Deceased Estate

August 06, 2016:

Claire has been asked to check out the contents of the library of a deceased estate. Things … go wrong



NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Gotham is generally an unsettled place. The city is 'grimdark' for the want of a better word. Crime seems to flourish there naturally but lately, it's been steadily on the rise.

It makes the general feel on the street a little more edgy.

The Gotham Library has received an interesting bequest. One of the city's older, slightly more well to do, citizens had passed recently and they've left their extensive library to the … City Library. Those books, of course need appraising and one Claire Fontaine has been despatched to the residence located out near Somerset to do just that.

When she gets there, she'll note the house is casting shadows - nothing very unusual really, except it seems a little ominous.

The library, she knows, is through the front door (to which she has a key) and just down the hallway.

Coincidentally, the house is near a rather cool skate park - just the type of place someone might practice roller skating moves.

Having called up her buddies from Gotham Girls, Darcy went out to their skate park to roll around with them. Darcy would have gone to skate with Gridlock, the girls from New York, but this wasn't heir practice day. With practice over, Darcy sits on a bench, slurping water from a bottle.

Claire's little sedan pulls up to the house of the recently-passed patron where she's supposed to appraise the contents of their personal library. Getting out and shouldering her bag, she looks at the house and can't help the shiver that goes down her spine. It seems innocent enough, but still…

Shaking her head at herself, Claire walks briskly toward the house, the front door key in a pocket on her bag.

The key fits the door perfectly when Claire uses it and the door swings open. There's not even a creak. This house was well maintained after all and it hasn't been standing empty all that long. As she makes her way down the hallway to the library itself, she might get the feeling of someone watching her - but it could just be those portraits hanging on the wall.

You know how the eyes of painting can follow you.

From Darcy's position on the bench, she can tell the house has been empty for a while and see the Librarian entering. She can also see the silhouette of something moving on the second floor through the windows. It looks vaguely woman shaped - but it's hard to tell. That should strike her strange - she hasn't seen anyone else come near the house in the hours she's been there…

Water bottle to her lips, Darcy watches the librarian… the one with ehe car adn the water and the yeah her, only to lower the bottle as she spies the woman in the window. What… the hell? Frowning, Darcy pushes up to her feet, shoulders her skate bag, and trots across the street quickly. Her legs are a bit jelly from skating, and her brain wants the speed of wheels on her feet, but she presses on, glancing both ways.

"Hey there! You, with the car and the water and the ride," Darcy calls out, because in Recovering from Self-Tazing, Darcy complete spaced on the girl's name. Bad Darcy. No cookie.

Claire Fontaine really shouldn't have re-read The Order of the Phoenix last night, now she's imagining those portraits watching her. She turns back, realizing she left the front door open, and hears someone calling out. Oh. Taser Lady. She steps back out onto the porch and waves a hello. But, she does have a job to do, and can't really spend all day here.

As Claire steps back out onto the porch and Darcy steps onto it, they'll be hear the fall of feet on the staircase as someone descends.

Wasn't the house supposed to be empty?

They might also, if they are sensitive enough, feel the slight prickle of what feels like electricity fill the air.

If they try to step off the porch back out towards the car, they'll find their way blocked - but something unseen.

Getting to the porch with Claire, Darcy smiles. "Hey you. Whacha up to at this weird old house al by your lonesome?" she asks, as a conversation starter while trying desperately to ignore the heebeegeebees this place is giving her. Are those footsteps? Darcy tries not to draw attention to it even as she tries to steal a glance over Claire's shoulder.

Claire Fontaine is certainly feeling the heebeejeebies too, but she's trying to mentally dismiss them. "I'm supposed to be appraising the books here for the library. If you want to …" That's when she hears the footsteps and can't help but turn to see who's inside a house that she was told would be empty.

It might not be what they can see that worries the two women, but what they can hear. An unearthly moan that rises in pitch, slowly becoming ear shattering. The sound one of anguish and pain … but promising retribution as well. It should put the fear of whatever deity they want to name into them.

As they look, a pale woman is approaching them from the stairs. Claire will recognise her from the time she 'met' Green Arrow - this is the hitchhiker. "Please, take me with you… " she implores Claire, hands reaching out to the librarian. "… take me home." Claire might be a little worried about now, the last time she saw this woman, something else showed up as well.

On one end of the porch is a 'hopper' filled with paper - from when the house was cleared.

Dracy's eyes widen. She's never seen this woman, this phenomon before, but she's not lacking for things to do. She steps forward, reaching out to try to take Claire's shoulder and usher her away from the doorway, behind her, and off the porch in general.

"Yeah. Sure. Home. Where's that?" Darcy asks the woman, voice strained slightly.

Claire's eyes also widen and she backs away from the creepy woman, but suddenly stops short before she can step off of the porch. Crap. Crap crap crap. Looking around quickly, she sees the hopper and suddenly there's paper flying out of the hopper to block the doorway, and even a small stack of pages folded around the edge of the door trying to pull it closed.

An etheral hand reaches out to grab Darcy's arm, fingers trying to curl around her bicep. The touch is cold, so very, very cold and it feels like it might burn if she lets the woman takes hold. Fortunately Claires papers start to block the doorway, and that slows the woman but doesn't stop her.

Both Darcy and Claire see small cuts appearing as the edges of the paper nick the pale woman, even as she seems to 'phase' through the barrier. Maybe something more direct needs to be done.

"Home. Please take me home." She is rather one track.

A gasp at the temperature escaped Darcy's lips. It registered that Claire did NOT back down the stairs as she was hoping. Darcy yanks herself away, with a step to the side. The papers are new, but Darcy's learning not to hesitate. She grabs her skate bag, filled with all her gear from the thick pads for her knees and elbows to her skates, and swings it with all her might at the woman.

"Sorry. I don't know where Andalasia is!" Darcy grunts as she swings, hoping she can knock the pale woman back enough that they can move into the house. When you can't retreat, the next best thing is move forward, right?

Okay, so pulling the door closed isn't working. But. Tiny papercuts. PAPERCUTS. That, she can do. As abruptly as they started trying to block the way, the papers start actively attacking the one track wraith, using their edges to slice at the pale woman's arms and face and legs and, well, any exposed skin. Papers that aren't substantial enough on their own to slice fold themselves in midair, creating very simple shapes with points that can at least be annoying. At the same time, Claire is backing herself into a proverbial corner against the wall of the porch and the barrier keeping her from stepping out into the front lawn.

Surprisingly, Darcy's bag connects, causing the etheral woman to stagger backwards. Claires paper attacks and more wounds appear on the woman, oozing pale fluid that might be blood if there was any colour in at all.

Just a little more and they'll be able to get into the house.

Which they might want to do given the /thud/ they just heard on the lawn… and the 'shriek'. "Blood. Blood of the wicked."

Out of nowhere a raven haired woman appears, blue energy licking up her arms and blue/black eyes blazing… "Get into the house, I'll deal with this one…"

Claire knows what's there, she's seen it before. Darcy, should she look, might get a shock. A giant, man sized, bat with a black cape - well muscled with fur covering it limbs. If she hasn't seen Bat Man before she might be forgiven for mistaking this creature as he - many others in Gotham have.

Dude! Flying paper. WIcked! Darcy takes a half step back as the paper maelstrom swirls. The thud behind her on the lawn has Darcy's jumping slightly. She glances back and drops her jaw. That… thing… so doesn't look friendly. Nope, not at all. And so when the raven haired woman appears, Darcy has only one thing to say.

"Yep!" Darcy agrees readily. "Please don't cut me," she pleads aloud, to the paper!, even as she locks her gaze on Pale Woman. Derby charge: Darcy rushes forward, to try to drive her shoulder into the woman's mid section. She straightens up the moment she feels impact, seeking to shove the woman's center of gravity off and thus topple her to the ground while at the same time letitng Darcy remain on her own two feet. Is Darcy aware that paper maelstrom may still be going on as she bull-rushes the baddie? Yep. Is it the most important thing to think about right now? Nope. Hopefully the plea is enough. May the paper-gods hear her prayer!

"Go go go go!" Darcy's shouting as she's trying to play blocker for lil' miss Claire jammer behind her. She even holds out her right hand behind her, offering that post-check arm whip.

Claire Fontaine hears the thump of something heavy landing, and even before Zee speaks up or Darcy shoulder-checks the pale woman she's letting out a small cross between a scream and a squeak as she scrambles toward the door. Compared to Darcy's derby moves, she looks like an uncoordinated flouder thrown onto a blistering-hot boat deck. She falls once but keeps scrambling as the paper-tornado around the pale woman kicks up to an even more frenzied level, a few pieces probably hitting Darcy because they've become less aimed and coordinated.

Darcy's charge hits the woman, not as heavily as she'd expect though. The woman is somewhat insubstantial at the moment. Which is suprising given her bag seemed to connect well enough. As Darcy starts to fall forward, she feels those ice cold fingers upon her again and her will being drained.

"Turn all the lights on and use salt. Just throw handfuls at it." Zee calls out as she readies herself to face off against The Bat. The kitchen is just off the left, and there's a bag of salt in the pantry. What follows next are indecipherable words.

The Bat is slowly progressing towards the porch only to be hit in the back by two fireballs, causing the cape and hair on its back to catch fire. It rounds with a shriek and rushes the young mage, who promptly disappears and reappears to its side. "You want the blood of the wicked? Come and get mine…" more words spoken backwards and another fireball is launched in the creatures direction.

Darcy's had papercuts. She does, after all, work in an office. But! Papercuts… on her face and arms and legs… Not pleasant. The cold fingers on her and the draining of her will is completely disorientating. Darcy brings a hand up to ward her face from the paper and flails with the other, trying to find a way to distance her self from the hands. The skate bag drops from her left shoulder to the ground at her feet.

Claire Fontaine makes it inside and leaves her bag on the floor in the entryway, getting to her feet and sprinting to the kitchen. She did hear Zee's instructions, and she returns half-carrying, half-dragging a bag of salt. As soon as she's back in the doorway she digs up a handful and throws it at the pale woman — and Darcy — as hastily as she can. And messily.

Darcy's flailing manages to stop the woman getting a better hold on her but she can still feel the effects of the womans touch.

Claires thrown salt hits the 'Hitchhiker' and causes her to scream and fade, releasing Darcy as she does. That leaves Claire, a seasoned Darcy and a bunch of paper in the hallway….

Out on the front lawn, The Bat is smouldering and it shrieks in defiance at Zatanna as dissipates to smoke and … just disappears.

"Claire, are you ok?" The young mages voice precedes her as she enters the house, blue energy still licking up her arms.

Salt on papercuts. Glad there's not lemon juice also, Darcy staggers backwards, trips on Claire's bag and drops to her rump. Her whole body trembles, and the will to fight and get up and scream is so tiny in her, all sucked away. It leaves Darcy in tears as she scoots back into a wall, fighting to catch her breath, fighting to feel normal again, whatever that is.

Claire Fontaine looks at Zee with wide panicky eyes, still on the verge of a full freakout. She looks around for the Bat, and see Darcy even worse off than she is. "Hey, hey…" Okay, so she's forgotten Darcy's name as well. "You okay?" She leaves the salt bag where it is, and dusts off her hands as the papers all just fall where they are.

Zee sighs as she sees the two women. "It's ok. It's gone, for now. You're safe. Darcy, isn't it?" Looking around at the mess, she blows out a breath and murmurs some words … the papers fly into the air and back into the hopper. The salt … it can stay where it is.

"You two should get out of here…" Claire might need to visit again, later.

Gasping, but trying to get back under control, the nod Darcy was going to give turns into a head shake. WHen Claire draws near, Darcy's pushing herself to her feet, finally nodding at Zee's suggestion that they leave.

"…yeah.. wait… bat-thing?" Darcy stammers out, eyes still frightened.

Claire Fontaine reaches to help Darcy to her feet, and looks at Zee again when she says they should leave. Her eyes flick toward the doorway that leads to the library and back at Zee and she nods reluctantly. "Yeah, we'd better go." And then she's reaching for her bag.

Zee doesn't miss Claires eyes darting to the library "Do you have something you need to do? I can stick around for a short while. Keep you company." and play 'body guard' "But if you need to come back, do it around midday. Most of these things seem to come out and play as night draws near." beat "I'd also carry salt in your bag… um, just in case."

At the mention of the bat-thing, the young mage shakes her head. "Yes, bat-thing. It's been around for a few months and seems to have taken a liking to Claire. I've also noted it seems to appear when other 'legends' are near." Looking over Darcy's wounds, she sighs again "I can heal you, if you like. Be warned though, most people say that my healing is a bit like a truck hitting you although they don't complain once it's done."

Still shaking, Darcy's very grateful for the help up. She sucks down another lungful, struggling to get a hold of her nerves. Hearing that bat-thing likes Claire, Darcy turns to look at her acquaintence, before looking back at Zee, before looking back at Claire.

"If you're staying, I'll stay too. Cause, I don't want to go out there by myself," though by the tone of her voice, she's not at all opposed to leaving right now.

"Heal?" Darcy looks back at Zee. "Um… maybe… after we get clear.. of here?"

"Yeah. I have to look through the library." She looks at the other two women, and seems visibly relieved when they both offer to stay while she checks things out. And then her eyes linger on Darcy a moment longer and she digs a small container out of her bag to offer to the derby girl. Band-Aid?

"Alright then. Let's get to the library, let Claire work and I'll see to you, Darcy." Zee ushers the two women along as she speaks.

The burning question though is why do these legends keep annoying Claire?

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