Bat into Hell

August 13, 2014:

The Bat finds himself in a supernatural situation with a Marshal named Tin Star.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It had started with a simple domestic disturbance call. Two officers responded. Shots fired. It quickly got out of hand from there. Now there's two full city blocks of project housing barricaded off by the GCPD and they still don't know entirely what they're dealing with. What they do know is that half an hour ago an SRD crisis team went in to try to apprehend what they presume is some kind gang threat. They haven't been heard from in twenty minutes and the last transmission was gunfire, screams, and some kind of unearthly tearing noise. Then the line went dead.

Neither GCPD nor the SRD want to send in another team to die. Fortunately they have another resource. The US Marshals service makes available for exactly this kind of thing, something called Tin Star.

No one had quite expected to be a 25 year old Marshal with a dog, but no one's going to tell him 'no' at this point.

"Okay, keep the perimeter up. Don't let anything out. And have that SWAT team ready to roll in when I call. I'll handle the rest."

It might seem cocky, but the powers that be seem convinced that this is a solution that'll work. So, improbably, where both SWAT and SRD have failed, in goes a Marshal ten years the junior of many of the cops on scene. Into two city blocks against no one quite knows what… quite by himself.

*

Letting the men and women of the blue handle this situation at first thought was a good idea; hearing GCPD SWAT and the SRD have already been put down several teams cancels that out. A swerve from the highway ramp and a leap off the bridge to the street below has the Dark Knight's monster of a black machine spitting up sparks like a demon born of lightning. The rev of the engine and a smooth drift around the next corner has that same creature rolling past the police barricade, between two SRD Cougars only to disappear in to the projects. No slowing for anyone until it can hit a car port, drive through it and park there.

The man then draws himself out, that blackened cape forming around him as he pulls up a handheld device that opens up, an image displayed. A thermo-to-heartbeat indicator and it has a wonderful range. Straight to business. Through one ear of his cowl the radio frequencies of the SRD, local news, FBI and GCPD are transmitting.

"I needed another cup of coffee." Despite not drinking much of it the caffeine had been a nice kick. Briefly. Now it is just heartburn. Batman mumbles to no one at all as he uses his thumb to cycle through settings and the viewfinder.

*

There's fog. Solely on these two blocks of Gotham. It's not the sort of thing the GCPD finds reassuring and indeed the chatter is near cacophonous. News is carrying the story of some kind of mystery villain, possibly Mister Freeze or the like. GCPD and SRD are both coordinating the cordon and wondering aloud what the hell one US Marshal is going to do when HOLY CRAP DID YOU SEE THAT. There's a brief debate on whether to go in after that car.

No takers.

The view finder shows, oddly, first no residents though there should be some. There's one figure, with a dog, and a drawn gun, moving slowly down the street with his back to the Dark Knight.

There's also this pervasive feeling that something is fundamentally not right, beyond the obvious signs.

*

Climbing over the cement blockade that separates car port from open projects the Batmobile releases an electronic growl signifying it just activated its defense mode. Safe to leave the thing behind now. The finder is kept up, thumb scrolling back and forth to keep the screen in motion as Batman begins to stalk his way through the neighborhood. Silently. Fog, debris, buildings, every camouflage ready point is being used in an almost casual wraith-like glide through Battergate.
Tin Star being a focus point for where the Dark Knight is moving. He'll get close enough to warn the man off but not until he has more of an understanding of the environment. A US Marshal is going to get himself clipped.

*

Thomas is many things, but supernaturally aware of his surroundings is sadly not one of them. He doesn't note the Batman's approach.

"I don't like the looks of this Virgil." He says to the black Belgian Shepherd at his side. "Reminds me of New Haven last year."

New Haven just dropped off the map for six days. When Thomas went in to get it back, there were things there that were not supposed to be.

"Wait… you hear that?"

Virgil growls, and he's not the only one. Several large black dogs, hounds of some kind, with bright, glowing red eyes emerge from the mist.

"Ay ya. Well… at least that means we're going the right way."

There's an instant in which Thomas is just Thomas. Then, suddenly his attire has changed to include a duster, wide brimmed hat and a glowing star badge on the coat. Out comes a collapsible baton. Similarly, Thomas' dog grows to twice his size and seems a bit more… feral. "Well… shall we get started then?"

*

"Interesting." Barely a rasp from the creature that embodies the spirit of Gotham's nightlife. The object in his gloved hands lifts up and directs itself towards the creatures, including the man who just transformed. "Run facial recognition scan through every database you can find, start with the USMS." The Caped Crusader is not talking to Alfred, he’s talking to the Batcomputer. No response will come to him. The scanner collapses down and he begins to fold it away; meanwhile drawing out three batarangs.

*

The dogs - omen dogs, actually if Batsy is a folklore fan - charge. It's six on two and while Thomas has moves, the situation is quite 'hairy'. Still, the Dark Knight does see the baton suddenly erupt in silvery fire which seems to hurt the creatures a lot.

Also, given the way he just elbow-slams one in the head, they're not immune to ordinary punching. The Marshal's dog takes two, rolling, biting and clawing with them, leaving Thomas to give ground before four, lest he be surrounded.

"I hate these things."

Thomas Nashoba, the files will tell him, is Tin Star. A US Marshal of 4 years with a service record that looks like he should have been in three times as long. There's a note on his file that marks him as 'special capabilities, metahuman capture agent'. And apparently he's frequently loaned out to local departments for 'weird crap' like this.

*

All three of those batarangs whistle out through the fog covered darkness to arc inwards and pelt two separate dogs. A third getting leaped on by an armor clad shadow that peeled free of the world beyond to wrap an arm around its throat then proceeding to cram a smoke canister in to its maw.

"Marshal Thomas Nashoba, I'm going to ask you very politely to fill me in on the details of what is going on here." The large hound wrestled a moment before it's kicked away by a heavy boot that sends it rolling in a coughing, sputtering, hacking mess. Those other two are dealing with batarangs to sensitive eyes, ears and mouth. Nothing that will kill them but it hurt.

*

Score three… four… five for the batman. Thomas' dog gets fire-stick beaten into the ground until it stops moving. Ick… The Marshal looks up, clearly a bit startled. "Oh hell… you're him aren't you. The Batman…" Clearly his reputation precedes him.

"I'm not sure, yet. GCPD interrupted something and someone has caused a bit of unreality to spill into reality. Hence this damned fog and the lack of people. The source of it is somewhere inside… that way." He gestures vaguely toward a cluster of project houses. "Probably being maintained by a person if previous experience is any guide. Nothing nasty has come boiling out yet to hit the GCPD so I'm guessing that whatever's in here is more… mmmm… street level?" Still supernatural as all get out though. "What are you doing here?"

*

No response just that deadpan stare from the Dark Knight, a motionless 'inaction' that has him resembling a statue. The cloak tight in against the Batman's frame making him look like he willows out in the center. The aid of lighting and/or lack of has those pointed 'ears' steepling higher, more slender and pointy. It's all about angles.

Long ago Batman gave up the concept of numbered dimensions. A mathematical answer of 'infinity' the best answer anymore. The universe is just far too vast. "Unreality or alternate?" A serious question from a very serious person. No answer given to the question about his presence; none required. This is his turf; even the US Marshal will learn this one.

*

"Um…" Thomas is not schooled in multidimensional or magical theory. Everything he knows comes from practical experience. "Unreality, best I can tell. It's reaching 'somewhere' but the concepts don't seem to quite align. Anyway, the net effect is missing people and monsters. If you're here to help…" And lord knows, he's not going to turn any down at this point. "That'd be great. I'm pretty sure the center of the disturbance is over there."

*

Another prolonged stare and then the Batman turns to begin his walk towards the disturbance. "I'm going to just presume you're a metahuman or /other/ and can handle yourself. If not I suggest you go back to the police barricade and let me handle this."

Those strides are lengthy and have him moving with a swift-paced, deathly silent gait. "If what you say is true combating 'unreality' is going to be… fascinating."

*

Thomas is a bit short, so he has to work a bit harder to catch up. He's still in the western getup. "Fascinating is something it almost always is. And greusome. And… aw hell…" They've found the people. They're milling about outside one particular house which seems to have acquired two large trees that were not there before. Charms and bones rattle in a nonexistant wind, dangling from every branch. Fairly obvious glows come from the house itself.

"Ton Ton Macoute. I should have known…"

*

Haitian Voodoo?" Batman inquires and states. A finger rises up to his cowl and draws a coverover his mouth; hiding it behind it. That same hand then drops and pulls forth a tube that he inserts in to his mask. "You're familiar with this then. By all means, lead the way." Magic is not the Caped Crusaders realm of expertise. Not in any form. He has however experienced enough to have several precautions ready. He's got a contingency plan for just about /everything/. That is what happens when you're obsessed.

*

Thomas glances over… hrm. "Hrm. The people won't respond, until we find the sorcerer. Who is right in here…" As the glowy lights say… "One of us is going to need to hold the door… I volunteer for that because frankly, I have a dog to help if it gets hairy. That leaves you with one seriously nasty bocor… sound agreeable? Or do you have other ideas?" Already the Marshal is beginning to push his way through the crowd. "Thing I can't figure is why. He's buying time for something… but what?"

*

A look from Thomas to his faithful sidekick and Batman goes forth without a word pushing past the people milling about. "Try to get them out of here while you're at it. They're in danger and in our way."

That’s the end of dialogue from the Bat as he makes his way in to the realm of sorcery. Never a place one should blindly go.

*

"I'll see what I can do." Fortunately Thomas is also of the 'protect and serve' variety. He's not super likely to kill anyone except in extremis.

The inside of the house is pretty normal, if still full of creepy mist… right up until Batman hits the living room. All the furniture has been moved and an arcane circle is glowing bright purple. In the center of it stands a man, his back turned to the doorway.

"Ah know dat we have limited time, but de transfer is almost complete. Once it be done, Ah'll meet up with Yevette an' no one will be de wiser. De police can try to figure out what happened here…"

There is a lot of blood splashed around the circles. No bodies, human or animal, but lots and lots of blood.

*

"Only person you're meeting up with is a judge and your cellmate." Batman's voice cuts through the man's monologuing. It's anger that Wayne tends to feel at sights like this, no, not just anger, absolute rage. It almost spills over and then it swallows in to a cold black void inside; sealed away where the man keeps every bit of darkness he's accrued throughout his lifetime. Patience and calm in one moment of anger can save a hundred years of heartache, though, in a situation like this he cannot say his serene demeanor is going to save the witch doctor from about a thousand broken bones.
The armored vigilante is already moving to close the gap between himself and the occultist.

The sound of the Batman's voice causes the sorceror thug to whirl. "What you be doin' here? Dis not your Night. Zombies to me!"

Just outside there' the sound of shouting, a snarling growl and a rather terrific racket of someone or someones getting clubbed. A lot. When the zombified citizens don't immediately rush in, the bocor glares at Batman. "It no matter. I send ya to the Crossroads meself!" He lifts a hand at the Caped Crusader which starts to glow, reading some kind of arcane discharge.

*

The forward momentum of Batman is a jaunt to the side around the man's outstretched hand to deliver the back of a composite plastic and metal alloy knuckle plate upside the jaw. Hard. He's not going to play around with a mage. Fast and done with. Don't give them time to speak and cast their tricks.
"Just you and me." Batman's voice is an all too familiar snarl. He's feeling violent tonight.

*

That's a broken jaw. No more speaking for the mage. He reels back from the circle, releasing a bolt of violet light as the sounds of people trying to break in through the front door become more violent. The bocor glares hatefully at Batman but being down a jaw does tend to mess up the repartee. A ceremonial knife, jagged and dried with blood, flashes neck ward toward Batman.

*

A bladed gauntlet rises up and catches that athame on it, twisting his forearm Batman locks it in place and lifts his other palm pressing in on the weapon so it snaps. A fluid motion that is followed up with a gripping head butt then over the shoulder throw out the front window that should send the bocor in to the ruined garden the Dark Knight passed out front. He then follows him out, cape splaying out behind him like black bat wings.

"Marshal, everything in order out here?" Not looking, only asking as he descends upon the Haitain with a knee and two more solid punches. Broken jaw is now joined by a cauliflowered ear and a busted cheekbone. Murderous scum.

*

Thomas is fairly glowing with power and the appropriate word for the beat down he's giving the controlled citizens is 'smite'. He is smiting them left right and center and, thankfully, no one seems to be dead, so far.

"Yes, all… - grunt - under control. I'd appreciate it if you'd wrap him up though? I can't keep this up forever."

*

A rough grip on the man's shoulder and Batman flips him around on to his face, arms bent upwards behind his back and bound, thumbs to wrists. Once secured the Bat draws the battered man upright (though very slackened from the beatdown) and shoves him in to Thomas.

"Well done, Marshal Nashoba. You've bagged another one."

*

"So it seems." Thomas says wryly as the mist dissipates and the people return to normal. He knows the game. The Batman is a wanted fugitive. Fortunately, not a federally wanted one, so Thomas is under no obligation to make even a token attempt at an arrest. "Better get going. The boys in blue will be coming in here directly, and I imagine they'll be fairly upset.

"He was the source?" Batman asks, double-checking. The man seems to know enough about this to be asked such; "The rest of this will clear up as well I hope. These people?" He motions towards the 'zombies'. No concern given about the police. He's made a habit out of avoiding them.

*

"Yeah. Well, he was the conduit anyway. Without him it has no way of coming into our reality. The people will recover. May have some nightmares, nothing some counseling won't fix." Thomas nods tiredly. So much paperwork. Virgil sniffs Batman and looks up at him? Is he a good one to ask for pettin's…

Perhaps not.

*

One pat. The Belgian Sheperd gets an actual pat on the head from the Goddamn Batman and then the mythical bogeyman of Gotham vanishes in to the fog still clinging to Battergate. He's gone. Gone in that same manner that always annoyed retired Commissioner James Gordon.

Just not there anymore.

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