2019-05-28 - Ends In A Curse


A robbery at a Museum ends up in a Curse.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue May 28 02:14:46 2019
Location: Staten Island

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Theme Song



Dispatch to all units near Richmond Terrace, we have a robbery in progress at the Staten Island Museum. Eye-witness calls report extra-normal individuals on site. We are in communication with at least one SHIELD agent. Report ETA, over.

Unit One Adam Twelve to Dispatch, we're blocked by some kind of glowing barrier. We can't get through.

Unit One Adam Oh Nine. Same here. Can't get through.

The Staten Island Museum is a fixture of the area, located on the north shore of the island. There is presently a brawl taking place in front of him. A man with a glowing left arm and what looks like a magical round shield centered on his right is fighting three people in nice business wear with wands. Actual wands. They're chucking fire and lightning at him as all four of them maneuver. One of them has a bulky looking briefcase in one hand. The whole thing is throwing off magical disturbances like you would not believe, but the police can't get to it because story-tall barriers are blocking every street out for three blocks. However the rooftops… those are clear.

Helena is finally on the mend enough to be out without supervision, though the sea of bruises across her torso is taking its sweet time healing up. But literally everyone else in her life has gone out in worse condition, so no one really has the high ground to stop her at this point. But if the police can't get to a fight, then maybe she can.

Blackbird moves along the rooftops, stopping a short distance away from the magical barrier to get a better read on what's happening. Straight up Harry Potter business. Cool. Why not? Pulling a small ninja star from her belt, she tosses it at the barrier itself to see what happens to it. Always better to know that before you go jumping over it.

"Hey, kiddo." Blackbird has just finished pulling that ninja star when the voice comes from behind her. Zatanna literally just… stepped out from behind a big piece of HVAC equipment behind Helena. She's wearing high-waisted black canvas pants and a black shoulderless long-sleeved bodysuit tucked into it, black choker, black ballet flats. She takes a few steps forward and folds her arms. She watches the shuriken go, and then looks over at Blackbird. "You realize your dad's gonna kill ME, not YOU, right?"

From somewhere behind one of the business suit wearing wand wielder a giant glowing wolf leaps. Its paws land fair in his back as it does. It growls, but doesn't stop to see if the man goes down or, if he does, stays down, its moving again - leaving little chance for any of the others to target it.

Not far from the man with the glowing arm, a small dark skinned woman perches atop one of the buildings, an enormous glowing harpy eagle beside her. She's looking for an opening to join the frey, or give Agent Koa Turner a distraction that will help.

The arrival of Blackbird and Zatanna don't go unnoticed, they're acknowledged with an uptilt of the womans chin.

Blackbird may recognize one of the people fighting, as she's seen him before, though she probably hasn't seen the huge snake that rears out of the aura surrounding his left arm and nose-rams one of the Harry Potter wannabes into the steps of the museum. The briefcase that one is carrying breaks open and a number of small statuettes scatter everywhere.

The glowing wolf is a fairly good distraction but Agent Turner still has to take cover behind a car. Someone is trying to roast him with a long, persistent gout of flame. They've, er, already set two trees on fire.

Blackbird's shuriken sticks into the glowing barrier like it might an actual wall and nothing more. Looks like this magic IS just to keep the cops out. And it doesn't extend all the way up, so it's not good at keeping anyone BUT the cops out. Probably the robbers didn't expect to be interfered with before they could make their escape.

Keiko and Zatanna both feel the sudden pull on everything living. Even Helena feels it as a numbness-like tingling though she might not know what it is.

The plants in a planter not far from Blackbird and Zatanna wither and die. Little sparkly motes flow from them as they do… right toward Koa. Along with a LOT of other sparkly motes from everything else alive in the area bar people.

Blackbird starts to spin as Zee speaks, her cape whipping around her and another star already between her fingers before she realizes who it is. Her mask hides her grin, but even with the golden contacts in, Zee can tell from her eyes that there's no apology in it. "Hey, I'm clear enough," she says, turning back toward the fight. "And there's nothing to kill anyone for. My old babysitter taught me all sorts of important rules about how not to get screwed by magic, you know."

That's her only excuse before she throws a wink over her shoulder, planting her staff against the edge of the roof and vaulting over the barrier to a rooftop within. Then it's a few parkour leaps along the side of the building to get to the ground, slipping as quietly as possible to flank the mysterious death eaters.

"Yeah, I tell a lot of people how not to get screwed by magic, and then magic finds new and exciting ways to screw them. It's like the antibiotics crisis." Zatanna keeps her arms folded, but her brow furrows as she notices what kind of magic is starting to reveal itself here.

"Kiddo, look at the planter before you— oh, okay, you're already jumping off the building, great." Zatanna lets out a long-suffering sigh as she lifts into the air to follow Helena. Where Blackbird vaults and parkours, Zatanna hovers and lowers into position like a human drone copter.

"Agent Turner…" Keiko hisses as the forms of the eagle and wolf start to waver. He can't her she knows that but she says it anyway. Moving quickly once she see's Blackbird moving, the tattooed woman climbs onto the waver form of the bird as it glides her down to the ground.

"Don't hurt my animals." She grumbles at the man as she slides from the back of the bird. She mutters something else and gestures with her hand, the bird dissipating into smoke - that seems to retract into her arm.

The short rod she's holding extends with a shake to a full staff quarterstaff that she spins and tries to hook one of the deatheaters ankles with the.

The Wolf spins again, it's steps slower that before, whining a little as Koa draws on her essence.

Blackbird is indeed quick and quiet though it does help that someone sensed Keiko's tattoos or Zatanna's magic or something like that and turned to throw some lightning at both women. These are not Nightfall, that much is clear to those who have faced them before. The Nightfall relied largely on tattoos to channel an extradimensional power source. These people are more like Zee. Just not as powerful, or as skilled. Still quite skilled enough to be dangerous though as is evidenced when Keiko's staff hits a conjured shield and Zatanna finds herself the target of a small thunderstorm.

The one trying to roast Koa might not notice, but Zee and Helena can both see water rising up out of the channel behind the museum and gathering above the building. It's not a small amount of water either. Easily enough to fill several good sized swimming pools, or swamp a medium sized boat. Is Koa doing that?

Yes. Yes he is. The water suddenly drops from the sky, drenching the wizard, dousing the fire and generally staggering her under the weight. Blackbird might have to dodge a small flood but that does leave that mage staggered and vulnerable.

Blackbird has heroing to do! There's no time for lectures! Look at these evil mages out attacking perfectly innocent WAND agents!

As she comes up behind the nearest mage, she makes two notes to herself. One: An unconscious mage does very little magic. And two: People usually use wands because they need them. Kind of like guns.

So as the miniature flood hits the ground, she plants her staff again, bracing herself in place until the force of the water subsides enough to let her move forward. With a twist of her wrist, the staff becomes two batons, one of which cracks hard at the back of the magician's head, the other snapping down on the wrist holding the wand. Then she's dashing for the wand itself, intent on breaking it as well.

With people engaged now, Bella doesn't rush anyone. Instead she takes up position in front of Koa, her posture low and dangerous. She's not as … solid as she was but she won't let anything get near him. Hopefully.

Keiko's movements are fluid, as she tumbles when her staff hits a shield. That has to have hurt judging by the sound the impact made - but she doesn't show it. The staff is employed to test the defenses this mage has put up, a tap here, sweep there - all the while the small peruvian keeps moving. Never leaving much of anything to become a target. When she finds the opening she's looking for, there's a flurry of movement as she presses her attack. Distraction? Probably. It leaves the others free to act.

A personal-pan size lightning storm comes at Zatanna, and it's all the sorceress can do to say "Gnifoorprehtaew" as fast as she can. It sounds just as funny as it reads. Fortunately, it doesn't LOOK funny — Zatanna doesn't end up covered in vinyl siding or something. The lightning bolts hit an invisible wall, disspating on impact in translucent eddies over the unseeable surface.

Plus, it keeps Zee from getting all wet, which is a plus. "Hel— Kiddo— whatever you go by!" Zatanna calls out after the young heroine. "Don't do anything stupid! Magic loves stupid!"

The magic of the attack on Zatanna disperses after it is spent, leaving her unharmed and in the clear. The magi facing her has begun backing up in a defensive pose. He recognizes that he's outmatched and it's not a long shot to surmise that he's thinking of ways to get the hell out of there. When he speaks again, in rolling, chanting Latin accompanied with gestures and hand passes, it looks a great deal like a flight spell. It'll take a minute to complete. He's got a shield up, but Zee can get through or around that. Can't she?

Blackbird sends her target crashing down, unconscious just as planned. The wand breaks with a 'pfaf' of magical energy. Nothing dangerous, but a lot of sparkles and light. Zatanna might still be a bit aghast. Breaking magical artifacts is an exercise in rolling the dice after all and those little statuettes scattered around definitely have a paranormal signature about them.

Keiko sends her target onto the defensive as Koa steps out with Bella guarding him, raises both hands and gathers up the water that lays running everywhere. It rises back into the air and forms into a slender, tall, column above Keiko's target. He brings his hand down and it slams onto the mage's shield. With Keiko distracting him he can't counter. The second strike scatters his shield everywhere.

"Blackbird, Keiko, he's vulnerable!"

Koa's voice is more like an angry growl now than a person's voice. But at least he's still talking.

Zee CAN still feel him pulling life force into him from… well, everything he can reach, though. That's got to be somewhat worrying. WAND employs this man.

"Blackbird!" Helena shouts back to Zee, wincing when her name almost comes out. That's more distracting than anything else!

She eyes the statues, but Zatanna's advice is taken well enough that she's not going to go touching them. That would be bad. Instead, she focuses on the mage Koa calls out, coming up behind him to get him in a swift hold with one arm around his neck and the other twisting his arm behind him, leaving him vulnerable for Keiko.

Zatanna hasn't forgotten about the life force being fracked from the very air around her — and everything else, also. Still, it's not coming from the bad guys, right? So: one problem at a time.

First: the other sorcerer. Zatanna walks right up to his magical shield. "Ah. Parson's Gambit," she says. "I've read about this technique for magical shielding. Never much seen it in person, though. See, the thing about that guy Parson — or maybe he was /a/ parson, records are spotty at best — is that it's not a gambit like a plan. It's a gambit like chess. It's a minor piece."

Zatanna reaches out with her finger to touch his shield, tracing a rune on it. "And I'm the piece who can go anywhere on the board, bud. Just call me the queen."

Bella moves with Koa, like she's been doing it for a very long time. She doesn't get in his way but nothing will get near him.

Keiko is good. Blackbird won't recognise the style the woman uses but she will recognise the skill that she exhibits. Tumbling and spinning, keeping the mages attention on her, she maneouvres him into a position when Blackbird can grab him.

Once he's suppressed, her response is quick as well. The staff snaps up, between his legs, and she hits him. HARD. The staff moves again when the man groans loudly, swinging around to connect with his temple.

It's not a love tap.

The shield dissolves and the magical backlash from the unleashed and now uncontrolled energies does exactly what Zatanna knew it would do. It blows the mage head over tail a good ten feet, sending him dazed and tumbling on the pavement. He tries to rise… but fails.

Keiko and Blackbird poleaxe the last of the magi and when he falls something rolls out from his pocket. It's a small coin with a symbol on it that looks like a diamond surrounding a five leaf clover, with two pincers on either side. Odd symbol. The coin itself doesn't appear to be magical though.

With all of the attackers dealt with Koa lets out a growly breath and then waves one hand. The water floats back over the museum to dump itself back into the channel.

"Keiko. Blackbird. Thanks." He says as he recovers. His eyes are shining bright blue and there are sigils glowing - or perhaps burning is more accurate - over both arms.

"And you must be the Amazing Zatanna…" Well, she is a public figure, in a way. "Your arrival was timely. Thank you."

He glances about at the ruin around him. The burning trees at least got doused but the street is kind of the worse for wear with all the elemental forces being tossed around. At least the museum doesn't appear to be very damaged.

Those statuettes sort of clatter as the last of the flowing water that Koa didn't get pushes them around.

Blackbird lets the mage fall when Keiko takes him out, giving the other woman a nod. Respect. But when it comes to the magical cleanup? That is definitely not her area of expertise.

"Sure, any time," she replies to Koa's thanks, amusement coming through despite the voice modulator. She does, however, go to inspect things. Namely the coin, to start. Which she does not touch. "Uh, hey, Zee? Does this symbol mean anything to you?"

"Hold on," Zatanna says. Before she gets anything else done, she's going over to CAREFULLY pick up both pieces of that wand Blackbird broke. She has a look on her face like she's just been given a pair of rubber dishwashing gloves to handle nuclear waste.

Those wand-halves in her gentle grasp, Zatanna turns to face the rest of the group. "Well, this was all kind of like a great big lighthouse shining out all the way to Westchester County," Zatanna notes with a little smirk to Koa. "No problem, though. Kiddo — whaddaya got?" Still carrying the broken wand, Zee kneels down next to the coin. "Oooh. Dammit." She sounds like she just accidentally dropped the laundry on the floor in terms of inconvenience. "Kiddo, if I start explaining this to you, are you going to run off half-cocked investigating it and getting yourself into trouble? Remember, if you say no, I know that actually means yes. I've met your… trainer."

Keiko hits the mage for good measure when Blackbird drops. "Need to make sure he wasn't playing possum." She explains shortly, almost angrily but not quite. Her accent is south american but nothing distinct. It's got bits of everything colouring it.

Bella nose at Koa's hand as he growls and then paces to Blackbird and noses her hand as well. "Traitor." The peruvian mutters but she's looking at the Agent with concern in her eyes. "Agent Turner, are you well?" Is what she asks though.

Zatanna's approach draws her attention and the mage might not miss the scars of a brand that peeks out over her shirt. It's dully glowing as she stands there.

"What have you found?"

Koa looks down at that coin and from the look on his face he knows what it is too. In fact he looks about to say what it is when Zatanna starts looking like she might have a headache at Blackbird's asking. So he wisely turns to go gather up the statuettes.

"I'll… be okay, Keiko." Koa says as he gets the broken briefcase and starts putting little clay figurines back in it. Will he be okay? That's a good question. He gives Bella a long, hungry look, hand flexing, before he shakes himself and that draw on everything around him seems to stop.

For the moment anyway.

"Sumerian votive figurines. Wonder why they were after these…"

One slips from his grasp and clatters into the street again, rolling away and winding up between Zee and Helena.

"Blackbird," Helena repeats herself in a pained voice as Zatanna refers to her as 'kiddo.' C'mon, man!

But hey, good wolf! That eases some of the embarrassment, at least, as she offers a bit of ear scritching before she answers Zee. "I would never go off half-cocked," she answers, chin tipping up. "I only go off whole-cocked."

This is literally what you get with teenage crime-fighters, people.

Zatanna looks up from the coin and over at Blackbird. One of her eyebrows is just a bit askance. She moves the wand pieces to a pocket of her black canvas pants. "You realize I can't say ANYTHING back to that, right?"

Zee looks back at the coin. "It's a symbol from a group called Thelema. Not quite the Aleister Crowley thing everyone knows about," Zee says, as if every single HBO subscriber knows all about Aleister Crowley, "More like… a bunch of magicians who love to steal and hoard ancient magic stuff. I mean, there's a nicer way to put it, and there's also just the truth." She spares a glance up towards Keiko, and gives her a little kinda-pained sympathy smile shen she obviously spots the brand.

"Catch it, don't let it get away!" Keiko nods to the votive as it moves between the two women. Her attention for the moment is on Koa "Shall I send her away? I don't want you to eat her … she didn't do anything to hurt you after all."

Bella must sense Koa's attention and she lets out a low growl, folding into a laying position, putting her head on her paws.

"Thelema? Why does that sound familiar?"

Koa shakes his head and tightens his focus. "No, it's fine. She's fine. She's not in danger." Maybe if he says that enough…

At what Zee says he nods his head. "I might have mentioned them before Keiko. I ran into them when I used to do archeology. They're aggressive, connected, numerous, organized and most annoyingly, rich. Zatanna has about the right of it though. They steal, or otherwise acquire, secrets from the past. The rarer or the more powerful, the more they want it."

He has no idea why else Thelema might sound familiar to Keiko. So long as she doesn't say 'And Louise.'

Before Zee can go on… the figure glows slightly. Then brightly, about as bright as a candle. Then it pulses.

Helena is for sure not going to be the person who does the thing that feeds the stupid to the magic. Not after Zatanna just told her not to. But then the status starts glowing. And pulsing. And clearly that means that she should do something about it, right?

It may not be the best solution, but in the absence of a better idea, she pulls off her cape, throwing it down over the glowing, pulsing statue and taking several steps back.

Looking around to the magically inclined: "Is that normal?" It's not like she doesn't know the answer to that question.

"Trick question," Zatanna replies to Blackbird, and flashes a wry smile. Moving away from the coin, she goes to lift up a corner of the thrown cape and get a good look at the thing underneath. "Let's see if we can't see what you're doing…"

"Maybe you did." Keiko murmurs, kneeling down to go through the mages pockets as the two women look at the votive. "So it's not unusual that they would be doing this type of heist?" Yes, she says heist. Just like an old cops and robbers show.

"What have they got, Age—- Koa?"

"Pretty unusual that they'd resort to theft in a major city." Koa shakes his head. "Must have been something they wanted and weren't willing to wait for. I wonder why that one is glo-"

Zzzzzzzap! Energy arcs from the statuette to Zatanna. It looks like electricity but it isn't. There's no heat. No pain when it strikes. Even so, Zatanna can feel a spell close around her.

And she can hear a voice speaking in Egyptian - that she somehow understands perfectly. Your fate is set. You are the doom of that which you love and by your hand shall it be destroyed.

Then the glow goes out. The energy stops and the statuette is… just a slightly enchanted statuette.

"The hell?! Zatanna, are you okay?"

Helena has retreated to a safe distance, but she yelps when Zatanna gets zapped. "Zee?" she calls out, staying at a distance. "You okay?" she echoes Koa.

Freaking magic. Always does something weird.

Zatanna lands on her butt. Not because the magic bolt hit her with any force. It's the shock of it. The sensation of that energy forcing its way into her, and then a voice in ancient Egyptian telling her exactly what she doesn't want to hear. And worse, she knows exactly why.

Zatanna sits there for a moment, blinking, like she's on another planet. She looks over at Helena, and seems to recognize what Blackbird and Koa are saying to her, but she doesn't respond. She stays sat on her butt, puts her elbows on her knees, and for a moment, puts her face in her hands.

A second later, Zee draw sin a deep breath and sits back up more properly. "Yeah, just… magic indigestion," Zee says, and puts on one of her patented stage-act smirks. If something is bad wrong, she's not going to tell the fine folks here. It's not their problem, after all. "Nothing that won't pass by. Remember how I told you not to be stupid around magic, ki— Blackbird? Well, one way to be stupid around magic is just to be REALLY MAGIC around magic. It seeks out its own."

Keiko jumps as the magic makes that sound. Her tattooes sting painfully. She doesn't wince though - it takes a lot for her to show pain of any kind.

Bella leaps to her feet and puts herself between Blackbird, Koa and Zatanna - a low sounding growl coming from her throat.

"Are you alright, Blackbird?" Koa's already asked about Zee. These artifacts, she has a bad feeling about them.

Koa frowns when Zee says she's okay, mostly because he can't think of anything that might discharge like that which would leave her 'okay.' He doesn't press the matter, though. Not here. He's probably going to come back and take a closer look at these artifacts later.

Sirens start up in the background. Those barriers must have fallen.

"Cops will be here soon." Koa says quietly. "If you don't want to talk to them, might want to make yourself scarce…"

He HAS to talk to them but he's also perfectly safe talking to them. The rest? Well if they didn't want to he wouldn't blame them.

"Yeah, I'm okay," Blackbird nods to Keiko, though she's still watching Zee carefully. She's known the magician long enough to know the difference between the act and reality. Slowly, she moves toward Zatanna, trusting the mage to let her know if she needs to stop. If not, she'll help the other woman up and very gingerly retrieve her cape from around the no longer glowing statue.

Is there such a thing as magic bleach? She may need to douse it in magic bleach. Another topic added to the research pile.

"Thanks," she nods to Koa with a small smile, another nod to Keiko. "You guys know how to reach me." Through Batman. But close enough.

"Gimme," Zatanna says, taking the cape right out of Helena's hands. She looks it over like she's trying to read text printed on it that no one else can see. Then she hands it back to the younger heroine. "You're good." Zatanna is still keeping the act up, even after being helped up, even though she knows that Helena can PROBABLY see through it. "Thanks for keeping this from being a whole thing, everyone. I'll see you around." Zatanna still has that broken wand in her pocket as she starts walking towards a corner — and then when she turns it, she's gone, as if she'd never been there.

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