Gotham Hellgate

April 18, 2015:

With HYDRA upping the game and people starting to tap the tainted Leylines, Zee invites some friends to come party and close a gate.

Battergate - Gotham


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

HYDRA have managed to somehow use hellgates to feed dark energy into the Leyline network. There were initially four gates used for this purpose, now there's three with the New York one being closed down a couple of days ago by Paul, Jericho and Zatanna.

The closing of that gate was not easy, it was well guarded and there was something on the other side that attacked when Zee threw magic at it. The only reason they were successful was that they had the element of suprise on their side… something they won't have now… HYDRA know they know and will be on the lookout.

Still, the gates have to be closed and Zee's contacted some people she knows and trusts with her life, asking them to come meet her. The first of those is Agent Paul Manning from SHIELD, who can actually tell Zee the exact location of the gate. He's given her a location in Battergate, Gotham and they've arrange a meeting place, close but not too close. Zee's there now, pacing a little as she waits for those who've said they can be there to show up.

Paul knew that after they took care of the first gate, surprise would no longer be on their side. They'd need help. And who does Paul call on for help but his partner. He didn't call on Agent May. Instead, it was more of a surprise to him. One that began with the question 'Agent Manning, why have you requisitioned a flame thrower?' The explanation for that took a couple hours. But here they are. "Ms. Zatanna."

Sara has had a few run-ins of her own lately regarding the hellgates. Apparently whatever is trying to get in or out is trying to replace light and dark. Which means the bearer of the Balance has a lot of work to do. "Zee," she tips her chin up toward the other woman as they come closer. "Sounds like things aren't actually getting any better."

Paul can consider himself really damned lucky that when the requisition was sent up and then questioned for a couple of hours, all May had to do was tell Fury it's for a job with Trent, and he approved it pretty much on the spot. Thus, just before they arrive to meet up with Zatanna, she says aside to the former detective, "Advance warning next time, please." And that's the end of it.

May is, as per usual, armed for a serious fight against demonkind which likely will unsettle Trent like it usually does, but she's learned to overprepare. It's almost sad how many people who pitch in for this kind of fight end up arriving woefully underprepared. In May's book, at least. She gives the spellcaster a simple nod hello. She's already in mission mode.

It'd unsettle Trent more if May were underprepared. More unsettling still though is May's new teleportation ability and the implication that she's… in contact with powers beyond Fury. He shows up via stepping disk armed for a fight as well, though his version of that is more subtle than it used to be. Just his blade, a rifle, and some grenades in a harness. "Battergate…" He says distastefully. "I hate Gotham. Hey all." He waves to Zee, May, Paul and Sara.

"Right so, I'm pulling up specs on this area now. Give me a direction and rough distance and I'll tell you what's there."

When the call came to close the gates, Kara had been in the bathroom recovering from her earlier ordeal. She stared in the mirror at the cuts and scratches on her arms and her hair, she had snapped just a little bit after having killed so many members of Hydra just to see the President die.

Aside from fighting against Zod, nothing she had ever done on Earth had ever seemed like a loss.

Her hand went up to touch her hair now, thinking about the undead abominations Hydra had unleashed on Orleans, France.

They had pulled her hair, literally ripped strands of it out and left it uneven. When she had first looked into the mirror, she had almost broken it but instead she had taken out a pair of scissors and began to cut it so it would all be even.

The gleaming blonde locks almost disgusted her as she looked at them and breaking into Kate's bathroom, she stole some black hair dye and for some reason; it seemed to suit for now.

Putting on her black and white costume she had used once at the Justice League: Avengers announcement ceremonies she sighed softly and looked in the mirror once more, forcing a smile for herself at the new look.

She focussed on the Sapphire Ley Pendulum that hung around her neck and teleported in near the others, her darker hair and lack of a smile likely noticeable to anyone who knows her in the least.

"Thanks for coming." Zee nods and waves to each of them as they arrive. Shaking her head at Sara's statement, Zee responds "No, they're not. We all know that HYDRA are planning something and yesterday Agent Manning helped Jes, Kara and I stop the Ton Ton Macoute tapping the tainted Leyline power." she shrugs a little "I know that the Ton Ton Macoute are tied up with HYDRA, so this gate… we have to close it." Jericho gets an arch look "That's my home you're dissing… behave, I don't say nasty things about Limbo." Granted, Limbo could well be nicer than Gotham, that's saying something.

Looking to Paul, Zee smiles and shrugs "You're the directions man…" he can give Jericho the details.

"So, the plan… is … loose but basically, I'll try to close the gate. I have a ritual that I've been working on and you all," she gestures to the group "will deal with the other threats… and no, I don't know what they are."

"Everyone hates Gotham." Paul points out then corrects himself. "Everyone sane. Or magicians." he adds on learning Zatanna likes the place. Where's the gate? Just wanting to know is enough and he suddenly does. "That way." he says, motioning in that direction. Not too far. It's underground and since I have this urge to open that manhole over there, I'm guessing it's in a sewer tunnel or maybe they connected wherever it is to the sewers for easier access." Nothing is more fun that traipsing around a sewer tunnel with a flamethrower strapped to your back. Hopefully, the level of methane is low.

"Whatever they're trying to pull in, it's a serious power," Sara notes as she falls in behind Paul to head toward the gate. "Angelus and Darkness both are fighting at these places. It's trying to push out light and dark as driving forces. Which means it's pretty damned alien." She nods to Kara when she sees the girl, but she doesn't comment on the change in looks. Lord knows she's had enough issues of her own in the last few days. "Up side, we might have half a set of allies when we get there."

"Zatara's with me." Okay, so May has voiced her two cents for this mission. She intends to make sure that Zatanna is able to close that Hell Gate undisturbed no matter what it takes. She regards Paul for a moment — she knows what Sara is capable of and doesn't feel she's under equipped for this mission — and offers him a small vial of a golden oily fluid. "Use it sparingly." Kara gets a similar once over, and she seems even LESS prepared, so she's offered a silver hip flask. "Holy water. Don't drink it, use it on the demons. And I want that flask back."

Jericho pulls up city plans as Paul talks looking for anything out of the way enough to qualify. "There's a junction about a quarter mile off and thirty meters deep that's big enough. I wouldn't portal right in. It's disused, they could have anything setup in there." He glances over to Sara. "Trying to push out both the Light and the Dark? I thought these things were dark based… unless…" Hrm. "Could it be that their dark isn't ours?" Whoo boy, this life.

"Zee, you think you can get us in here?" He pulls a map up, projected over his arm. There's a chamber that's out of the way and out of sight.

Kara accepts the flask of holy water with a brief nod and crosses her arms over her chest as she waits, "Thanks." She's relatively silent in comparison to normal, but that's only because she was mad and wanting to beat down a whole lot of Hydra.

"We should talk, Sara" Zee had got pretty banged up magically in the last few weeks and one of those times, she received a backlash of magic from whatever it was that was pushing light and dark out. She's pretty certain there marks on her as a result. Comes from trying to fight with love and compassion when that part of your soul is missing. "Or it could just be darker than our dark…. Jericho." Zee didn't

Looking at Jericho's arm, um map, Zee nods "I can. I'm going to conserve my magic use as much as possible, but that, I can do."

May gets a nod and Zee gestures everyone to get close as she bends down and picks up a backpack and when everyone is togeher, she speaks

~~ tropeleT sU oT ehT rebmahC ~~

The group arrives in the chamber Jericho indicated, it's dark and smelly but there's a slight glow of light that filters up the tunnel. If the group listens intently, Kara will hear it anyway, there's the murmur and sounds of people, things, down that tunnel in the direction of the light.

Zee takes a lighter and flask of water from the backpack. "Let's go…. Who wants to take point, Jericho?" she speaks quietly trying to pitch her voice down so it doesn't carry.

Paul takes the vial with a nod and slips it into a pocket. "Or we could walk." he says out quietly after they've already teleported. Pulling his pistol, he takes the safety off and chambers a round before slipping it back into its holster. Then he checks the flame thrower's business end but doesn't ignite it yet.

"I keep telling people, dark isn't the same as evil," Sara shakes her head to Jericho and Zee. "It can be, but so can the light. And, more importantly, they balance each other out. And if they don't…" She trails off, just as the Witchblade creeps over her skin, armoring her for the battle to come. "There's a remedy for that, too. Whatever they're trying to bring through the portal, I'm guessing it's not going to come with the answering, balancing force." Once she's armored, she steps to the front of the group. "I can take point."

Melinda May waits for the teleport to complete, taking it so much more calmly than she used to. Once they're in the indicated chamber she pulls two swords from the hidden scabbards at her back, the blades glinting in the little light available and proving they're already liberally coated with the same oil as what she already gave to Paul. "Ready to move." She nods to Zee. Vulcanesque bodyguard is on duty.

Jericho smiles as Sara offers to take point and produces his blade, letting it unfold as bracers cover his wrists. "Sounds good to me." He murmurs, remembering the cold and darkness of the last place and quite careful to feel for any that may be coming up ahead. Paul's flamethrower gets a curious look but… honestly it's a good idea, so he'll let that go. Kara herself gets a short salute. And then he too is moving.

Kara steps up beside Sara to assist her with whatever might be up front and explains, "There's 4 people talking a little closer than the others up ahead, I'm not sure how many there are though. Too many whispers, it's like they're inside of my head." She keeps the holy water at the ready and her eyes are already flashing red as she prepares to begin lasering the first enemies she comes across.

Zee smiles wanly at May and takes up position behind those who'll take the lead

Zee moves as quietly as possible, May may be impressed to see the high heel knee boots have been replaced with more practical biker boots with sturdy soles. Of course, Zees still wearing the collar and emerald pendulum.

As the group approaches the light there's a tear that seems to be pulsing darkness. Paul, Jericho and Zee will recognise this, it's the same as the New York gate, that's something right?

Kara's correct, there are 4 people closer than the others, guarding the entrance. Beyond them, another 2 stand on either side of that tear… seems that HYDRA have learned.

Something must tip the four off though as two of them move up the tunnel and see the group… opening fire. The other two are a little slower to respond but they too, open up on the group.

The two guarding the gate itself begin to morph into something else… demonlike and quite large.

Paul was just waiting to see what faced them. Leaving the four for Kara, he ignites the flamethrower. "Guard me." he tells Sara and steps forward and to the side. "No one get in front of me." Obviously. He doesn't try very ahrd to keep the four Hydra guards out of the path of the flame as he sweeps it over the gate and the demons.

Melinda May places herself to one side of Zee where she can protect the spellcaster easily but not enough in front of her to get in the way. When the four HYDRA goons move forward, she raises her butterfly swords in case they charge, but she doesn't take the fight to them immediately. And maybe, hopefully, the pendulum will do something cool again like it did last time?

Sara throws out a hand as the guards open fire, a shield spreading out over her forearm to provide more cover for the others. "Hit it, Paul," she calls out, keeping an eye on the guards that seem to be turning into something else.

Jericho ducks behind Paul. Much like the ex-NYPD officer he's got a lot of experience in room clearing and comes out behind and to his left, carbine spitting fire at the more normal of the guards. Short, controlled bursts. It's easy to forget, sometimes, that the hacker was once an elite soldier and hasn't exactly stopped practicing those skills. Then he too ducks out of the way to make room for May and Kara.

Kara moves over to the side of Paul as the man steps forward with his flamethrower and adds her eye laser beams into the gouts of flame, calling out grimly to Hydra, "You brought this upon yourselves, we will be cutting off your heads and no more will be growing back. This is the end for all of you."

Taking up position, Zee doesn't even look at May, she's already working her spell… Pauls flamethrower is going to help this a lot. Splashing water from the flask in her hand at the dark tear, she starts speaking

~~ dneS eriF ghuorhT ehT etaG, esolC tI, laeS tI reveroF ~~

Those words, are repeated several times, as the young magi draws on her power.

It's a good thing Jericho is aiming at the four normal guards. With Sara providing cover and Paul and Kara focussed on the gate, those four turn to focus on May and Zee. Trent takes out two with his skill, and badly injures a third. The two converge on May, aiming their weapons and firing.

The flamethrower and Kara's laser beams have an effect and one of the demonlike creature start to fall back, they aren't down yet but the combined effort of Kara and Paul seems to be working. Until the fire from Pauls Flamethrower is subverted into the gate by Zees spell.

As the fire pours into the gate, a gust of icy cold counters it and Zee feels the will of the entity on the other side, countering her spell and trying to beat down on her.

Paul aims the flamethrower so it's trained fully upon the gate and cranks it up to max. "This isn't going to work on the next gate." he comments, trusting the others to do their jobs. "Can I requisition a pony nuke?"

Melinda May steps fully in front of Zee now, charging the two and planning to take the hits to her body armor to keep their weapons fire from getting past her to the magician. There's no way to get up in their faces fast enough, so she throws one of her butterfly swords at the closer of the two, aiming to hit the goon center mass. Let's see a kevlar vest stop THIS.

Zee may pick up on the chill through magic, but Sara can feel it through the balance of the Witchblade. "Like hell," she mutters under her breath, throwing out her free hand. Sensing the chill of the dark, the Witchblade responds with light. A bar of balefire as thick as her arm shoots out of Sara's hand and toward the gate, blindingly bright and searingly hot.

The chill magic is also affecting Jericho. His traces begin to light up ice blue as they drink down the power. They've never been particularly picky. He narrows his eyes, moving about the room as Paul pours on fire and Sara pours on light. As many skills as he has, this isn't one of them. But he'll make sure nothing else interrupts the ones bringing down the portal.

Kara continues to focus her efforts towards the gate along with Paul, hoping to press forward. When Paul speaks, she asks, "Why won't it work? Is the next gate like a fire gate or something? If it is, I can handle it with some ice of my own."

Pauls cranking the flamethrower up, Karas eyebeams and Sara's balefire help push back the cold. It still trying to get through but the combined heat of the three is slightly more effective.

Jericho's roaming around the room takes out the injured goon and Mays butterfly sword pierces the kevlar taking the fourth goon down.

When the counterattack comes, Zee's sort of ready for it, and draws more deeply on her power.

~~ nruB ehT ytitnE nO ehT rehtO ediS ~~

An unearthly shriek comes through the gate, as the slash of darkness starts to diminish to nothing and bolts of cold dark energy shoot from the gate aiming at Zee, Paul, Sara and Kara.

Zee's not quick enough again, and takes the bolt in the shoulder, crying out in pain and dropping her spell.

"Because they'll be better prepared." Paul answers. "The first gate, we surprised them completely. This time we brought more people and changed tactics. We'll need to do the same for the next gate. Something they won't expect and prepare for. And the last one in South America is going to be a bitch." As the bolts shoot out again, he takes what cover behind Sara's shield that he can and still keep the fire on it.

Melinda May actually curses aloud (in Mandarin), and hastily unstoppers a second bottle of the oil, throwing its contents into the path of Paul's flame thrower. LEt's see how Frosty the Bastard feels about HOLY fire. At this rate, though, she's going to have to import an entire temple's worth of oil from Israel. Just the thought of the requisition paperwork for that one… "Zee, you okay?"

"Zee!" Sara steps forward without dropping her hand, trying to provide more cover with her shield. It means she takes two of the bolts on the edge of it, but darkness isn't something she fears. It's been theorized before that the fact that she's less than perfectly good is part of why she's bonded so well with the Blade. An item of balance just needs at least some edge of darkness in its bearer. "Tell me what you need, Zee."

"Look out!" Jericho's wings snap into existance and one of them all but slaps Kara in the face as he takes the strike for her. His traces spark along his arm and shoulder, leaving a burn. "Put that thing away!" The wings fold back in and the hacker glares… but that's all he's got just at the moment.

Kara is slapped aside by the wing almost but at least she doesn't take a hit, smiling at Jericho she says, "Thanks!" Then she does something that might be incredibly reckless, she charges towards the gate and whatever is firing the bolts of energy or the gate itself; she just wants to punch something /really/ hard.

The slash of darkness closes and fades, the bolts of energy the entity's last ditch attempt. The heat and flames and Mays Holy Oil combined with Zees final spell had the desired effect. Hopefully Kara doesn't hit the wall.

"It's done, Jericho." Zee breathes through the pain "No May, I got hit… and I'm going to need healing, Sara."

The young magi, slumps against the wall, spent and hurt and in a lot of pain.

Paul kills the flames as soon as the gate disappears then wipes the sweat off his brow. Needless to say, it's gotten quite hot suddenly. "Bright side." he says to Sara. "The ranking agent gets to write the after action report."

For once, there's a flicker of doubt across Sara's features as Zee explains what she needs. "I can try," she says, jogging over and crouching down next to the mage. "But I've got to be honest. I haven't exactly gotten it to…work right for anyone else yet." The shield fades away as the Witchblade retreats back to her hand, and she reaches out over where the bolt hit. "I'm working on instinct here. If things get weird…" She trails off, looking back to Paul. "If things get weird, knock me the fuck out, okay?"

Melinda May turns to check on Zee the moment that portal closes. Damn. This isn't good. Not really knowing what else to do, she pulls the pendulum from around her neck and looks at Sara questioningly. Will this be of any help?

"Should be okay, right? Witchblade'll like her more than it likes me… which is, now that I say that, a perfectly resonable reaction…" Zee isn't tainted as he. Well, that Jericho knows about.

Kara goes crashing into the stone behind the portal and cracks it open, getting a massive gout of water in the face as reward for her impetuousness. The water also happens to wash off most of the hair dye, which it turns out was not even permanent; last time she would steal from Kate.

Soggy and wet she looks towards the others, "Well, I guess that means it's closed.."

Zee nods to Sara "If you like. If not, I'll rest up and do it myself." her eyes flicking to Jericho at the comments about the Witchblade not liking him. "It's closed Kara… that last set of bolts was like a death curse. That's the second time it's done that…" Maybe she should think about that. "I really need to learn to dodge better." or have a shield spell or something.

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