2019-12-20 - A ... Dragon-Unicorn?


Dylan chases down the Torque and learns some valuable information.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Dec 20 03:39:43 2019
Location: Staten Island

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Theme Song



Dylan had elected to follow the signal for the Torque. He and Batgirl had agreed that the crystals were unlikely to be moved - as long as whoever was behind this didn't realise they had a way of tracking them. The Torque and the Seal though, were much easier to transport.

Batgirl hadn't batted an eyelid and simple got on the back of Dylan's bike, expecting he would convey them through the streets. Judging by the ease with which she does that, she's done this before and possibly has experience of riding a motor bike herself.

Their path has led to them Eltingville, on the east side of island. Through the streets to Hyland Bouvelard … and a house that is set on grounds in the trees. It's dark, and the street lights don't cast much illumination out this way. For Batgirl that's not a problem, her night vision in the hood cuts in.

"Your signal is indicating over there…" There's a small rotunda several yards from the house. Is it in there?

Dylan zooms in on the map and tilts it to get a more 3-D perspective so he can tell if it's at ground level or underground and if there are any magical traces from it. "This does seem to be the right spot. Does Oracle know anything about this location?" Climbing off the bike, he looks over the grounds. "Just the house of a Yakuza crime boss with an eye for ancient jewelry or something more?" That is the question.

It's a good question and Batgirl doesn't answer immediately, waiting for Oracle to trace their location.

One moment, Agent Grey. I have your location and I'm checking the details. Oracle really is very polite.

"It will take them a minute or two, unlike the shows you see on TV, getting the information isn't instant." Batgirl murmurs, peering at the phone over Dylans shoulder.

The torque doesn't seem to have any magical traces. Whatever it's significance it's not because it is magic in and of itself. The 3D perspective puts the torque in the middle of rotunda, if Google Satellite View is to be believed. However, it seems to be *under* the structure.

Probably no surprise there.

The registered owner of the house is Gerard Fabian, Agent Grey. An investment banker who works in New York City. His partner is Harry Justinian who works here on Staten Island as an admin for the Veterinary practice, a few blocks from this location. Initial searches reveal no known connection to Yakuza or other organisations but I'm still looking.

Batgirl hands Dylan an earpiece she's taken from her utility belt "It's a communicator, so we can run more quietly as we do this." she explains, as she gets off the bike.

"There seems to be a path through the shrubs here, that leads to the rotunda. Did you want to look around or do something else?"

Dylan seems patient and waits for the info. Taking the ear piece, he puts it in and slips his phone into his jacket pocket. "No trace of magic, no known Yakuza ties. Could just be a wealthy collector then. In which case, we're likely to find not just the torc but a lot of artifacts in a private gallery. Let's try and see if anyone's home before we steal back the stolen loot."

"How do you want to do that?" Batgirl asks. Oracle, of course, is already on the job.

The Security System was set in away mode several hours ago, Agent Grey. According the smart devices and digital assistants in the house, no one has accessed them in that time. Let me see if I can access their schedules.

Oh, that's downright scary.

Batgirl gestures though. If Dylan wants to knock on the door, he can. She'll lurk in the shadows and remain hidden. The presence of a Bat is a dead giveaway.

"Funny. There's a lot more breaking and entering in America. I almost never needed to in Britain." That was usually MI5's job, not MI13's. "It's kind of fun. But I'm going to need to make more specialized tools if I'm going to make a habit of it." Dylan comments. "Do you have IR in that mask of yours? Can you see if there are any heat sources around? And how are you at disabling security systems?"

"Well. Breaking and Entering when you're a vigilante is kind of … needed. No official jurisdiction, you know what I mean?" Batgirl answers. "As SHIELD you could get a warrant, I suppose. But then you'll need a judge and that all takes time. We can always check out the other locations, if you like…"

She's teasing a little and shakes her head. "No I/R in this mask, just low light conditions. I suppose I should see about upgrade at some point. I'm not disabling the security systems…."

I am Agent Grey. Oracle responds.

"Shall we say that Oracle has methods of access at their disposable that many would envy, Agent Grey?" Clearly neither want to give away their secrets. "They are a hacker of great reknown. What have you got Oracle?"

According to Harry's calendar, Batgirl, they are at a movie tonight. Checking the cinema schedule, you have another hour before the movie lets out and according to Rotten Tomatoes, it's rating well so they're not likely to leave early. I can access their security system and I'm already looping the cameras. I can also disable the doors when you're ready.

"Shall we?" Batgirl answers, leading the way to the Rotunda carefully. Whilst Dylans phone shows there are creatures of magic within streets of here, it's not showing anything here. "How reliable is that device is detecting things?"

As they near the rotunda, the garden is quiet and there's the faint light of solar powered path lights at its entrance. It's open fronted, with a timber deck, a couple of steps allow visitors to get into it. Around the edge are bench seats. It would be nice to sit out here on a warm summers night.

"Generally speaking, very." Dylan answers, following Batgirl. "It's not infallible, of course. A stronger mage could deceive it but I detected no magic on any of the artifacts in the gallery other than the crystal itself. Nothing is showing here either. But, again, a more powerful mage could hide their magic from me if they tried to. Or if the picture wasn't accurate. If the picture was of a counterfeit then the counterfeit is here but the real one could be somewhere else."

"They would need to know they had to, wouldn't they?" Batgirls asks, scanning the area for any signs of life. "I'm not picking up anything either. Come on …" With the camera's looped, she's not worried they'll be caught on footage.

In the Rotunda, apart from the seats, there's two stone dragon statues on either of side of the entrance.. Dylan had said it was under ground though… Batgirl starts to inspect the pillars that hold the roof up and the walls. "Check around and see what you can find - if it's underground, they had to get it there… and being centered here, I doubt it was bought in from elsewhere.

As Dylan searches, he will notice that one of the dragons heads seems to be a little of center. It's a stone statue, that shouldn't be possible. Maybe …. he can twist it.

"I'd think so." Dylan agrees. "I can't think of a reason for them to make thew torc appear to be here when it really wasn't. It would be more likely to just keep it from being scryed in the first place. Unless they wanted to set up these guys for some reason." Looking around, he comments "Ever see Young Frankenstein? 'Put the candle back.' The family's castle has some secret passageways. They're kind of cool. The triggers can be anything. Like a statues head that was able to be turned." Stepping over to the one with the head that's out of alignment, he twists."

"Not Young Frankenstein. Worth my watching?" Batgirl asks as she runs gloved hands over the structure.

The dragons head turns, there's a grinding sound as the center of the floor slides to reveal an opening and staircase. "Do you have a torch, Agent Grey? I have lights on my hood, but it might not be sufficient for you to see clearly by."

The stairs are more like a ladder which the pair make it down easily enough. there's a tunnel a couple of feet long - made of dirt and shored up with timber - at the end is box, just big enough to hold the torque, behind it, an oriental dragon type creature.

Hard to tell if the creature is breathing, it almost looks metallic or stone … Depending on how good Dylan's mythology is, he might recognise this as a Qilin.

"Mel Brooks. Funny movie. It's a classic." Instead of pulling out some magical flame that doesn't burn or summoning a will o' the wisp, Dylan pulls out his phone and turns on the flashlight. How prosaic. "Strange. Not what I'd have expected from artifact collectors. This is more a place to store something temporarily. Is it just me or is that statue of a dragon a little ominous?" Since his phone is out anyway, he looks to see if it's picking up magic now they're inside and underground.

"Oh. Old school. Fancy that." Batgirl murmurs.

Magic is starting to flicker now that Dylan is getting closer. The dragons eyes blink and it starts to move, steam beginning to curl from its nose. Was it masked from Dylan's phone, or is there something else going on?

"More … than ominous." Batgirl agrees, frowning as the dragon creature comes to life.

The dragon moves then, stepping over the box, a gout of flame aiming for the Agent.

Yeah, that was not entirely unexpected. Dylan's torc glows as his armor comes flowing down from it. Not literally but that's the look of it, cascading down his arms into gauntlets as he draws the dagger in his left hand to block the flames. It tends to glow brightly in the presence of magic. It'll take a moment to tuck his phone away before he can draw his sword. That bursts into flame in the presence of supernatural evil so is a nice warning when it's present. "Get behind me."

"Well, that's a bit of fun …" Batgirl answer, moving behind Dylan with alacrity. The heat of the flame fills the tunnels as the gout is dispersed. "I think we've found the right place. Oracle, deep dive on the home owners, please."

They won't have that information tonight, but they will get it eventually.

The Qilin steps forward, its tail moving behind it, taking a menancing step towards Dylan. The sight of the sword - which totally bursts into flame - has it pausing, crouching over the box that it's clearly guarding.

"You are bound to guard what's here." Dylan tells the Qilin. "I can sever the binding and allow you to return to your own plane unharmed. Or I can kill you, knowing there is less evil in my world and celebrate later with drinks. Your choice." Cue Jeopardy theme.

"Bound?" The Qilin chuckles and eyes the Agent. "I am not bound. I am here because I wish to be. And what is evil, human? Is it evil to want a place for ourselves?"

The Qilin, smoke curling from its nose, doesn't move, watching the sword carefully. "It is just like humans to label what is different as evil. I am Qilin, harbinger of the birth of great people and yet, you seek to slay me."

Dylans sword flares more brightly, as the dragon-unicorn speaks. "Do you really think you can kill me, Sorceror?"

"I do not seek to slay you." Dylan points out. "Otherwise I'd not have made the offer to let you leave unharmed. I come to recover a treasure of my people. So you serve the one called Gorgon willingly? Tell me what this is all about so I can understand. You're not likely to find someone more sympathetic if your goal is to create a home for yourselves, free from the contamination of human technology."

"I can not return the relic … it is needed." the Qilin rumbles, clawed foot curling around the box. "I do not serve the Gorgon." It's cryptic but Dylan should be used to that given his experiences. "Look at what your kind has done to this world. Look at what we have left here …"

At least he's not attacking yet, right?

"Do you think you can stop us, Mage?"

"Perhaps I don't want to." Dylan counters. "Since I don't know exactly what your goals are, how can I say for certain? If you do not serve the Gorgon but are an ally, you can make your own decisions. Tell me. What exactly do you do? What will be the result for yourselves and the humans? On what scale? I walk in both worlds. I do not automatically oppose that which is esoteric." The tip of the sword lowers slightly and no longer points directly at the Qilin.

"You don't know what you're dealing with, but know this. Staten Island will be ours… " The Qilin shifts as the sword lowers. "I can not tell you, Mage. But if you oppose us, you will fail…"

Taking up the box in its claw, the scales on its body starting to glow. "We know who you are now and that the Guardians of the City have help. It won't be so easy to find us from now on."

With a shimmer, the Qilin vanishes. The glow to Dylans sword fading slowly as the magic in the air dims. "What the hell…" Batgirl mutters. "… can you trace them, Agent Grey? The dragon or the torque?"

He can't. Wherever the Qilin is, they're well masked on not within 25 miles.

Once the fire surrounding his sword's blade flickers and dies, he sheaths the blades and they and his armor fade away. "Well, that was interesting. And informative." Checking his phone, Dylan shakes his head. "They're outside the 25 mile radius. They might not even be in this plane at the moment." He looks over at Batgirl and grins. "You're one of the Guardians of the City I take it? You better call the others so we can hit the other locations quickly. I'm going to take the dragon at his word and assume they're going to start to move. We might have the advantage in that he might not know I already know the other locations and they might merely ward them heavily."

"I'll do that. Is there anything more you need from here?" Batgirl answers. "I suppose that's how they see us. Oracle, alert all the Bats and the Samurai. We need to get the crystals as quickly as we can."

And find the seal. The Qilin had wanted the Torque for something.

"When you're ready, we'll go … Can your phone alert you if the torque shows up again? They wanted it for something, after all."

She'll help Dylan check this place out but really, it's time to move.

Dylan looks around then shakes his head. "No torc, no dragon. I think that's about it for here. Once we get above ground…" And he starts making his way up the ladder/stairs, "I'll contact SHIELD and have them take these two guys into custody. Wanted for questioning or something. They can also get a warrant to search the place. I can attest they were in possession of an illegal artifact. Though it's possible they didn't know it themselves, depending on if they're part of it all."

"Thank you, Agent Grey." Batgirl follows the Agent up the ladder. Oracle is searching and will information as soon as they can. "Taking them into custody is a good idea. Let's get moving and see what we can find next."

It's going to be long couple of nights.

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