2019-05-05 - Suddenly I Heard A Tapping


The Batman tracks down a Splinter Lord rumored to be hanging out on Earth. He also gets to meet her Amazing Friends.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun May 5 23:59:48 2019
Location: Mutant Town Makerspace - Upstairs Apartment

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Theme Song



It's night time in Mutant Town, late enough that the street life (what there is of it in this part of town) has died down. There are lights on in Doug's apartment though the man himself isn't home. There is a blonde present, though a somewhat more feminine one. Illyana is in the kitchen, working on reheating leftovers in the microwave. That… is about the extent of her cooking skills.

It looks innocuous enough, Illyana isn't even in her usual heavy metal reject attire. She's in shorts and a too-large T-shirt that probably isn't hers. Her feet are bare and her long hair gathered behind her in a ponytail. Of course, being in a 'bad part of town', Doug's put up some alarms and Illyana being well, paranoid, has put up Wards against more supernatural intrusion.

There's alarms and wards, and all of that stuff. Batman doesn't generally do breaking and entering unless he has to. That's generally what someone else does. Instead, there's a rapping at the window of Illyana's bedroom that leads out to the fire escape. And a figure, in grey and black - there's been a few pictures of him out there - but Batman tends to look different in person. Not that he expected the Queen of Limbo to be impressed - or intimidated.

He knocked because it's a courtesy to her position.

Illyana Rasputina lifts her head at the faint tapping sound, leaning over a bit to look towards her room. A small shape, roughly cat-sized comes out of the room in a rush a few moments later. All though that it's just some kitten on speed goes by the wayside as it starts to chatter at her in a much deeper tone than one would expect for so small a thing. It's not speaking *English*, not that Illyana looks surprised.

Bouncing around Illyana's bare feet is a scrawny demon, which has the blonde frowning down at it. "There's a *what*?" She seems skeptical, brow furrowed as she heads over towards her bedroom. And then blinks, seeing the broad figure dressed in black-and-grey outside her window.

The Queen of Limbo has only held the title for a few months now, and so she's not used to getting supplicants.

Heading over to the window, still a bit confused, Illyana pushes it open. "I'm sorry, are you… Batman?" He's something of an urban legend, after all. Generally, folks that are planning to attack you don't knock.

The policeman at the barricade wouldn't tell Kitty what was going on at the bridge, other than that it was closed. And she couldn't even get close enough to the tunnel, but it was obvious that it was closed too. "Looks like I'm not making it back to Salem tonight," Kitty tells herself.

She turns around and heads back through the city, enroute to Mutant Town. She activates her smart phone and tells it, "Send Illyana the following text message: Stuck in the city tonight. Can I crash there? If so, be there real soon." Indeed it's not far at all. Kitty's looking for a parking space by the time Illyana will receive the text.

"I am. And you are Illyana Rasputina. Kidnapped at age six, when you returned, you had aged several years, before being taken and having to go through the process again. In magical circles, it's said that you're the Queen of Limbo." Batman responds, as he stands on the fire escape. His cape is settled around him, giving away little of his identity.

"I also read that you have assisted with the kidnappings done by those of Nightfall as of late." he adds, and meets Illyana's eyes with his lenses. "You have experience in fighting the magical, and I'd like to enlist it in trying to take down Plokta.

Illyana Rasputina's eyes narrow in mild annoyance. On the one hand, neat! Batman! On the other, he knows waaay more than she likes people she doesn't know to know. "'Queen' might be a bit pretentious, but I'm the ruler, ye— Can we not have a conversation like this? The apartment has a door, you know."

Please bask in the irony that Illyana Rasputina is annoyed that someone didn't use the door.

"Besides, I'm hungry." She turns away so she can head back to her leftovers where the microwave is beeping annoyingly to remind her that it's done heating her food. She crooks a finger over her shoulder to invite the Batman in. If he insists on lingering at her window, she'll need to move him.

Illyana's room is… Spartan. There's bedding, but no art or computer or knicknacks. Her closet is almost empty.

Getting back into the kitchen, the blonde notices the alert on her phone, tilting it to read the message. Swiping it open, she sends back a smileyface emoji by way of reply. Someone is not a fan of texting.

Kitty parks the car and climbs out. It's a loaner from one of the students at the Institute, and she glances around wondering how safe it is. Seeing a couple of kids, two of them obvious mutants judging by orange skin on one, and lizard eyes and a scaly head crest on teh other, Kitty asks, "You guys do me a favor and let me know if anyone bothers the car?" she asks before she goes into the building. One of the kids replies, "Depends, you just visiting?" Kitty smiles over to them and waves her hand through the building's wall. "Yes, but family." The kid with the headcrest gives her a nod. "You bet," he says. Kitty smiles and gives them a fingergun in thanks, as well as pulls out a five-dollar bill for them.

Kitty heads inside then, checking her phone. "Oh good," she says to herself, "Was worried she'd be in Limbo." And no cell phone repeater that works to there yet, either. Kitty heads up and goes to knock on the door.

Knock knock. No joke.

Like a vampire - Batman waits to be invited in. Slipping into Illyana's room, the detective makes his way in, following after the woman. "You can eat and talk at the same time." he offers to her. "What do you know of Plokta and his domain?" he starts to ask, when there's a knock at the door. Frowning for a moment, he decides to make the decision for her.

The door comes open, and standing before Kitty Pryde is a six foot and a half (when you add in the cowl) figure of the Batman. There's a look at the woman through the lenses of his mask. "Hnh." he offers to her curtly.

Illyana Rasputina watches with some interest as Batman heads over to answer the door. Giving a small shrug, she pulls out her plate and settles herself at the table. "Kitty, this is Batman!" Illyana calls across the apartment. "Batman, my best friend Kitty. But then you already knew that, didn't you?" There's traces of her annoyance that crop up in that statement.

"This is about Plockie? Really?" Illyana is more than a bit surprised. Of all things for an urban legend to come asking about, he wants to know about The Mindful One?

Illyana hasn't actually started eating though. She's watching the door, fascinated to see how this is going to shake out.

Kitty glances at the figure of Batman, looking pretty non-plussed. "Ok Doug, it's a great costume, given. But I think you need to work on the surly growl," Kitty is just getting out, when Illyana calls over.


Kitty lets out a chuckle. "Well. Really great costume then," she concludes, lifting a hand to wave over to the Dark Knight. "Yes. Kitty," she tells him, confirming Illyana's introduction. The emoji from Illyana suggests she's fine with Kitty's presence, so she doesn't bother asking if her timing is bad. "Oh no. Not the guy from the docks again?" Kitty says, shaking her head and waiting for Batman to make room for her entry.

"Miss Pryde." That's all Batman needs to say to acknowledge why Illyana is annoyed. "Congratulations of your recent college graduation." With that, his attention returns back to the Russian girl as he moves to settle in. "Yes. We're planning on bringing down Nightfall, and knows that they wil be relying on Plokta and his minions for support." comes the detective's response.

"As someone that has had direct experience in dealing with him, your abilities could be helpful in keeping him at bay to ensure that making it not worth his trouble to continue to kidnap children to become his worshipers."

Illyana Rasputina looks over at Kitty rather blandly. "I think I prefer being around telepaths." Of course she does. They can't read *her* mind.

"I haven't actually had experience dealing with *him*. I know *of* him. My predecessor had dealings with him. I have a decent amount of information on him and his realm. But I haven't dealt with him directly." Illyana says, clarifying. She nods over to Kitty. "Yeah, the portals at the pier."

Looking back over to Batman, she gets a thoughtful frown. "Did you have a specific direction or you looking to try to have me counter him somehow? I can pretty much guarantee he's not going to entirely give up his method of getting souls. He might move *locations*."

The brunette has a pleasant enough way about her, giving Batman a smile at the congratulations. "Why thank you," she tells him, and then looks to repay the compliment in kind. "And congratulations to you for… " Kitty waves a hand before coming up with, "…becoming one with the night so well."

She gives him a nod and then comes inside, closing the door behind her. Despite her casual joking, Kitty's glance goes over Batman's form. Checking out the costume, not the man. As far as she knows he's not enhanced, yet holds his own against those who are. She glances over the costume, noting a few thing things about its design, particular in areas that she is herself well versed such as stealth, but left with far more questions than answers.

Kitty goes over to get a glass, add ice, and then fill it with water from the tap. She gives a soft grunt at Illyana's final comment, both agreeing with it and not happy about it. Kitty leans back against the counter and sips the water, just listening otherwise.

"He will move locations. That is a given. The idea is to make the thought of him trying this again to be so painful to him that he does not do so. We know that Nightfall numbers in the thousands. But if there is a way to stop their recruiting method completely - then it would put a dampner on the rest of his abilities. Entering the Dark Dominion itself invites only more trouble." Batman glances over at Kitty, and the cape shifts. It covers his frame - preventing her from looking at too much. That's the whole purpose of it after all - is to muddle everything further.

"We also know that cold iron can affect the tattoo beareres. But there hasn't been any attempts to try to use it directly on Plokta or his minions yet. And if anyone would know what it would take to wound a Splinter Lord…" It would be another splinter lord.

Illyana Rasputina ;'s gaze slips over to Kitty. She hasn't even really brought up the whole 'I'm Queen of Limbo' to Kitty and Piotr. She's mostly just said that Belasco's no longer an issue. Looking back to the Bat, she notes slowly, her manner a lot less… confident that she normally puts forth. "I've only ruled Limbo for a short time. Plotka's been doing this for thousands of years." She points out.

Blowing out a long sigh, Illyana pinches the bridge of her nose. "OK. So, when you say 'wound' we're just talking about taking the Nightfall's power from him, right? Not trying to physically wound him."

Kitty Pryde crosses her arms across her torso, the glass held in the upper most hand so she can continue to sip it. When Illyana looks over, the blond Russian finds her best friend looking over to her with a curious expression. The comments were most definitely noticed.

Though Kitty doesn't say anything about it, staying silent and letting the two converse with a thoughtful, and somewhat troubled looking expression. Her eyes go back to Batman's cape, sending her into thoughts about silhouette concealment.

"The idea is to remove Nightfall as a viable source for Plokta's energies, yes." Batman responds as he stands in the middle of Illyana's kitchen, making her uncomfortable in front of her best friend as he reaches into a pouch on his utility belt. "I'm sure you're familiar with this." He comments as he tosses the gossamer flechette to Illyana underhanded. "Plokta has been supplying Nightfall with arms and armor. I want to cut that off. And in that process, perhaps push it back on him. Make it /painful/ to have a tie to the Nightfall."

He looks aside to Kitty. But there's no apology. It's not his fault if Illyana didn't tell others what all she's capable of. "I have been working with Zatana on what information I have so far, through Batgirl. If you want, I can let Batgirl know to loop you into the research."

There is the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs, and then the muted jingle of a key, along with a beat… which someone is rapping along to.

"Well I heard this dude named Schrodinger put cats inside a box
Someone please call PETA, that's quite unorthodox
It's the heisenberg uncertainty principle, all in effect
Zombie cat's both alive and dead - well, what did you expect?
When deciphering the binary, the waveform goes away
If you measure probability of *specific* quantum states!
You can't know a priori how an atom might behave,
Yet through this obervation, the universe is *changed* - what!"

The lock turns, and Doug opens the door. "Hey Illyana HOLY CATS-"

He is so *seldom* surprised like this. Usually only when he's stuck in his own head and not paying any attention.

Illyana Rasputina rubs at the back of her neck, pulling one leg up so she can wrap an arm around it, heel on the edge of the seat where she sits at the kitchen table. When Batman tosses the flechette towards her that cat-sized demon leaps from the shadows, intercepting it in its mouth and landing lightly on the dining table. Bright red, scaled and with spines along its back the demon hisses at Batman. Illyana just glances down at it as though it were simply a cat.

Then Doug's opening the door to, well, *his* apartment and Illyana's gaze turns to the door again. Giving him a wan smile she calls over, "He followed me home. Can I keep him?"

Kitty Pryde looks over to Doug from where she's leaning against the counter, holding a glass of ice water. "Pretty sure he's already house-trained. Not to mention can just sleep from the rafters," Kitty says, riffing off of Illyana. She gives Batman an apologetic look, even if it's touched with amusement.

Kitty looks over to Illyana, the amusement fading as Kitty is considering the danger it might put Illyana in. Danger that Kitty can't quantify. This just isn't her area of expertise at all. She looks supportive, but her concern is evident.

Batman looks back at the demon with a sharp /hnnh/ of a growl in his throat at the demon. No, little thing, you are not intimidating to the Bat - that is until he hears the keys jingle. And before Douglas gets the word 'CATS' out of his mouth, he'll find that the Dark Knight has moved, and upon him, nearly pinning the young man to the door.

That is until Illyana vouches for him - and he makes the recognition. Releasing the young man, his attention returns to the blonde woman.

A small grunt that may pass as apology in Batmanese is given before he returns his attention back to the other two. His expression is muddled. Impossible for Douglas to get a good read. For once, the mutant may find himself puzzled. "It is a simple question. Are you willing to assist in breaking Plokta's hold. I know it risks him turning his attention towards Limbo - however, it also means that you will have allies in that as well. There is a balance to be kept - and it is better to have a child Queen than a dark dominion." Someone's been studying up on his demonology.

…And now the Batman is on him. It's interesting, the way this kind of alchemy of presence works — he's a man in a bat costume, he should look *silly* and yet… no, there's only the infliction of pants-wetting terror in his physical language. And yet, when Batman grabs at him, Doug raises his hands, as if he's ready to try to ward the man off.

Then he drops them, and says, "Illyana?" He looks back at Batman, and then says, "Did you at least offer our guest a glass of water? Hello, Batman. Douglas Ramsey, SHIELD Analyst. Hi, Kitty." He walks over to the couch and falls on it, face first, and then mumbles, "Please don't let me swallow my tongue."

Illyana Rasputina pauses as Doug asks if she offered Batman any refreshments. "… Is that really a thing I'm supposed to do? It's *your* place." She points out before turning back to the Bat. He doesn't seem like the witty repartee sort.

"Yes, I'm willing to help." Illyana says, cutting to the chase. "I've been involved in it already. I'm not a fan of children being kidnapped and used for nefarious ends." It hits too close to home.

Kitty Pryde's biting down on her lip is probably an attempt to keep from smiling too much at Doug's reaction at the door. At least for Kitty, the door just opened and he was there. No rushing occurred, so not nearly as startling.

Kitty goes over and fills another glass of ice water, though it's obvious this one is for Doug as she takes it over to him. "No hyper ventilating either," she tells Doug, handing off the water before returning back to where she was leaning. "Whatever support you need, Illyana," Kitty says, leaving the rest unspoken.

As he hears Illyana's answer, the Dark Knight's comms come on line with a domestic disturbance nearby. Near enough that he could make his way over, just in case.

"Thank you." comes Batman's response. And while Kitty is over at Doug, and Illyana turns to take a bite of food — he's just gone. The same way he came in - the curtains of Illyana's room flutter in the breeze.

But on the table is a communicator.

For when Illyana needs it. He'll be in touch.

Doug sits up and takes the ice-water… and then slowly pours it all over his head. "How did he do that? *Nobody* can do that to me." He stares at the open window, and then says, "…I think I might need another glass of ice water, it looks like I *spilled* this one."

Illyana Rasputina gives Kitty a small, wan smile. When she turns back, the Batman is gone which has her coming up to her feet and her eyes narrowing. She glances down to the communicator and then mutters something under her breath in demonic. "Well. That's annoying." Like she hasn't done that to people all the time.

Looking over to the other two a bit of amusement creeps back in at the sight of the wet Doug. "So. You two interested in a fight?"

Kitty Pryde sets down her ice water and crosses her arms to give Illyana a semi-stern look. "Against Plokta? Or do you mean watching what ensues when Piotr hears this little bit?" Kitty asks the blond Russian. "Or, did he know that little tidbit?" Kitty inquires.

She sighs and drops the posture. "Because of course you know I'm there if you need me," she says, moving over to give Illyana's shoulder a little squeeze. No hug this time, she's been through enough tonight with what the bat that came in the window.

Doug gets up, and takes off his wet shirt, before he grabs a towel out of the bathroom. He comes back, briskly toweling his hair dry, before he goes to the window and shuts it. "Well, at least we've got one hell of an ally." He says, before he closes one eye.

"Please, Evil-Lyn, you know I'm there. You just need to say when."

Illyana Rasputina leans forward to pick up the communicator and flips it over towards Kitty. Of the pair, Kitty's the hardware person. She'll be best to figure out if there's a way to figure out how to integrate it into the comms the X-types use.

"Piotr would be way more upset if I didn't help." Illyana says, sounding pretty sure of her brother. Because it's the Right Thing to do, and Piotr always does the Right Thing.

Illyana perches on the edge of the table, crossing her arms before her and watching the now-shirtless Doug as he dries off. "It's creepy. That he knew so much." More than her friends, in some cases.

"Oh that's not what I meant," Kitty replies to her friend. "Queen Illyana?" she adds. Even if the Russian is right and it does sound a little pretentious. But then if you're going to be a ruler you might as well be pretentious.

"It sounds like there's a little more of your tale with Belasco that I haven't heard yet," Kitty says. She goes to retrieve her glass of ice water. "So how would he have found that out, anyway? Batman, I mean?"

"Even SHIELD doesn't have a lot on the guy. Just that he's got to be operating with a TREMENDOUS resource infrastructure in order to operate at his tech level and maintain the level of secrecy that's around him. What we have is evidence that information that HAS been collected about the Batman has been purged or altered — in secured databases." Doug drapes his towel over his shoulders and walks into the kitchen to pour himself another glass of ice water. He adds a squeeze of lemon to it.

"Conspiracy theorists say that there's more than one — they talk about the Batman conspiracy, that there's a group of influential people out there who are so dissatisfied with the justice system that they're funding a vigilante war on crime."

"Well he can keep his secrets, as far as I'm concerned." Illyana says as Doug gives them the brief on the Bat. "By all accounts his aim is to help save people and well, the X-Men have their own history of being hated and feared. By the way, Doug, Kitty's spending the night." She'll just slip that in so he doesn't look confused later. It's not like Doug would turn Kitty down.

Speaking of Kitty, when she brings up the 'Queen' bit, the blonde looks slightly uncomfortable. Which will be clearer to Doug than her best friend. "You take down the ruler of Limbo, you get to be the new ruler of Limbo. 'Queen' implies a hell of a lot more pomp and circumstance than you get from legions of demons."

Kitty takes the communicator and checks it out. "Sounds a lot like us, though," Kitty says to Doug. "I mean, how much have you and I scrubbed? And Jean, and the Professor, and Betsy. It doesn't take a lot, it just takes the right people with the right abilities," she says.

And little does Kitty know she's holding a communicator made by someone with similar abilities. Though she's going to be impressed once she starts digging into it.

Kitty says, "I need to talk to you guys about the room, too. I'll be going to school down here in the City after all," Kitty confides. She focuses on what Illyana has to say. "Stuff like that always seems to come at a price. I mean just being there has a price. I can only imagine that of ruling it," Kitty says. "Just remember, you're not alone, even there."

"They say he's got his own hacker — one as good as you or me." Doug murmurs. "Some even claim that it isn't a person at all, it's a supercomputer, an advanced AI. But honestly, if there's a hacker that's as good as you or I, as curious as I might be, I don't want to find it."

He glances over at Illyana, and then shrugs, lightly… before he then drains his glass and sets it on the counter. He walks to the couch, falls on his back on it, spreads out, and gives a leonine yawn. Maybe there's a *little* bit of CatDoug left in him. After toweling his wet hair dry, it certainly has gone *poof*!

Illyana Rasputina gives a slight nod at Kitty's observation. "Yeah. It does." She admits. But as usual, she doesn't burden her friends with things that can't be changed. The additional prices she pays to rule the hell realm that made her childhood into a nightmare.

The blonde doesn't even manage a chuckle at Doug's antics, instead just shaking her head. "Looks like you should get to bed too, Leo."

Doug lets out a grumble. "I haven't even gotten an ear-scritch or a tummy rub yet." He sighs, and sits up. "Yeah. Long day. And I got jumped by Batman when I got home, I tell ya—" He gives a grin, and then a long stretch, before his back pops.

Illyana Rasputina gives a soft snort of amusement as she walks over to Doug and rubs his tummy even as Kitty heads off into Illyana's room to get some sleep. The rubbing is followed up with a light slab against his abs. "So needy." She teases him before asking, "Everything OK? Usually you're here earlier in the day or you're gone until tomorrow." Schedules are a bit hard for her head to wrap around, but she's used to Doug being home before the sun goes down all the way.

"Oh. Long day at the office, plus my own research. I'm trying to find out more about AIM'S cyborg troopers program… because I think there might be more where our guest came from, and forewarned is forearmed." He puts his arm behind his head, and then grunts, as he stretches again. "So, long story short, I'm beat."

"Batman came from AIM's cyborg troopers program?" Illyana seems very confused, but just shakes her head, figuring she hasn't caught up with DougThink yet. Instead she puts an arm around his waist and steers him towards his room. "Then bedtime for you. Let me know if you need me for anything, but I'm betting you probably won't." Because she can barely *use* tech, unlike her two friends.

Doug gives Illyana a look, and then he yawns again, mightily. "I know you wanna go cuddle with Kitty — but if you two could send Locky in here, that'd be nice. As long as he doesn't have the toots — if he does, then he can stay with the two of you." Doug sticks his tongue out.

Illyana Rasputina purses her lips and whistles sharply, and the little catlike demon from earlier, still with the flechette, peeks its head out. "Yo, Locky, Doug wants cuddles." She gives him a smirk and a push towards his room before heading to her own where Kitty is. The little spiny demon looks… a bit confused, but makes a beeline for Doug's room and hops into his bed.

Doug looks down at the demon, and then says, "You fart, you're out on the couch."

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