Thieves and Wizards

August 20, 2016:

Maris meets the Golemancer


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Late summer in Gotham is never the serene depiction most people think of other big cities. While the temperatures are moderated by the nearby body of water, it is nonetheless very humid today. Despite the 'mugginess' outside the native Gothamites are out and about in force going about their normal lives, but they're not the only ones.

Strange, low magic activity has been sprouting up in places here and there all over the city. While nothing has yet caught the attention of SHIELD's magic division, a lone very tall Russian teleports form a nearby leyline looking to investigate. Aleksander seems to be embracing the modern clothing he has only recently discovered as he is dressed in blue jeans and plain red t-shirt and oddly a long leather coat to hide his artificial arm. He is joined by a crude but working optical golem about the size of small bowling ball, which has a single mechanical eye darting from side to side as it takes in its surrounding.

The Russian mutters to himself, but notices a strange non-magical feeling in the back of his spine. Something is not right.

One thing that's safe to assume across every street and alleyway of Gotham is you're always being watched - by cameras, by criminals, or by the mythical Batman's seeming omniscience of crime. Sometimes it's the false act of nerves but the sensation of being watched within Gotham is a common one.

At the moment it's also very real. Tucked against the skyline peeking over the edge of a rooftop, an all-black figure is taking the high road across the city in a search of her own. Her orange cat-eyes peer down at the streets as she makes her way from one block to the next by grappling hook - nothing so fancy and automatic as a mechanical one, the dark-robed ninja climbs her way across. Her gaze alights on the momentary flash of light and magic that marks Aleksander's arrival and she ducks behind the cover of her rooftop. The admittedly normal looking man might not be what she's out to find but then again…

Quietly keeping pace at a distance, the ninja's black silhouette follows the Russian as he makes his way across the city.

Aleksander moves a hand up to removes the eye patch covering his golem eye, but hesitates knowing that with people still around it might bring more attention than he wants right now. Speaking in old Russian, "Agh, Aleksander you're getting old and jumpy" and proceeds down a set of alleyways that lead towards one of the nearby subways. "Can't be much farther now. Come along, Lexei, keep an eye out" Aleksander says to his golem companion. The golem beeps in response and dutifully follows its master. For a brief moment it turns around looking up at a nearby rooftop just moments after Maris ducks for cover.

As Aleksander reaches the subway entrance and stares at a wall smiling triumphantly, "Found you" and opens a portal. Drawing his sword Aleksander steps through with his golem following in his wake. The portal remains open but will soon close.

The ninja pauses at the prospect of leaving her lofty perch and descending into the subway. She bites on the side of her hand pensively and her eyes dart around to find any potential witnesses for what she's about to do.

Slipping down on a rope (also black), she lands silently on the roof of the subway's entrance and flips inside … and straight onto the stairs. The diminutive ninja rolls the whole way down and lands flat on her rear with a thump, legs and sandals sprawled out in front of her. Her cat-eyes are left spinning but once she rediscovers which way is up, she hastily dives behind a nearby vending machine and stays there. How she fits in the narrow gap? Ninja trick.

Peeking out of her new hiding place, she eyes the portal and watches it shimmer and swirl from the darkness.

A booming voice is heard from the portal "Get out from your hiding place!" as a horned figure is thrown through the portal smashing into the wall of the staircase. The figure looks staggered but quickly comes to. The figure resembles that of a satyr from folklore with pissed off red eyes. The satyr yells in a baritone, snarl "You should be dead! A thousand years and you come back looking for blood!?"

Aleksandr steps through the portal with sword in hand and his golem arm and eye exposed. He glares down at the satyr and points his sword at him "My daughter died because of you. You really think I'd just let you live after that?"

The satyr snarls "You're a good man, golemancer, but you gave me too many witnesses. On your golden conscious their blood will fall."

The satyr begins to head down into the subway with a bloodlust in his eyes.

The orange eye flinches back out of sight at the voice. When it next appears, it pokes out from *under* the vending machine and tries to continue watching the proceedings from there. If this is a hero test, the ninja fails; the satyr is allowed to proceed without her interruption, though her black form begins to peek itself out in preparation for more following. That she's left a nice scent trail from the stairs to her hiding place, the sneak hasn't noticed. It's a salty smell, decidedly un-Gotham-subway-like, and also stinks a bit of raw fish.

Aleksandr wastes no time and throws his sword with augmented golem strength impaling the satyr in the back. The satyr shrieks with pain but the sword seems to have struck true as the satyr crumbles to his knees and disintegrates. Aleksandr recovers his sword ignoring the shocked look of the local pedestrians and walks up the stairs closing his portal. Lexei, Aleksandr's golem companion, walks up and stops at the vending machines and begins beeping to Aleksandr. "What is it, Lexei?" the golemancer reaches down to pick up his golem "You want another shoulder ride?"

He stops and smells. Peering behind the vending machines "Hello little one. I'm pretty sure these strange machines only work from the front."

The too-black shadow under and behind the vending machine doesn't respond at first, but eventually the orange cat-eye opens again and stares at the golemancer and his golem. Reluctantly it slides out of its hiding place, complete with its twin and the hooded ninja they're attached to.

"What was zat?" She asks bluntly, flicking her bright eyes to where the satyr used to be. Perhaps the best gauge of the well-covered young woman, her voice is smooth and melodic - light but with a rough edge that Aleksandr might recognize in his own. It's young, almost too young.

Aleksandr frowns "Someone who deserved a fate worse than death". He eyes the woman up and down "I must say in all my centuries I have never seen your kind of garments. Do most people these days where them" he asks inquisitively. Meanwhile the shocked crowd seems to be growing disturbed as some people seem to be calling 9-1-1 on their phones.

Lexei pulls on the woman's leg and beeps to Aleksandr. "Right I may have disturbed the local authorities. We should talk elsewhere."

'Garment' might be more accurate for the ninja girl's outfit. Below the hooded jacket and cloth hiding her face, there's nothing but oil-black spandex - or perhaps cotton. The fabric of her suit is hard to place.

The ninja looks down at the little machine and around at the growing crowd, then furtively nods. "Da." Expecting the towering mage to follow, she turns and runs for the stairs.

Lexei climbs up to Aleksandr's shoulder just before he takes off running behind the ninja. Adorably Lexei is barely hanging onto Aleksandr's shoulder by its little hands. As they make their way through the crowded subways the sounds of sirens from the entrance grow in intensity. Hopefully the little ninja knows how to shake them.

The ninja might have an idea, even if the three meter tall mage doesn't like it. The long tail of her jacket flutters as she sprints up the stairs and turns as soon as she reaches street level. Spurred on by the flashing lights of approaching police cars, she doesn't check to see if Aleksandr is keeping up or spare more than a glance at the pedestrians around her. Running down the street with an eye towards the ground, she looks backwards just once to spot a small gap in traffic and crouches down beside the inlet of a storm drain, half sliding and half flinging herself inside.

The ninja's jacket bunches itself up against the cement and she grumbles something as she hastily forces out air to make herself smaller and quickly pulls herself the rest of the way in. The young woman's distinctive eyes disappear from sight just as a taxi cab's wheels pass beside them.

Aleksandr watches the graceful ninja navigate the busy streets of Gotham and loses of her sight as she ducks down the storm drain. "Slippery little woman. Hold tight Lexei" Aleksandr says as he concentrates on a teleportation spell. The sirens grow louder and louder but just as they round the corner *POOF* the mage is gone and finds himself in the storm drain.

The mage looks at his coat and notices the torn leather that should have been covering his golem arm. "Stupid clawed boshtet" he says as he replaces his eye patch and begins looking for the mysterious ninja.

While not literally the inside of a sewer, a storm drain isn't a very big step up. Thankfully the lack of rain has left the floor at least mostly dry except for a putrid sheen of run-off, and the cement tunnel is dimly lit by old utility lights running overhead. The muffled noises of the street echo eerily up and down the passageway and a slight slope gives the only sense of any direction - towards the bay.

The relative silence is interrupted by the sound of two sandals splashing against the floor nearby.

"Eeeeewww," the ninja whines as she lifts one foot and flicks it, splattering a little sludge on the wall. "<It never rains in this city…>" Without anyone to talk to, the girl switches languages to far more fluent Russian. In the dark, Aleksandr's arrival may have gone unnoticed for the moment.

Aleksandr watches as the ninja approaches "Other than Agent May I don't think I've met someone as slippery as you."

He steps forward and offers his hand "You are very gifted, child. My name is Aleksandr and you've met Lexei" the tiny jumps off of Aleksandr's shoulder and runs up to Maris tugging on her leg. Aleksandr chuckles, "I think he likes you, child."

"-Eek!" the ninja squeaks in surprise before spinning around - and then looking up. "<You are far too big to be that fast, Rasputin,>" she dead-pans, a little slighted at having been caught so easily. Her bright eyes stare down at the hand and hesitantly she clasps it in her own. "Rusalka," she answers.

The skin-tight fabric of her suit doesn't yield its clinging grip in the slightest - the little golem might as well be pulling on the ninja herself. She spares the automaton a glance and tries to lightly brush it off with her free hand. "<What is he, and what are you?>"

Aleksandr raises a hand to alleviate Maris's fright "Be still, Rusalka, I mean you no harm" he walks over "As for how I got here" he chuckles "let's say I used magic."

Lexei raises its arms up to Rusalka and jumps up and down wanting to be held. "You asked what we are. Well I am what is called a golemancer. I create magical machines like Lexei here that serve me."

He looks at Rusalka "Might I ask do you live here, Rusalka" he gestures to the storm drain.

"If I did, I would have to cut off my nose," the young ninja answers as she covers that part of her mask. Her eyes are drawn back down to Lexei and she tilts her head. "What a curious little machine." After a pause she obliges, reaching down to pick it up and looking over the golem quizzically.

Lexei beeps happily as Rusalka picks it up. Aleksandr laughs "Are you happy, Lexei?"

Lexei beeps, boops and tweeps. "May I ask, Rusalka, why do you hide your face? The only people I know who do that simply want people to not know what they look like. Are you a fugitive?"

"I think we both are now," Rusalka reasons plainly. "If I have a disguise, I always have somewhere to hide."

"Not all of us can teleport, Rasputin."

Aleksandr cocks his head at the name Rasputin. Probably some famous Russian. "Having spent nearly a century as a hermit, hiding and being away from people is not something I recommend long term. You alienate yourself and start to be less human."

Lexei reaches up and simulates a kiss on the cheek and hops down over to Aleksandr. "I'm sure you have your reasons though. I certainly had mine. But if you need a friend I most certainly could use one too" he says offering a business card with his phone number. "I was told by a very smart woman that if you press this symbols in this order you can speak with a person thousands of miles away. I can't say I understand it all, but it certainly is convenient."

"A century? You really are an old man. Immortal?" The ninja guesses. She can't help giggling a little at Lexei and the tiny golem lightens her tone - just a bit.

Accepting the business card, she turns it over a couple times thoughtfully before tucking it under her belt.

Aleksandr picks up Lexei and puts him on his shoulder "Not immortal. At least I don't think I am."

He creates a portal and looks back at Rasulka "Take care, Rusalka. Say goodbye, Lexei" and Lexei waves goodbye to Rusalka.

"Nothing has killed me yet," Rusalka answers, giving Lexei a tiny wave back as the pair take their leave. "Do svidaniya."

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