2020-01-18 - Sprat To Catch A Mackeral


Centaurs and a Hydra affect the Bayonne Bridge. The Bats and their allies respond to protect the innocent. It's all ruse.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Jan 18 06:03:02 2020
Location: Staten Island

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Theme Song



The call went out about a half hour ago. There's 'something' rampaging along and under Bayonne Bridge. This is the bridge that connects New Jersey to Staten Island - it's sort of important. And busy.

The Bats, those who have allied with them and SHIELD have got the call. SHIELD because the bridge is at risk, the Bats - because that's what they do.

"Oracle, where are the others?" Batgirl asks as her motor cycle roars to a stop near the bridge. "Zeal. We need to make sure that people are safe and try to minimise the damage. The bridge can't be destroyed, it will be disaster."

The footage from the traffic cams is coming through now. That's a herd of Centaurs rampaging down the lanes, grapping cars and flipping them. What's beneath the bridge is a little more difficult to determine, but everyone on the bridge can feel it shudder.

Red Robin's bike roars as it runs alongside Batgirl's, the two bats arriving together. "Damn single-point-of-failure piece of—" That, apparently, is his opinion of Bayonne Bridge, as a general rule. Much of that coming out just from anxiety. One hand taps his cowl as he looks over the traffic cam footage, just with part of one eye.

Centaurs. Great. "Plan 1 for this situation is herding. Anyone here a cowboy? Plan 2 is to exploit their mythological weak points. Can any Lapiths hear me?" Because of course he's studied ancient myth recently.

"I shall evacuate those on the bridge then, save as many as I can, m'lady." Zeal is dressed in her signature domino mask and hoodie garb, though she's also has a grappling gun, and a Batcomm, the latter worn under the hoodie. The rest is just sturdy denim, military surplus boots, and thick gloves. Looking to Red Robin, and nods. "I have some small experience with herding, but methinks my first and best use would be to evacuate the innocents on the bridge, I can move them in lots of seven to eight." She dismounts from the bike behind Babs, and then concentrates, setting a 'waypoint' here on the shore where it is safer.

If she's not stopped, that's exactly what Avery is going to do, mind, she's not asking permission, she'll be pulling people out as swiftly as she can, hopefully there's enough mayhem that the cars are backed up and not moving, or it might be a little trickier than anticipated.

There was no time to requisition and prep a quinjet, and really, no reason either. The bridge isn't THAT far away. Having arrived in a veritable small fleet of plain black SUVs and similar cars, most SHIELD agents are working alongside the local police on the New Jersey side to get people off of the bridge as quickly as safely as possible. For her part, May is striding out onto the now shuddering bridge with (gasp!) what is visibly an odd, futuristic rifle of some sort in her hands. The rounds very faintly visible through the openings in the side of the magazine have the faintest blue glow to them instead of the metallic sheen of brass jacketing.

Without even trying to be stealthy or subtle, May walks right up to where she's within firing range and aims the rifle at the nearest centaur. Luckily, 'center mass' means two easy targets on each of these guys.

"…though I'd seen it all, but no. This may be the point," murmurs the Captain to himself. He's flipped up the visor on his motorcycle helmet and still remains astride his Harley. Its deeply-throbbing engine runs on. He can see the Bats up ahead as she emerges from the side-street and guns up his bike to join them. He's in his stealth-suit of navy-blue, with silver star and stripes extending out across his chest like wings. His shield is, of course, on his back.

"Bridge's rocking," he notes drily. "Don't think it's supposed to do that. Figure we can herd 'em? Never had to deal with…centaurs before." Steve looks back down the length of the bridge and sighs…long-suffering. He glances over his shoulder to see May.

"Cavalry's here," he murmurs under his breath, then squinting back at the thundering herd.

"I heard that," May says over her commlink to Rogers.

"Course you did," replies Steve, shifting on his bike.

"I will take care of the bottom." The Samurai arrives, twin swords and motorcycle along the shore and makes for the nearest of the supports. You know. The one that abuts the shore. He can see something dark moving in the water and when a large, triangular and vaguely draconic head pops out and lunges at the piling the Silver Samurai (not at the moment very silvery) lops it's head right off with one stroke of his blade.

"Hah." He says in a self satisfied way as he watches the neck stump collapse back in the water. His satisfaction is dashed a moment later though when four more heads burst out of the water, along with the neck stump he had recently created from which is at this very moment growing TWO more heads.

"Oh." The Samurai sounds both crestfallen and annoyed at the same time. "That's inconvenient."

So many puns for the redheaded Batgirl to pick up on. She bites her tongue behind her mask as Oracle warns "Don't do it, Batgirl."

"Agreed then. Zeal will focus on evacuation. You and Cap should try to herd these back, reduce the risk to the civilians." She says to Robin. "Just don't get in the way of Agent May."

Which is evident by the way one of those centaurs starts to stagger drukenly, careening into the barrier and putting a dent in it - well, more than a dent, the metal cracks. The second centaur looks down at the dart that's embedded in the leather armour it wears, plucks it out and sends it flying back at the agent.

Near Robin and Cap, three centaurs are frolicking. One has a car by the bumper and is lifting it. The others are playing skittles with several others.

"I'll help the Samurai." Her grappling hook fires, wrapping around the edge so she can sail down. Two batarangs leave her hands, embedding on a head that appears - and detonating. She might have made a little … improvement … to some of her kit. "These are cold iron. I don't know if they'll help."

Ken finds himself, face to face with one of those heads. My what big teeth it has - he can count them, if he wants.

Red Robin nods to Zeal. "Perfect. People's safety is first priority. The bridge can't fall, but more than that, the people can't." His mouth opens in shock when he sees the gun May raises, about to speak against the apparently lethal force… but Batgirl knows this group better and says nothing. Her perspective is proven right, when the centaur gets toxxed instead of killed. He nods to himself. That, he can get behind.

"It's been a while since my cowboy phase." He fiddles with his grapnel gun, unspooling just a little bit and fiddling with the line. When he comes up, he's tied a lasso into it. "I think the right phrase is, 'giddy up'?" He drives up onto the bridge, and swings his wrist to get the lasso around one of the lead centaurs. With dumber animals, dealing with the leaders will bring the rest in line. It's at least worth a shot here.

Avery is visibly torn between combat with the centaurs, combat with the giant swimming serpent, and her duty. She really does have that strong a heroic streak, like a D&D paladin — but — lives are at stake. REAL lives. Real people, not like the ones she's seen lost, or taken in the VR world she was raised in. Avery is really finally starting to understand, like Babs does, that killing is a bad thing.

Believe it, or not.

MONSTER SLAYING, however, that's still okay in her book.

Zeal is however very dutiful, and bearing the value of life and her loyalty and duty to her liege lady in mind, she nods crisply. "I shall rescue as many as I can." She promises over comms and aloud, and then with an indrawn breath she vanishes, reappearing on exhale just in time to snatch mother and child from the path of a charging Centaur, their car having already been crushed by the brute. They reappear at the waypoint, and then Avery turns back to her duty - she will literally burn her reserves to shreds porting as many as she can, as swiftly as she can to safety like a hoodie wearing angel of mercy. Or something.

"Don't call me that." May says flatly to Steve as she's lining up a second shot, car-flinging along with the bridge's shuddering means it's not as easy as it looks. And having another centaur trying to throw the remains of the ICER round back at her means having to duck for cover and avoid getting hit. Annoying.

But, she does snap off a second round that hits the horse body of poop-flinging centaur. Yes, from across the bridge, it might have initially looked like she's shooting lethal weaponry at the creatures. She spotted the masked types (and that distinctive, almost Romanova-red hair), and while behind cover takes a moment to get out that other commlink.

"Bats. This is May. SHIELD is clearing the bridge from the Jersey side, Rogers and I will do what we can from this end." She then shares a SHIELD frequency for them to tie into so that she doesn't have to wear a comm in each ear and Rogers will hear them as well, in case Oracle hadn't already hacked their comms.

Quietly astride his bike, the Captain watches the red-headed Bat disappear over the edge of the bridge. It sounds like…enough is going on down there; he acknowledges that if they need assistance, he'll peer over and see what's currently sounding annoyed in a very saurian manner.

For now, however, he simply guns the Harley up good and loud and races the bike parallel to Robin on the opposite side of the bridge jam-packed with cars. If the same premise holds as he learned long ago in the early Twenties about not spooking the draft-horses on the streets…

A gloved hand swats two of the car-flinging Centurs right on the hindquarters as he swings past behind them, trying to set the creature to flight on premise of equine sensibility. "HYAH!"

The creature does not appear to be supernaturally tough however it does appear to have some kind of regeneration and if you cut a head off well…

Steve knows how it goes. Though never quite like this.

Now there are twelve heads out of the water. Samurai is dealing with three of them, one of them is trying to ram the support near him and the others arc up to attack a support further out and look for snacks. Like, say, the people that Avery is trying to rescue.

Or a certain brightly colored bird.

Or Batgirl. Which has attracted possibly more attention than she wants. And no. Cold Iron doesn't seem to bother it at all.

"Got any other tricks, Batgirl?" Ken is trying to deal with them without beheading anything but his power is CUTTING THINGS. It's not an easy one to apply to this situation.

"Please tell me things are going better up top." He asks the rest of the group that he can't presently see.

Hersvery doesn't have to fret too long. As she 'pops' to her a vehicle to save the next family, a centaur comes cantering up to grab the car and roll it. Zeal finds herself with an armful of eight year old, a scared mother and a centaur trying to squash them all with the vehicle.

"Acknowledged, Agent May. Your arrival was noted. Greetings, Captain Roger. I am Oracle. Batgirl sends her regrets she can't greet you personally but she's detained at the moment." The androgynous VI voice sounds in the comms. "SIPD have shut down traffic on the Island side of the bridge. NYPD have stopped it at your end."

May finds herself face to face with the leather armoured beast. It smiles viciously in her face and starts to charge her. She's going to have to go hand to hand, perhaps.

That leaves, just the Bats and SHIELD, the cars and people already on the bridge, the centaurs and the hydra on the bridge. Easy pickings, right?

Steves attempt to spook the Centaurs turns their attention from the vehicles. Now they're going to try and play catch with Cap. They're fast too as they charge. All three of them, closing in on him. If they get him, he's going to get crunched.

Robin manages to lassoo his beast. It just takes off at a canter and pulls him along. He needs to watch out for the one that's coming in from the side. There's a pillar right there - and it will be Robin sandwich.

"Salt or fire?" Batgirl answers Samurai, tumbling a loop as two heads come at her. "I've got salt. Maybe it's like a slug - I just don't think I have that much. Robin, Zeal, May, Cap? Any of the vehicles up there look like it's got pool or gardening supplies?" There's one vehicle that does.

The heads follow Batgirl and twine around each other, as Ken faces his three. He might see the knots that the heads make when she does.

Red Robin grits his teeth, taking a tighter hold of his grapnel gun. But the whole point of technology is that he doesn't have to rely on his own strength. He thumbs a button; the very retraction that usually pulls him between rooftops now tugs on the centaur, slowing it up. From there, he wheels around, gunning his bike's engine to lend his movements more force, and the centaur ends up crashing into the pillar instead. Yet, he doesn't come out of it unscathed; the second centaur gets a better angle on him, and he has to leap from the bike to avoid being part of the collision, instead grappling himself over to the one he'd just downed.

And there's another question, as he disengages the grappling hook. Gardening supplies, pool supplies… "I've got eyes on it." He uses the grapnel to swing from a pillar, bringing himself over to the truck in question and grabs an armload. "Sounds like you need the acid, right? I'm on my way."

One thing about equines, they are very powerful creatures, very strong, but also very fragile in one respect - their legs. Zeal doesn't even hesitate, she puts the child in her mother's arms, turning them and giving a good solid push. "RUN." And the she pulls a pair of batons, apparently from thin air, and charges the centaur right back! Which fact might surprise him, after all, Zeal is TINY compared to the brute — of course just before the two collide she'll blink out between breaths and do her level best to shatter one of his rear knees with rapid baton strikes.

Over the comms she replies. "There is, Batgirl. Villalobos Brothers Landscaping…this is what you require, yes?"

She doesn't stay still a moment, however, in truth if the first attempt at knee shattering fails, she'll prepare to try again.

May looks up at the leering centaur and hisses like a cat at him, shouldering the ICER rifle and pulling her butterfly swords while waiting until the last possible moment to dodge away from his charging attack and swipe at his legs as he passes. The swords mean she has to get well within kick and trample range — and the Bat types aren't going to be happy about the blood she's going to spill — but she'll do what she has to.

"Describe the creature down there," May says tersely. If these things are here, and she somewhat remembers what her partner years ago used to drone on about regarding mythical monsters, then maybe that thing down there also follows the supposed rules of mythical creatures.

"It has a large body that is still mostly submerged. It has multiple heads which regrow if you cut them off. And-"

There's a roar as May's dance is interrupted by a lunging head the size of a Volkswagon.

Tim too. As he swings around the pillar he finds two heads. One following him and one coming at him from his direction of travel. Avery is not attacked but three heads start head butting one of the support pilings near her. Each strike knocks things loose. The bridge cannot take much of that.

Down below Barbara can see Ken draw the black bladed sword. There is a palpable sense of malice and evil EVERYWHERE on the bridge when he does.

"Don't have fire or acid. Let me see what I can do with this. I'll keep as much of it as I can busy, but the rest of you will have to actually solve the problem."

And with that he leaps ONTO the head that gets near him next, spikes it with his steel sword and uses the blade in the brainpan to 'drive' it, swerving it this way and that to swipe at the beast with that dark, evil blade.

"Good luck Bats. Agents. BANZAI!"

The Centaurs are doing a very good job at keeping the heroes busy.

Red Robins attackers follow him as he swings, though he might have problems with the Hydra heads as well. When the younger Bat swings back over the bridge, one of the centaurs simply runs at him and tries to grab him. Instead, it hits the gardening supplies truck and sends it toppling.

Now the bridge stinks … as well.

May finds herself hand to hand with a trained combatant. One that also has hooves and strong legs to add to the mix. A leg lashes out, at Mays thigh height, just as a butterfly blade takes it across the hock. It stumbles, turning clumsily - and charges again.

Zeals own charge does indeed take her horsey by surprise. She ends up between its fronts legs before it knows. Thump The baton connects with tissue, the centaur rears above her. Now Zeal has an angry and *hurt* centaur to deal with.

Batgirl swings around, crashing into a pylon as she dodges one of the heads. The heads following her are slowly twisting up, making it harder for them to move. "Samurai! No!" Is that because of the black blade - that everyone will feel when he draws it - or because cutting heads off doesn't seem to help?

"Acid, yes. Let's light this thing up." She tells the others. "We need to get Samurai to put that blade away."

When his sword bites in, the heads rear and buck. Snapping at the pest who is assailing them.

The abrupt, car-sized interruption in her little 'disagreement' with the centaur is indeed quite startling, but May's smart enough to take advantage of it. She avoids getting kicked by the centaur so narrowly it scrapes the outside of her thigh and takes a quick glance at the draconic head.

"Always Hydra," she mutters along with an extremely vulgar word in Cantonese. "Samurai, kemono ni hi o tsukau. Use fire!" She hastily ducks around a car to slow another charge from the centaur, then in the same motion pulls and throws a small but wickedly sharp knife at her assailant's face.

"A hydra," Red Robin supplies for the Silver Samurai. It's been mythological creatures all the way down; it makes sense to jump to summarise. "I'm bringing the acid, just hold—" He shudders, feeling even colder than ordinary January when the sword comes free of its sheath. He starts swearing under his breath.

Or… listen close to the comms. Is that the Fibonacci sequence? Is that what Red Robin does instead of swearing?

While he recites numbers, he jumps, ducks, and rolls, kept on the defensive as he evades the heads and the centaur. Now this is pain and a half, and he ends up taking a kick — thankfully to a better-armoued part of his costume, but it still knocks the wind from him and sends him sailing. Right towards one of the heads. This is a bad spot. But then…

He fires his grapnel again, this time to lasso the other hydra head. He retracts in a hurry, aiming to make the hydra, ahem, butt heads with itself — and from there, to let the thing's thrashing pull him off and under the bridge.

Along the way, though, he hears Melinda. "Language, Agent May!" Since Steve is too busy, and not enough of a polyglot, to say it.

They are indeed doing a good job, but Zeal can't just let them murder folks in front of her. She can't /not/ act, she MUST take steps. In this case rapid steps into really dangerous territory. Like 'a ton of angry man-horse hybrid overhead' dangerous. Which would be a terrible place for Zeal if she had any intention of remaining there.

She doesn't, nope. But she's going to be tricksy about it! She'll roll frantically under the thing, hoping to get it to rear…and try to strike her. At which point, if her timing is good, she'll teleport just to one side see if it can't finish what she started.

«Batgirl, landscaping truck has been toppled, what do you require from it?»

The Samurai's gambit takes shape and all becomes quite horrifyingly clear. He's got as many heads as possible angry at him and his swiping at them with his blade while he rides one of the heads like a horrifying flying carpet. This opens up cuts that the others can hopefully get acid or fire or harsh words or SOMETHING into to stop this thing cold.

Tim's move with the heads? Absolutely has them looking dazed and dopey which may give him some satisfaction if he has time. As for May's advice the Samurai grunts.

"Hi ga arimasen!" He calls back. He doesn't have fire. He'll have to work with whatever they bring.

Say. Fertilizer flammable?

"Batgirl. If you could hurry…"

Red Robin and Zeal find themselves trying to get past Centaurs as they drag acid and fertilizer to the edge of the bridge. It gets dumped over, filling the wounds that the Samurai is opening and causing the Hydra to scream in agony.

That's a start.

Batgirl reaches into her utility belt - it's not as easy when she's tumbling again, and draws out a smallish handheld butane gas burner. Others might have something as well. She lights it, locking the trigger on … tumbles and drops it into the first head.

"No, Samurai, I think I'll take my time…"

There's still several heads that require treatment.

Mays knife hits the centaur dead between the eyes. The thing stops … dead, a look of surprise on his face. And then topples.

"Batgirl…" Oracle breaks over the comms. "We might have another problem …."

|ROLL| Tim Drake +rolls 1d100 for: 81

Red Robin gets his acid over the bridge's edge, deposited where they can use it. He lets out a whew — part from the smell of the fertiliser, part from the relief of getting that done. "Good thing I brought some combustion discs today." He likes to randomise his loadout each night; he can't carry all of everything all at once. It'd slow him down too much. He takes a few yellow discs from his belt and flings them down toward the hydra, where they burst and send flaming phosphorous outwards, to catch the fertiliser.

Not that he has the time to enjoy that victory, not with the centaur soon bearing down on him again. He uses one hand to throw a blunt disc at its legs, and the other to grapnel back towards his bike — and then comes that line from Oracle. "Oh boy. What do you have?"

Rushing toward the now fallen centaur, she pulls the knife from its eyesocket, and looks at the vehicles still around her. She reaches for a baby blanket left behind in one car and recoils. Ew. Acrylic. In another car she finds something more useful — a cotton quilt. Another few cars divulge liquid containers of various shapes, what's left of the landscaping truck offer hose, and then she's hastily building molotov cocktails from an older sedan's gas tank while firing rounds one-handed from her considerably less effective ICER pistol.

Stupid electric cars.

Once she sees what Tim is up to, Zeal helps as best she can, fast as a Centaur is it cannot teleport. Zeal is really going to regret this — she makes herself Queen of the Shit Pile and teleports to the top of the biggest section of it she can see, then teleports as much fertilizer as she can directly over the hydra, the instant she starts to fall, gagging at the stench, she teleports again, back to the shit pile…landing knees deep to drop a second load, as many as it takes /raining shit/ on the Hydra.

How heroic!

Still, it is what was needed, and if they can save the bridge she'll be glad for the stink.

Probably no going to get a ride home with Batgirl though.

As chemical and fertilizer start to pour over the bridge and everyone else gets to work on disabling the beast, the Samurai can do no more. He steers the head back onto the bridge and crashes it amid the cars and the wreckage.

The black blade in his hand is dripping blood and just feels wrong.

After all that, the Hydra should be done.

"What is the problem O-" The asian man cuts off. "Actually. I think I know what the problem is. Look." He points back toward the city.

As Oracle speaks, the Centaurs retreat, heading back across the bridge towards Staten Island.

The Hydra catches fire and crashes over the bridge. Someones going to have a clean up to do ….

Batgirl perches on the tiny piece of railing she can find, turning as the Samurai points and just … stops. "It was a feint … Oh my god …"

There's a shimmering, shining, dome of dark light covering about three quarters of Staten Island. And this time … it's not coming down.

"Oh no." Red Robin's voice comes in a small whisper that barely registers in the comms as he looks towards the Island they'd left. "Is that…" He's managed to avoid being under the dome before, but this one… this one is staying, and his blood runs cold. "The worst kind of feint. The kind we couldn't ignore."

"Silver Samurai-Kun, please, put that weapon away." Zeal asks with utmost respect, and shuddering at her stink, and the emanations of the sword both. Mostly the sword.

As the fight winds down, as it is revealed to be a feint, she looks at that massive dome — and is transfixed. "That be a great deal of dome."

She looks to Batgirl and Silver Samurai, at May and Red Robin — one good thing amidst the shock and dismay, she's considerate enough to stay downwind of people.

The Samurai curses under his breath. "It looks like the Clocktower and some of the nicer residential areas are still clear. But that's a lot of the island under that. No one inside that will have any clue what is going on. And if we go in there… we won't either."

It looks like the monsters have taken a round. But this is far, far from over.

Molotov cocktails are sent after Avery's shit-raining on the Hydra, and then it's out for the count. That doesn't stop May from firing a last few ICER rounds after the fleeing centaurs.

Stepping over to where the others have gathered, she cleans her blades on what's left of the quilt then offers it to Ken with a respectful bow to clean his swords as well. When everyone's attention is drawn to the energy dome she also looks that way and mutters yet another vulgar word. This time in Cambodian, though.

If either the Samurai's unsettling blade or Avery's Eau de Farmyard bother her, she's good enough to not let it show. "Do you want me to notify SHIELD?" Yes, she's giving the Bats the choice. Other agents likely wouldn't offer a similar courtesy.

Batgirl swears roundly. "Oracle?"

"Clocktower and the nicer residential areas are not affected, Batgirl, as Samurai says."

The redhead nods to May "They should know, though what they can do here - it's not an UN incident - I don't know." She sighs. "We need to regroup. Oracle, find us a location that we can meet as a team. And somewhere we can get burgers and fries."

"We need to clear out of here, well the Bats and the Samurai do. I'll be in touch in a few with a location to regroup." She'd use the Clocktower but … the allies aren't aware of that.


Softly. "I need a bath." Softly spoken but very zealously so.

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