2019-05-13 - Anya Takes Her Shirt Off


Illyana tracks down Zatanna since the Batphone is busted when Anya starts causing a disturbance in the Force!

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon May 13 19:43:07 2019
Location: RP Room 1

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Theme Song



It's unmistakably weird to be almost 30 and hanging out where all the college kids congregate. At some point, Zatanna Zatara must have made peace with that, because she likes the restaurants and coffee shops around NYU and she's not going to let a little thing like 'looking slightly older than even all the grad students' put a crimp in her getting to enjoy them.

At the very least, she's enjoying her coffee on the go. The Lady Legend of Legerdemain is looking a bit… well, normal. Black blouse tucked into black jeans, black boots, black choker around her neck, black stones in her jewelry, black hairband… yeah. Totally normal. But she's fussing around with something on her phone while she drinks her latte.

No, I'm fine. Seriously, it wasn't that bad.

These stubborn words are echoed in the mind of Anya Corazon as she walks down the street, working hard to conceal the grimace from her face. Cracked ribs are no joke, and she's learning that the hard way.

The young Latina woman is emerging from campus, wanting to be anywhere but around her classmates and professors right now. Her eyeshadow today is a dark purple, matching the dye that's been added to the shaved left side of her head; a black studded skirt and red fishnets over black tights, black combat boots, and a ripped up MOTORHEAD t-shirt complete her outfit, with studs through her ears and a pentagram dangling from a necklace.

Her eyes are forward, ignoring everyone as she walks, fighting off the pain until she can't do it any more. "Mierde!" she hisses under her breath, and quietly ducks down into an alleyway, looking for somewhere she might hide for a moment or two. Her presence creates a slight unease in a magical sense, as if some ancient magic were at work in her body at this very moment.

Even if New York City, the number of really powerful magical signatures to be founds is relatively low. So even though Illyana has never met Zatanna Zatara, it doesn't take her too terribly long to scry the famous face. Fame has its downsides, and one of them apparently includes being found by certain demon sorcereresses.

Illyana Rasputina's entrance isn't terribly subtle, the circle of light suddenly appearing a stone's throw from Zatanna, standing on edge like a hobbit-door that the blonde steps out of. Where Zatanna's all-black look might lean more trendy/goth, Illyana's leans more heavy metal. Heavy boots hit the sidewalk as the stepping disk closes behind her, pale blue gaze on the stage magician. It's pretty obvious who she's come looking for.

For those with magical senses, the whispering touch of 'demon' isn't hard to pick out. On the heels of Illyana's presence comes that prickle of magic that is decidedly *not* Illyana's that has the blonde frowning. She looks from Zee, to the sense of the disturbance, and back to Zee. Illyana points off towards the alley. "That's not you, right?"

Zatanna doesn't seem terribly startled by Illyana's entrance. She does, at the very least, look up from her phone as the circle of light appears, and tucks the phone into her back pocket as Illyana steps through. If she's preparing for mystic battle or the possibility of same, she does so in an awfully funny way, because her main reaction while watching the blonde step through a hole in spacetime is to take a big sip from her latte.

Zatanna remains seated on the bench, eyebrows raised slightly, as if waiting for Illyana to introduce herself, or produce her Buster Sword and attempt to ceremonially behead her, or what. Though, like Illyana, Zee also picks up on that… something… over yonder. It's like she smells something weird coming from downwind, and her nose crinkles as as she turns to look in that direction. "Not me," she says. "Cool entrance, by the way."

Once inside the presumed safety of the alley, Anya moves over behind a dumpster and shrugs off her backpack with a grunt of relief. Covered in patches depicting her musical tastes and activism, the backpack lands in a puddle with a splosh, but she doesn't seem to care. Instead, the young woman looks around carefully, before lifting her shirt and diverting her attention downward.

Two cracked ribs, and a huge black and blue area with a bit of swelling. "Dammit, dammit, dammit," she mutters, before rolling her eyes and considering her options. Lifting the shirt up higher reveals the bottom edge of a tattoo on her back that was not made with a needle and ink, but rather, the visible sign of an ancient artifact that has become fused with her body and soul.

Drawing a deep breath, Anya looks up to the sky and closes her eyes to fight off fear and anxiety. When her face turns back down to the earth, those markings along her back begin to glow a muted blue color, and there's a sudden spike in the magical energies that were coming from her; some form of ancient magic that has been lost for centuries. The skin transforms, or so it would appear, as a chitinous shell forms around Anya's midsection. Black with an underlying luminescent blue tone, it solidifies and begins squeezing in on her body. It takes everything she has not to cry out in pain as the ribs are popped back into place, and she ends up biting through her bottom lip in the process.

A few heads certainly turned at the stepping disk's appearance, but it being New York people mostly whispered and pointed while some decided they wanted to take a more circuitous route around the area. That's helped along by the general sense of unease that Illyana tends to spark in people. The blonde chuckles at the compliment. Given it comes from a showman (woman), it's certainly appreciated.

The anticipated conversation is derailed because of that shiver in the air that only the mystical types can sense, and Illyana's already turned that way when it spikes. A stroll shifts into a rush, a stepping disk opening to let the blonde cover the distance to the alley in a moment. She skidslides to a stop where Anya sitting and quivering in pain and arches a brow. "Well. Unexpected." She notes.

Zatanna lets out a kind of annoyed sigh. As she gets up, she has one last pull of her latte and throws it into a wastebin. "Like buses, they always come three at once," she grumbles to herself quietly. Where Illyana is rushing, Zee is mostly just power-walking, designer (black on black on black) purse hanging from one shoulder.

Zee doesn't teleport her way over, so she arrives a few moments after Illyana. She comes up behind the blonde, expecting… well, she doesn't expect things anymore, after a lifetime of dealing with magic, magick, majick, and all the other variations. Still, what she sees give her pause. "…you do that?" she says to the Russian as she takes a step closer to Anya.

The initial shock of pain is dying off, but the tattoo is still glowing, visible only because Anya still has her shirt lifted. Only a small bit of it is visible, suggesting it covers her entire back. She's about to breathe a sigh of relief when alley is lit up, and she's visibly startled at Illyana's sudden appearance. "Mierde!" the young woman curses, and promptly drops her shirt while backing into the wall. Her eyes are alarmed and wide, staring at Illyana. "Where did you come from?" she demands.

Zatanna's appearance has her eyes darting another way, continuing to stare, from one to the other in turn with a cagey expression.

The question of where Illyana came from gets a side-to-side tilt of her head. "Limbo, hell, the coffee shop around the corner… I didn't even have a chance to get any coffee, by the way, so I might be grumpy. Fair warning." Illyana's default tone is this mix between mildly amused and slightly mocking, the words thrown out in an offhand manner as she looks Anya over.

"I approve of the outfit, but the tattoo looks to be a bit agressive." Looking over to Zatanna as she arrives, Illyana tilts her head over at Anya. "It doesn't ping my dark-and-evil radar, but that doesn't always mean much." Much like humans can be damned evil all by their lonesome, sometimes magic can be bent to bad ends without the touch of Elder Gods. "Anything you're familiar with?"

Illyana answered Anya's question, but isn't directing a lot of effort into calming the jumpy spider down. It's not like the woman can go anywhere, right? She's got Illyana and Zee between Anya and the way out!

Zatanna lifts her hands, in the universal 'we-come-in-peace' gesture. She's about to say something, when Illyana speaks. Zee does frown a little. "Not off the top of my head," she says, over her shoulder. "But appearances, deceiving, you know the rest."

Zee's attention re-centers on Anya. "Hey there. You okay? We both, uh, well we didn't quite HEAR something happening over here, but we didn't NOT hear it… FELT it, maybe… This is getting off track already. I'll start over. Are you okay? We're both, you know, sensitive to weird stuff. And we sensed some weird stuff going on. Is it your weird stuff? Is it hurting you?"

Speaking of Limbo and hell has the effect of changing Anya's cagey demeanor. Her eyebrows pinch together, and for a fleeting moment her expression seems humored; but she knows what mental illness looks like, and Illyana doesn't exactly fit it. "Oh, you're grumpy," she quips, in a manner that is sarcasm and sass webbed together. Her eyes dart to Zatanna, and she chin-nods Illyana's way. "She's grumpy."

Illyana is given a once-over following the compliment on her attire, and she smirks a little, as if she also approves. Looks like the kind of woman Anya might hang out with at a place like Otto's Shrunken Head, over booze and cauliflower wings. She's clearly a tornado of emotions, however, and soon enough she's scowling again. "I am not one of the bad ones," she argues, with more than enough conviction to her tone. It's the kind of thing one says when they've been grossly misjudged.

Zee, however, seems to be moving for deescalation. Anya turns to look at the well-known magician, her expression softening just a bit, but not yet entirely settled out. "If I told you to kick rocks, would you?" she asks.

Illyana Rasputina gives Zatanna a knowing nod. Yep, she's used to appearances being decieving. The blonde also smirks a bit as Zatanna tries to calm things down. It's not something Illyana herself is known for, really. Anya's sarcams followed by argument gets a huff of amusement. "Not *you*." Illyana says. "The thing you've got riding you. That I can't really get a good look at unless I take off your shirt, and that tends to alarm people." The last bit is said oh-so-dryly.

Setting a hand on her hip, Illyana waits. Like she's expecting Anya to just take off said shirt since Illyana implied it should come off. She didn't even ask, and seems to expect that people will give her what she wants.

Zatanna gives a kind-of-apologetic forced smile after Illyana speaks. "We're working on her bedside manner. All the top surgeons in the world are flummoxed by it, but we'll keep trying. And no, if you told me to kick rocks, I'd reply that these boots cost seven hundred dollars and frankly it's bad enough that I'm walking on SIDEWALKS with them."

Zatanna keeps her hands spread out at her sides, like she's constantly trying to go 'easy, easy' at Anya. "Just breathe a second, okay? I'm Zatanna. You can call me Zee if you want, everyone does. That's Rosa Klebb over there. We both picked up something happening on our, like, radars, or sonars, or whatever — but for magic stuff. Because this IS a magic stuff type thing, isn't it?"

"Yeah, it is," Anya tells Zee. She's quick to say that, but then she's back to looking between the two, still feeling a bit cagey. If she weren't trying to keep such a damn secret, she might have a shot at running away. Not in the conventional sense.

"Knew I recognized you," she remarks to Zatanna, before stepping away from the wall, becoming a bit less combative. "Look, okay?" Her hands come up in a similarly peaceful gesture. "I'm sorry I tripped your magical fire alarms, but I've got damn good reasons not to talk about it with just anyone. Right? Seven good reasons. I'd give you their names, but that defeats the purpose." She pauses and takes a steadying breath. "I don't know how it happened, I don't know what it is, and I don't know how I know how to do it, I just do. I'm not… someone who practices magic. And yeah, I know it ain't a joke."

Illyana Rasputina is perhaps the only one not trying to do the whole calming routine, though she's not being particularly agressive herself. Just… blunt and not terribly apologetic.

The blonde leans in towards Zatanna. "Ahhh, the 'protecting my friends and family' bit." Illyana gives a sage nod. "I'm faimiliar with that. Also familiar with people that are under spells or bound to magical objects…" She leans over to the side a bit, as though that will get her a better look at the tattoo hiding under Anya's shirt. "Which you are I'm not quite sure of since you won't get naked for me…" Illyana's tone has gone back to distracted. Like she doesn't always pay attention to what she's saying.

The ruler of Limbo finally seems to realize that Zatanna's given her some weird nickname and scowls at the stage musician. "It's Illyana. Batman said he'd been working with you and then he made like a pouty millenial and ghosted me. I figured you'd be easier to find than this Batgirl he wanted me to talk to."

"Oh, you know Batman? Cool," Zatanna replies to Illyana, gazing over her shoulder without fully turning away from Anya. She looks back at Anya: "See? We both know Batman. So we know what we're doing, probably."

"Well, Batman's got his hands full." The way Anya says it suggests that she also knows Batman. She's completely lost the cagey and defensive demeanor now, and looks between the two with a quizzical eye.

"Buy a girl a drink first," she quips to Illyana, before turning around and lifting her shirt up, over her head, and removing it completely. Her undergarments are nothing to shake a stick at, but the majority of her tattoo is visible now, what part isn't covered by the chitinous shell around her midsection or the strap of she bra. It's glowing with a soft blue magical presence, and a closer inspection would reveal a complete lack of scar tissue.

"I'm not with Nightfall," she tells them. "In fact, I've kinda been fighting them."

Illyana Rasputina can't help the snicker as Zatanna says 'probably'. "That totally depends on what we're doing." The blonde says dryly. A brief pause, and then corrects: "Or at least what *I'm* doing. I apparently suck at gardening, by the way." Just important little factiods for people there.

When Anya turns and pulls her shirt off, Illyana lifts a hand and sketches something out with a fingertip in the air. It leaves burning cyan lines in its wake and when the intricate design is complete a flick of her fingers sends it towards the entrance of the alleyway. It doesn't seem to do anything but hang there and slowly spin, but Zatanna might recognize the Aversion ward, to keep prying eyes from peering down this way. Illyana gives a low whistle as she gets a good look at the mark on Anya's back.

"Oh yeah, I'm pretty intimately familiar with Nightfall's work, and this definitely isn't it." Without asking permission, Illyana reaches out and taps lightly at the 'shell'. "What's this for?"

"Well, if you had gotten the weed killer out for this, I'd be strenuously objecting anyway," Zatanna notes to Illyana. She has good stage patter, wich she's putting to work here — her tone is light, snappy, and easy on the nerves.

When Anya takes her shirt off, Zatanna looks like she might protest for a second, but then it's up over Anya's shoulders and Zee just shrugs. "Ycavirp neercs," she says, and the illusion appears of a fence at the mouth of the alley, with a tarp hung up behind it. Anyone passing by might think that, well, okay, they're doing some construction work in there. It's all completely fake, and Yana would be able to pick up on it as such, but it at least should keep anyone from bugging them.

"We're not with Nightfall either, for what it's worth," Zatanna says. She doesn't lean in and tap at the carapace like Yana does, but she does regard it with a subtly lifted brow. "Let me guess: touched an artifact?"

This marks, what, the fourth time Anya Corazon has seen magic in person? She still has a sense of wonder when not one, but two wards are thrown up and cast toward the mouth of the alley, and it shows.

"I apparently suck at keeping my shit under wraps," she murkily replies, and crooks an eyebrow when Illyana inspects the shellwork. "Cracked a couple ribs last night," she tells Illyana, before shifting her eyes over to Zatanna. She blinks rapidly, then looks at her as if she just guessed her birthday and her favorite type of cheese.

"What? I mean, y-yes. Found it in the disaster zone." It's known that many countercultural types dare each other to venture into the d-zone from time to time, in search of danger and excitement. "Found it, picked it up, it… started glowing. I passed out. It was gone when I woke up, and that tattoo was there."

Illyana Rasputina mmmms and nods over with Zatanna in that 'of course' sort of manner as Anya describes how she got her body art. "Yeah, you'd be surprised at the number of times a story starts with 'so I picked it up…'." The blonde gives a small shrug. "It's not like most people can pick up on the magical vibrations so I suppose I can't fault them too much. Which, BTW, is why we noticed you. You're being all 'bright flashing light' at the moment. To be fair, that's how I tracked her down, too." Illyana jerks her thumb towards Zatanna.

"Coincidentally, Nightfall's what I came to talk to Zatanna about. The Bat wanted to stage some assault against Plokkie and I was hoping his magical consultant had impressed upon him what a bad idea that was." Illyana looks back over to Zatanna. "You did, right?"

When Illyana talks about Zatanna being a metaphorical bright-flashing-light, Zatanna just shrugs in a hokey 'what can ya do?' type motion. She never stops being on stage.

"Do you hear voices?" Zee asks Anya. Her eyes go from the tattoo, to Anya's eyes. "I mean, like, do you feel this thing trying to influence you at all and I'm sorry Batman wants to do WHAT?" Somewhere in there, Zatanna turned to look at Illyana, and it's almost like anyone looking at Zatanna's expression can feel a migraine radiating out of her skull like wiggly red cartoon lines.

In a weird way, Anya is starting to find this whole thing funny. I mean, at least they aren't here to be assholes and make her fight again with a couple of cracked ribs! She looks from one to the other, a smirk forming as she moves to put her shirt back on.

Zee's question has her suddenly feeling a bit squicky. While she hasn't experienced anything like that, the mere thought of it visibly has her feeling a little freaked. However, this conversation is a bit like a yo-yo, and she turns from one to the other.

"Yeah, uh, about that," she says, lifting a hand. "They- we've been collecting arcane artifacts. I guess they want everyone outfit with them when this whole panic at the disco's going down." She looks from Illyana back to Zee. "Answer to your question is 'no'. A big no, and I really hope that doesn't changes. It was weird enough to wake up and just… be able to do… stuff."

Illyana Rasputina ohhs and nods, almost a bit excitedly as Zee mentions the voices. She ticks off a few things on her fingers. "Hearing voices, exceptionally strong emotions or impulses towards something, sudden cravings for weird food…" Then Illyana frowns. "Say it like that, it starts to make possession sound like being pregnant." The blonde mock-shudders. "Eeegh." She looks back to the alarmed Anya. "No? Nothing? So far so good then."

Illyana is nodding again as Zatanna's tone rises and then peers over at Anya with a frown. "You don't assualt a Splinter Lord in his own domain. It's suicide. If you're careful, you can usually parlay with them but I don't care what kind of artifacts you have, it's a bad idea, T.M." She blows out a sigh. "Anyhow. Bug-girl seems safe enough not to have to put in a jar." Anya does have that whole carapace-like thing going on at the moment. Which reminds Illyana, nodding over at Anya: "You good at healing magics? I deal mostly in black magic, so I try to keep my mystical paws off of people."

Zatanna rubs his temples. "Yeah, no, she's right. Or, well, no, she's not, because that's not a Bad Idea, Trademark, that's a Worst Idea, R-in-a-circle Registered Trademark, and…" Zatanna does take in Anya answering her question, but it seems like her focus is momentarily elsewhere. "Well, I guess I'm going to have to go fucking argue with Batman, which sounds about as fun as being the guy in the movie who had to eat his own arm or whatever. Jesus."

Zatanna takes a second to center herself, closing her eyes and meditating or something. She draws in a breath and opens her eyes. "Yeah, don't black-magic her, please, I'm not sure that's what the situation calls for. I… one sec, lift your shirt up again." Zatanna takes out her phone. "I promise this isn't as creepy as it feels," she says as she angles to get a photo of as much of the tattoo/carapace as she can. "Just a LITTLE creepy."

"Oh, they already warned against that," Anya tells Illyana. "But I don't think they're interested in having a confab either. Something about closing the- the portals or- okay let's just call it the trans-dimensional barrier. They want to jam it shut." She gives them both a face. "Look, I don't speak magicese, but I'm not stupid. But between us? I think there's too many of the wrong kind of heads trying to call the shots. And they all have dicks, which is a whole other problem."

This time, Anya doesn't hesitate at lifting her shirt. "If you post it on IG, and you tag me, I will web your ass to a bus." By now she's smirking, and finding this all beyond humorous. "I like you two. It-" Her head darts over to Illyana and she snaps, "It's not Bug-Girl!"

"Hey, you don't give a name, you get stuck with whatever I come up with. And FYI, I'm bad at this. Hence going by 'Magik'. I think she's even worse." Illyana says, pointing at Zatanna with a thumb. "I think she just goes by her real name."

The observation that too many of the wrong people are putting the plan together gets a nod from the blonde. "Even if you were to somehow keep Plokta from opening portals through to Earth, he's already made inroads into Elseworld with the True Fae so he'd just go that way. Closing off his realm *completely*… well, I can't think of anyone that can do it and I'd worry about how that might affect the metaphysical Balance. Like you get rid of a certain kind of bug because it's a pest and then find out it was also doing necessary stuff on the side."

Illyana shakes her head. "I don't even know who all is involved with this. I am like, literally tripping over people that know shit about this mess." She pinches the bridge of her nose, as though that will stave off a headache.

Zatanna smirks at the comment on names, and reassures Anya thusly: "This is so I can compare it to stuff in my library without making you come by in person and take your shirt off a dozen more times. Besides, I don't even run my own Insta anymore. I pay my management company some absolute rip-off fee and it saves me from ever having to see another 'Hello sweetie you are gorgeous come to Dubai' comment ever again in my life."

"I'm going to go right to Batman," Zatanna asides to Illyana. "I should have been on him more to start with, but this plan sounds like banging nuclear warheads together."

"Just call me Spider-Girl," Anya answers. Hey, they've already blown through her firewall, at least she doesn't have to give them her real name.

The allegory makes sense to her, given her science brain. That causes her to look a little worried. "Yeah but we can't just let them keep on taking kids," she counters.

"I'm low on the totem pole here. I go in, web shit up, fuck up as many faces as I can, and try to avoid getting squished," she tells both. "But you wanna talk to Steve Rogers too. Captain America." Under her breath she mutters, "No puedo creer que este diciendo esto."

She then looks back to Zee, frowning. Her sass drops away, and she becomes earnest, every bit the unsettled 21-year old that she is. "If you find out what it is, will you tell me? I-I really don't want to start hearing voices."

Illyana Rasputina nods as she listesn to Zatanna's plan, and nods again as Spider-Girl adds to it. "Good. Batman, Captain America and Keiko should be at any of those meetings, given she *was* Nightfall. She'd have the best insight to their operations."

As Zatanna get some additional photos to do some research, Illyana works on getting a good sense of Anya's magical signature so she can find the girl later. For all that people grumble that she can just drop in on them, sometimes having a teleporter that can find you is a good thing.

"Alright, now that I feel like my concerns have been addressed," Illyana smirks at her own words. "I suppose I'll leave you two be." She looks over at Zee. "You need anything to get in touch with me? Of course Batman apparently knows where I live but I'd like to not give my housemate any more heart attacks."

"Just come by the house," Zatanna replies to Illyana. Figuring out what 'the house' is will be trivially easy for Magik — Shadowcrest, the Zatara family manor, currently residing in Westchester. "If I'm not there, at least the gargoyles will keep you company." Zatanna says it like it's a joke, but…

The mistress of (stage) magic puts her phone away and nods to Anya. "I'll see what I can find. Don't sweat it for now. I think if it was, like, an evil alive thing, you'd know by now. Best case scenario you've just got totally gross magical psiorasis. But once I know more, I'll ping Batman. That's the cool part of knowing Batman — it makes finding people a snap." She grins.

"Yeah, they've both got my number." Of that, the young woman grins about. She looks between the two before reaching for her backpack and scowling at it, having fallen in a puddle. "Well that's some shit," she mutters, before shrugging it over her shoulders with a slight grimace.

"Oh hey," She turns back around, earnestly. "Thanks. Seriously. I mean at first you scared the piss outta me, but, I appreciate it. First time any of this has really made sense."

Illyana Rasputina flashes a grin that's got a bit too much teeth to be entirely friendly. "See you two around." A glowing disk appears at her feet and slides upwards. In it's wake, there's nothing. When it rises past her head and there's no longer an Illyana to be seen? It winks out.

"Oh, trust me, the 'making sense' part is totally not real," Zatanna says with a grin. With Illyana gone, the magical ward that the Russian put up is also gone, and Zatanna's also fades away, like it was never there. "Nothing about this stuff ever MAKES SENSE makes sense. Just embrace the paradox of it and try not to go crazy. Take care, okay?" Zee exits the alley, but right after turning the corner? Gone. Vanished. Batman level.

"Totally unfair," Anya mutters to herself once they're both gone. She eyeballs the wall beside her, looks up at it even, then shakes her head. "Cracked ribs," she reminds herself and begrudgingly makes for the street. "Not the right time for wall crawling."

Great. Now she's talking to herself.

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