Something Wicked This Way Comes

July 10, 2018:

Hell's Kitchen becomes a hot spot for supernatural activity.

Hell's Kitchen


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Red Robin, Zatanna Zatara, Owen Mercer

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Another day passes after hours of compassionate volunteer work was carried out cleaning up sections of rubble-strewn streets and caring for the residents who still felt unsafe in the aftermath of the bombing of Hell's Kitchen. While the work was slow, it mattered; despite how much there was to do, a sense of accomplishment was present. Small steps could make things right. It was better than nothing at all.

Once the sun continues its descent to make way for evening, it means two things. One is that all community-related activities for the day come to an end until the next morning. And two: it allows the shadows - and other folk who like to work in shadow - to return to the scene of the crime.

For what it's worth, Raven has tried her best to participate in both worlds. As the normal 'gothy'-looking girl, she reminds herself of the good she was doing in helping wherever it was needed. Helping hands here, clean up there. Handing out some of the care packages that had been sent from another neighborhood nearby. When that is done, she returns to something more familiar, donning the black cloak to see if she missed anything or anyone in the area, working behind the scenes instead of within them. With the latter, it's easier for her to blend in.

A way of coping, an alternative way of assisting those who need assistance - call it what you will, she is doing whatever she can without being overwhelmed by other people. Or things.

It's amazing how one text message can lift your spirits. Helping out with the aftermath of the chaos that had occurred little over a week ago has been tiring but rewarding work in itself, to be sure- not that Impulse expected anything out of doing what simply had to be done. Clean-up is tedious but a lot less nervewracking than trying to locate missing people that might yet be buried under collapsed buildings, which he'd helped out with during the early stages of the emergency.

Being able to vibrate through walls had been a great asset to get into places that no one else could without clearing out a few tons of debris, but now the clearing out part is most of what needs to be done, and Impulse's job here and there has been to make sure that no one was on the other side before bulldozers and cranes went to town.

He's decided to take a break from being Impulse for the moment, and after a quick change now stands off to the side by one of the more quieter areas beside a small pile of rubble that had been cleared from the walkway, gulping down Powerade (gotta keep your Speedsters hydrated!), tapping at his cellphone. Owen Mercer had sent him a message not too long ago, and the simple inquiry on how he was has lifted a weight Bart hadn't even known he'd been carrying over his shoulders, ever since their talk and the revelation that they were related. He's several texts into the conversation, brief replies, but enough to bring a small smile on his face.

Jessica Jones is kind of a prime rubble lifter. And she has been doing just that today. The detective isn't far from where either of the Titans are, though she hasn't really noticed them yet.

Of course, Hell's Kitchen isn't exactly a comfortable place for an empath to be, nor one sensitive to supernatural resonances. As others who have some capabilities in that realm have observed, mass deaths on this scale tend to weaken the veil, enticing demons and other creatures to try to push through.

Deep below the city, at least one of those wizards has been on a massive clean-up effort in that regard, drawing deep on the city's ley lines to put a stop to that kind of activity. But it's hard to catch all of it, and the man has to sleep sometime. Some entities also waited a little bit. Smarter ones, stronger ones that didn't need the immediate and initial tears to take advantage of the situation.

When she senses the disturbance, it is not far from where Jessica is working. Right behind her, in fact, in an alley she's paying no attention to.

The strange vibrations in the speed force come quickly after that.

Whatever's about to happen is about to happen fast, and she's pretty much right in the path of it. It probably is not a good thing to be taken by surprise by whatever it is.

They seem to have gotten stronger, those disturbances. Raven's own connections to the occult and darkness have proven useful during times like this, but she's been trying to ignore the steady rise of supernatural activity as she goes about her business checking to see if anyone has been missed among the collapsed and broken buildings.

This one, however, is much more forceful. It drives an imaginary spike into her skull, violent enough to throw her off from clearing away another wall with her dark powers. The shadows at her beck and call disintegrate like the brick and mortar as she immediately presses her palms to her temples, drawing in a sharp breath to keep herself from falling over.

"…Oh no." The tremor in her voice echoes her movements, her wavering step tripping into leveled flight not too far off of the ground to seek out the direction those dark vibrations are coming from. "No no no- "

And where Raven follows, she eventually finds Jessica in the line of fire, the events unfolding right before her eyes. Although words fail to reach her lips, three of them manage to escape, strange in their shaped language. Arms and hands gesture and fly out as her eyes lose their color, calling up a dark wall of shadow almost reminiscent of stylized feathers in an attempt to keep Jessica from harm.

The disruption, subtle as it might be, does easily draw Bart's thoughts from trying to think of any people with siblings, if mostly for the strangeness of the sensation. He raises his head, frowning. That…well, that sure wasn't his stomach rumbling.

Quickly finishing up his drink, he all but vanishes from where he'd been standing as he tears off, moving far too quickly for the naked eye to see as he tries to investigate the source of the odd vibrations. His costume springs out from his ring, and he's back to being Impulse between blocks, red and white blurring down the street.

It feels stronger over—

The Speedster comes around the corner as darkness (whoa, cool) suddenly rushes out, and as he takes in the scene he catches a glimpse of Raven as though in slow motion, and not much farther, Jessica Jones. He can't quite figure out Raven's attempt, although he has a feeling it's something to do with the weird vibrations. Is there something coming? Will Raven's shadows make it in time? Impulse leans into it as he pushes for speed. Better safe than sorry, and if Raven thinks something's up, the least he can do is try to help get Jess clear.

Stylized feathers are almost an ironic choice. Because what bursts out of a purple-white rift in the alley of Hell's Kitchen are a flock of almost-feathered things. Feathered and furred over leathery black skin, with huge strange ugly beaks and skeletal builds. A Lovecraft fan might call them Byahkee. Or. Anyone who actually knows Byakhee exhist, because they are, in fact, Byakhee. There are about ten of them, and they 'rawwuuuuuughk!' out of the portal. Some of them go slamming into the feather wall.

Getting Jess clear isn't hard. Sudden speedster Princess Carry produces, "Whoa, what the Hell!…"

And then she actually looks up and brown eyes widen.

"Whoa. What the Hell."

Contact. The impact of some of the freaky-winged demon bodies causes the goth to flinch, but she resolves to uphold the wall until Jessica is able to get away. What she doesn't account for is Impulse's involvement in helping them both out, blurring in and out before Raven can fully register that, yes, he is indeed doing them all a favor.

But there isn't any time to celebrate. She recognizes them - a version of them, perhaps, but it's not too far from what she knows of. Their screaming is awful all the same. The ones still in the air are the ones that need to be taken down. "Chose to come as a group, huh?" Raven mutters, sounding less than pleased at the odds. She wants to see if Jess and Impulse are okay, wants to make sure they're still around despite the sudden chaos. Still, her attention is needed here. The moment she lets her eyes wander would become a mistake that will endanger all of them.

Her stance changes. The darkness writhes, twisting and swirling into a mouth-like trap or two that rises to bite at the ones still flying, her tone now on edge with them as she concentrates her energy into the attack. "You guys aren't supposed to even be here…!"

"Heya Jess— Whoa," Impulse comments, right on the tails of Jessica's words as he glances back. That had been pretty close, and the sound of collision behind them just about cements how much it had been so.

Rounding back behind Raven's position, Impulse sets Jessica down on her feet before looking back towards wherever the— Well, Jess had the right of it, what the hell are those? He squints behind his goggles. "Friends of yours, Raven?" he asks.

That's of course meant to be joking. He watches the shadows around the other Titan shift and come alive, realizing that he's never really seen her in action, much less really know what she did aside from float. Nor does he seem terribly bothered by it than be somewhat in awe. That's pretty cool! Magic or something, wasn't it?

Come to think of it he should probably be helping out, huh? He takes a few running steps in place as he tries to work out what to do. Raven's going for the ones that are airborne, soooo maybe make sure the ones that had smacked into that shieldy thingy need to be kept down. -which Impulse decides to see about as he dashes back towards them. Sure, they're ugly and probably not from this world, but those details don't seem to phase him.

Rachel certainly catches one in her bitey trap, though the other veers off, squawks, and comes after her with powerful, slashing talons. They are moving quickly, and they're recovering fast from the wall of darkness thing. Byakhee are tough. In any universe. A third is coming right at her.

Impulse dashes towards them, and three more break off, able to smell him even if they can't see him. Mostly they're diving at places he used to be, but they do want him.

Jessica stares a moment more, then mutters, "Because Hell's Kitchen doesn't have enough problems. Hell fucking no."

Which is why she tosses a huge chunk of rock right at one. That will actually take it out with a squish, but then she's got three more of her own to contend with, and staring around at civilians, she takes to the air to draw them. They're going to be engaged in a bit of an aerial battle for awhile, leaving Bart and Rachel with the other six. Or other five, if Rachel is able to use her shadow mouth to just end the one she just had it bite.

A hit and a miss, she's not one to complain about it. The important part is keeping them from going everywhere they aren't supposed to. Raven barely catches Impulse's comment on the Byakhee being her friends. Once she realizes what he's asking, she steals a glance his way. "Oh, this? I don't remember handing out invites."

Her own attempt at making light of the situation contrasts with the severity of letting the teethy trap close on the one demon stuck in its maw. Unfortunately, the other two byakhees attack while she's left open; talons claw at her as she tries to shield herself, her arms taking the brunt of the attack as she flies back; the third one comes in hot, missing her by mere inches as her hair and cloak are caught up in the breeze.

Taking a breath to ease her physical pain, she focuses on the two creatures, summoning another shadowy figure to take care of them quickly. "We can't let them go," she says aloud, hoping Impulse hears her in passing as the shadow transforms into a giant raven. It flaps its own wings, swooping after the two with a shriek just as Jess Jones tosses the rock at the other demon.

Right, she thinks once she's processed it. She can do that. That's fine.

But then the P.I. goes flying.

And Raven can't help but stare. "…She can fly."

"Don't let them go, got it. Um, but what are they??"

Being fast certainly has its advantages. However it only serves to be so when one keeps moving- or more importantly, when one stays focused. Impulse hasn't realized that the things are tracking him by scent when clear sight has failed them, but he laughs when they miss, seeing them dive past and behind. He comes around one as it whips past, swinging a kick towards it, sends a punch towards another. Hopefully they aren't too tough, but after Jess and Raven's attacks, they're at least not invulnerable.

Ah, what was that about staying focused? Alas, Bart tends to get so easily distracted.

Seeing Jessica take to the skies has the young speedster craning his head about, following her path as she leaps up but doesn't seem to be coming back down any time soon. "-she can fly!" He might sound just the tiniest bit envious at that, but he's always thought flight to be a pretty cool ability!

CRUNCH goes the Byakhee, and that takes them down to 5. Raven deals with their attacks, then sends that giant raven shrieking after them. What ensues is the two of them diving on the raven instead. They attack with ferocity, starting what is likely to become a swift, heated dog fight. But they're focused on the construct, not Raven herself.

All to the good.

Bart's punch and kick take the Byakhee, though it doesn't take it out. It knocks it off balance enough to send it veering into a wall, but it is up again with a hard, hot squawk. It does distract it a minute. In fact, Bart is just one big blurry distraction they want to get at but can't. Lots of howling and snapping and futile diving and chasing going on.

Jess is engaged in a dogfight of her own, but with three on one happening she's not getting a whole lot of anywhere. She's a straightforward fighter. Probably it will only take one hit for her to really give them a bad day, but right now they're not letting her get it, and she's having to concentrate on not letting them get her.

Meanwhile there's this portal, pulsing away, which is probably also something worth handling. Somehow.

Are dog fights necessary in Hell's Kitchen? They are if they concern Byakhees that shouldn't be there. Keeping an eye on the raven and its flight path is about all she can do now since it tends to have a mind of its own, but there is some relief she isn't a target for the time being.

"They're demonic creatures, Impulse," Raven explains all too matter-of-factly while this is going on, wondering how he can pay any attention with all of the action around them. "I feel like I've seen them before. More importantly, with their arrival, it looks like there was more than structural damage to the area…"

Above, the raven screeches at its Byakhee enemies, speeding at them with open talons. It may even fly past Jessica as a means of helping her out, causing more of a distraction on the way.

Raven on the ground has to take a second to wonder where that other strain of energy is coming from. Her eyes shift, still blank white as they trail away from the speedster to where the portal is, brow furrowing once she sees it. "…I hate being right."

"Whoops—" Okay, maybe a little tougher than they look. Too bad he didn't have a sword! One might have to forgive him for comparing this to some video game battle, especially given his upbringing.

Impulse ducks and dances to the side as the chase begins anew. Well, trying to pound the snot out of them wasn't working for him, but maybe he can do something else. The things are still trying to chase him, after all. Lead them straight into another wall? That last one had rebounded pretty fast though. What else can he use? Amber eyes sweep the area.

More importantly, with their arrival, it looks like there was more than structural damage to the area… Wait, so how'd they get here again? —oh hey, what's that? Yeah. That…might work. A grin spreads across his face as the workings of a plan begin to formulate, a collection of pictures as that's just how he tends to think things up- visually. And at that moment he miiight just be picturing himself with a little matador hat and a red cloak. If he can't take care of these things here, may as well send them back home!

Quite abruptly he slows, tossing a quick look over his shoulder to see where about the position of the trio that had been tailing him is. Kiting the enemy. …or at least that's how it works on MMORPGs. "Come at me, bro," he says under his breath, keeping his speed just fast enough to stay ahead of them. Towards the portal. Which he'll stop right in front of before… Well, if they wise up to his plan of moving out of the way, he may just have to Super Mario it up and play some leap frog.

The distraction of the raven helps Jessica slam her fist hard into the chest of a creature, caving it right in. It drops to the ground, leaving her hand coated with a disgusting black blood she tries not to think so much about. "Thanks," she calls down to Rachel, even as the raven is able to catch a second one and destroy it. Three more up there.

Then there's Bart, doing his version of the Running of the Byakhee down below. The good news is this absolutely works. They go hurtling back through the portal from whence they came. Bad news that if that portal stays open for even a minute they'll be right back through it once more, more than likely. They wanted to be here. But it might slow down whatever else might follow them.

And whatever comes through next might be all sorts of worse.

Glancing back up to see where the giant bird shadow is, Raven sees that Jessica has dropped another Byakhee and is mostly unscathed. A nod is given in return. "Glad to help," she replies, even if she doesn't sound like she's happy about it. "But we still have a problem."

Quick thinking is good, but Impulse's process is even better. (She's lucky she can't read minds. Bart's brain would frighten her. Or confuse her.) Once they all go after him and back into the portal, she blinks, still thrown off by how easy he makes it look.

"…That will work."

The last thing they need is another demon or monster coming back out of the portal. As the raven seeps back into the hooded goth's being, she's already at work flying over to try sealing it off. Weaving the darkness closed over it should work in theory while casting, repeating those three foreign words over it as she does.

Awesome! It worked! But yeah, the fact that the portal's still open isn't lost on Impulse. He's currently imagining a giant cork being jammed into the thing. …although he's intensely curious as to what sort of boss battle that thing could belch out next.

Something wet falls somewhere behind him, and he looks from the body to where Jessica is. Maybe he should help out on that end? It looks like Raven's stepping up to bat with the portal, and whatever she's doing, it seems way more effective than whatever he'd imagined. Whether she sees it or not, he flashes her a thumb's up and then moves away from the pulsating portal.

Is there enough room to start up a mini tornado? If he can at least get the remaining Byakhee all together, Jess can probably make short work of them. He starts forward again, picking up speed as he runs a tight circle, wind whipping up but confined into a funnel. Hopefully it pulls the right targets, but it's not something Impulse will sustain for long.

Shadow energy crackles and coruscates as the portal snaps and seethes. It's fighting her. The things on the other side are fighting her. There is pressure from the other side, and anger that sweeps across her empathetic senses, hot enough to sear the brain pathways. She can close it, but it is no easy task. A task worthy of her skill and strength, though not one that is going to avoid taking its toll.

Meanwhile, Bart! A mini tornado happens. Jessica's strength resists it well, though for a moment she's twisting left and right in the air. What the…oh. "Good work, kid," she calls, characteristically gruff in every way. She dives down for what looks like a good half an apartment, zooms up into the air with it, and slams it down hard on the stuff in the middle of the tornado.

Wet, nasty splats everywhere. It's rainin' dead monsters.


No, it's really gross. Not gonna lie.

Jess sets the piece of building down after that. It's too big for a truck without breaking it up first, and she doesn't want it to be raining giant pieces of building, too.

As she does, the portal SNAPS shut, leaving only a fizzle and a crackle in the air before it is gone.

It burns. Burns like a hot iron brand, a thousand iron brands threatening to rip through the woven barrier and bury deep into her skin. Raven cringes, inwardly, outwardly, wanting to pull away as it grows stronger. But the wind at her back reminds her there are still two other people - two other heroes - here to help her.

A mini-tornado…and part of an apartment building splattering demon bits everywhere, even into the portal that's being closed. While somewhat baffling, that's enough to distract her from the sharp, angry sensations to pull everything shut.

She doesn't take her eyes off of the portal until she knows it's completely gone. And as the color returns to her eyes, she slowly exhales, the muscles in her body slackening as her legs drop out from underneath her.

"…We did it." Although weak, they're words of appreciation for Impulse and Jessica. "Good work."

"Yeah! Teamwo- agh, gross, gross!" Impulse's fist pump abruptly turns into a flail as he makes another dash about to deflect demon goo. Okay, no, he's actually just trying to dodge the splatter- which works about as well as trying to dodge raindrops. …he's tried.

The portal's closure brings with it a sudden quiet to the area that was otherwise definitely absent previously. Coming to such an abrupt halt that he nearly falls over, the speedster barely manages to catch Raven as she looks to be doing the same. A gasp of a laugh escapes him at her quiet words, and he smiles, nodding. "Yeah. Back at you." He looks around, and despite the spattering of monster guts and remnants of bodies, he thinks they did good all right. "Doing okay, Jess?" he asks, glancing over at the other woman who's just been all sorts of surprises.

"Good work back atcha!" Jess calls with a smirk and a thumb's up.

But then she tries to land.

Revelation #1: Jessica Jones can fly!

Revelation #2: Jessica Jones lands about like the proverbial Great American Hero of 80s fame.

She hits the ground at a weird angle, slips on some goo, her ankle twists, she stumbles…and there is Jones, face first in a pile of rubble. And she just…lays there. Offering a thumbs up.

"It's fine. This is fine. I meant to do this. All good. Totally good. It's a…special…detective's…technique…"

Fucking landings, man!

A ghost of a smile crosses Raven's half-hooded features, black hair a mess thanks to the strands crossing in front of her vision as she has Impulse's support. Some of the demon goo did get on her cloak, but it's not as gross as it could have been. That's always good.

She does, however, flinch when Jessica lands rather messily. To be or not to be concerned is the question until the P.I. gives a thumbs up, allowing her expression to return to some form of flatness. "…I see."

"……." And here a moment ago, Jessica Jones had seemed so cool.

Impulse exchanges a look with Raven, shrugs and then carefully helps her to stand if she can. Or sit if she prefers. Then he'll go and see if the detective needs a hand up. "Dooo you do this often?" he asks as he squats there beside her to peer at the Jessica pile. His question's purposely ambiguous and could refer to her flying, slamming buildings around like mere furniture, or her less than 10.0 landing.

Jessica Jones rolls over on her back and stares up at the two young heroes who are staring at her increasingly aging ass like she is the pure antithesis of all things awesome. Or, at least, they're peering at her. One way or the other she wipes dust off her face and says, "It's pretty much my life, kid," to Impulse's query.

Which basically covers all three of the things he could be covering with his question. Every last one of them. "You two okay? Did they get you? Did you get…I don't know. Monster bitten? Scratched? Are those things poisonous? I have…I dunno. I have holy water."

A glance at Raven. Is that a thing? A good thing? "Some one who can make with the healing might be better."

"Just a little scratched," Raven says after she's helped up by the young speedster, drawing her arms in under the folds of her cloak. So it's more than a little scratched, of course, but she can deal. It's fine.

Her nose slightly wrinkles at the 'holy water' bit, but it's more in amusement than offense. "Healing is not my forte, unfortunately," is the reply, and looks to Impulse. "Do the Titans even have a healer?"

"Eh, don't look at me. I'm not the party cleric," Impulse says, shrugging again. "I'm all right though. We've got a medbay at the Tower and I guess Red Rob's our jack-of-all-trades." There was that time they did surgery on Superman to get out some Kryptonite or something? That…was a strange day.

Raven's movement does draw his attention again, and he gives her a concerned look. He will totally speed her off to a hospital or something if needs be.

"Zee can heal," Jess points out, as if she's just remembering they're both Titans. Dur. Well, she's a little scrambled from her landing. "If your Medbays don't do the trick. Red's real good at it too."

She scrubs her fingers through her hair, peering at Raven in concern. But ultimately, the young woman is standing and seems fine enough. So she shrugs. "If you guys think you can get back there okay I'm probably going to head out."

Raven's brow furrows. "I haven't known him for very long, but that sounds a fitting title for Red Robin…" She then falls silent again as Zee is brought up.


That's about all she can say in regards to Zatanna's healing abilities. Maybe a few more words, even. "That's…great."

Not so great, considering how well their first impressions went, but she thinks it would be better than worrying Impulse thanks to the look on his face. Darn his face. She does, however, glance back over at Jessica before she goes. "I think we'll be all right. You take care of yourself too, Jessica."

"Oh, that's right! Zee can do anything! She just has to talk backwards and say something like 'eb delaeh'—!" The speedster snaps in emphasis. It seems he has yet to find out about Zatanna's trepidations about the gothy one.

With nothing else to do and the portal apparently taken care of, it doesn't look like there's any further reason to linger. Impulse looks between the two and then nods at Jessica. "I'll make sure she gets all patched up. But yeah, you take care too! Oh! And if you see Owen, tell him 'hi', yeah?"

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