The Knife

February 17, 2017:

Cutscene. Worried about Zatanna Zatara's apparent disappearance, Red Robin decides to investigate. For the moment, questions beget only more questions.

Various Places in Gotham and NYC


NPCs: Kasim, Gerry Craft

Mentions: Zatanna Zatara, John Constantine, Spoiler

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

There had been no response.

The internal argument had gone on for a while, two days and change: The hunch that something was wrong, versus the desire to not want to be a pushy weirdo. But after returning from his Wednesday night patrol with the Spoiler, Tim had sent another text about the information the blonde had brought.

By Friday morning, still nothing. In the end, the hunch had won out, and with it the acknowledgement that he would always on some level be a pushy weirdo.

Noon had seen him at Shadowcrest rather than at the university: Kasim, the house's attendant, could only tell him what Tim already knew, that Zatanna hadn't been back since the fourteenth. That she'd been busy beforehand, in and out of the house regularly.


The Third Eye had been his next stop, as he broke the promise he'd made to himself to never darken Gerry Craft's doorstep again. In disguise but not in costume, though he doubted either counted for much when dealing with the blind man. Truthfully, he wasn't entirely sure what to make of the information Craft had for him, about helping Zatanna to expand her occult contacts in the area, or Constantine having to lay low for the past week, but in the context of his own recent conversations with the Princess of Prestidigitation…

Well, it painted a worrying picture, to him.


And so that evening found Red Robin standing in his hideout, frowning at the sharp edge of a knife.

What he'd read from the books Zatanna had lent him wouldn't really prepare him for this, surely. His previous experiences with teleportation hadn't exactly been fun ones, and he had no reason to believe this would be any different.

He'd removed his gauntlets, tucking them into his costume's ultility belt, and folded back his left sleeve until the relevant part of his forearm was bared; he couldn't see the mark, the one that had been carved into his skin with an obsidian blade weeks ago. Sometimes he thought he could feel it, though… An itch, or a tingle. Surely it was just his imagination.

The knife in his hand wasn't obsidian at all, but sharp carbon steel; the sharp edge bit into the pad of his thumb, dark red welling up from the cut.

'If there's no way out, if you've been heavily injured, you just need to wipe some of your own blood over it like this…' she'd told him, given him the instructions on how to use the spell she'd carved permanently into his flesh. It was a last resort, she'd said, reproaching him for being unwilling to ask for help unless he was actually dying. Honestly, he'd intended to never use it. Certainly not like this.

"I really hope this ends up being embarrassing," Red Robin muttered to himself. Better embarrassing than dire. It doesn't always have to be dire, right? Right.

He wiped his bloodied thumb over the inside of his left forearm, exactly like Zatanna showed him.

There was a feeling of movement, of being /pulled/, as the Robin's Nest distintegrated around him, just enough time for his heart to lurch in his chest before he was somewhere else.

It wasn't a bedroom, which was both a relief and a concern: What fits entirely into the latter category was that Zatanna Zatara was nowhere to be seen. A thought floated momentarily through his mind, that after all that work carving him up permanently, she'd done the spell wrong somehow. Wouldn't that just figure? But he was already working, already assessing his surroundings as he fits his gauntlets back into place. He was outside. He wasn't in Gotham. He was in fact in front of… A nightclub?

He'd never heard of it before, the Abyss, which made it all the more certain he wasn't in Gotham, as though he needed any further clues; nevertheless, he moved directly to the sole entrance, towards the towering tuxedo-clad bouncer.

"Excuse me…" he began, in that electronically altered voice.


He never did get in. He crouched on a rooftop not far away, sometime later, frowning; he knew he was in New York, now, his suit's computer having caught up with the teleport a few minutes later than he would've liked. He set up cameras, listening equipment to give himself a full perspective on the entrance of the Abyss, and… Nothing. A stakeout might prove useless without further information, without contacts, and he was operating outside of his usual territory. Which meant…

His cape billowed as he pulled himself away from that rooftop with a grapple line, building up momentum so he could start swinging across the city, because he knew where he needed to go.

Next stop: Alias Investigations.

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