2020-01-30 - A Sirens Call


A night of magical mystery turns … even more mysterious.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Jan 30 08:23:38 2020
Location: Alhambra Theatre

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Theme Song



Not far from The Apollo is the historic Alhambra Theatre. The Theatre itself has closed been for many years now, though the Ballroom was reopened and refurbished in about 2003 and other businesses have taken up tenancies in that time.

The ground floor of the building is a restaurant - a rather well to do one that trades on the buildings history by offering good, old fashioned, dinner shows. Tonight, the show is the one and only Zatanna Zatara, World Famous Magician.

The hour is progressing, the show has been going well. Zatanna has kept the dinner crowd hushed with her tricks. Some are the traditional 'saw a lady in half' type things. Others are far more complicated.

As the dark haired woman performs in her body suit, fishnet stockings, swallow coat and top hat, a couple are murmuring together at a table near the back - a table near where some of Zee's guests maybe sitting. The male has a gift wrapped box by his elbow - the size of a box that might house a necklace or similar.

Getting out and about is the cure for many ailments, though rarely does such a statement come from a doctor. Usually it's a diagnosis granted by well-meaning friends or comrades, some of which really have an ulterior motive. And, in this case, it's that one of them really wanted to see this show.
"I told you, man. Fishnets are hawt." Tyler in his youthful exuberance smiles sidelong across the table even as his friend Alexander shakes his head and looks away, then back up toward the stage. "Shh, we're supposed to be quiet."
Voice lowered, Ty adds, "Tell me I'm wrong."
"Well." The young Olympian slouches a little lower in his seat, his glass left unattended for now. "You're not wrong? Ish?"

There is a tear in the fabric of reality. Just now. There wasn't, but now there is. It's a bright, ragged thing about seven feet tall and through it steps a severe looking man in a long coat. Hands in pockets. He looks rather unimpressed which if one were to know the man, is his usual state. Resting unimpressed face.

And people MIGHT know the man, either by his face or if they can't see that, by the particular feeling of creeping dread that precedes him like a persistent and rather unwelcome crier.

"Mmmmm." Not much one for talking is this man. Not at the moment, anyway.

Seated not too far from that table in the back, Pepper watches Zatanna's performance and not anyone around them, having taken the opportunity of the occasion to dress in something fun for this outing with Ambrose as her companion again. She's wearing a high-collared and long-sleeved gown of soft gold accented with wine-red which coincidentally (or more likely very intentionally) perfectly matches the waistcoat of Ambrose's suit.

"I have to admit, for a mix of sleight of hand, illusions, and other things, she makes them all work together seamlessly don't you think?" she asks of the man seated next to her as she mostly absently rubs at her left forearm in a likely by now familiar gesture.

She's trying to soothe the tarantula tattoo hidden under her gown's sleeve.

"I admit, I am impressed," the man in the merlot-hued waistcoat murmurs back to Pepper. Rather than working at keeping a magical tattoo calm, he's got his own mystical curse hard under check and pulled to his bones — no need for the Bane to nibble tonight as it stands. It was easy enough collecting mouthfuls of life-force in the hobnobbing required pre-seating for the show.

Ambrose sips at his wine glass and hums thoughtfully to himself. A nice Cabernet never goes remiss. He watches another impossible twist of the wrist to enact an equally impossible trick and lifts his eyebrows. "I shall have to see if she knows my own card trick. I never have to pay for a drink when I bring it into play," the master-thief reveals with a sly half-smile and glance over at Pepper.

Until Fenris arrives, there's been no signs of magic in the air. Everything Zatanna has performed has seemed to be completely sleight of hand and obfuscation. Then again, with those fishnets - she's probably got some of that down pat.

As Tyler speaks, Zee looks at the table, flashing the young men a bright smile. There's no way she could have heard of them, not from there. Pepper and Ambrose have been noticed, of course, the dark haired woman greeting them with a wave and a smile as well.

Fenris' arrival gets her attention though the magician doesn't miss a beat in the trick she's performing. With a flourish and a spoken word, a trio of doves flutter into the air. The 'resting unimpressed face' gets a cocked eyebrow from the woman - he isn't impressed, hmmmm.

At that table, the man slides the gift to the woman who looks at the package and starts to open it. It absolutely is a necklace - hard not to notice it for a couple of reasons. The way the gold glitters and catches the light - Ambrose, Pepper and Alex can see the braided gold chain with golden 'coins' attached. It looks old and Alex's senses 'ping' a little - there's a sense of magic about that. A sense of magic that he recognises.

For some reason reason, Pepper feels a tingle from Arananet.

The woman holds the necklace out, the man puts it on her. That's when things start to go south. Men, and some women, start to move towards the woman … who seems to have some form of unearthly glow about her.

At the table with the youthful Olympian, Alexander is watching the show, letting his eyes rest upon Zatanna's stagely presence and tries to follow along with the illusions. He smiles a little now and again, even applauds when Tyler does as well at the times when it's fitting.
But then the necklace is produced, and that subtle feeling of disquiet is not to be ignored. Alexander turns his head, gaze narrowing as he glances sidelong, only to realize that suddenly he is alone at the table. And Tyler, in his black pants and red dress shirt is standing up and walking right over toward that woman with her unearthly glow.
"Hey…" Says Alex succinctly. Though he does take a few moments to stay seated there, hand around the base of his glass as he looks around quickly. And notices the others rising.
"Heeey." He repeats with little creativity. But now he's rising as well to move off. "Is this part of the show?" He asks whomever might hear.

Fenris pauss when he sees the crowd not to move. He'd very much like to solve this problem with a sword but that seems ill advised at the moment. He looks up at the stage, hearing Phobos ask if this is part of the show. He's seeing if the woman is REACTING as if it's part of the show. What's her name… ah. Zatanna.

He looks up at her questioningly. What is this? At least he doesn't look unimpressed now.

He starts to move toward the woman which is easy because that's where the crowd is going. Ideally this would just be as easy as snatching that damn thing but he doubts it will be that easy.

It is going to be a minute or three before he gets there. Anyone moving with a purpose will get there before he does.

This does put him on a collision course with Phobos though. And possibly others.

Taking a sip from her own glass — it's a light ginger ale cleverly concealed by a champagne flute — then pauses and turns to look back at Fenris. The moment she recognizes the serious-faced man, she smiles a hello and gestures to a vacant chair at their table.

Thus, she misses the necklace being handed over at the other table, but Arananet doing what Pepper can only describe as 'squirming' and people starting to walk AWAY from the stage and past her and Ambrose's table has her turning to see what's going on, the glass getting set back on the table so she can put her hand over where the spider tattoo is concealed.

"Ambrose? Arananet doesn't like something about this."

Zee gets a lingering nod from the Jackal and then a lift of his half-full wine glass along with a twinkling grin in reply to her greeting. Yes, he's present, even if he might have seemed less than interested at the Met those weeks back.

Another idle glance over at Pepper and then down to her arm. "Does she not? I cannot…imagine why." Ambrose blinks at the crowd up and moving around them like fish around an islet in the middle of a river. "What in the ruddy hell…?" Setting his wine down, Ambrose rises to his feet to then lift to his toes, all the better to see the target in question. He scans heads and does see Fenris. The Dread wolf does appear to be a level head in this zombie-like draw towards…someone? A glance over his shoulder and the Jackal gestures at Pepper's shoulder without touching it — he forgot his gloves today, so no-go on the patpat. "One moment, Miss Potts," he murmurs, "Young master Alex is present. This could be trouble."

Trouble, the brunet says.

He's by Alex's side in a heartbeat after swimming against the current as it were and frowns. "You might wish to excuse yourself, young master Alex. There is…trouble…brew…"

And the Jackal spots the woman sporting her grand necklace of gold and allure. Immediately, gone slightly slack-jawed, he begins to drift into the crowd of the beguiled, a glaze gone over his eyes.

Zatanna pauses after that trick, watching as people start to move. "Ladies and Gentlemen, if I could get you take your seats please …." The magician tries. She really does. Fenris gets a slight shake of her head, Alex too if he sees it, no - this really, really isn't.

The alluring woman laughs as the crowd presses around her - encouraging them all to draw closer. Those nearest her shove and push her partner away - he's looking very, very pale. He stumbles and falls at Pepper feet.

Ambrose feels it - the tug at his soul - the Bane probably won't like that very much.

Pepper and Fenris from their vantage can see those closet to the woman start to go deathly pale, their eyes going vacant, as those in back start to really try to get through. Alex can see the fanatical look in Tylers eyes - it's akin to devotion - as the ping on his senses only gets stronger.

"We need to get the people out of her. It's an enchantment." Zatanna says calmly by Fenris' side - when the hell had made it from the stage?

First Ambrose is there before Alexander, intercepting the youth even as he espies the approach of Fenris through the crowd. If there is ever a playing card of signs that something is amiss, the presence of these two would go a fair way to making sure one can shout 'BINGO' pretty quickly. "Ambrose."
And then he's standing on his tip toes waving toward Fenris, "Sir?" Of course this leaves Tyler to be lost into the slowly shuffling crowd walking along. A crowd that now has Ambrose falling into line which causes Alex to blink.
"Hey!" He says for the third time tonight, but he's at the least perhaps able to grab hold of Ambrose and keep him from moving forward. "Snap out of it, man." And for a brief instant he considers slapping him. Even has his hand ready, but then turns his head toward Fenris as if expecting the other to do it.
Poor Tyler, for his part, is forgotten. Poor Tyler.

Fenris considers his range of options here. If the creeping dread isn't pulling people away from the woman then his full form isn't going to do the trick either. He doubts any manner of discomfort or distraction actually WOULD do the trick.

"Be ready." He calls to Phobos. Well. He calls to everyone, really. Ambrose, Pepper and Zee can all hear him. And possibly see him as well as he picks up a vacated chair…

And hurls it one handed at the woman's head.

If they won't take their seats then the seats will take them. Welcome to Soviet Russia.

Staying in her seat as Ambrose bid, the press of people around the woman keep Pepper from being able to see her. But that does mean she startles and gasps when the woman's original companion suddenly collapses right next to her looking as pale as death.

Hugging her left arm close in an attempt to keep Arananet from leaping free and doing something rash, she reaches with her other hand to check on the overly pale man. Is he still breathing? Does he have a pulse? "Sir? Are you all right?"

Fenris' call to be ready has her glancing up at him questioningly, then startling a second time when he flings a chair. That's got to be a bad thing in this press of people.

Granted, the beguiled Jackal doesn't make it far at all. Alex plays a goodly part in it through his successful grab at the Jackal to bring him to a sudden halt. There will still be a moment where Alex might have his hold tested by the magnet-like draw of the golden necklace, but the odds are in the young man's favor.

The very second that this strange and foreign magic makes to realign his concepts of what he holds most dear, this including the curse of the Bane itself, the ancient Mesopotamian magic surges up and beneath Ambrose's skin in a sizzling slap of shock — it's like a bucket of cold water and more than enough to have the man suddenly tensing in place and shaking his head sharply a few times.

The Bane does not share its host.

"…fuck?!" the master-thief breathes in deep offense even as he puts a hand to his temple and stumbles a half-step away from Alex. Only very briefly, the Bane surges to nibble at Alex's hand at the Jackal's elbow; it causes a brief gloving of pins-and-needles before the master-thief yanks the hungry curse away from Alex on a sharp leash. "Alexander, do you see the woman with the red hair? In the gold dress? If you've any wish to further aid us, guard her well — "

And there goes Fenris's chair. Ambrose blinks at the furniture's arc. "…yes, please guard her well, that is my chance."

Out comes a golden ring inset with a small clear stone flat to its surface. Ambrose slips it on and…

Presto: invisible Jackal. Away he slithers into the crowd of sudden thralls with the intent to remove that bedamned necklace, one way or another!

The man who slumped at Peppers feet is definitely breathing. It's shallow and thready and he is incredibly pale. He doesn't rouse when Pepper speaks, doesn't answer her - just gazes into her eyes with his vacant ones.

The woman is glowing even more brightly as more more people fall to the floor. Tyler is one of those - lost in the throng as Alex is distracted. The rest, just walk over them. That's going to bruise at the least.

Zatanna murmurs the words to a spell as Fenris picks up the chair and hurls it. Arcane blue light wraps about her hands and teleports a group of six near them, to the other side of the room. "This is temporary. We need to stop that enchantment." She says to the others. Another casting, more people are moved from the crowd. They're coming back though, and they're going to get all over Pepper if something isn't done soon. "Fenris, Sir, would you mind trying to keep them back?"

Fenris will find that now those are further from the woman, his aura has the … desired effect.

The chair hits the woman, she does fall to the ground. It doesn't stop the enchantment though. Not yet. The necklace and the woman just continue to glow.

Ambrose can get through the crowd with great difficulty. He can close his fingers round the clasp and open it. The necklace falls free, into his hand but it STINGS him hard. The enchantment on the necklace doesn't like the Bane at all. He won't be able to hold it for long.

Alexander's hand yanks back sharply as if bit or shocked by some rush of a current. But then it seems as if Ambrose is back to himself as much as that can be imagined. He shifts stance to stand beside the other man, and listens to him as he gestures in Pepper's direction. His head bobs twice as he agrees, acknowledges, and then realizes.
Guard duty?
"WHAT!?" In a tone of voice only his father has heard in the few times he's misbehaved. For someone of his lineage and rank and resources and capabilities to be relegated to GUARD DUTY! There's almost instant rebellion, if one were able to sense the roiling rise of energy from the Olympic youth, he's clearly displeased.
Yet, to his credit, his features tighten and he hunkers down and steps back to indeed. Stand guard. For now at least.

Fenris then transforms. Big, big wolf in the theater. He steps in front of a couple of groups and looks down at a woman wearing a red wrap. "Mmmmm. Someone has strayed off the forest path. I think it's time for me to huff and puff if you don't get lost." His teeth are bared. They're the size of chef's knives.

"Fear, could use your help with- LOOK OUT!" He might see them already but it looks like a group of people is about to walk all over Pepper in their race to get back to the woman. They're near frenzied. They may hurt her. Or they may drag her to that damn necklace.

While Pepper has been resisting the woman's lure somehow, she's by no means immune to Fenris' big scary aura. His going big and snarly has her looking toward him again with wide eyes even if she intellectually knows he's not actually there to harm anyone. This gives her a chance to spot the people rushing back toward her to get past, and now she stands hastily as the converging people have taken to shoving chairs and tables out of the way to get through.

In turning to look for somewhere to get out of the way, she looks toward where the woman has now fallen due to a chair to the face, and she joins the other thralls trying to get to her. She's still moving a bit slowly, though, and now seems completely unaware of a pair of spider legs reaching out of her gown's left sleeve to tap at her hand.

Oh-ho, and look at that clasp! Easy as pie to undo, even if Ambrose has to work it as quickly and deftly as he can, his tongue curling visibly up over one canine tooth in a grimace of concentration.

And it's PAINFUL! He jostles the necklace once — and again — and bats it through the air as he dances around people in the greyed-out world around him — it's basically turned into Hot Potato-Necklace. Mentally, he lambastes himself for forgetting gloves, even if it likely would have no shielded his hands much in the end.

And it's very visually obvious that there's a dancing necklace semi-floating about in mid-air like a demented twinkling balloon.

"OW! RUDDY HELL! TAKE IT!!!" Ambrose yelps before he tries flinging the jewelry in the direction of Zatanna and Fenris both. Shaking out both of his hands and still attempting to not get walked into in his invisible state, the Jackal does spot Pepper suddenly looking far more inclined to get towards the woman than before. "«I think not!»" It's a sharp hiss in Farsi and, perhaps a visual shock, Pepper appears to suddenly be lifted belly-down over someone's shoulder and floated in the OPPOSITE direction of the woman. Ambrose does his damnedest not to draw more attention as things stands, but…in for a penny, in for a pound:

And NOW Pepper is doing lazy arcs stomach-down from table to table as Ambrose lopes to crash through stemware and bouquets and dinner plates and man, there's marinara sauce on his NICE PANTS NOW, DAMNIT!

"Not now, you tattooed cre-EEE-ture — STOP TOUCHING ME — ACK!" That's Ambrose yelling at Aranenet's little feeties tickling at the ribs of his back even as he reaches Zatanna.

Fenris' transformation has the people backing off, a little. It might be gratifying to the God Wolf given the enchantment seemed to negate that just now.

Phobos finds himself beset by a number of people who are trying to get back to the woman. His presence doesn't seem to slow them - they're going to go right through him and over Pepper. He finds himself clawed and grabbed, pushed by those before him.

As Ambrose gets that necklace off though, the enchantment breaks … leaving a bunch of confused people staring around and down. "What, what happened." that's repeated several times. Fenris finds those that he's been monstering, scream and back away in terror.

The necklace flies through the air towards Fenris, Phobos and Zee - It will make the two men who are both taller than her, first. Who will get it first?

Zee is distracted soon enough, when presented with Peppers rear end, floating in the air before her "Miss Potts?" There's a voice she recognises. "Mister Atherton? Is that you? I didn't know you had magic of your own."

Perhaps the timing is off. Or bad. Perhaps it is because he had been charged with protecting the redheaded woman and protect her he shall. Or perhaps it's due with his desire to seize control of at the least his corner of the situation.
Whatever the reason is for it, in this brief moment before the storm, it makes little difference. For when it breaks it breaks hard.
The Apocalypse Wolf makes the request, and like so many things it all starts with that. Some could call it a prayer, or a wish, depending on how they would look at it. Others a simple favor between pantheons. Yet it is answered in a rush that has little warning.
"Get away!" Alexander shouts as he's pawed at and grappled, abruptly there is a /flash/ of white gleaming light and lightning flaring and taking over the entirety of the young man's eyes. It roils and slashes around him, as a palpable wave of utter _terror_ seems to slap everyone in the face with its presence like the devil's maw leering in the mirror.
Even those that are considered allies will likely feel it, though shielded from its impact strongly. It can still be sensed and realized for what it is. Madness. Raging monsters in shadows, crazed eyes in the dark, a flash of a glimpse of hell that is enough to perhaps stop most any in their tracks and to might have broken the enchantment if it was… not already broken.
Not a sustained thing, for down that path would lie such woe for the multitudes so afflicted. But a crash of a wave of panic to serve as a jolt of cold to snap one from one way of perceiving reality to another.

THAT should send them scurrying. Thank you Fear. Fenris' own aura will add to that. He can feel the sharp edge of what Alex is putting out. And then, in the press and crush, he sees something glitter in the air. This would be a good time to have hands alas, there isn't time to change to catch it.

Nevermind. He can improvise. Chomp. The Old Wolf catches the necklace with his maw.

And then he swallows it.

"Urp." Ahem. "'Scuse me."

Ambrose watches the necklace fly in a beautiful arc of glittering doom and…disappear down the gullet of the Dread Wolf.

And a part of him dies a little. It was so pretty?!

Regardless, he makes it to the magician in her fishnet stockings and jaunty top-hat after a masterful step-down from table-top to chair to floor. Indeed, Pepper is facing rear-towards Zatanna at first.

"Admittedly, this is not my usual vein of this particular magic's use, but yes, Miss Zatara, I've magic of my own." Ambrose's cultured voice floats from the immediate vicinity of to the right of Pepper's floating form.

Which doesn't remain floating for long because the sudden amplitude of creepy-crawling sensation up the Jackal's spine goes from 'spider feeties' to 'DOUBLE THE DREAD, DOUBLE THE TERROR, IT'S HORRIFYING'. Pepper is dropped to the floor in a ham-handed attempt to at least deposit her before Ambrose zips past Zatanna in a breeze of swift invisible sprinting. The curtains of the stage can be seen to suddenly begin to sway as the master-thief climbs up them like a terrified squirrel and up towards the catwalk!

Arananet tapping at Ambrose is accompanied by Pepper's trying to get away from the invisible Ambrose carrying her further from the woman until the spell or whatever that was is broken, just in time for to have about a half second of 'what the heck?' before the wave of terror from Alexander washes over her and she's summarily dumped onto the floor.

With nothing to strike out at, the combined jolt of panic and gravity result in her curling up on the floor with her arms protecting her head as if bracing for an explosion or some such.

All SIX arms. Two human ones, four scaly spider-like ones that are far too large to be a regular spider but too … beefy and red-brown to be a Middle Eastern Camel Spider.

As Pepper falls Zee goes to help you, only to be stopped by the extra hairy arms. "I say, Miss Potts. You have an armed escort with you." Nope. Not even Zatanna is going near the woman at the moment.

Fenris and Phobos groups back away, turning to make a bolt for the door. "Ladies and Gentlemen, my apologies for the disruption in tonights show. If you see the concierge, they'll give you free tickets to another show. Along with dinner."

Zee is, if nothing else, a smart business woman.

"Mister Atherton, you can come back now…" Zatanna calls out to the fleeing man. She might have to go and find him.

"Fenris. Thank you for catching the necklace - uh… we'll … I'm not sure we want it back." beat "If you would all like to meet in my dressing room, we can discuss this." Right now, Zee is going to find a wayward Ambrose.

It's only then, seemingly, that Alexander seems to remember he came there with someone. Straightening up he scowls to himself, turning left and right as he looks after all of the people starting to run away. He heaves a heavy sigh, pushing a hand through his hair as he calls out, "Ty?"
Another pause as he walks over towards the gathering of worthies and calls again, "Tyler, where are you man?"
It's only once he gets up there to stand beside Fenris and Zee and Pepper that he exhales and says simply. "Shit."

Pepper realizes quickly enough that there's no actual attack about to happen, and peeks out from under her arms, then moves to sit up. She startles at the spider arms herself, but recovers almost instantly, like they're something she's mostly accustomed to.

Still sitting on the floor at the feet of a god of fear, a sun eater, and a sorceress, Pepper ends up with a positively enormous tarantula half in her lap, half clinging to the front of her gown vaguely like a pet dog clamoring for reassurance after being scared by something.

"You're fine, Arananet, it's okay," she's saying to the spider softly while patting its back in a supposed-to-be soothing manner.

Disturbed to movement yet, the curtains have slowed and provide proof that Ambrose is no longer scaling them. Logically, it limits his current options to the catwalk if not the rafters of the theater itself. He didn't get too far, thankfully, before shoving himself into a corner on the catwalk's lattice-paneled paths. With one palm pressed across to his heart still pounding beneath his suit-vest and temples dampened with cold sweat, he simply sprawls with his head back and mouth agape in raspy panting.

"…bloody hell," wheezes the master-thief before he scrunches his eyes shut for a second.

He then speaks up much more loudly, tone rife with irritation. "I am fine! I am whole. Give me…give me but a minute!!!" Reality bleeds in full-color when he blows a hard sigh and plucks the ring from his finger, all the better to stash it away again in an interior pocket of his suit-vest. Maybe now, at the correct angle, he can be seen from the stage itself.

It's an interesting end to the evening. Zatanna doesn't seem to be stressed by it. When all are ready, she leads them through to her dressing room. They can discuss what just happened - and have something to drink.

Something strong.

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