2019-12-19 - Charging Bull


The Staten Island Police benefit is rudely interrupted

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Dec 19 08:18:47 2019
Location: Marriot Hotel Ballroom

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Theme Song



The Marriot Hotel in Staten Island is hosting the Staten Island Police Benefit tonight. Tickets have been sold at a good price per head and there's supposed to be auctions and other such activities to help raise funds for the good boys in blue.

The ballroom is lit up like a beacon. Tables surround a dancefloor and servers circulate with light snacks and drinks. It's nearly time for guests to take their seats and eat and for the speeches to begin.

Barbara Gordon is wearing a rather elegant dress of emerald green, the colour almost matches her eyes. Her long red hair has been styled - nothing overly fancy but more so than she usually wears. The commissioners daughter is leaning heavily on cane as she speaks with a group of police officers - all about her age - and other business people. "Business is booming, yes. Not that I'm all that mobile, but people seem to think I deliver value for money." She smiles at one of the officers who just asked a question.

Walking across the room toward the tables nearest Barbara with her hand in Lieutenant Atherton's arm, Pepper pauses to speak with yet another uniformed individual, carrying a champagne flute in her other hand whose contents are perhaps suspiciously not bubbly. She speaks with the woman for a few moments, and she looks at Ambrose with an apologetic smile.

"Let me know when you're ready to leave, all right? Though the dinner does promise to be excellent." While her hair is pulled up in one of her more typical french twist styles, her black evening gown is a far cry from her usual work attire, the sole long sleeve (concealing a certain spider tattoo) completely coated in elegant beadwork, and a coordinating bracelet on her other wrist occasionally bumping against her companion's arm.

"Of course, Miss Potts." Her escort (not that kind of escort, people, really now) for the evening just happens to be the Jackal. Far more refined than usual, he's in a flawlessly-fitted black tuxedo with silken lapels and pockets linings. Flares of counter-hue are found at his slim silver tie and matching pocketsquare, their fabric gleaming in the right turn of light with ice-blue undertones. He's in black gloves in order to avoid letting the Bane accidentally nip and he too has a champagne flute, though its contents are truly champagne. His richly-brown hair is combed and tamed and for once, he's clean-shaven, leaving the strong line of his jaw on full display. His eyes, bright and intrigued, scan the crowd idly as Pepper does what she does best in hobnobbing.

Is that a another red-head? It is — and that dress. Ambrose's eyes narrow thoughtfully while he sips his champagne. Oooh.

Moving toward the other redhead is someone that Pepper Potts might actually know. A young ish looking Japanese man in a rather nice suit though not overly expensive or exquisitely tailored. It has that understated quality that the Japanese are often known for. His hair is slightly longer than his fashionable and he moves rather quietly through the event. His name is Kenuichio Harada and he oversees a number of medium sized companies all of which operate in Stark Industries general sector but none of whom are large enough to be actual competitors.

"Barbara-san. You look nice." The man says with a bow where Ambrose can hear it. So. Her name is Barbara is it?

"Ah Miss Potts, I'm glad you could make it. Lieutenant Davis, SI PD, your office was coordinating with me." A heavy set man calls Peppers attention. "May I introduce you to Miss Barbara Gordon, the daughter of our commissioner and a talented PI as well."

Barbara blushes at the introduction and holds her hand out. "Miss Potts, I'm pleased to meet you." Just as Kenuichio appears. "Kenuichio-san, I'm glad you could make it." The blush deepens at the compliment, though she puts a hand on his arm as he stops next to her. "As do you, I might say. May I present Miss Potts and her escort … Miss Potts, this is Kenuichio Harada." Pepper has probably heard of him and his company.

If anyone is familiar with Staten Island, they'll be aware that the Commissioners daughter was injured some six years ago in a home invasion. The injury confined to her to a wheel chair until a few months ago when she underwent an operation to walk again. Which explains the reliance on the cane.

Up on the 'stage', people are assembling, it won't be long before the speeches begin.

Pepper can tell the instant Ambrose spots Barbara, and can't help but be amused. She barely manages to get in a sip of her drink when Lt. Davis calls out to get her attention. She leads Ambrose over and handles the introductions gracefully. "Ms. Gordon, a pleasure to meet you." She lets go of Ambrose's arm to shake the younger redhead's hand, a firm but not at all aggressive gesture. When Ken is introduced, Pepper offers the young man the exactly appropriate polite and somewhat formal Japanese greeting, bow and all. "An honor, Mr. Harada. This is my companion Lieutenant Atherton, from Basra, in Kuwait. He was gracious enough to let me drag him along this evening."

Feeling Arananet squirm just a tiny bit under her sleeve, she rests her hand holding the beverage flute on the inside of her other forearm, a hopefully idle looking gesture as if trying to casually cross her arms while holding a glass.

Ah…Barbara it is then — and the gentleman refined is Kenuichio-san. Forming the name silently behind the lift of his champagne flute, Ambrose makes certain he has the pronounciation as correct as he can manage it. He still speaks Shanghainese, but it is becoming less fluent as the decades go by in its relative disuse. Well, except for yelling at his son-in-law Sterling in fits of pique, but generally speaking, the young man has it coming.

Content to act as the gentleman-escort, he keeps even pace with Pepper as she walks them over for proper introductions. "A pleasure to meet you all," he echoes in his crisp if rounded British accent after his name is given; rather than shake Barbara's hand or mimic Pepper's formal Japanese greeting, he places his black-gloved hand against his chest and bows at the waist in a callback to Queen Victoria's courts. "It is no issue to be dragged along as such, especially when one wears a gem upon their arm and is introduced to such others."

Of course Barbara gets a faintly-dimpled smile, slow and thoughtful. Red-heads: such a weakness.

"A military man, then? Hello Lieutenant Aetherton." Kenuichio says. The military bit is a bit of a guess but he's suspecting that Ambrose is not police from Basra. That would be very unusual indeed. "In any case it is a pleasure to meet you both."

The Japanese man bows in a very, well, oriental fashion. Much different from Ambrose's courtly bow. Stiffer, for one thing. "I did not realize that Stark Industries had such far flung contacts. Or that it was quite such a supporter of police."

People are gathering and that does get attention out of the corner of his eye, but Barbara, Pepper and their two plus ones are still at present in more or less the center of the room. Well. Slightly off center.

Arriving perhaps fashionably late to the Police Benefit tonight is a member of the Wayne household proper: Damian al Ghul Wayne! Dressed in a three-piece black suit with a dark green tie, Damian is briefly adjusting the cuffs on his suit jacket before he steps out into the crowd.

Naturally, his eyes are already searching the area. What for? Just for any suspicious activity. Call it a force of habit, its just the first thing he does in any situation.

He shakes a few officer's hands, tells them thank you for their service to the city, then moves on through the crowd. He notices Barbara Gordon and Kenuichio and approaches them. "Enjoying the party so far?" He turns his immediate attention then to Pepper Potts and Lieutenant Aetherton, giving them respectful nods.

"A pleasure Lieutenant Atherton." Barbara smiles "And Babs, please. It's a pleasure to meet you as well." Ken can feel Babs use him a little to keep her balance, she's very good at this - the impression that she's not so stable on her feet.

What will he do when he find out the truth?

"Ah. Mister Wayne, may I present Miss Potts of Stark Industries, Leuitenant Atherton and Kenuichio Harada-san of Yashida. This is Mister Wayne." Wayne, yes. As in Bruce Wayne. It might not be clear as to how Babs knows him perhaps it just that Wayne is a police supporter.

On the stage a tall dark haired man taps the microphone. "Uh. Attentiong. Everybody. If I can have your attention … we'll … get started. I'll Captain Harris of Staten Island Police Department and I'm pleased to see such a turn out. Our first responders certainly appreciate it."

It's then that the lights flicker and dim, they don't go dark but judging by Harris' face, this isn't expected. Something flickers on the floor to ceiling windows of the ballroom and an image of a bull statue - the one out the front of the New York Stock Exchange.

"Hello Staten Island …" comes a heavily accented voice. European perhaps? "… you're first responders and vigilantes have interfered with our business once too many times and now, we must demonstrate the price of such interference."

The Bull starts to move, charging and snorting steam from its nose. It charges down Wall Street, creating havoc and mayhem. Those in the ballroom watching see the few people who are there get hurt, thrown left and right. Not to mention the wanton property damange.

"Oh, and don't try and leave. We've locked the doors." There are gasps of horror from people all around and Babs grips Kens arm tighter.

"Oh my god …." is all she can say. Just as a shimmering dark field washes over the ballroom, changing everyone to a fantasy DandD character.

With no memory.

Pepper smiles at Kenuichio, perhaps a refreshingly sincere smile compared to most people in most parties of this sort. "SI is an international corporation, but even so, we will not forget the importance of keeping our home communities safe. And, since I have a fairly large amount of say in which causes we support…" She shrugs one shoulder lightly.

Then Damian joins them and she returns his nod hello with a polite nod of her own. "A pleasure, Mr. Wayne." Yes, she very much catches the significance of the young man's name, but she's also good enough to not make any sort of deal out of it. She knows from personal experience how trying it can be to have people recnognizing her and presuming all sorts of things.

When the police captain at the microphone calls for attention, Pepper turns her attention toward the stage. The flickering lights immediately have her looking around in mild concern, and promptly leaning to set her glass on the nearest table to free her hands.

The booming accented voice is distressing, to put it VERY mildly, and she can already feel Arananet very much taking note and wanting to crawl out of her sleeve.

A shimmering dark field washes over the ballroom, and Pepper blinks in surprise, looking around to try and figure out what just happened. Her outfit of earth toned linens and wools set off her unruly red hair as well as the positively ENORMOUS reddish-brown tarantula that's now perched half on her arm and half holding on to the front of her jerkin while waving its pedipalps. It's almost reflexive when she gently pats the gigantic spider's thorax with her free hand.

Kenuichio draws the Jackal's attention briefly. He smiles politely as he demures to the man, "Yes, military, though my period of active duty is completed. I am content to be retired at this time." Over a century ago, at least. "And it must be Babs to you then, of course, milady." Barbara again gets a glimmering little smile full of intrigue.

Damian's arrival has the master-thief glancing over towards him with milder interest. He awaits a name and gets it; interesting, a member of the Wayne family. He nods shallowly towards Damian, the motion archaic in how he lets it linger before he lifts his face up once more.

The introduction of the speaker has Ambrose holding his commentary. He glances over, expression now urbane. Flickering lights, however, have him looking towards the ceiling and ensuring a better hook about Pepper's arm — it would not do to have Iron Man's right-hand woman injured in his presence. A shattered champagne flute isn't a bother to him, apparently, for how he tosses it aside and pulls a modernized Webley & Scott revolver from somewhere on his person. This is aimed dead at the charging bull, but there's no time to pull the trigger. Darkness washes over him…

…and when he blinks back to the present, experiencing a moment of vertigo, he's…very confused. His gun still looks correct, but he's now in what appears to be charcoal-black light-leather armor from head to toe, the torso crisscrossed with buckled straps as well as the belting at his waist. A cowl shadows his face, but it doesn't hide the two gently-arcing and curled kudu-like horns that rise from each side of his temple or how his pupils now continuously glow a sullen, velvety red. He yelps as he steps to one side, seeing something in his peripheral, but it's attached to him — and it's a forked tail.


Granted, part of the yelping is at Arananet too, because that's a DAMN big spider.

Kenuichio blinks as rather suddenly where he once was there is a Samurai in traditional armor with a pair of swords at his side. The armor is silver and mirror-bright, making it cast dancing lights around him wherever he is struck by it. He looks annoyed. Well, okay. He has that sort of resting bitch face that's common among Japanese film stars. The sort that makes him look like someone just broke wind near him and he's not impressed but he's also not going to say anything.

"Nandayo?!" This, if Babs might remember, is what he ALWAYS says when this kind of thing happens. Of course she probably doesn't. He doesn't either.

"What is going on here?" His English is even more thickly accented than it normally is and he looks like he's a heartbeat away from pulling a blade.

Damian gives a soft nod of greeting to Pepper when Barbara introduces them to each other. "Please, the pleasure is all mine miss Potts." He looks to the Lt. "Thank you for coming tonight sir. New York would be much worse off if we didn't have our boys in blue watching over us." Then finally over to Ken Harada, Damian nods and before he can greet him…

There's that European voice.

Before Damian can truly react, that field goes out and starts turning people into fantastical creatures and unfortunately, Damian is no exception.

His skin turns a bright red and four horns protrude from his head. His suit has been replaced with the ragged attire of a shinobi. "What the hell?" He says to himself, having a seemingly infernal accent to his speech.

The bull is just a projection of what's happening on Wall Street, it's not there in the room, though Ambrose might be forgiven for thinking so.

When the field washes over Barbara, her elegant green dress is exchanged for dirty leathers and a mask that covers her face and leaves her brilliant green eyes showing. She draws a dagger, holding it before her, forgetting that she shouldn't be able to stand so easily.

Later, she might regret this.

"Who are you? I … You won't get this haul without hurting me…" As the Tarantula appears and Ambrose manifest those horns, the redheaded rogue scowls and starts chanting. Yes, she's trying to cast something against the two - that has no effect.

Behind Ken, swords clash loudly as a fight breaks out. "You blaggard. That's my wife you're oogling!" It really isn't the gentlemens wife, he just thinks it is. They're about to run into Pepper, as they turn they see … Ambrose and Damian. They lunge at them with their drawn swords.

Ambrose now wishes he'd checked the champagne for hallucinogenic drugs before he'd sipped at it. Regardless, he's not pleased, not when he bares his teeth in a fanged grimace. Then there are swords. There haven't been swords since the Second World War, what is this madness?!


Ambrose hollers this at the top of his lungs as he dances away, lithe in his boots and reaction time; his other revolver comes out of, again, seemingly nowhere on his person and while in mid-air, he aims both guns dead at one of the men threatening him with a sword. CRACKCRACK: both go off with sharp retorts of sound before he lands, tail whipping back and forth with lashing irritation on full display.

"What is this pl—" Pepper yelps as the swordsmen and their clashing metal noises charge at her, and she flees from the ensuing combat, ducking to clamber under the nearest table to hide.

After a moment, her hand appears again out from under the table, patting as if blindly seeking something, then upon feeling a bit of the cut flowers from the table's centerpiece, she snags a handful of whatever she can reach and drags it under the table as well.

Before Damian could even figure out what was happening, all he hears is a fight breaking out with swords clashing and other more ancient weapons being used against each other…until part of the mob turns against him. Damian enters into a fighting position and charges back at the large group of people, leaping in with a feral yell.

Arn't shinobi supposed to be sneaky?

Yes, but well…devil Damian has a bit of a more proud warrior streak. People are already getting launched out of the crowd from Devil Damian's strikes. Well, everything went to shit in almost record time.

Pepper crawling under the table draws the attention of a dark elf who was skulking along the outskirts of the gathering, trying to avoid all the people as she could. The dark elf, with blood red eyes, crouches down and closes strong fingers over Peppers ankle. "You. With the spider. What have you done? Why is Lloth so angered?"

Lloth, the spider queen. She must have seen the gigantic tarantula. Arananet however, does not like this much. Can Pepper-druid, keep control of her?

Ambrose's shots hit the man. In the shoulder and the chest. He drops to the ground, bleeding profusely. Just as Babs dagger hums through the air to pin his hand. "There will be no killing here." She says firmly. "Control thyself. I do not remember who we are or why we are here …" Though something is nagging at her, something … seems familiar.

"Get thee the demon, sir…" Rogue Babs flicks a hand at Ken. Hopefully he can collar the Shinobi before anyone is hurt. And without doing too much harm to the youth. "I believe he might be one our party …"

The other sword wielder, counters Devil Damians strikes clumsily. Clearly not used to using a sword - so why would he have one?

As for Ken, he finds himself engaged by another Samurai. Which might make it a little difficult to get to Damian. A blade comes flashing out almost nowhere, right at the Silver Samurai's face.

On the windows the bull still rampages, Wall Street is being torn up by this.

With hell's glow in his eyes, Ambrose raises the two revolvers to aim at the collapsing swordsman. Glittering, Barbara's thrown dagger skips across both of his hands and it's only due to the cling of fingers within the trigger guards that he doesn't drop the weaponry entirely. Another gutteral yelp and he does briefly flick one gun very close towards Barbara's face in reaction unchanged since Shanghai. No trigger is pulled given he too fights with something digging at the back of memory like a rat in a wall — something checks him further.

Wincing, he hisses something unkind to himself in a foreign language under his breath as he puts the guns away. A shivering pause of a moment and then there's simply blood, wet and streaked along the back of his hands. The Bane has reversed the dagger's damage in the blink of an eye.

"Well, do try and remember it quickly, ere someone else attemps my life. I play for keeps when threatened," he replies to Barbara, voice cool and dusty beneath with the curse's influence lingering beneath his skin. Now standing off to one side, composed and slit-eyed, he watches the sword-fighters at their clashing.

Feeling someone grasp at her ankle, Pepper kicks at the woman questioning her. "I don't know anyone named Lloth! Leave me be!" Ambrose's yelp catches her attention, but it's the thrown dagger that keeps it for more than a split second. She needs something to defend herself, like that blade, and she tries to silently convey to Aarananet to run and bring her back that dagger. Fast, before someone can see or hurt her.

Regardless of whether or not the giant spider heeds her request, she kicks at the red-eyed woman again rather worthlessly as her soft-soled leather shoes couldn't harm a seedling if she tried. She need defenses… she looks at the flowers clutched in her hand as a tiny thorn pricks her palm. She makes a sound of dismay more at the fact that the rose has been CUT than because it drew blood, and then she tries invoking the rose to create a thorned wall to protect her from the dark elf.

The rose is looking a bit worse for wear.

The Silver Samurai turns and bats the blade out of the air with a fluid motion that draws his blade and brings it across his body in one go. Then he turns to face the demon-horned, ninja-like man and cants his head. "Kore wa nan da ska?" 'What (the hell) is this?'

At least he didn't go for attacking first. Given the way the blade he's holding seems to have some kind of an aura around it that is possibly a very good thing indeed.

"Stop playing with the swords before you embarrass yourselves." That's to the 'gentlemen' fighting, not to Damian. Damian CLEARLY knows how to handle one.

Ambrose gets a look and a muttered 'yokai…'.

Damian was fighting almost entirely in hand-to-hand combat, even though for reasons unknown to him he absolutely had a sword. He has no idea that Lady Barbara has sicked one of the group on him, but he does draw his sword when he's facing down a sword wielder. He knows how to use a sword -somewhat-, but he is outclassed by Damian's own skill. Devil Damian attempts to disarm the fellow and kick him squarely in the head.

Now holding his sword in reverse-hand, it should be stated that while Devil Damian fights with emotion in mind…he hasn't killed anyone. A Damian with no memory still remembers the defining rule of the Bat Clan.

Aranent scuttles away from Pepper, out from under the table to retrieve the dagger that drops to the ground not far from her. There's screams of course as the giant arachnid appears and more than one booted foot comes down trying to squash her.

With the dagger held awkwardly, Arananet drags it back under the table somehow managing to avoid the dangers. Back towards Pepper.

Peppers attempts to create a thorn wall … fails. Blood just drips from her hand as her foot connects with the dark elf and the woman goes sprawling. She's not a combatant, but then, neither is Pepper. It's a bit … messy.

"Shirimasen" Babs replies to Ken, blinking. She … speaks Japanese?

The blade of Kens attacker drops to the ground as Ken parries it. No wonder, these men and women have no idea what they're doing. Some battling with Damian turn to look at Ken, stunned. They are just as confused as this little group.

Damian is still beset as he knocks each comer to the ground without killing them.

Then the field ripples and recedes.

People revert back to exactly how they were. Well almost exactly, some may be a little a more dishevelled than they were. They *also* remember the last few moments, though. Being transformed and all that went with.

The bull stops it rampaging on the windows of the ballroom - Wall Street is a mess, as the scene recedes to reveal a woman with snakes for hair and serpentine body. "Stop interferring with our plans and we will let you live. Interfere and you will die … "

The image fades, leaving the sight of Staten Island out the windows. Babs leans on Kens arm, breathing slightly heavily. "Is is that Eurayle our friend spoke of?" How much does Ken remember of Babs performance just then? "Leuitenant Atherton, I I am sorry. Mister Wayne, Miss Potts, are you alright?"

Around them people are stunned but moving, righting chairs and tables and looking … sheepish. Mostly. A few are leaving.

The Silver Samurai with his keen blade gets a thin, slow smile from Ambrose with his kudu-curled horns and slowly undulating tail. "Yaogui or yaojing, please." He slips into Shanghainese on the next breath, his expression pleased as a cat in the cream. "«I prefer the latter if I must choose.»" Lifting his hands, still runneled with drying blood, he then golfclaps for the sword-play on display. It is impressive; his reaction is only partial-tease.

As the shift in air before a storm, it all rolls and receeds. Again, shaking vertigo and the buzz of discomfort from himself, Ambrose blinks at the normalized room. He looks down at his hands and at the drying runnels of blood soaked into sliced black gloves — a quick swipe of palm along the rent fabric shows no wound or scars, but his heart still jitters to see the evidence of some unknown cut.

"…what the ruddy hell…?!" he breathes, looking around. "Miss Potts? Miss Potts?!" Immediately, the Jackal moves to locate the errant red-head and offers her a hand to her feet.

Miss Potts is … sitting on the floor under a table clutching a handful of the flowers from her hiding place's centerpiece, a tiny bit of blood dripping from her palm where a rose took offense at the rough treatment. One of her black heels is gone (further under the table), her dress's skirt is bunched up around her knees revealing extremely pale and freckles shins, and her hair is half falling out of its french twist.

"What in the world just happened?" She accepts Ambrose's help back to her feet, and then she's looking around and back under the table. "Arananet? It's safe now, come on." She reaches her sleeved arm down and lets the still very present and still very gigantic (and oddly scaly) tarantula drag both throwing knife and shoe out from under the table then climb her arm to again cling to the front of her outfit. "Oh… whose knife is this?"

Kenuichio is there once again, sans armor and sword and looking slightly ridiculous in the pose he's in. He blinks and looks about. Just about everyone is equally confused. Ken, however, is not. Or at least… slightly less confused.

"That might be yes. But we have more pressing matters. There's a crystal somewhere in this room."

This may be slightly confusing to Ambrose and Damian so perhaps Babs will explain. She's been exposed to them as Babs at least once. "That Bull… that was a message. They're coming after everything about this world." He takes a breath. "Is everyone alright?"

With his 'enemies' seemingly defeated, Damian seems to stand up straight and tall now that everyone seems to be back to normal. He shakes his head for a moment before dropping the weapon and straightening out his suit jacket with his hands. "Well then, that was dramatic." He looks at Kenuichio. "Perfectly fine. You?" He does look at Pepper and her…rather large-looking spider.

"I…see you have a friend. Does everyone have something strange about them going on these days?" He shakes his head a little, but otherwise doesn't seem shocked at the bug's existence.

"I'm more concerned about what just happened." But instead of investigating, he goes to try and reassure guests that everything is fine and they are safe.

"Kenuichio-san… this this is what happened at the fair, isn't it?" Babs asks, still leaning heavily on her cane, completely back in character. Peppers question about a knife has her frowning as that too starts to fade. "I believe, Miss Potts, that was mine. How I came by it, I've no idea."

Indeed all the swords and other accoutrements that appeared when the field went up have gone. Constructed it seems to make the need of the person and what they became. Unfortunately, those injured during the fight, remain so. Like the one that Ambrose shot - people are seeing to him now.

With Damian going to see to the other guests, Babs lets out a sigh. "Coming for everything in this world? Who are they, Kenuichio-san?" Peppers 'guest' gets eyed. "The spider was not part of the … illusion, Miss Potts?"

There's a table right near them, they can sit. Up on the stage, they're slowly getting organised.

At the sight of Arananet, the Jackal still swallows carefully. He's grateful the spider's home seems to be Pepper's opposite arm — there's a dark little memory about a far larger and more demonic spider carefully filed in the Box in the Corner, never to be touched unless absolutely necessary.

"I am fine, yes," he finally replies to Kenuichio, even if his set of jaw speaks to lingering discomfort at unknowns. "I do wish to know what occurred. I owe whomever wrought it a swift response." With his gloved hand at Pepper's elbow, he attempts to steer her over to the nearest table, all the while keeping half an eye on the spider comfortably settled on her person.

When within reach of the table, it doesn't matter who owned the champagne flute left mostly full. It's his now. Down the champagne goes, bubbles be damned, and he coughs once before setting the empty flute aside. "Better," he rasps.

Pepper pats the gigantic spider reassuringly, mentally urging her to go back to the tattoo. She won't blame the spider for being even more resistant than usual, though, and won't force her to go. Everyone else can just deal for a few more minutes.

Taking a moment to step back into her shoe, she offers Barbara an apologetic smile and a small headshake. "No, she isn't. She's … difficult to explain. Let's just say I'm fostering her temporarily." She lets Ambrose steer her to a chair and settles into it, letting the spider settle on her lap and offering a hand for… oh.

Her hand is bloody. That could be why it stings. Aren't florists supposed to remove all the thorns from roses before they use them in arrangements? She strokes a finger lightly down Arananet's thorax. "It's not as bad as it looks," she tells the arachnid when one LOOONG scaly leg and the pedipalps reach to investigate her hand.

"It's gigantic, Miss Potts. I'd say it is every bit as bad as it looks." Clearly she and Ken are not talking about the same thing. Ugh. Uricating hairs. No thank you. He'll just stay over here.

"That is, I think, a long tale. But we can discuss it if you like, Lieutenant. Somewhere else." As he's speaking to Ambrose, Ken nods to Babs. Yes. That is what happened at the fair. Only much bigger in scale.

"They are a crime organization with some highly unusual members and abilities. I do not think we should say more here. Too many ears. But they clearly wanted to make a statement." What kind of 'unusual members' could turn a room like this into a fantasy land and animate the bull outside the NYSE? Good question. Probably not good ones, though.

"As to your question, Lieutenant, I suspect that if we did a sufficiently thorough search we should find a large crystal hidden somewhere that projected some kind of field that transforms everything caught inside it. This was a… demonstration, clearly. It means that the location, or the location's staff, or both are compromised."

What roses in the arrangements? Pepper can see, now that she's seated, there are absolutely no roses in the arrangements on the table.

Babs gestures to a server who is starting to circulate. Drinks all around are delivered. On the stage, Captain Harris is straightening his uniform and tapping on the microphone. "I know some think we should cancel this event however, once our injured are seen to, the general consensus of the Department and the Mayor is that we continue. We won't be cowed by terrorists."

Seems the evening is going to progress.

"Let me see your hand, Miss Potts." Babs waits for it to be given over before taking up a napkin and dipping it a glass of water. Carefully she cleans the wound and then rummages in her bag, pulling out antiseptic cream to slather on it. "You might want to see a Doctor though." It doesn't seem to need any dressing.

"She is a large spider … " seems that's not something Babs is worried about. "Perhaps, Leuitenant, we could invite you to lunch tomorrow and discuss the issue then? You too Miss Potts." beat "I would really like to enjoy what's left of the evening. Staten Island … can be a difficult place to live sometimes."

Besides, Ken promised to dance with her. Even if it's just once. Because once is all Barbara Gordon is likely to be able to do.

Ambrose's nose twitches against a sneeze in the back of his throat from the champagne's bubbles. He sniffs hard once and then runs his palm down his mouth, already looking around the hotel's ballroom as Kenuichio better defines what caused their temporary shift in state. It still bothers the master-thief immensely that he might not remember what transpired in this other-realm, but perhaps his mate can pluck it from deep within his mind, master-mentalist that Kent is. He makes a note to allow the Hound to rifle about once he's home again.

"Of course, Milady Barbara," the Jackal replies, slipping easily into his gentlemanly habits. "Do name the time and location and I shall be present. I profess myself intrigued. Wild magic as such should be contained." His words go briefly steely. He seats himself at the table next to Pepper, still far enough away that he might not disturb the large spider, and sips deeply from his gin on the rocks.

There is not enough gin in the world for incidents like this!

Pepper accepts a tumbler of whiskey from the server, and as she offers her hand to Babs to clean, Arananet finally turns into a puff of smoke that sinks into the sleeve of her dress. That… might explain why she chose this particular design. If one looks carefully, peeking through the mesh between the copious beadwork is what looks like a photorealistic tattoo of the spider that was just sitting her lap like a huge eight-legged cat.

Taking a generous sip of the whiskey — hm, Tony has better — she nods to the younger redhead. "I will most definitely be meeting you for lunch, then." She produces her phone as if by magic and taps lightly at the screen to wake it. "JARVIS, please book hotel rooms for myself and Lieutenant Atherton. We're staying in Staten Island tonight."

"At once, Miss Potts," a prim British voice comes from the phone, though it's surprisingly nuanced for one of those Siri-like AIs over a phone speaker.

"And I can offer some explanations of my own at that time as well."

"Lunch it is then. I know a place that's quiet, discreet and has good sukiyaki, if it helps." Hey! Ken likes his Japanese food, okay? "I will meet you there, if it is agreeable. And yes. I am all for continuing to enjoy the night. It is either that or go to a bar and drink irresponsibly and I am not sufficiently like my father yet for that to sound like the better option."

It's… a thing in Japan, for sure.

Unsurprisingly, the Marriot has rooms available for Pepper, which Jarvis confirms presently. Babs cants her head at the phone, in polite enquiry but doesn't ask.

"Very good then. If you would give us the location, Kenuichio-san, we can discuss this further tomorrow. Until then, I believe the good Captain will be starting proceedings and I do believe that you promised me a dance."

He really didn't - he said that he wouldn't have to dance as much if he escorted Babs to the event.

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