2020-06-26 - Planning


BACKDATED SCENE: Pris invites Zee to do some planning

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Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Jun 26 02:34:44 2020
Location: {$location}

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Given that Zatanna managed to send an invitation to her plan to Voodoo and Agent Sarah Black, that left the usually more cautious and secretive alien-hunting stripper ninja with less of an inclination to avoiding contact than her norm. And Zatanna is apparently not so impossible to find; the woman has a bit of a reputation, it seems. Performers they may both be, and both with a love for fishnet stockings, but they do travel in very different circles. Yet perhaps not so different that a bridge cannot be made!

Voodoo's solution is to drop an envelope at Zatanna's agent's office, inside a larger business envelope. The whole idea of trusting written communication is rather new to her, but she has learned to adapt, and finds a certain symmetry in reaching out to the magicienne in a matching manner to her own invitation.

The outer envelope simply appears on the desk of Zatanna's agent; there is no postage. Just a large business envelope. Inside likes a letter and a second envelope, this one addressed specifically to: "Mistress of Magic Zatanna Zatara" with a return address of simply "Voodoo." The outer letter is thoughtfully addressed to the agent: "Please see that this letter is delivered to Ms. Zatara as quickly as possible by whatever means she deems appropriate. She has reached out to me, and I am returning that favor in kind."

The inner letter, when finally opened, is keyed: if opened by someone other than Zatanna, the letter inside the inner envelope simply and rapidly degrades, as if exposed to a mildly acidic compound. It is a cute Guardian trick rarely used, but it seems appropriate in this case. The inner letter's contents are a bit more informative:

"Ms. Zatara —

I am not usually one for written communication at all, but I have been learning. And since you sent an invitation to your own soiree this way, it seemed just right to send you my invitation this way as well. Our lives hang in the balance after the unfortunate failure last night. I have some ideas of how we should respond, and prepare for what lies ahead. It seems to me some coordination and togetherness is in order. And so it is that I am trusting you with these:"

What follows is an address in New York's Lower East Side, and a phone number. And then a time and a date - just forty-eight hours after their last meeting. The otherwise laser-written computerized letter is however personally signed with a flowing purple signature: Voodoo, underlined with a swoosh of gold.

The address in question is an older three-story building, what appears to have been built as a mechanic's autoshop with a residence above it. There is no sign that this former business establishment is still doing business, but the call box beside the person-sized side door does work, and a press of the button does elicit a return buzz and the ka-thunk of the door unlocking to allow admittance. Inside one can see the inside of the auto shop highlighted by the cast of the light from above the person door, but it remains otherwise dark. That same light also reveals more like itself proceeding up a stairway immediately inside, as another door at the top of those stairs opens to reveal a familiar figure in body-clinging purple with gold accents. And a warm, pleasant mental voice beckons. « Evening. Glad you could make it. »

The letter had made Zee smile when her agent had given it to her and it took a whole 30 seconds to decide that she'd attend the address. She'd confirmed her attendance herself using that phone number.

Which is why the Magician, dressed in her street clothes - leather trouser, heavy biker boots, leather jacket and tank top is knocking on the door. Perhaps amusingly, she's carrying a tray of donuts as well. So mundane for someone as magically versed as she is.

Voodoo thusly welcomes Zatanna to her safehouse, guiding her up the stairs and through that open door into a decently-enough appointed apartment, though it doesn't hold the slightest candle to Priscilla's rooms at the Frost family penthouse, nor is it quite as homey and welcoming as Sarah's apartment in Queens. No Jonesy here, for sure. Once Zatanna is inside, the door closes … and Voodoo exhales audibly. "I know it's stupid. I invited you. But I've been really nervous about this."

And then the gold-accented body-hugging purple melts away, as Voodoo reshapes herself simply to change clothes, replacing Voodoo's vigilante ninja costume with the painted-on tight-fit beaded and bedazzled jeans, a loose-fitting off-white half-shirt with Voodoo in stylized letters across her chest in a multi-hued verdant green, with a purple dew-rag holding back a wealth of black ringlets from a now-bared mocha-skinned face of exotic mixed-race features with hauntingly real purple eyes.

This Voodoo, now visibly Priscilla, leads Zatanna to the plushly soft leather sofa in the lowered-down portion of the living room with the huge low coffee table in front of it. Then she fetches a jug of milk from the fridge, two glasses, and a bottle of rather cheap but not awful wine before joining the magician at the sofa. "Pretty sure you'll have guessed, I don't usually let folks connect the vigilante to the woman. But our lives are on the line together. I thought we should talk. Try to coordinate and plan, instead of going in reckless and bold but stupid. Too much to lose, for all of us."

"Not at all…" Zee answers, quirking a brow as the Vigilante is replaced by the woman. "… many of my friends are costumed heroes. Some I know their persona's and others I don't. What we do … Voodoo … it's dangerous and there's more than just our lives and safety on the line."

The raven haired woman takes a seat on the couch and sets out the donuts, grinning as the wine is offered. "Wine and donuts. A good way to engender trust, don't you think?"

"Planning is good. I like to plan, as much as I can but if it's one thing I've learnt - from my Dad and through experience - no plan outlasts first contact."

"But having a plan to start with - that's … key. What are you thinking?"

Priscilla sits and opens the bottle of wine, pouring out a glass for Zee and then one for herself. Then she offers the glass with one hand, and her hand with the other. "You can call me Pris. It's short for Priscilla. Sarah trusts you, so I will too. I'm nervous, but I think it's worth the risk." Yeah, 'Voodoo' doesn't call Agent Black 'Agent Black'. No. She calls the magicienne of MI-13 and SHIELD's WAND by her first mame, quite familiarly.

"I had a few thoughts. We need a place where Spider-Man will have enough anchorings to be able to web-sling as he does. And I think we should strive to take away as many of the enemy's advantages as possible. I was thinking a confining space, well away from civilians. I know of a small network of abandoned subway tunnels. The compression could be key, whittling down the strength of their numbers and reducing the avenues of attack to a manageable degree. Floors with large steel bars on them wouldn't hurt, either." Not just bountiful curves, grace, power, speed and a sharp blade, this woman.

"Pris then, but only if you call me, Zee." There's that smile again. Zee presents as an entirely confident and self assured woman. A fact that's reinforced when she shakes Pris' hand. "And I'm honoured. Thank you for your trust." She's also earnest. "Sarah? Oh, Agent Black. We've worked together a couple of times." And Zee works with WAND and SHIELD quite regularly.

"Some place we know is a good idea. Slant the battlefield in our favour. Tunnels … that's a thought. Nice and tight and will reduce the advantage of those horses they ride." She thinks on that. "I … don't know if we'll get them anywhere near iron. Not all Supernatural beings have an aversion to cold iron but from what I've read, it is a weakness of Malekith. He's clever enough not to get caught in that sort of that trap."

"The other thing we'll need to consider is the destruction that will occur. The elves and the Hunt won't care what they destroy or who they hurt - if we try to hold in the city, we'll be endangering a lot of innocents."

Pris did say abandoned tunnels, right? She was sure she had! "Yeah, I know. No civilians anywhere near these tunnels, and if they got blown up, burned, whatever, no harm, no foul. But if you don't think we can do it, we'll need an alternative." She's open to suggestions. In the meantime? Powdered with chocolate custard filling? Hers!

"I don't usually pack heavy ordinance. But I'll make an exception for this. I'm figuring they're going to go with far larger numbers than any of the previous incursions, on purpose." Pris offers as she pauses in donut-nomming for a sip of her wine.

"Then maybe we could … what about around them? They're in the city, right? Getting to them, they'll have to go through the streets." Zee answers thoughtfully. "We can try and lure them there and have a place to fall back to, just in case. We've enough time to prepare two area's but it's going to be tricky and we'll be relying on the fact they'll be hunting the marked."

ZZee takes a jelly donut and bites into it. They're good and they're not Krispy Kreme - these are much, much better. "What do you mean by heavy ordinance? How heavy are we talking because you're right - this time, it will be The Hunt we're facing and The Hunt is horror unleashed."

"I'm getting some help, prepping a collection of cold-iron-armed claymores. Probably twenty of them. Phosphorus grenades. Pouches of iron filings. Switching to a slug-thrower sidearm, using cold-iron shells." Priscilla explains. Rather heavy ordinance compared to her usual. "My 'in case of oh crap' for the tunnels was going to be a fuel-air explosive chart on a remote." Very, very nasty.

Pris enjoys the donuts and the wine, and the company doesn't hurt. "Sarah says we don't have enough time to finish a magical infusion for my sword. So I'm going with a glue and iron dust." Pris explains. "It'll have to be enough. Probably a couple of acid bombs just in case."

"Claymores are good. You mean mines and not swords, right?" Zee teases are little as she thinks. "Loki, Dylan and I can handle the magic aspects. Fomorians, Trolls, Ogres and the like rely on brute strength. They don't have magic perse, though they might have some magical aspects - like the ability to regenerate quickly. Slowing them down, taking them out of the fight - even for minutes - will let us glass cannons get our bit of this done."

Zee thinks before taking out her phone and pulling up google maps - zooming into an area well out of town. "Adirondack National Park. If we can't get them to the tunnels - away from the city is the way to go. There's a glade there, where I sometimes practice… Just … here."

"Mines, yes." Pris grins impishly at the tease; she likes a sense of humor! "If it matters, I have some completely untrained magical ability. Sarah and I have found that I can usually activate prepared and triggered items." So if the magicky folks come up with things that would help to have someone faster, more agile and more dangerous to place, Pris is volunteering. "The fire and acid were specifically intended to help against that." Pris murmurs.

Pris leans up to look over the map as it appears on the other woman's device. "OK. So we prep both locations. And we will need mobility. Your magic, Dylan's 'steed', Loki's forms. I'll likely rely on my hoverbike. I think Spidey can keep up or just attach to one of us. The one of us I worry about most is Sarah. but I think I can find enough room on the bike for her." There goes that sense of intimate, fun familiarity again. "It is definitely well away from civilians. But they'll easily be able to surround us out there. That will make the fighting a good ten times harder." But she is not afraid.

"I can transport a group - if Spider-Man needs the transport. Get us from Point A to Point B in a blink. We'll have to stage the withdrawal though, let them think they're driving us when we're really leading them. Most of the 'Riders' will be too in the Hunt to realise what's going on."

There's a grin at the observation of being surrounded. "Can we use that to our advantage? Spider-Man has an artifact that will aid us but he'll need them together to use it. If we're ready for them, being surrounded should be an advantage - providing we get the timing right."

"A small magical ability, hmmm? To use artifacts, essentially. Maybe that's something we should investigate if we get out of this alive. Unless, of course, you and Sarah are already doing that."

"I'm sure Sarah wouldn't mind sharing your bike, hmmm?"

Pris nods. "I'll place a locator stone for you tomorrow. That way you can home and target the spell more easily, concentrate on being able to gather and keep everyone together on the transport spell." Pris offers, smiling and offering a nod. "We can make the run for the tunnels. If they refuse to go below, we use my telepathic link to communicate, so they can't overhear us, and we turn for a run they can follow towards the mountain secondary point."

"They'll arrive with different timing, scattered. To use their togetherness against them, we'll have to draw them in pretty tightly, and that will mean standing up against quite a few sizable waves from all directions. We'll have planning and prep, but that won't be easy." Doable? Yes. Easy? Hells no.

"Half of my racial makeup is that of an intensely magical alien species. Presumably I could be trained to cast spells and all of that, but until recently I could barely read." Pris does not explain, but it's got to be pretty striking as an admission. "So, no magical training for me. I can feel it. Close enough, I tend to sneeze. My one talent is that no magical disguise can hide someone's truth from me." Pris doesn't say it, but she can actually tell Loki no matter what shape he is in. Or at least she has been able so far.

Pris winks at Zatanna. "Sarah and I have experimented a little. But more would be welcomed. I know enough to know there are many magical traditions in the world." And she chuckles. "I can assure you, Sarah very much enjoys riding on my bike. Usually I keep it on the ground, though. This'll be the first time we're flying."

"Thank you. I can usually port to any location I've been too, but a focus makes it easier. And I expect I'll be using a fair amount of magic during that fight, so things that make it possible to use less are welcome." That's a small admission and not something that Zee makes public at all.

"A good fight is never easy and we're to convince them that to come at us is a bad prospect, we need to make it tough for them too. At least if they're scattered as they arrive, we can thin the herd and get ourselves ready."

Completely doable.

Pris' admission gets a slightly quirked brow but Zee doesn't push. "Sensing magic can be very helpful, I assure you. If you ever want to help, I'd be willing to do so." When they're done with this little issue.

"Ah well, I hope she enjoys flying as much as the ride…."

Pris raises her glass, clinking with Zatanna. "Happy to help, Zee. We're all in this together." And the empath's feeling on the sorceress is one of real trust and a budding friendship. It helps that she is so good at such friendships, able to feel her way through to them so naturally. "I'll pick up the stone tomorrow and place it."

"We should inform the others of the plan, so that everyone can prepare as best they can for both contingencies. I'll lay out a map to the tunnels I plan to use, and spend the morning tomorrow laying in my own plans there." More explosives, prepared and set long before their arrival. "I can also guide anyone else down to them as needed." Aren't telepaths grand when they're on your side?

"I am hopeful she will, too." Pris offers. They shall see, of course. "I'm glad we could do this. And I'm looking forward to working together with a bit more coordination than previously."

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