Dinner, No Mew-vie

July 11, 2015:

Vorpal, Changeling, and Tigra find themselves unwilling, unwitting participants in a strange form of dinner theatre, Mad Hatter style. Fortunately, Red Robin is on the case. (emits by Changeling)

Outskirts of Gotham City

Characters

NPCs: Alice, Mad Hatter (referenced), various chefs and attendees

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The Theatre! The Theatre! What is WRONG with the Theatre?

Well, tonight, it's a little avant-garde dinner-and-show in the outskirts of Gotham. It's a little guerilla theatricale where members of the audience participate — whether or not they want to.

Tonight's show was scheduled to start at 8:35. The waiters cleared a table, and set it for a new party. And then, two people come in: a purple striped cat-man in a strangely baggy white shirt and wearing a white domino masque and a white beret with a red puffy button on top; the other is a lovely woman who is also a tiger, wearing a very starched and blousy apron (white and red stripe) and one of those baggy hats that was all the rage amongst housekeepers in Edwardian England. They are seated, and large plates of cream are delivered as the aperitif. Their chatter is initially light, bantering a bit; the woman is slightly flirty and refers to the cat-man as "Harlequin" which would make her "Columbine".

Another waiter — a green-striped cat-man wearing something that looks like a dunce-cap and a waiters' uniform — appears and mimes being stricken with grief and jealousy on seeing the two.

And, with that, the lights dim elsewhere and become brighter around the three felines.


"But my little dove, my Columbine-" the purple Harlequin exclaims, in between helpful helpings of cream, "-if you won't elope with me, I swear I will throw myself from the tallest tower. Say you will, my dear! You can't simply choose anyone else…" he trails off and looks around the stage with an exaggerated glance. And then, not noticing the green feline, says in an exaggerated whisper- "And not that lout who keeps calling. A man the color of broccoli- what kind of kittens would that give you?"


There's loud laughter from the striped tiger in the apron and all, as 'Columbine' - aka Tigra - looks down at the plate of cream with a hungry expression that turns toward 'Harlequin.' "Oh, you silly thing. If you threw yourself from a tower, even the tallest one, I'd find a way to catch you and keep you safe! Why…" Suddenly she lifts a finger to her mouth, a classic shushing motion as her green eyes go wide. "We are not alone! Quick. Act like we just happened to be here, together, at the same table, purely by chance!"


Tim has been working hard in trying to recruit and unify the efforts of the few superheroic types he knows and has access to. He's trying to find people who are willing to fight back against this registration act and all that it entails. And hopefully clear his exgirlfriend's name from a rather ridiculous accusation in the process. As such, he's been working pretty closely with Vorpal, and it's through that connection that Tim Drake, better known to the world as Red Robin, winds up here in this theater.

He had lost contact with Vorpal some hours ago, suddenly. He had checked the castle, and saw that Gar was missing, as well. Neither of them could be reached through the usual methods, so he managed to recreate their footsteps. That was when he came across a guy wearing a rabbit mascot head and a very ratty, very old fashioned suit, attempting to abduct an elderly man with a hooked nose and scraggly goatee, that the pieces had come together.

The kidnapper, after being subdued and freed of his mask, spoke of the dream he had of an old style theatre, and of cats that looked like people or people that looked like cats. Using his keen deductive skills, Red Robin eventually found himself to this old theatre. Out of the way. Unoccupied. Relatively safe from observation. The perfect place for the Mad Hatter to hold this little show. It's a shame he'd be doing so without Clown or Pantalone tonight.

For Tim, the theatre is a welcoming place. What little lights that still work in the place only flicker inconsistently, and serve only to cast deeper, darker shadows for him to move like a ghost between. He clings to the shadows, enveloped within their embrace and shielded by the darkness of his cloak and cowl. Like living shadow, he practically oozes around the baroque arched beams that crosscross the vaulted ceiling, leaping and crawling from one to another, until he can perch carefully upon an old chandelier, long devoid of it's dangling crystals and left only with bare and exposed lightbulbs. It's here that he will pause, his eyes downcast to the trio, caught up in their act under the influence of their diabolical director.

Of course, Tim is on the lookout for the man himself, as well. But he knows that he needs to plan, first, for how to get the hats off his friends… and whoever the girl is. Or… Cat… girl… man, she's kind of hot, isn't she? Focus, Tim. Keith is the biggest threat, with his chaos abilities and such. He'll need to be the first to be unhatted. Unless the girl has some abilities beyond just being a feral creature type. Gar will be problematic, as well, if given the chance to get creative. But how creative can he be when under someone else's influence?


Pierrot (the green cat) is entirely oblivious of the conversation at the table which is three feet away — because theatre — and he mimes his shock, and his hesitance, but then he squares his shoulders, and his order pad, and comes to the table.

"M'Dame, M'Sieur? Will this be … separate checks?" That's totally plaintive and hopeful… please let them be here because the house is full! … "On our menu tonight we have a lovely fresh plaice aux herbes and a rather less fresh trout a'l' 'orriblesse which I recommend to the (cough) Gentleman. It comes with a complementary pompe gastrique for the afterwards."

He snaps his feet together with a 'click' and poises to write.

There are no hat-check girls. There are hat-vendors, though, selling cute little chapeaux for 10 dollars and 6 cents. They're all sorts - top hats, even baseball caps.

The director … she's actually back by the entrance to the kitchen, is Darling Alice. The stagehands are all "ninjas" in black shirts and pants and gloves, with black watch-caps pulled down over the tops of their ears, and little receivers for their instructions. So far they haven't noticed the Red Robin.


HarleVorpal has little time to react to ColumTigra's instructions before PieGarf is on the scene. "Why yes, I am checking her out." Pause. "I mean we're checking each other separa-SEPARATE CHECKS." He grins. He's got that photogenic grin, after all. "Yes. Separate Checks. Completely separate. I have never seen this woman in my life before!" he exclaims. And adds, because this is Harlequin, and played by Keith, so there's an added bit of spice (ginger) in there: "- although I wouldn't mind running into her again!"


ColumTigra sits up rather straight when PieGarf makes his presence known, and even her tail grows quite still. "We will have..yes..separate checks. As you can see, there are no open tables, and we were..simply..simply, yes..forced to be seated together with this delicious cream. In fact, I should like a whole pitcher of — did you say fresh trout? We will both have — I mean, I will have two plates, and perhaps more afterward!"

The feline woman adjusts her headwear down further, nearly to the point of hiding her eyes when HarleVorpal speaks of running into her for at least a second time. "Oh, the first time nearly popped a litter of kittens out of me!" She covers her mouth after this, staring up at PieGarf innocent as can be. "After all, they were in the basket I'd found them in, of course, left in some alley!" She reaches for something to fan herself with, the closest thing being her plate of cream. Naturally, the liquid is now flying around toward both of the male cats.


Alright. So we have a crowd, and the three he's most worried about are in the dead center. Darling Alice is backstage, and there's a number of "stagehands" which are likely going to be more trained than the riffraff. Tim will have exactly one chance to get the drop on someone. Only one person to get free of the mind control, before the swarm happens and chaos erupts.

It has to be Vorpal.

CRACK! CRACK!

Two pellets hit the table, setting off with the loud noises almost like firecrackers. Instantly, smoke begins to issue forth, thick and hazy and white. Tim leaps from his chandelier perchment, landing square in the center of the table with a loud thud of his boots. He doesn't take the time to get his bearings, however, and immediately performs a deft, aerial cartwheel over Vorpal's head, his hands grasping at both mask and hat to tear them from his friend's head in the process. If it works, the smoke cover might give them enough time for Vorpal to get his orientation and follow the command that Red Robin issues forth, "Vorpal! Get the hat off of Changeling!"

Meanwhile, he's grasping for his extendable bo, because he's expecting a zerg rush.


Splashing Cream! Oh heavens! Don't let it knock off the hat! That would make Alice ever so cross!

"Fresh plaice," says the cream-faced Gar-roit, and he does a quick paw-slurp to clear it off … yum. "The trout is not so good."

Yes, he intends to use it to slap Harlevorpal later. During the Magic Battle.

Then he pauses. "Kittens? Truly? Oh the poor dears, I hope you found a lovely home for all of them!"

He blinks. It practically makes a clunking sound to go along with the air whistling between his ears.

What a stupid dream this is. Am I going to have to schedule more therapist time? Really, I mean, what does it MEAN?

SUDDENLY !! SMOKE!~ PELLETS!!~ NINJA HAT THIEF! The audience bursts into spontaneous applause. The hat-wearing audience members who are furthest from stage and action begin slipping towards the door, hats firmly on. The doorman and waiters make no effort to impede them; they have to get home so they can begin transferring their bank accounts after all.

Gar hisses, "en garde!" and draws out the trout he was going to use later, prepared to slap this interloper silly.


The comedic routine is interrupted as Tim yanks Tetch's devious devices of deceitful drama off Vorpal, who experiences the sudden disorientation from being yanked away from the arms of mind control. He's still reeling when Tim calls out his instructions-

"Hat? Gar? Wha-?" he stands up, sending the cream flying and tipping the table over. He finally spots Gar, or a green feline which is obviously Garfield, and he makes a dizzy lunge for the hat, only to be smacked right in the face by Gar's massive trout, which sends him flying back to crash on the nearest table, sending food everywhere.


And the entrance by Red Robin is about the time things go crazy..or crazier. "Eek!" is the initial call from ColumTigra as she barely even gets the chance to respond to PieGarf, or Gar-roit, or whoever that one is, for the smoke spreads, the cream flows, the trout is swung, and even the table's flipped.

It has the end result of the tigress in white and red falling to land on her kitty backside, a thud and an 'Oof!' following. "I am upended!" she cries out. "Someone avenge me!" Vorpal may have no clue who she is, but she's been caught up in this insanity all the same. "Or maybe I'll just have a little bird for an appetizer!" It must be the red, as she moves to crouch, then pounce toward Red Robin. Those claws are real. Cough cough. There /is/ the matter of that smoke.


Red Robin looks at Gar, looking all too ridiculous as he draws forth his fish, and manages to topple Vorpal with it. Later, when this is all over, that's going to be a riot. For now? He needs to keep foc-

No sooner than his staff got extended, the hot girl is pouncing him. The solid, metal bar does create a nice barrier to leverage against her shoulder to prevent her from trying to bite him, but he's not able to react quickly enough to dodge or counter. So he rolls, instead. The force of her pounce sends him flying back, effectively tackled with her on top. However, as his back hits the ground… hard… his knees are drawn up against his chest, and the soles of his boots are pressed in against her stomach, to push her up, and over his head, so that he can attempt to roll on top of her instead, and rip the puffy hat from her head as well.

"Vorpal, quickly… we can't have people getting out of here with their hats on!"


The stage ninjas turn off the lights. Of course they only get the spots over the central table … so far … but with room lights down it makes it harder to see what's going on. As Gar's whirl with the fish leaves him staggering into another table, and the smoke causes some of the nearby people to cough, and the staff and claw combat seem to be more real than one might expect, one of the behatted people tips over their candle, setting fire to the table cloth.

"OH NO!" she shouts, "Quickly, call the fire department!"

The fish truly is NOT fresh, by the way, and it comes apart as Gar readies it again, flying through the air to land in another hatless person's dinner. There is some growing awareness that Things Are Not Right. And, this being a warehouse-become-theatre-become-dinner-theatre, there are large rolling doors… which open as the fire alarm goes off.

Darling Alice is going through the kitchen, "Escape plan Jabberwock," to the cooks, and she's disappearing down a secret door into the tunnel that leads to the storm sewers.

The cooks all ignite their Culinary Torches and pick up bottles of brandy. Time to breathe some Fire.


Vorpal winces. Yep, that's some glass on his back from that wineglass he landed on. Nevermind, there was stuff happening, and he doesn't have any trouble actually seeing- because he's a cat. A cat without a hat. Hats.

He has to get those hats off- "On it, Red!"

It takes one second, and the barriers that keep Vorpal's chaos inside Vorpal vanish temporarily, sending a tide of pure chaos magic out into the audience- the Chaos Wave. There is a chance that the chaos magic might interfere with Tim's high tech equipment (hopefully he isn't using it right this instant), but it's also going to interfere with those hats. The cheshire cat can't run and grab everybody's hat one by one- but he can short-circuit all of them.

Hopefully he'll also get Gar's hat before he hits him with another trout, or something else equally floppy.


Soaring through the smoke, or at least leaping a few feet to get at Red Robin, the costumed, hatted Tigra appears quite unaware of her predicament, and the potential danger her would-be victim is in. The claws pass through air, fortunately for him, and by the time she can regroup to take another swipe at him he's got his feet up to create a little breathing room. It leads to a visual of her swinging at nothing again, hissing with her tail getting puffed up, but he manages to turn the balance around so she's the one beneath him - right where he probably wanted her when he first saw her! "It's not too late to make this a foursome!" she taunts, a momentary calling back to relative sanity of the prior setting.

That's about the time Red Robin gets a good enough grip of the hat to yank it free, thereby severing the hold over her. Initially, there's a very confused expression seen over Tigra's face. Then, suggesting she has a strong ability to counter the side effects, her visage twists into one of enraged fury. "What is this? Where am I? Who did this? Was it you?" She progresses from questions made up of three words beginning with the letter W to snarl, "Nobody controls me like that! I'll tear you apart!" But first, she's kicking at Red Robin with her feet, claws out, and the fury of the tiger is on display. Whatever just happened, it's led to her balance being thrown out of whack, and that is a Very Bad Thing.


There's a distinct POP and crackle from Red Robin, and the glowing white lenses of his cowl flicker and then became vacant, milky white glass. He manages to reach up and press a hidden button in the side of the cowl, beside his eyesocket, and the lenses slide up into the cowl itself, revealing his plain, blue eyes. He's not about to gripe about his cowl's systems being shut down right now. That was smart thinking, and besides…

He's being kicked by a frantic catgirl. The claws of her feet capture the fabric overlay of his armor, tearing it, but only exposing the armored weave and exposed, molded plates underneath. Still, it prompts him to leap back, using his staff to help launch him higher into the air and send a swarm of four golden discs at the oncoming Firebreathing Cook Squad, aiming for those bottles of brandy to deny them fuel for their assault. A fifth item is thrown, as well. A sticky tracer, aimed at Alice's back as she makes her hasty retreat.

As he lands, skidding backwards on his feet and using his staff to help him keep his balance, he speaks to Tigra. Unfortunately, his voice modulation is down, so he has to speak in a snarling, raspy voice (his very best Batman impersonation, which sounds a little overwrought. Maybe it's Christian Bale under that cowl?). "You were being controlled by a madman, and I'm here to rescue you. And all of these people. You can come with me and my friends, if you want to find those responsible for this."


Chaos! Panic! Wierdness! The majority of the hats which are close enough to be hit, grow legs and pop themselves off the heads of their wearers, or out of the hands of their grabbers or vendors, and they all shriek, "WALRUS AND CARPENTER WALRUS AND CARPENTER" and begin dancing, streaming towards the center of the room where they can do a lovely can-can dance together, singing rude-sounding songs in breathy French-sounding gibberish.

Sadly, there are only five or six customers left to see it. The wave catches up with the first four who left; they're in their respective cars and heading for the exit from the parking lot when their wills suddenly return and their engines (fortunately) die.

The hats, however, escape to run back inside.

Suddenly hatless, the stage ninjas look around in confusion, muttering in Quebecois French among themselves. Apparently, they were imported.

"WE ARE THE FI… ERrrr? Men?" The cooks find themselves with bottles of brandy SHATTER former bottles of brandy and burning torches, which are now likely to ignite them and the back wall, and no hats. Well. This is … weird and dangerous. Darling Alice is a fast one; she is gone down the bolt-hole and the sticky tracer adheres to the flat panel that conceals the secret door.

"What happened to Kitchen From Hell, I was supposed to be on Kitchen from Hell," one of the chefs complains, noticing the utter lack of bright lights and intrusive television cameras.

"Vorpal? What the hat?" Gar says. "Why are you wearing a terrible artist blouse? Who's the hot tiger fighting Red? Why am I furry? THAT WAS NOT A DREAM! WHERE IS THAT BITCH ALICE!!"


If Vorpal could turn red, he would. But he's purple. "… hot tiger? Garfield Logan, there's only one hot t-" the cat stops himself, shakes his head, and grabs Gar. "Stuff is on fire. Get Tina the Tigress off our Robin before she plucks all of his feathers, and I'll take care of the fire, and we can all get out of here!"

In four point five seconds, he also gives Gar the kind of kiss that is usually followed by other things. Which can be seen as a rather sweet 'I'm so glad you're not hurt' gesture- but it's also a punishment for that 'hot tiger' quip, too, because Keith knows exactly what those kisses do.

And in three seconds Vorpal is making his way to where all of the potential ignition is, ready to create constructs to encase flames and deprive them of oxygen.

He ignores the dancing, singing hats because they are clearly trying to upstage him, and he's just not going to allow that. How gauche.


If Red Robin looks into Tigra's eyes, he'll see an animal's anger and little else at the moment, though maybe a word or two registers. Madman. Rescue. Her head turns side to side as she surveys what's laid out before her, and every bit of it is wrong. However, it doesn't quite soothe the savage beast. Not yet.

First things first, Tigra rips apart the costume she was stuffed into, and fortunately for the others in attendance (or unfortunately, as the case may be), she's clothed in her usual attire. Seems at least that was left intact. It reveals that she really is a humanoid tigress, with all that orange and creamy white coloring, plus the black stripes. "Where is he?" It's the sort of demand Batman himself would make, so it may be a little odd coming out of her as a snarl, her stance one of barely restrained aggression, a spring tightly coiled and ready to go.

The fire draws some of her attention. The odd-looking Vorpal and green-colored catboy with him captures a bit of her focus as well, namely in the form of a curious look, and the overall strangeness of the whole situation causes her to take half a step back, away from them, doubling over as she holds her head. Must be some kind of internal struggle going on in there, an initial roar cutting out before it's finished. With most of the area around them now devoid of attendees, it gives the cat-woman the freedom to flip a table some twenty feet into the air. All things considered, that's not the worst way to let off some steam.


"We're fine!" Red Robin says, the gravel in his voice remaining, though his tone becomes softer, as he holds up a hand towards Gar, to ward him off of trying to go after Tigra. "Everything's fine. We need to put out the fire and go after Alice. She'll lead us to the Hatter."

Tim watches as Tigra seems to be struggling to contain her more bestial urges. He reaches out a hand, his arm fully extended and ready to snap back if she makes a lunge for him, but he does place a hand on her shoulder. After she flips that table. His deft fingers give a reassuring squeeze, and he says, "Come with us. We'll find him. We'll bring him to justice. But we'll have to keep our wits about us, because he's clever. He'll use that rage and exploit it, if given the chance. Do you think you can keep it under control?"


Once the fire's under control and the police are on the way (that happened amazingly quickly. Apparently smartphones weren't zotzed. Perhaps Tetch will have to consider updating to a different location for his mind control; it wouldn't be themely, but it would work better…) Gar is looking through the kitchen, spotting the StickyTracker. He turns into something unspeakably horrible for a moment and tears away the door. (You don't want to know. Oh all right. Slightly smaller versions of Scolopendra heros are found in Texas, not green, but just as good at digging into things.)

The bloodhound he turns into is much less disturbing and he barroooos down the stair and into the … blast and bother. There's a small dock and a loosened rope and the smell of gasoline exhaust, and the water is slightly ripply. This area is near a main collection tank for storm water. There are four paths leading away, and they all show disturbed water and smoke from gas engines.


"… vanished down the rabbit hole, did they?" Vorpal says over Garhound's shoulder as he comes down the stairs as well, purple fur covered in soot. "How predictable. C'mon, Scooby," he says blithely, "Let's go and check on Red and the Tiger."

He keeps giving Gar the eye, though, and a smirk.


Are they really fine? Tigra finds another innocent table and rakes her claws across it, leaving bits of curled wood one might expect to find from a whittling project. When Red Robin's touch registers, just as he's attempting that squeeze at her shoulder, she whirls on him and gives a shove with one hand.

"Don't," she warns, but she's the one putting a few more feet of distance between the pair. This is because she needs it, at least a few more seconds, her teeth clenched as her tail lashes aggressively behind her. While breathing heavily, it looks like it's all coming back to her. "I was..on my way back from..from..doesn't matter. Not sure what happened after that. Then..here?" She turns a full circle, seeing the remnants of the dinner arrangements, the spilled cream, tables in various states of disarray and damage, a fire being contained (thankfully), and more things are coming back to her. "Sorry. I'm..sorry. I don't react well to having control taken away from me. It's a long story." She's still huffing a bit, but the worst seems to be over as she straightens slowly. "That was not fun. My name is Tigra, and I hope I didn't almost kill you there." A moment later, she asks Red Robin, "Did I see them playing tonsil hockey? That was kind of cute. Where'd the green guy go?"


Tim lets Gar and Keith go down the bolthole, so that he can remain with the angry kitty and try to get her under control. The moment she spins, Tim takes a step back, holding his hands up at his sides in a gesture of surrender. He's not looking to offend or keep her agitated, after all.

"I understand. You don't have to apologize to me. There aren't many things that I can think of in this world that are worse than having your free will robbed from you. I know that. I've been there, too." He says in a voice that tries to be as soothing as possible. He even drops the raspiness of it to let the Tim come through in it.

"I'm Red Robin, and you didn't almost kill me. I'm not that easy to put down, so don't worry. My friends are called Vorpal and Changeling. We're part of a team. And yes, they were. Vorpal has a thing about kissing guys at the most random moments. In their case, though, it should be expected. They're a thing."


The two emerge shortly; Gar isn't a cat boy any more, nor is he a dog. He's a moderately handsome (tv-actor-worthy) young man who happens to be green.

"She got away. Bolt-hole with decoys," Gar says. "Are the cops here yet?"

Yes, yes they are — although they're having trouble getting into the parking lot because a lot of dead cars are out there being immobile.

"So… I don't remember how I got hatted. That's disturbing."


"I don't, either," Vorpal says, emerging after Gar. He's… well. He's Vorpal. "The last thing I remember was swinging by the office to see if you wanted to go out to dinner and then…" he shakes his head.

He wouldn't have been attacked at the office. There's precautions in place. "Thank goodness you got here, Red… and…" he peers at the tigress.

Vorpal is, let's be honest, an elevated fanboy. Prior to his transformation he used to have posters of quite a few of the people he has met recently on his walls. And newspaper clippings. While the lifestyle has certainly changed, old habits die hard, and he might check #HeroWatch more times than he'd readily admit. "Heeey… you look familiar. I've seen articles about you from… Chicago, wasn't it? Am I right, is that you?"


The twitch of Tigra's tail tells that she's still tense, but her level of control is returning swiftly now that she's got her wits about her again. "Been a while since I've had a reaction that bad," she admits, self-consciously rubbing the back of her neck, then the spot Red Robin touched. Impulsively, she licks the back of her hand a few times, an impromptu bit of grooming. Is it any wonder she went all animal on them if she actually does that, too?

"Glad you understand what it's like. I mean, no, it sucks that you've been there. Aww, you know what I mean." She's pacing, looking down at the dress with disdain before she crouches to pick up the hat that had been used to 'imprison' her. "What the hell is this, anyway?" Looking up from there as Red Robin gives the codenames, she tosses the hat his way and sniffs in apparent amusement. "I wouldn't complain about being kissed at random moments. That sounds like fun." A handwave, and she adds, "You said something about Alice and Hatter. Who are they?"

And now Vorpal and Changeling are returning with the bad news. "Well, crap. I was in New York City. Where are we now?" The sound of sirens draws a frown. Tigra's anger is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, replaced now by..curiosity as Vorpal starts asking her about, well, her. "..yeah? That's me."


"Of course she got away. We'll get her next time…" Tim says, before going silent for a long moment.

"… Gadget."

Tim turns his head, peering out to see the flashing lights of the police cars trying to make their way into the parking lot. His upper lip curls into a sneer that would have made The King himself green as Gar with envy. "We're in Gotham right now, and I'll happily explain everything I can about Hatter, Alice, and the hats, but we all need to get out of here. I really don't want to have to deal with the police tonight. Vorpal, Changeling… We should leave unseen. Meet on the roof of the steel mill across the street."


"Down the rabbit hole, Mr. Vorpal," Gar says in a perfect imitation of the alien science officer from that terrible television show "Space Trek 2020" that only got a half-season before the lawsuits shut it down. Really, that voice imitation is uncanny.

He waits for the inevitable purple hole in reality to open in its Ditkoesque glory, and jumps through.


"One hole coming up, sir," Vorpal says- is he suddenly wearing a Space Trek 2020 uniform? It looks remarkably like the uniform the Transporter officer wore. Only it fits better. The aforementioned wrinkle in time and space appears, and of course it does have purple edges.

"If you want to leave unseen, bird, just come through. You too, Miss Tigra. It's a total pleasure to meet you by the way." The cheshire jumps through the hole and leaves it open for Tigra and Red- its destination is the roof of the steel mill across the street. He's getting better at blind hopping when he's not in the midst of combat- which is good. The first time he tried to aim for Central Park, the hole ended dumping him on top of the altar of St. John The Divine. In the middle of mass. His grandmother would have had a coronary.


Tigra runs both hands through her hair as she's told they're actually in Gotham City. "This whole thing is crazy. I don't remember what I was even doing." That thought is placed on hold when the more important matter of vacating the premises is brought up. "I've done a few things with the cops in the past, but..no, this is not the right time to be dealing with them. Let's go."

The method of going is revealed shortly thereafter, and Tigra eyes the portal with a wary look about her. "..yeah, pleasure's all mine," she says distractedly, and as the voices get stronger from outside she shakes her head and mutters, "Hope I don't regret this." Stepping through, she feels for a moment like she's falling, though the distance is really no more than a couple feet. Regardless, she lands in a crouch on all fours, head on a swivel as she pinpoints their location relative to the building they came from thanks to the flashing lights below. "Okay, that was different."


Red Robin stalks towards the portal after the others go through it. He takes a glance back over his shoulder, just as the first officers make their way into the building, guns drawn. Another smoke bomb is set off, and if those little hats are still singing and dancing, a doorbuster charge grenade is sent in the middle of their gathering, with what should be just enough force to obliterate them, but not do much damage to anything or anyone else.

Then, he steps through the portal, dropping in next to Tigra and chuckling quietly.

"That was pretty good for going blind, Vorpal." Red Robin says, as he walks to the ledge of the roof and looks out over it, examining the police as they go about their proceedures.

"So none of you remember the assault, or what you were doing immediately before you were attacked?" He asks, as he watches. "To explain what just happened, Tigra… The Mad Hatter is a mentally ill genius, who invented a control disc that allows him to hijack your body and bend you to his will. He has an unhealthy fixation on the works of Carroll, and is in love with his Darling Alice. You'll notice the theme in pretty much everything he does. But the question is… what was the point? Of this? And the significance of the three of you… with the feline appearances. I'm missing something."


The last two dancing hats squeak and die in surprise — the others had all been figuratively devoured by the Walrus as the chaos magic burned up their control chips. Gar is leaning against a wall, or it might be a door, that's part of a small up-jutting on the roof. He shakes his head, slowly.

"I had to stop by the University. I got coffee and I was riding the bus. Then I was dreaming about being in a Harlequinade. Except, of course, it was real."

He nods to Tigra. "Garfield Logan, at your service, Tigra."

He doesn't want to turn into anything for a few minutes — he's trying to make sure he hasn't got any secretive control chips hidden in his other costume so they'll manifest when he transforms to wearing it.

There's a text message on Gar and Vorpal's phones in just a few minutes: "Send your report in when you can, guys. —R.M."


"Blind isn't exactly the word I'd go by. Crazy, perhaps." He grins as Garfield makes his introduction to Tigra. "Right. I'm Keith O'Neil. Keef to my friends. That Damned Pest to my really close friends. As far as a point… well, I could hazard that revenge is involved. On my first date with Gar, we sort of stumbled upon Tetchs' March Hare holding up our restaurant. On our second date, it was the Walrus and the Carpenter…"

He looks at Gar, then he looks at Tim, "I think Gotham has passed a law that says Gar and I can't have date nights within city limits anymore. Or at least that's what Van Dorn said last time."


Okay, it's dark out, so that means some time has gone by since Tigra left Rescue Inc. "I was just on my way back to my place. I think someone started to get my attention about something, and all I saw was this hat. Then.." She gestures to the building below, letting that serve as her conclusion.

"Mad Hatter, sick in the head, able to mentally control people..with his hats, I guess. That's fun." Heavy sarcasm there. "Well, he looks kind of like the Cheshire Cat, and if Mad Hatter's that crazy, does it really need to make sense? By the way..Vorpal, you said? You don't have to call me Miss. Just Tigra is fine." She remains crouched, her tail winding this way and that, inadvertently brushing against one of Red Robin's legs. Purely accidental, of course. She's also studying the two kissers.

"Garfield? No wonder he had you looking catty, too." Vorpal merely gets a sniff of amusement, leaving her to shake her head. "Still doesn't explain me being part of this. I don't even know any of you." Perhaps notably, Tigra keeps to the codename for herself, for now.


"So we're just going straight into real name mode here?" Tim asks, just a very small hint of apprehension in his voice. After all, his secret identity is a Very Real Thing. But he sighs, and takes the others lead. "Like I said, I'm Red Robin, but… some call me… Tim?"

He nods to Tigra, even as he glances down at the tail swishing against his leg. It bring a small smile to his face, but he says or does nothing in response to it for the moment. Instead, he nods his head and adds, "She's right. If it was just revenge, pure and simple, why have Gar in a catlike form and why bring her into this? It just seems like there was something else playing a part of it. Also… random attack was random, which in and of itself, seems a bit odd."


"Red, I haven't had a secret ID for a long time, the green skin and turning into animals thing is," stretch, yawn, "pretty signatory."

Note that there are at least two other green shapeshifters around, but Gar's animal specialization is unusual.

"Also, I think it may have simply been opportunity. Tetch likes to call himself a great improvisational genius."

And Gar makes a very very wide yawn. "UH oh. I … think I need to get back to the cave. Unless … Vorpal can carry me. Yeah."

He turns into a dormouse and crawls onto Vorpal's shoulder.

"This will worrrrrkzzzzz," he says.


"-and I'm purple and kind of visible. Even though I can transform out of the cat form, Aaand… I'm currently dating this guy," He points to the green, snoring dormouse on his shoulder, "- and we're getting married soon-ish" well, a year's time, perhaps, they still hadn't set the date, "And with him not having a secret identity, I'd either have to come up with some pretty crazy excuses or just not have a secret identity at all. And considering that life is pretty complicated as it is, I decided to not add extras. But you are correct in one thing, Tigra… I am a cheshire cat."

Not technically a lie, it's the shape that the fae chose and, by choosing it, made it real. "Gar's got the right idea, though… it's been a crazy night and we could use the rest. Maybe we should get together for coffee at some point? See if we can find a way to put the drop on Tetch? The Enchanter, the Dormouse and yours truly, we're part of the Titans."

Vorpal produces a business card for the Titans, which includes their public office, "Why don't you give us a call? We'll do lunch. Or brunch. Or brinner. Depending on the time of day?"


Tigra hasn't bonked her head against anyone's hand or anything like that, so they're all probably safe from outward signs of affection…this time. "Fine, then. Since we were all violated tonight," then a thumb is jerked toward Red Robin, "and you helped stop it, I guess that puts us on a different level. You can call me Greer if you like. Or Tigra."

Rising from all fours, she goes back to pacing slowly, watching and waiting. "Whatever it was, he was watching my movements somehow, and I didn't even know it. That bothers me. I'd like to get back down there and look around for some clues, but not while the cops are doing their thing. I should also get out of here," she remarks about the time Gar is showing his weariness. "And we should keep in touch to share whatever we find out. You can find me on Facebook." A glance follows toward Vorpal. "You probably already have. It's the one with the feather toy, yeah," the tigress deadpans.

As it happens, Gar changing into a mouse causes her to perk slightly, licking her lips before she grins. "Just kidding. Don't worry." The talk of marriage helps her put away the teasing side. "Aw, that's sweet, really." The card is simply taken and tucked away somewhere in the side of the snug shorts she's got on. No pockets. "We'll figure it out. I guess I need to find my way back, unless you can open up one of those portals back to New York City. There's a chin scritch in it for you if you can."


Tim rolls his shoulders, and head, stretching himself out. He glances from Gar and Keith to Tigra and finally he smiles and nods his head. "Yeah. You should all get some rest. I was going to offer you a ride back to New York, Tigra, but you're right. If Keith has it in him, it'll be much quicker for you."

Tim moves past Tigra, and there's a fleeting brush against her side. But he closes in on Keith and Gar, and gives the big purple catboy a hug with the requisite pats on the back. "I'm glad I was able to find you in time. I'll follow up on the clues, and figure this out. In the meantime, we need to get everyone together soon to discuss The Plan, and try to nail it down to what we're going to do. I'll be needing to get the show on the road with it, soon."

He breaks away, and moves towards the ledge of the building. Flipping open a panel nestled within one of the bracer plates on his gauntlets, he reveals a hidden touchscreen device, which he taps away at for a second. From somewhere down below, the sound of a superbike's engine starting and whining as it accelarates towards them can be heard.


"Right, The Plan," Vorpal says, and you can positively hear the capitalization. He snap-points at Robin, and then at Tigra, "The Plan. We'll talk to you about The Plan after we've rested. Maybe you'll want to join in. Anyways… One New York portal, coming up!" Now he's just showing off, with his voice echoing like that.

Central Park appears before Tigra, resplendent under the summer moon. In Central Park, there is a little shed that is quite important- to those who hold the magic keys, it opens a door straight into the Titans' headquarters. Vorpal decides that a nice stroll through the park won't do ill- even if Gar is snoring away on his shoulder like that. "After you," he gestures to the portal at Tigra, with the characteristic flair that he displayed while being Harlequin.


"Let's find out," Tigra says as she turns back toward Vorpal to see how his portal skills are. Distracted by that, she peers back toward Red Robin at the faint bump, and later on she'll find the number he snuck in the side of her shorts. Clever! "Whatever you figure out, let me know. I want to get my hands on him as much as you do."

From there it's time to jump, and Central Park shows up moments later. "I have to admit, that's pretty convenient." However, the strain of the evening is leaving her yawning, and she excuses herself. "I'd stick around, but I really do have to get back. I don't skip out on my promises, though." True to her word, she reaches over to give Vorpal a brief, but firm chin rub, right where any cat would like it. "Be careful." Off she goes into the night, into the trees, the tip of her tail the last thing seen before she's gone.

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