2019-04-24 - Cartels Are Magic


Batman meets up with Black Widow to bring the Avengers up to speed on development with the El Golfo cartel, the underlaying web, and the magic of it all.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Apr 24 08:52:20 2019
Location: Avengers Mansion - Main Floor

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While they only know of each other professionally, more or less, at some point Natasha learning of Batman through her own intuition coupled with Steve, and Batman is kinda Batman, they've come to the point where intel sharing for needed cases does happen. They call it web of contacts, agents establish assets, and they use them, in the case of agents to benefit one another or otherwise. All part of the game. The fact Batman isn't a spy entity, just make this type of game all the safer, it's not played in the levels of countries, therefore, much less room for backstabbing and entrapment.

Black Widow procured the meeting room for the meeting, it's cleared out safe for a laptop present in case it's needed, and generous offering of snacks and drinks. She's dressed in her black catsuit, already sat at the table, waiting for Bruce's arrival.


When Batman left the Avengers, he made a promise that it would be rare that he would return to the Mansion for much of anything. Apparently what has been happening with the children lately was enough to call for the meeting with Natasha. Arriving at the mansion, the armored paladroms of the Bat are set aside as he waits for entrance. Once granted access, he makes his way into the meeting room. "Widow." he greets the woman.

Since it's on her turf, the mask is not coming off. Many of the Avengers don't know who is beneath the cowl - and he plans to keep it that way. Taking a seat at the table, he takes out a small USB drive to be inserted into a computer - it'll come up clean on a system scan. "How much information do the Avengers have on Lord Plokta, Nightfall, and the Denim Crows?"


Widow inclines her head at Batman, not offering much by way of formal greetings and such, prefering instead to get directly to the point. At the question, she replies in a dry tone, "a relation to El Clan del Golfo cartel that the Avengers plan to visit, seeing how they venture into more than just drug business. There was a case of a missing girl close to Tigra's heart, and we all share the sentiment."


"What's the name - I can check to see if she's among the ones we recovered recently." Batman responds as he brings up the files, the holoscreen bringing up the files he pulled from the Batcomputer to share with the Avengers. "It's my belief that El Golfo is a cover for the true name of the group, Nightfall." he explains as he starts to bring up pictures of several other kidnapped children. "You'll most likely find them in the National Reserve Allpahuayo-Mishana in Peru. They're recruiting, Widow. Taking talented children from schools and bringing them into their band."

After a moment, he pauses, and sets it up from the start. A picture of a young woman with a school ID comes up. "This is Meredith Youvin. She had ties to the Denim Crows and was the counselor at East Side Elementary. She and another counselor at Braydin Taylor Elementary were earmarking children to be kidnapped by this group - the Denim Crows." A symbol appears on the screen of a stylized skull tattoo that looks like it was made from stitching.

"The leader of this group is Julio Campo." Another image comes up for Julio's rap sheet. It's extensive. "The Crows have military gear and training. Both myself and Catwoman have seen them using systema style combat techniques." The image switches to a pendant, knife and baton. They appear to be made of glass, and are etched with the markings of a moon eclipsing a sun. "This is the gear we've confiscated from them. The glass is a substance known as gossamer. Only found in the fae world." He waits for that to settle in before continuing, and pausing in case Natasha has any questions so far.


"Gretchen Jacobs is the girl's name," Widow replies without missing a beat, looking at Batman with a visage devoid of any emotional input, a force of habit. "It would be wonderful to learn that she may have been recovered, though I still think we ought to visit El Golfo regardless…they deserve a bit of justice." She smirks when Batman states the more likely name, "I figured El Golfo sounded like a name picked by a simple 'Name Randomizer' application, it was far too stupid." She takes note of the name Nightfall, and the assumed location that is different from the initial assumption of Colombia. "That's good to know, we almost visited them on the wrong turf."

"Any reason for specifically looking at children? Ease of indoctrination perhaps?" Widow asks, the irony not lost on her that it would be her first assumption. When 'systema' as the martial art of choice is mentioned, Widow gives a crooked smile, no doubt her own guesstimations are further enforced by the fact. "Interesting."

She nods along at the detail, commiting them to memory to share with the other Avengers. "I would like to ask how you've come by the fact their 'gossamer' glass as it were is of the Fae World? Are we dealing with Baba Yaga's minions here?" The question is part tongue in cheek, but there's a serious undertone to the snark.


"Run search for Gretchen Jacobs." Batman subvocalizes. As his inboard computer starts it's search, he turns his attention back to Widow. "Double-check with your sources, make sure it's right. The ink that they are using in their tattoos comes from this region." And now they are getting into the crux in it. Even as the information is returned to him. "Ms. Jacobs is among those that are still missing and assumed taken by Nightfall."

His lenses narrow slightly in the cowl. "Once the Denim Crows have the children, they use a drop of their blood on this pendant to summon a member of Nightfall to them to take the children. Nightfall is a group of mages under the control of a member of the demon world known as Lord Plokta. Judging from his want of children and the gossamer - he's from the fae world - Avalon or Otherworld, if you will." No Yaga here.

"The children, once there, are forced to take on tattoos.." he brings up an image of a child with a tattoo on his arm. "The tattoos are made with ink from the region I mentioned, mixed with gossamer - and act as a tracking beacon in case the child tries to escape." he explains, as he continues.

"As they grow older, and become more indoctirnated -" her word was a good word for what it is, "…they are given more tattoos." The next image is that of Keiko Kurita, currently in WAND's care and assigned to Agent Koa Turner. On her arms are tattoos of animals. "They can use these tattoos to summon creatures from their body in the shape of the creature etched on them." Video of the magical animal attacks in the news as of late plays. "As they advance and become more and more ingrated into Nightfall as Plokta's servant, they get more powerful tattoos, including those of the head."

Reaching into a pouch on his utility belt, he takes out one of the gossamer flechettes, and sets it on the table. "I've had both Zatanna and Doctor Strange look into these artifacts - and I have someone going to talk to Zatanna about a way to magically remove the tattoos. Currently, the only cures we have are cold iron, which can induce madness if the tattoo is broken.. or.."

From another pouch, he takes out a small vial and sets it down. "Spider-Man came up with a counter-agent for the ink. It's only temporary, but it disrupts the effects of the tattoo. He's currently developing a version to use in his webbing. I've talked to my team and him, we're going to take down the Denim Crows and cut off their supply line."


"The fact it's not Baba Yaga we're dealing with is very reassuring," Widow notes, as if Batman just dismissed any notion of the supernatural altogether. "So just a demon called Lord Plokta, some magic glass called gossamer, and pretty much the resting place of King Arthur? Glad it's all grounded," so yes, Nat is absolutely not cool with all the supernatural overdose about the entire affair. "May as well bring a God into this shindig."

"Sounds like a good plan, and quite the progress you've made, Batman, Spider-Man proves more resourceful than expected. You can have the Avengers help as well, if you deem it necessary." Widow offers before even consulting with anyone, she knows the personnel, they are invested in making the world a safer place.

"Did either Zatanna or Strange offer any tips on how to avoid being undone by demon magic? Clearly, we're dealing with something I might not be able to shot," she winks playfully.


"You have plenty to choose from." Batman offers dryly in response to Natasha bringing in a God. There's a little uptick of the corner of his mouth. "If you and the other Avengers are going after El Golfo and the others, I'll leave you to that." However, after several heartbeats, he considers her question.

"You'll have to ask Strange on Otherworld magic - but cold iron seems to work pretty well. Just don't use processed lead in your shells." comes the dismissive comment. Because they both know how he feels about guns.

As far as inviting other Avengers.. "There's precious few of you that I trust, Widow. If we need the help, I'll come to you." Which is to say most likely not, because that's how he is, but it sounds nice. "On an unrelated note - there was a rescue pulled off by a group of young heroes a few days ago. I've offered their leader a chance to organize. I don't want Stark's interference in it." After the registration fiasco, is it any wonder that Bruce's trust is low? He removes the USB drive - but downloads the file for Natasha to access.

"Next time, come visit. We can catch up." And it looks like he has something more to say. But instead, he pulls out an envelope, and sets it on the table. It's for Natasha's eyes only. Within? An invitation to the high school graduation of one Helena Wayne in a few weeks.


"Well that's reassuring, cold iron shells aren't hard to come by," Widow remarks, nodding at Batman's words before grinning at his apprehension to having the Avengers' aid, "I'm sure SHIELD feels the same in regards to any vigilante, so, I have no qualms about your views. The Avengers will start with El Golfo direct…see if Gretchen can be saved. We'll leave you to do the heavy lifting unless you come calling…" which is an absolute lie considering the egos and minds involved in the Avengers, some may choose that an action is required regardless. The best Natasha can offer is to try and dissuade them, but that's nothing that needs to be shared at this point in time.

She takes a gander at the copy of the file left on the laptop, "thanks for the information, Batman, next time I'll come see you at your place."

The envelope she takes after closing the laptop, eyes widening a bit as she sees what it is and quickly places it in a hidden pouch on her belt. That one is indeed for her eyes only, on pain of death, it sounds far too mundane and normal a thing for her to be involved with, but perhaps she has no choice in the matter.


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