the child toward Batman, which may be easier said than done.

"The roof is that way," Zatanna points, in the direction of what looks like empty sky over the funnel cake cart. "Lemme wrap these goons up."

Fighting with Batman is difficult and painful. That's not JUST because he's a martial artist par excellance though that's defintitely part of it. It has to do with armored combat. When you're fighting in armor, the body isn't just protected by it, it's weaponized by it. An armored man strikes out with an abandon not possible for an unarmored man and the plain fact is that the Bat is armored and the Crows are not.

By the time Bats disengages they're in rough shape. It's a testament to the odds and their skill that they're not already down but it's an open question whether or not it would have been possible for them to win.

That question looks like it needs a rain check though. The Bat left them in a cloud of smoke, confused and searching for a new target. Easy prey for, say, a backwards speaking mage.

Crow #1 is out of the fight. Knife shattered, part of the blade sticking out of the Dark Knights armour. He's not getting back up anytime soon. "Get us the fuck out of here." he mouths off to his partners. "The goddamn Batman and Zatanna!"

The blonde just crumples under Batmans assault. There's nothing left in her either.

The girl wraps her arms tightly around Zee's neck, shakes her head and buries into the magicians shoulder. Batman's going to have to peel her away.

"Language, son. Children are present." However, torn between the blonde and the child, the decision is easy for Batman. Wrapping an arm around the child, he keeps her away from his wounded side as he lifts his grapple gun to fire, and heads for the rooftop to get the child to safety, and leaves Zatanna to the clean up of the remaining goons and the van.

"Ow. Sweetie, you gotta let go, you're hurting—" Zatanna can indeed have a child pried off of her by the likes of the Batman, but it's not without little hands trying to keep hold. When Zatanna is unencumbered, she fixes her jacket, and turns back toward the smoke cloud that Batman's disappeared into the higher end of. She clears her throat, and adjusts the cuffs of her gloves, before saying:

"Gib naf."

A big fan drops from… somewhere, landing with a loud CLUNK. It's already pointed in the direction that it needs to go. Zatanna flips the switch on it, and with a KACHUNKACHUNKACHUNKA noise the blades start to spin, faster, and faster…

…until the wind they generate is strong enough to send the two Crows still blinded by bat-smoke off their feet, hurtling through the air. Mid-flight, the illusion of the carnival drops, so they can see that they're being buffeted on super-powerful winds right towards a brick wall.

Zatanna's spell slams the two remaining Crows with a crunch audible across the street. They drop limply and don't get up again. That should be all of them down, leaving the child to the safety of the two vigilantes.

There's sirens in the distance. The gunfire attracted 911 calls, surely. The child might be at risk later so… what do the heroes do?

All that's left behind as Zatanna and Batman make their retreat are the denim crows they just defeated - none of the moving, all of them alive and the van.

The girl wraps her arms around Batmans neck. "You're the goddamn Batman …" she whispers as they rise. There's sure to be questions about this.

"Language." Batman scolds gently. At this rate, he's going to have to change his codename to 'Goddamn Batman'.

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