Imping Your Way Through Fundraising - Part B

October 31, 2015:

Zatanna hosts her benefit … and it doesn't go as planned - of course!

Shadowcrest Manor - Gotham


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Halloween is a mystical time of the year. The veils between worlds thins, the living can see the dead, the dead may or may not be able to interact with the living world. Well, that's All Hallows Eve. Halloween is a variation on that ancient, sacred day. Now it's more commercialised, with candy and treats being given to those who Trick or Treat.

Zatanna Zatara, travelled the world for most of her youth and the concept of Halloween is quite novel and having finally settled in Shadowcrest and Gotham, she's decided to put on a party. But, for the community conscious young mage, a party for party's sake seems a bit frivolous… so she's decided it will be a fundraiser to help the children who were displaced when those Obelisks appeared across the tri-cities.

She, along with her staff and some friends, have been decorating Shadowcrest - yes, Zee could have done it magically, but where's the fun in that? The manor is decorated, tables of food line the corner of what might be called a Ballroom and invitations to guests have been sent… she's expecting to see a number of 'high rollers' … and her friends are always welcome. To accomodate the fact that some of her superhero friends are 'costumed', she's made the dress code 'Black Tie or Fancy Dress' - that might be an interesting combination… Zee, for a change is not in that 'street grunge' look, nor is she in her performers outfit. Instead she's wearing a rather elegant, floor length dress, strapless, that clings in all the right places.

There's a small string quartet playing softly in a corner. And Zee has set up several magical atractions… an illusion of an aerial silk dancer in the middle of the room and little dancing motes of light that seem to move in time with the music throughout the room. And the young mage is greeting her guests in the foyer, with her show biz smile.

Those who enter the manor, have been given an 'entry code' because it's not accessible without it… and those with magical abilities will sense the ambient magic of the house, it is built on a Leyline Nexus afterall.

Of course within Shadowcrest there are rooms filled with artefacts - dangerous artefacts - but they're all locked safely away, right?

Tigra does not qualify as a high roller by any stretch of the imagination, but after being involved in a couple things with Zatanna over the course of a few days prior to Halloween, of course she had to show up. Doing something for charity and those in need is always a good thing, besides.

Of course, upon arriving and entering the Manor, as soon as she saw Zatanna she acted as if certain things the day before never took place at all. Nothing rude behind it, but she didn't even acknowledge a certain encounter with a certain Mordred and a certain Morgan le Fay and a certain hour spent as an actual cat took place. Ahem.

She did, at least, dress fittingly for the occasion, rolling out a nice green dress that accents the orange, black, and white markings quite well. Anyone staring might just get a playful wink sent back their way, for that matter. The cat's-head amulet she wears, magical in its own way, is fashioned into the front of the dress.

Lunair loves Halloween. She tends to wear power armor when she fights over spandex. Plus, spandex really doesn't offer much - support - for a gal. Tonigh, she goes full ruffle monster and arrives in Gothic lolita. She even has a duly lacey hat. Lunair has brought rose candy from Japan. One brings gifts when one is a guest, yes?

She's a bit surprised by it all, but the young mutant is duly curious.

Her dress has a shoulder cloak, and is blue and black with rose patterns and lacey weave.

Melody Kenway came for business. She represented The Egyptian for this night, Selina Calbrese's new business or whatever in the world she chose to call herself now. Donations were put in for the kids and whatever charities this party represented with another slide towards her own charity with no name. Either way, the focus was on Mutant Town. Her dark hair was filled with curls and glitters, tiny butterflies decorating in the form of pins and props, the dress she wears a shapely number that seems almost thin worn and a show of flesh.

Whatever heels she wore with the black Vera Wang remained hidden, allowing her to seamlessly glide across the floor as she keeps the silk clutch tucked beneath her arm. She looked almost nervous, exhasperated, as if she didn't know where to go.. so right to the tables where she's set to graze. Food, is good.

Black Tie or Fancy Dress. Well. Black Tie is easier to accomplish in a more human chassis because in a more robotic format, there's a tendency to look like a robo-butler, even if this is a Magic Castle. On the other hand Fancy Dress means coming up with something that doesn't look like Mike normally looks, and that's complicated in its own rights. Mike settled on Animated Samurai Armor, but that was before he realized that the Manor is in the middle of several energy flows that each peg his Thaumaton scanners.

He pauses before he gets too close and lands his vehicle a good half-mile away, then ejects the armor into the storage bin leaving only the matte black of his carbon-fiber outer shell, human-shaped. He reshapes the face a bit so it looks like his human face used to look, and spins platinum, copper, iron, silver, and gold wire out in a space-filling fractal pattern over his shell, to form skin. It makes for a slightly shiny metal look that approximates "beach tan" and then creates silver hair and a goatee , and a belt, with gun-holster, and a shining skull shoulder guard connected by silver chains filled with large red stones, and a chainmail loincloth. Add a winged helmet and he's the robot twin of a guy who disappeared into the Hollow Earth some ten years back. And, he can carry a gun and his demon-killer sword and it looks like part of the costume.

"OK, this is just clearly the male equivalent of Red Sonja. Good thing I don't have to worry about scarring," he mutters, and makes his way to the party…

Matt Murdock also isn't a high-roller by any means, but for some reason or another he received an invitation. Maybe it's due to the work he did with the whole Mutant Registration mess or maybe it arrived in error. Either way, he pulled some money from somewhere to make whatever donation he could to attend. After all, it's not often that he gets an invitation like that!

He's just hoping that the tuxedo that he rented wasn't powder blue. It seems to at least fit. Even if it -is- powder blue…or peach…or brown, it's a costume party, right? He walks in, his cane carefully out as it's a strange place and filled with people, and his sunglasses still on even though he's inside.

He just hopes that the table number cards are engraved or embossed.


With her sole nod to pageantry being a black and silver masquerade half-mask, Betsy Braddock arrives just a few minutes behind schedule- fashionably late, of course- and amid a small crowd of celebrities and debutantes, with whom she is apparently familiar. Even among the royalty of Broadway, she stands out, mostly because she's taller than most of them. Like Melody and Zatanna, she's opted for the little black dress number, though (thankfully) it's a different designer.

As elegantly self-possesed as a queen, Betsy sweeps through the crowd with flashingly polite smiles and demure glances from behind her mask- and immediately plucks a drink off of a wait staff's passing tray.

"Keep them coming, darling," she mutters, trying to resist the urge to slam back an entire flute of champage in one gulp.

Tigra gets a flash of recognition, Mike and Lunair get welcoming smiles… Rant, well Zee likes Rant - but she's aware the woman is not exactly warm to her - and with good reason - she'll get a hug if she allows.

The others are greeted in turn as they arrive, a suitable expression of appreciation for their support and compliments for clothing or costumes given, as appropriate.

The wait staff circulate, delivering drinks to the guests and some may notice there are staff discreetly placed to stop people entering certain rooms - or trying to at least.

Ollie from his /very important/ job of 'load-bearing' column leaner may notice something skittering under one of the tables… it's difficult to tell because the table cloth falls to the floor, but it certainly seems to be moving.

Those magically inclined may feel a slight swell of power in the air, they might be forgiven for thinking that the house is just responding to the guests presence.

Tapping a glass with a spoon, the teen mage gets peoples attention and begins speaking, "Thank you all for coming along and your support. It means a lo—" whatever she's about to say is cut off as the air fills with little imps … flying around and tangling in guests hair.

Seriously! It's like someone took a bucket of imps and just up ended it into the room.

Milk. A glass of milk is what Tigra ends up with. An abnormal drink for most in a setting like this, but in her case? It fits. Socializing and schmoozing isn't one of her greatest talents, but she meanders about the large room and makes small talk with a few people, her tail visibly swaying from time to time behind her, some times a bit faster than others.

Soon enough, there is..something that leads to the striped woman looking around as her brows scrunch together. Moments later, just as Zatanna is going into her welcome speech, imps happen. "Oh, if this is Mordred again…" she scowls, ducking away from a few, swatting a hand at another that gets too close.

There's a smile to Zee in turn. Lunair beams, seeing Metalbuddy, Rant, and a Betsy. "Hey!" She moves over to bother poor Mike first since Melody is getting a hug. "Ooo, Chroman the barbarian?" That was awful, Lunair. "Wow, Betsy is like, super high society." Still, she is going to hang out near METALBUDDY!

She seems to adore the robomutant. Sadly, she cannot detect magic. She will try something like juice, or sparkly juice as she cannot drink and furthremore, a drunken Lunair is liable to end - in hilarity and chaos. She is about to hug Mike when suddenly, IMPAPALOOZA. Imsplosion. Impocalypse NOW! "And Me—" Melody. And imps. "Oh wow. I have got to stop taking this allergy medicine." Boggle. "Hi imp!" She reaches to pet one, at least until she gets one in her hair. "OW! Hang on!" She tries to untangle.

There was a little reluctance in the hug, even though Melody loves hugs, she gives it. And pats Zee's back to make sure she didn't grow any demon wings in the process. Good. Back to the food and people watching, a spot of Lunair allows her to get a little wave.. until it was given a high-five smack by an imp. "What the.." Her stack of cheese and olives were soon dropped upon the floor was Melody raises her hands above her head to try to manuver what may or may not be panic in the room.

She really doesn't fancy herself a hero, but that guy in the funny lookin' suit was blind, and he looked like he needed protection. "Lunair! Glock 19!" Yep, Melody was going to shoot the place up, thankfully.. she had lessons. All the while she's barking orders to Lunair, she shuffles towards Matt to reach out and grasp his wrist. "Come with me i.. DUCK!" She tugs him down, hoping to avoid a random swipe of an imp.

Mike would be thinking 'magic castle' except that imps are trying to do things to his hair and one of them is tugging on his goofy winged helmet — which is not going anywhere — so he sets an electrical charge into his skin so that any-imp who gets too close, gets a nice purple-lightning warning shock.

"Where are they coming from?" he wonders out loud, lifting his demonbane sword to eye-level and peering across it like an antenna, scanning … trying to scan … for anomalies in the thaumaton field. But, being in a Ley Nexus and a Magic Castle with dimensional twistiness, it's so noisy in those bandwidths that he'll need to devote a good half of his computer brain to parsing out a signal, and it'll take as long to search as a human mage using a divining tool might take in similar circumstances. Still, the wavelengths, frequency shifts, and chromatics are a lot like what he's scanned when the Magicienne does her magical shows, but with a wider bandspread and more information encoded… if he could tell what it meant.

The part of his brain that's not scanning for a source is looking at one of the imps, trying to figure out if it's dangerous or just annoying.

What's left is handling social graces. "Hello, Lune, you seem to have a bit of an imp in your hair."

Later, he'll admire "chroman the barbarian" but then he's too busy tasering another imp before it can get close enough to an older patroness to take her wig. ZOT! Bad imp!

Matt Murdock isn't magically inclined, per se, but if there's movement that doesn't belong, it's probably likely that he will notice. He's taken a passed appetizer that has yet to be tasted because there are things dropping into the room. Things that seem to be living, but…he doesn't know anything that small that moves on his own. The finger food is shoved at one of the critters that has landed on him and is trying to remove his sunglasses. It's pushed off of his shoulder even as he's pulled by somone else…a human this time.

When she commands him to duck, he does, dropping easily. "What -are- thesed things and why are they here? Is this some party Trick?"

"Lunair, don't you /dare/ let someone shoot in here!" Betsy's voice cracks like a whip, the elegant Brit standing perfectly upright and having discarded only her facemask. She even rests one hand against a cocked-out hip, weight shifted to one side and eyes narrowing. Oddly, none of the imps seem to be touching her despite the swirling melee around them.

"The last bloody thing we need is someone shooting wildly into the air," Betsy announces, primly. "Now, do everyone calm down. Miss Zatanna!" she calls to their hostess, flickering a hand into the air with an irritated wave, shooing off an imp. "Do you have any recommendations for dealing with these bugs?" Around her, celebrity and debutante alike cling to Betsy's imperious presence like it's a buoy in swelling seas.

Nope, no demon wings or cloven feet or horns on this version of Zee, Melody - as the hug the woman gives her proves.

The Imps flit and fly around, settling on glasses, drinking and enjoying the mayhem they are causing. Poor Miranda ends up with one tugging on her champagne glass, trying to sip from it. Mike and Pepper manage to taser one imp each, and they drop to the floor, twitching… Lunairs actually giggles as she tries to detangle it.

Tigra, Melody and Matt are dived bombed … and one lights on Betsy's glass before slipping in and Wanda successfully traps too. When Ollie tries to get under the table he's met by another imp … that rushes at him.

Zee shakes her head at Kate "Uh, no, not bobbing for Imps. I'll keep that in mind for next time though… " Seeing Wanda's look though, Zee lets out a sigh, it hadn't been her imagination then….

In answer to Betsy's question, the teen mage responds "I'm so sorry about this… please try to stay calm and let them drink and eat, the staff will change it all in a minute." her blue eyes glow and she murmurs a spell… it's going to take a moment or two.

There's a soft laugh that filters across the ballroom - etheral, but definitely audible by all - does that sound like …. Zatanna's laugh?

"I swear to Bastet," Tigra utters, "If I get the slightest tear in my dress from any of this, someone's gonna pay." Her usual 'costume' attire? That's one thing. A fancy dress she'd only worn once or twice before is quite another. Not that it's stopping her from fighting back against the imps, but on the heels of overhearing Betsy she adds, "No guns in here! Don't even think about it!" The last part may be too late, but does anyone want an angry tigress getting in their face about shooting up the place?

Tigra then interrupts a server in passing, who's already covering up, drinks having fallen from the tray she grabs for. "'Scuse me. Need to borrow this for a sec." A moment later, it's swung into the side of an imp flying or leaping straight at her. CLANG! She's at least going to score one hit before any further magic takes effect…but what's that laughter? "Eh?"

Well. Lunair is a pretty murderous type when it comes to it. She has no problems with busting out guns. When Mel calls for a weapon, she pauses. "O-" And then comes the NO HOOTING rules. Lunair looks wide-eyed, apologetic to Melody. Lunair almost whimpers, even. "… I don't wanna be newted or drop kicked into the next county…" Or mauled. Definitely not mauled. And then it hits her.

A squirt gun loaded with holy water shaped like a gun. It will bother imps but be water to anyone who is not a demon! Bam! Lunair nods to Mike. "I do," She agrees sadly. Hrrrng. Time to UNTANGLE! "… That is quite a giggle."

Keeping Matt low to the ground allows Melody to handle him the way she needs to, his hand pressed against his shoulder and her shuffling upon the floor in her nicely newly bought Vera Wang. DAMMIT. Catwoman is going to be pissed. "They look like little demons. I swear to you, I bet you this is Zee's fault." Usually everything that has gone wrong in Melody's life could irrationally be blamed on Zee. Split ends? Zee's fault. She tripped and fell? Zee's fault. Her cheesecake had hair in it? You betcher ass it was Zee's fault. ZEE ZEE ZEE!

Though, her request for guns was refused and the two behemoth of women adamantly took the stance, Melody rolls her eyes completely, "Oh for fucks sake. Demons are flying around and trying to drink everyones shit and pull their hair and we CAN'T shoot?" She then stands, whether Matt rises with her or not, she does, her eyes a faint glow red as those nanites begin to collectively gain information from some random wifi/broadband/3g imprint. And she points, both at Betsy and Tigra, Lunair especially.

"Yall mutherfuckers are going to be the first to die in a zombie apocalpyse." OOP! Incoming imp! The gloved hand reaches out to snatch at it's neck, her fingers curling tight as the thing begins to scratch, kick and twitch. Thankfully, she did not perform her namesake, they all would NEVER hear the end of it.

No guns? You're all no fun any more, Mike thinks. Magic sword then? But they don't seem to be the same kind of deadly demon he created the sword to banish… A glance at the woman in the Vera Wang suit and her guide-ee … Facial recognition database positive match, Matt Murdoch, lawyer working in Hell's Kitchen. "Imps, not quite demons," Mike says in their direction. "But that might just be a matter of scale."

As Zatanna casts a spell, Mike compares the thaumic signature, and … yeah, very similar. He starts towards Zee, tasering any additional imps he passes along the way unless they're being harmless. Tangling in hair, bad. Eating and drinking, just rude. If he makes it to the Magicienne, he hopes to be able to ask her whether she's noticed that this magic feels like her own casting style. Useful data point, finding out if his scanning matches the experience of more sophisticated and experienced magic-weavers.

"Are these things dangerous at all?"

Matt Murdock isn't fighting Melody's attempts at keeping him safe, but he is trying to get up. "So…I'm confused. Is this part of the party or not?" When his 'guardian' stands, he does as well. "Wait, you wanted to shoot these things? I don't think that's the best idea…unless that's part of the show as well?" As one imp flies at him he smacks it away, quite accurately.

Lucky guess.

Betsy scruffs the imp assaulting her champagne glass, pinching the neck as assuredly as if she were grabbing a viper's head, and tosses it firmly away from her person. She glances at her champagne and exhales testily, setting it aside despite a desire to fling it bodily. Propriety first, dears.

"Firing wildly into the air is a sure way to injure bystanders," Betsy says, slapping another imp aside with an airy flick of her wrist. "Do please take cover wherever you can. I'm sure Miss Zatanna will tend to these nuisances quite presently," the cultured Brit says, exuding absolute calm.

~Lunair. Linking in,~ Betsy says, tying into Lunair's thoughts. ~Do you have anything you can manifest to help with this situation?~ she says, unaware of the efficacy of the holy water squirt gun.

It's a magical house, Ollie! Think of what you need … and a poker appears in Ollies hand, which is good because that Imp, flies straight at the man. And by the way, Zee's not crazed!

Mikes data points will show there is a similarity in the magic … just the magic used seems /more/ experienced, potentially has an older feel.

With Tigra's, Lunairs, Mikes, Melody's and Wanda's efforts the Imps all begin to fall and twitch - those that aren't crushed that is.

Zee's spell finally triggers and the Imps … simply disappear… "No" Zee sighs "They aren't dangerous. Just a nuisance. As evidenced by their antics." Glancing around the Ballroom, the teen mage frowns a little… she certainly heard that laughter. "Ms Tate," Zee hurries towards Miranda "Are you ok?" and then glances around "Is anyone hurt?"

The Shadowcrest staff start circulating, cleaning up, putting things to rights - they … might be used to this it seems … just not on this scale.

As the last of the imps disappear, a voice can be heard … filtering across the room "That was fun, Zatanna. Thank you for letting me join …." Melody will certainly recognise it, Pepper too. The others might be a bit confused - it sounds an awful like Zee, just older.

Tigra keeps the now-dented tray in both hands, and Melody's words make their way over to her. "Are you serious right now? Something goes crazy and your first thought is to get out the guns and start shooting the place up with others close by? Maybe learn how to handle things another way first, like this." The tray gets another dent courtesy of another imp as she moves nimbly and quickly, as one might expect from a cat-woman such as she. Everyone has their ways of getting violent when it's called for, but some aren't as dangerous as others. "That said, feel free to get rid of these things any time, Zatanna!" Right on cue, they're there one moment, gone the next. "I need some more milk."

Lunair's hair looks like she lost a fight to a lawnmower possessed by a failed hairdresser. Lunair is a bit bewildered, and then there's a Betsyvoice in her brain. ~Yesyes, I gave Miss Melody a holy water pistol. It shoots holy water! It's helped before.~ She'll give one to Betsy. At least, despite Lunair's being starled and bewildered, she listens. "I am sorry," This to Melody. She does seem to care about Rant.

She was going to spray the imp in her hair and pauses. "It's gone?" She boggles. Well, so much for spritzing the imp.

The imp that was currently grasped at the neck was shaken like summoning imps was going out of style. By now, it's neck began to crumble and crunch, it's long tongue hanging from its lips as she glances back towards Matt with a slight frown. "If it is? Fuck this, this is why I hate Halloween.." Yep, Melody went all vulgar like, she was annoyed and was pretty sure that..

Tigra! "Yeah! That's my snap judgement and I'm all too keen towards friendly fire." Time of the month, maybe. But as she was ready to chuck the dead imp towards Tigra to either batter up or get slimed with a lolled tongue, it disappears.. and the voice causes her to frown completely. Yeah, she knew that voice. And the hate for Zee grew exponentially. So much that she even threw the water pistol towards Zee as she tried to help the woman.

"I swear to god."

She hiked up her froo-froo dress, fingers clutching angrily, only to let go of one end to point her fingers towards her eyes and then towards Lunair. Grudge, initiated. She'll probably be angry at Lunair until she beats her in a few rounds of Black Ops 2. She marches a few paces to pick up her sequened clutch, snapping it open to retrieve a check for donations sake, which was slammed upon the table for one of the patrons to pick up for Zee as she makes a headline for the door.



And she was gone.

Lunair offers quietly, "She is getting used to fighting. I'll buy her a video game. She'll beat me at it. Then it will be okay." Poor Lunair looks positively defeated.

"Party favors huh?" Mike picks up an imp just in time for it to vanish. He tilts his head at that voice.

"Mischievous twin, doppelganger, dimensional clone, cousin, or some sort of a Schmidtian teaching device?" he asks in no particular order of likelihood, but doesn't really expect an answer. He glances over at Green Arrow.

"Wow. I didn't intend to come out looking like another guest."

Still, with the imps gone, he makes his way back towards Lunair with a replacement beverage, since he can grab one from the table. Oh, and a milk for Tigra since he's there. Somehow, though, he totally misses the Rant By Rant. (Mostly because he's still trying to analyze the magical signatures to figure out what the heck they mean, and that's taking up all his excess bandwidth that usually goes into being Obnoxiously Aware Of Things He Ought'n't Notice. That analysis won't be done with any time soon though.)

OOC: What is Mike talking about?

"What? Holy Water pistol? I…" he's not entirely sure how to react to that. What kind of party -is- this?! Then his 'protectress' is ranting away and leaving. Well. "What can say? I have a way with women…" is offered wryly to himself. He's not entirely sure if this means the party is over or not, but he's also not entirely sure that the invitation was, in fact, accurately delivered.

"Call Uber…" is said into his phone even as he tries to cane-tap his way back to the front of the manse.

"Well." Betsy's voice cuts across the end of Melody's tirade. She moves to an abandoned tray of champagne and finds a clean flute, then takes a long sip. "We came for a show, did we not? I for one say that was one quite unexpected trick, and quite a Halloween scare. Brava, Miss Zatanna, well done!" Betsy claps fingers against the back of her hand quite genteely, rallying the rest of the socialites. "So is there time for repast or more drinks before the evening continues?" she asks. "I'd say we're off to a raving start."

A murmuring swell of approval follows Betsy's spin on the evening, from the little entourage that she'd dragged along in her wake.

"They were imps." Zee explains to those gathered. "I guess you could say, party favours, Mike. But they shouldn't have been able to get in here." At Ollies and Miranda's observation, and Rants Rant, Zee winces. "You could say she's a relative, yes. I guess she was upset she couldn't make it." Kate gets a meaningful look - just leave it for now, she'll explain later -

The party is still going on though, the quartert strikes up again and Zee encourages people to mingle. She'll worry about what happened, later.

"Drinks anyone?" she asks innocently.

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