2019-05-23 - Sideshow Spectacular


Kori ambushes Zatanna backstage; Zee poses for a selfie and gets Kori some work!

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu May 23 19:58:22 2019
Location: RP Room 2

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Theme Song



Koriand'r of Tamaran— 'Kori Anderson'— loves a lot of things about Earth culture. But the pageantry of the most mundane of activities is far and away one of her favorites. The way that glamour and excitement are included with every little show a human does. Even children practicing to be heroes in their backyards plan their big speeches.

When they get older, it seems like the show only gets grander. This is why Kori's at one of Zatanna Zatara's larger venues and the first one Kori could readily sneak into. If it had occurred to Kori the relationship between Zee's ticket sales and her income, she probably would have saved up her bus money for a few weeks to pay.

As it is, flying over a low security barrier was done as easily as thinking about it, and the towering redhead walks up to where she can see the stage. Her green eyes are wide with wonder— seems she's just coming into the highlight of Zatanna's set, watching the magicienne extraordinare really getting into the swing of the act.

This one's a benefit show, anyway. Zatanna's big special just went out on Hulu a week or two ago, and now while her name is in the press, her canny managers are putting her up for stuff that will keep the positive press rolling in: in this case, a show benefiting an Alzheimer's charity.

Of course, the show itself doesn't mention Alzheimer's. Even Zatanna's stage patter would only make it seem awkward. So instead, she's talking about cowboys. Because there's a guy dressed as a cowboy on stage with her, spinning his six-shooter by the trigger. "You guys know the William Tell trick, right?" Zatanna says. "Well, I was never really a Robin Hood, archer type of kid. I liked Westerns. So my friend here, he's gonna help me out with the William Tell trick.

Zatanna takes off her top hat. She has an apple balanced perfectly on her head. "Ready when you are," she says to the cowboy, and he spins the revolver by the trigger again and fires — the apple explodes on Zee's head. She reaches up, touches the applesauce in her hair, and looks to the crowd. "I always forget about that part," she says, and then smirks. "You guys wanna see something really cool, though?"

"Ooh! Yes, I wish to see the coolness!" Kori's enthusiastic applause and bouncing on her toes is lost in the surge of response from the crowd. Many laugh at the mess Zatanna's made of her hair and costumery, but like Kori, they're fairly enthralled. Lots of people have even brought families out to spectate. It's the sort of thing that appeals to young and old alike, and the older folks appreciate the gunslinging skills as much as the kids giggle and peal with laughter at the exploding apple.

Well, the kids and one tangerine colored alien woman.

Really, it's just good that this isn't a charity show for victims of gun violence. Zatanna looks to the crowd — if she sees Kory, she doesn't make special note of it. She's fully in Performance Mode. It'd take a real disaster to break her groove. "So I haven't done this trick in a while."

Zatanna is playing with her hat, moving it from hand to hand. "Years ago I had a trick where I'd catch a bullet in my teeth. Eventually, my dentist made me stop." Pause for crowd response. "But you know what, I like you guys, I already have the gunslinger out here, I figure I can bust that one out one more time, right?" Again, pause for crowd response.

The gunslinging cowboy on stage is ready, but Zatanna hesitates. "No, sorry," she says, lifting her hands. "Look, you guys came to see some really amazing stuff, and just doing an oldie like this… it's too easy. But… I have an idea. I'm still gonna catch the bullet with my teeth, but. Let's make it interesting for all you fine folk."

Zatanna takes her hat, and holds it to her face, so that the top of it is facing outward, and her face is totally covered by the brim. Really, the gunslinger will have no realistic way of seeing where her mouth is, nor will she be able to see where he's aiming.

The crowd gasps. Most of them in admiration for her brassy demeanour and the effortless way she charms the audience. A few of them— like Kori— are instantly worried for Zatanna's safety. One overprotective mom covers her kids eyes.

"Oh no! Be careful!" Kori calls up, with a worried tone. Several people look askance at the alien girl, but she's focusing entirely on Zatanna. The hammer of the gun *clicks* and Kori covers her eyes as well, emulating the little girl next to her.

"I cannot look!" she blurts. But then she's peeking through a gap in her fingers a second later, nonetheless. If Tamaraneans chewed their nails, Kori's would be a nub!

The gun goes off, and Zatanna takes a staggering step backwards. It looks awkward, but mostly because she's in heels. Smoke rises from the new hole in the top of her hat. There's a moment where it seems like Zatanna might fall over.

The moment passes, and Zatanna pulls her hat away from her face. She looks as glamorous as ever, and with great theatricality, she spits a slug onto the floor of the stage, where it lands with a metallic noise (not that most of the crowd will hear it). "Thank you, everyone!" she says, before taking her hat and peering out at the crowd through the hole in it, like a telescope. Putting it back on her head, she says, "Give a hand to Tex!" The cowboy bows and makes his stage exit, and Zatanna soaks up the applause for a little bit more. "You've all been wonderful, you've helped a good cause, and I can't wait to see you all again! Good night~!"

There's a huge amount of applause, cheers, cries of enthusiasm. It seems Zatanna's put on a hell of a show. The lights go down, come up again, and the crowd starts dispersing. It's an unenthusiastic shuffle for the exits, the packed press of humanity trying to shove hundreds of people through a couple of double-wide fire doors.

Kori moves forwards towards the stage and rather effortlessly vaults the security barrier. Her long skirt swishes around her low-heeled sandals, a riot of blue and white fractal patterns on thin cotton. Her top's a plain looking T-shirt that proclaims 'CUNY '08' over the school logo.

Kori's halfway to the stage stairs before security reacts to her, moving to intercept. "Woah, lady, the exit's back over there," a bouncer tells her.

"Oh yes, I know!" Kori says, and keeps walking. He gets in her path again. "I can't let you come on stage," he admonishes Kori.

"Oh! It is the all rightness. I am just wishing to pay my compliments to Miss Zatanna Zatara," she informs the fellow. "I have met her in person and seen her on the YouTubes. We are friends!" She beams a smile.

The bouncer eyes Kori, then touches the headset on his ears. "Uh, code seven on the main stage," he mutters. Radios crackle among event staff. 'Code 7' is 'weird stalker'. "Some … tall ginger lady. She stands out."

Over the radio, in the background: "Why do people call me of the ginger? I am not a garden herb!"

Zatanna has just left the stage when Kori tries to storm it. She's talking with her manager about something when she overhears the business on the radio. 'Tall ginger lady?' Then, Kori's voice. "Uh, one sec," Zee says to her manager. "I think I know who that is. …no, you don't need to call the police or anything, it's cool."

Zee pokes her head out to motion for Kori. "It's cool!" she says to the security guard. "I know her, it's… it's cool." She hopes it's cool.

Apparently it is, because the bouncers ease up when Zee speaks. A little. They're not thrilled with her letting a groupie charge the stage or bypass their security, such as it is. But, Zatanna's the talent. The security guard detaining Kori is at least polite enough to offer her a wave along the path.

Kori rather effortlessly vaults right onto the stage with little visible effort. Maybe just enough hangtime to make gravity look a little surreal for a second? "Zatanna! I am so pleased to have seen your show! It was better than what the YouTubes ever have posted. Why does everyone NOT go to the shows all the time?!" she asks, rhetorically. With a beaming smile she fairly flies to Zatanna, arms extended for a hug.

Zatanna just caught a bullet with her teeth, without looking, so she can't really comment on things seeming surreal. She motions for Kori to hurry backstage, so that there's not more of a scene. "Huh? Why do they not…? Well, I wish I knew. I'd have a lot more money if they all did," she smirks. Then, the offer of a hug.

Zatanna leans in, prepared to give Kori a stage-hug. You know, not a full squeeze, just enough body contact. Just teeing herself up, really.

Wish her well, gentle readers— Zatanna's trying to look like a professional, and that's a language Kori doesn't speak well. She fairly crashes into Zatanna with a beaming smile and hugs the other woman with the sort of brimming enthusiasm one usually reserves for overenthused sorority girls. Or people encountering a long-lost twin.

She backs up when Zatanna breaks, still beaming happily. "I am so glad to see of you the agains! It has been some time since last we met. I am officially an adult on Earth now!" she says, twirling once. Her skirt rises and falls around her calves. "I have graduated from the high school with my friend Peter. Is that not the wonderful?" she inquires.

"Oof! Oof, careful, I'm already wearing a corset, if you squeeze any harder something'll pop—!" Zatanna rubs Kori's shoulder as a signal to break the hug, and then has to adjust her outfit a bit. She wasn't kidding about having a corset on. "You did? That's great. You got plans for college?" Zatanna starts walking, motioning for Kori to follow. Along the way, she murmurs to herself, "Ycavirp neercs ni gnisserd moor." Since that's where they're headed — the door with a printed-out sign on it saying "ZATANNA ZATARA." And inside, amongst the dressing room furniture, is a privacy screen, standing up and ready to be used.

Kori blinks. "I… I had not contemplated it," she admits. She keeps up effortlessly with Zatanna, feet barely whispering against the ground. She follows Zee into the dressing room, right off her elbow. "I suppose I should ask friend Peter," she remarks. "He is very much the smart and he is going to attend university soon. It would be … nice to continue to learn about your world, with a friend," she says. "I am struggling at times still, but I am getting better."

She stops when Zatanna does, on the wrong side of the privacy screen. "Oh! And have I told you that I am leading a team of teenage metahumans now? We are going to rent a building downtown as our secret quarters for heads," she tells Zatanna.

"Well, college isn't for everyone. I just went right into showbiz. But showbiz ALSO isn't for everyone." Zatanna waits with Kori on the wrong side of the screen for a moment, then says, "Mind dipping around to the other side there? I want to get changed, and it'd ruin the show if you got to see all the magician's secrets." She winks, and motions to shoo Kori around to the other side.

"Teenage metahumans?" Zatanna repeats, once Kori's on the other side. "With no adult supervision, huh?"

The shooing is more effective than the words. Kori dutifully obliges once she understands what Zatanna wants, even if she's not sure she undertands why Zee needs the privacy. Once on the other side of the dividers she stands with her hands interlaced in front of her thighs, turning a slow circle in the room to examine it carefully.

"Oh no, we have several adults," Kori assures Zatanna. "But most of us are either in high school, or recently graduated. I believe the humans are mostly between the ages of seventeen and five and twenty," she concludes.

She sighs from behind the screen. "I do not understand your obsession with solar cycles. On my homeworld, maturity is determined by acts, not chronology. We do not mark such a thing. The lady at SHIELD was angry when I tried to explain it to her and she insisted I must be seventeen. I did not know what else to say, so it seemed politest to agree with her."

The room is just a room. There's a couch, a table, a vanity with a mirror. Zee's travel bag is on the couch, and her makeup case is on the vanity. Behind the screen, she's fussing with her stage costume. It takes a little work getting out of, it sounds like.

From beind the screen, Zatanna comments: "The story of the human race is traditions that don't make much sense, being upheld because they're tradition." She then asks: "Your homeworld, Malta?"

"…zarbnorfs." The word is muttered from behind the screen like a curse, and Zee can see Kori's head bowing slightly. "I have been indiscreet."

The tall redhead hugs her elbows close and her shoulders roll. "I am so used to being around people who know my name and place of origin. I have forgotten that I am… being discreet." Her lips thin and she looks to the shadow moving in the screen. "I hope you will please not tell anyone. I do not wish it commonly discussed that I am on Earth. It might be very bad for people."

Through the screen, the outline of Zatanna can be seen pausing for a moment, in silence. Finally, she says: "Don't worry about it." She resumes getting this piece or that piece of her costume off. "I won't tell a soul."

Zatanna's hand reaches around from the screen to grab clothes off of the couch right next to it. After a moment of slipping things on, she emerges in baggy black linen pants and a t-shirt advertising Alice Cooper. "You got your phone on you?" she asks, casually.

Kori's waiting patiently for Zatanna when she comes around the screen, and smiles beamingly again when they make eye contact. It's like having a puppy with no sense of object permanence. At least Kori doesn't chew the furniture.

"I am the grateful for your silence, friend Zatanna," she says with sincerity, and of all things, bows at Zee quite humbly. When she comes up her hand moves to her skirt's waistline. Her phone's clipped to the elastic, along with what looks like a tiny moneyclip. "I have been very glad for this device," she explains and hands it to Zee without a second thought. It's not even set up with a password or fingerprint scanner. "I have learned much by watching the YouTubes. I want to use the Facebooks and social media, but friend Mary Jane told me I would get the cancers from comments if I posted pictures of myself for others to enjoy."

Zatanna does seem momentarily shocked by the lack of security on the thing, but she's more focused on listening to Kori than that. "No, she's right," Zee replies. "My management pays people to run my Instagram for me. I take the picture, they get to deal with the weirdos. It's nice."

Zee brings up the phone's camera, and then holds the phone up — she has to, Kori is taller than her. "Smile," she says, leaning in, and at the last second, she sticks her tongue out while grinning. It's not quite a professional photo op, but it's Zatanna all right. She hands the phone back over once the photo is taken. "Wanted to do it before I took all this stage makeup off," she grins.

Kori giggles happily and leans down, putting up a 'v' for victory sign. Who knows where she picked up that particular peculiar habit, but it does make for a pleasnatly convivial look with the impromptu selfie.

"If I make enough money modelling, then I will be sure to also hire a management to pay a people to run my Instagrams for me," Kori assures Zee. Word for word. "I may be doing some work as a model in exchange for rent at the building I found. I do not know what else to try; I have been fired from several jobs again from the last time I spoke with you. Everyone keeps saying 'be a model' but no one can tell me how to go about doing that. If I apply for work as a dishwasher, *everyone* knows where I should apply. I asked the man at the place for employment services if he knew where I could start modelling, and he laughed at me!"

Zatanna sits down at the vanity, and gets out the wipes and lotion for sloughing off all of the layered makeup she has to put on to look not just good, but On Stage good. Her hair gets tied back in a loose bun. She continues listening, and then looks back over her shoulder. "You have email, right?"

Zee seems to second-guess that. "No, you know what, never mind. Lemme finish this, then gimme your number. I know some folks. I'll see if I can't get them to get in touch with you. I know they're not creeps, which is kind of important. Showbiz is full of, well, creeps, looking for pretty girls to walk in the door without knowing much about what they're doing. So, yeah, if that's really what you wanna do, I can make calls. Can't promise anything…"

"Oh yes, I have been warned about your 'creeper' social caste," Kori agrees. "They sound most unpleasant. I am still waiting to meet one, however. No one has been particularly the creepy at me."

She frowns suddenly. "Though it is possible I did not recognize their social caste, either. What is the point of being in a caste if people cannot tell your origins? Football players wear the same jackets, it makes spotting them very easy!"

She hands her phone over to Zatanna again, with a note now onscreen that says: YOUR NUMBER: 555-244-3440

Her makeup off, Zatanna continues her skin care regime, putting on some lotion, etc. It's all terribly interesting, not at all pedestrian stuff. On the plus side, she can do that while talking. "Because all human beings are created equal," Zatanna replies, in a sort-of deadpan. "Except for all the ways in which we aren't."

Zatanna takes the phone, and smirks. She look back over at Kori, and doesn't bother asking if she's being made fun of. Zatanna grabs her own phone, and then puts Kori's details in as a contact — and then adds herself as a contact for Kori. "Here," she says, handing it back without getting out of her chair. "Don't give my number out, okay?"

"Oh, that is at least where humanity is more sensible," Kori agrees with Zatanna. "Well— to a point. Most species have levels of social segregation. But that is based on sensible things, such as genetics or compulsory civil service or assignment to a hive mind. You people discriminate on the basis of…" She wrinkles her nose. "/Skin/ tone. And you insist on a diarchic society with men and women representing opposing views, as if you're different species."

She grows thoughtful. "Though in fairness, the testosterone dementia does seem to be very prevalent among some of your males. I can sympathize; those on my planet tend to share a similar predilection for dangerous activity and irresponsible decision making."

Zatanna grins. She's finishing up at the vanity while listening to Kori speak. She turns in her chair, leaning one elbow on the top of the vanity and nodding. "Here's my trick," she says, wiggling her fingers at the word 'trick,' almost like it's a reflex.

"None of it's gonna make sense. Speaking AS a human? Humans don't make sense. None of it's gonna ALL fit into any perfect grid." She pauses, then adds, "So I just kinda embrace that part. It's like my magic tricks: people watch them and want to try to figure out how I did them, but the fun is in not knowing, just experiencing."

"Oh it is very much the fun!" Kori assures Zatanna, and then laughs merrily. "I am the sorry, I did not mean to be the rude. Yes, I like it here very much and I do not understand it but that has made me enjoy it here all the much more. I have made wonderful and good friends and I am able to stay and learn about all your many cultures. I still make mistakes but people are very forgiving and only sometimes do I get fired or yelled at. I will… try to embrace the non of sense of which you speak," she promises Zatanna.

Zatanna keeps her grin, and flashes Kori a cheeky little wink. "Then sooner or later, you'll fit right in," she says, with genuine good cheer.

The phone in Kori's hand starts ringing, and she reads the name on the screen. "Oh! It is my new lady of land," Kori tells Zatanna. "We are discussing more possibilities for the team. When we are settled, I would like to invite you and Friend Professor Summers to come visit," she invites. "He has been very kind to me and I would like to return the favor. I will see you the soon, friend Zatanna!" Kori assures the raven-haired woman, and with that she moves to put the phone to her ear and head out of the door.

"Friend Sue? Hello! It is I, Kori Anderson," she declares, and her voice trails her path of departure until she is out of earshot.

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