Thinking With Portals

October 12, 2018:

The Titans manage to figure out a way to close the demonic portals raining demons down over New York. Unfortunately, their successful test run draws the attention of the Darkchilde responsible…

Demon-Infested New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

How's that song go?

'It's raining men, Hallejuah. It's raining men -

Well, the point is, instead of saying 'men' simply insert the word 'demons'.

After all, that is what it's literally been doing for weeks now.

Such long weeks.

Demons of every shape, size and form drop from the sky. Big ones, small ones, scary ones, fuzzy ones - whatever you can imagine you can definitely find a demon that looks that way.

And while the heroes (the everyday and the not-so-everyday) valiantly fight the sinister masses the shear number isn't dwindling to something more manageable. The blame for that can be put quite squarely upon the portals that slash across the overcast sky.

Those gateways periodically open to allow for fresh waves of demons to descends - so, no matter how many demons are crunched, killed, burned, or destroyed, the threat never lessens.

It only continues to grow. Dangerously and rapidly.

Looking upward the sky continues to be veiled in swarthy colors of reds, twilight-blues and midnight-blacks. There's the occasional zig and zag of lightning that allows for a brief brightening of the sky, but honestly, that brightness only offers a clearer view of just how sickly the sky (and New York City) has become.

Perhaps though, with our spunky and intrepid heroes, the world will find itself freed from its current horror!

Caitlin Fairchild has big shoes to fill.

Metaphorically, of course. It's a tough act to follow, being an associate of the likes of Tony Stark and Karen Starr. Geniuses of their era. Smart, dedicated, innovative. People who have saved the world more times than Caitlin has driven her car. They're the sorts who find solutions no one else thought of to problems no one else can fully grasp.

But with Tony out of commission, there isn't a dearth of options when it comes to genius solutions to the demon problem. And Caitlin, for all her experience on the Bilskirnir, is not one of the Wise. She isn't Homo Magi. Just a girl with a high IQ and a love for science.

But today, maybe, science might come through for her.

Her algorithims have been predicting portal openings with a high degree of accuracy. Not the smaller ones, no, but the big rips, the rifts that admit a score of demons— she's refined the models that predict those portals.

Where, and more importantly: When.

She's enlisted allies from the Titans, and Caitlin's science experiment stands in the center of the road, aiming at a spot ten feet off the ground in the middle of an intersection. The machine itself looks like the bastard child of a cannon and satellite, with extra sensors and optical equipment scattered around the area for posterity.

She examines the holo display attached to a personal computer, and ensures the tripod-mounted barrel of the emitter is aimed at the location of the incipient breach. "Guys, I'm reading a big uptick in neutrino emissions," Caitlin warns her friends. Her green eyes remain glued to the screen, the fighting braid of her hair and crude armor giving her a savage, post-apocalyptic appearance. "The portal's incoming. Get ready," she warns them— and sets about doing the final calibrations of the device, aiming it squarely at the hanging midair space where the portal is most likely to form.

Charlie didn't want to be left alone at the tower. Hell she didn't want to be left alone at the cave either in Gotham. She spent a lot of time this morning working on her suit in the lab, accepting help from anyone who wanted to. It really needed some patching up after the Stark Tower incident. It looks even more like a Misfit suit though with the patch repairs all over it. She did have to pop back to Gotham to get new a new lens for her goggles.

All said though Misfit has been pretty quiet and stoic the last twenty four or so hours. "I really hope this thing works and was worth it." to be fair Charlie doesn't mean to twist any knives, she is kind of operating on the edge of her wits and is definitely not her usual cheerful self. With a big breath she looks up at the sky where Caitlin is pointing her device. This is definitely not as cool as a Millennium Falcon. Which is totes not a joke Charlie seems up for cracking today.

One Titan on call is not at the site of the portal opening, but far above it. Superboy has been increasingly drained, repeatedly injured through these difficult weeks. He's barely slept, he's barely slowed down, and while his powers are still impressive, this mystical invasion takes a brutal toll on the normally impervious Kryptonian hybrid. He's tried to hide it, tried to perservere— but certain teammates are both nosey and observant.

While not going on this mission was off the table, his peculiar physiology provides a third option. In high orbit, well outside the atmospheric filter, Kon-El soaks up the radiation of that brilliant, yellow sun, his hair drifting weightlessly, a small smile on his face despite himself.

Frostbite fades from his skin, flesh knits and scabs over more efficiently in these hours on high… and perhaps most importantly, his overtaxed batteries recharge fast, and strong. Earbuds are attached to the high-powered comm linking him to Red Robin and the others, but right now they're just blasting some RHCP as Kon drifts languidly through space.

Indeed, by this point many of the Titans have been run relatively ragged, in one way or another. Being a superteam operating out of NYC means participating in disaster relief, means doing what they can to minimise the chaos and damage in and around Manhattan. Even without the rescue of Impulse and the subsequent battle at Titans Tower and the terrible consequences of Zatanna's unleashed power; even without Fairchild's mission to retrieve technology she needed and the consequences thereof, they'd probably be using themselves up.

Of course, Red Robin can't countenance that. He's done everything he can to make sure the other Titans get necessary rest and medical attention. Not that he affords himself the same leeway, of course. His own work keeps him up to all hours of the night, his own injuries treated just enough to let himself keep working.

'Do as I say, not as I do' is one of the many lessons he learned during his days as the Boy Wonder, one of the many lessons the Batman might not have taught him on purpose.

His presence, then, could be as much about oversight as anything else. The solemn quiet of the Red Knight causing him to draw less attention as he sits crosslegged, taking his own readings with his own systems… Though of course, it's difficult to determine just where he's actually looking, with his eyes hidden behind the white lenses of his domino mask. The other Titans present have all been hurt, some of them grievously, in recent days. Naturally, he's possessed of a stubborn refusal to lose anyone else.

But it is, in the end, Fairchild's project; for the moment, he seems quite content to let her run the show.

NICO MINORU knows there are a bunch of demons here. But she's tanned (no) rested (yes) and ready (maybe) to confront this issue. To confront the peril of devils towards the ends of Limbo and also deal with…

"Neutrino emissions, huh," she tells Caitlin. She doesn't have the staff out yet. Nico hugs herself loosely, feeling, perhaps, like a complete dork-ass given that she's wearing a relatively rugged and high-hemmed but otherwise-unremarkable dress when other people are all battle-armored and such.

She sidles a half-step nearer to the Red Robin. "… Can I borrow a robinrang for a minute?"

The various people taking readings will find their instruments flashing to life as the various computers and science projects pick up the relevant and not-so-relevant energy of a portal opening.

For those with more mystical senses they too will also fill a swell of magic announcing the arrival said portal. The magic itself tastes of darkness and demons, of fire and brimstone. Of Hell. Or more importantly Limbo.

The entryway starts as a mote of blackness against that reddened sky and then with another surge it expands and stretches across the heavens. It forms a somewhat circular opening and even before it's fully form dozens of demons begin to fall toward the ground.

At first those demons look small, just vague dots against the mismatched sky, but quickly as they drop their true size becomes apparent. And when close enough a person can also obtain a pretty good look at them as well.

And it's not pretty.

Each demon is similarly sized to a dog, a medium-sized dog, but that's where the similarities end. The demons themselves call to mind the Facehuggers from Alien. A roughly round body with spindly legs and a long segmented tail. Only these particular Facehuggers have a half a dozen eyes and a mouth full of sharp teeth.

Three of these demons drop at Misfit, as she looks up to the sky. Two align themselves to crash into Fairchild and her portal-closing-thecakeisalie-gun and seven drop for Red Robin and Nico, thanks to the two being relatively close together. All intend to wrap their clicks-clack-legs and spindly tails around their intended victims and likewise all intend to take a chomp from their perceived dinners.

Kon, for now, is safe up in space.

Caitlin's no scrub, science or not.

There was a time when she couldn't multitask, no. One thing or another. No capcity for juggling two or three things at once. After six months on the Bilskirnir, though, things have changed for the brawny ginger. The importance of keeping an alert eye on the sky no matter what has been hammered into her, over and over, a story written in bloody scars.

When the first demon drops towards her, it catches a faceful of a plasma blast right in the yowling mandibles while it screeches promises of horrific death. The second gets caught in Caitlin's gauntleted fist, and the diamond-cracking force of her grip is virtually nothing compared to the sanctified steel guarding her hands. Silver inlaid into her gauntlets bears the shape of a Catholic cross across the knuckles.

And it burns with the power of Caitlin's belief and the piety of her parish priest.

"This is it!" Caitlin howls, and hits the button. "C'mon, Nadia, don't let me down," she murmurs, eyes turning skywards while she negligently crushes the demon caught in her grasp.

Yellow light, quite secondary to the actual process, lights the sky up. The waveform picks up speed as an invisible stream of subatomic particles bombards the gate overhead and the demons falling from it. On the most fundamental level of matter, Caitlin's device hums, sings, and then finds a strange counter-harmony with the groaning wretchedness of Hell itself as Limbo looses her legions on New York.

But the song of the emitter drowns out the music of Limbo, and overhead— slowly— the portal writhes, twists, and starts to fade out like a watermark dissolve washed away by the rains.

"We're almost there!" Caitlin cries out, all her attention focused on the rift as it slowly collapses.

Charlie was peering up to the sky, and the whole incoming portal was really making her jaw clench. Ever since the Dragon Incident <tm> magic and the presence of the portals has been like this dull buzzzzzzing that threatens to drive you to utter distraction. It only got worst when she was captured.

Which is a long way of saying that Misfit isn't surprised when the portals opens and those medium dog sized horrors from Limbo rain down on her and her friends. She doesn't even flinch when three of them angle right at her. Nope. What she does is make a noise that sounds like anger, it's visceral and she just teleports, bouncing out of view as reality is violently forced to acknowledge the chaos muppet was never standing by Caitlin but was always grabbing one of the demons from behind.

The slash of smoke is not as pink or purple as usual, there are jagged Ruby Red slashes in the smoke right now as Misfit screaming still teleports with the demon, to the next of the three. It takes just heartbeats for her to teleport three times like this grabbing demons with her on each violent bounce.

To Magic Users the chaos magic is just plain obvious, even if it isn't too Misfit, reality just rings like a bell as she bounces from point to point.

When the she emerges a few blinks of time later with the three transported demons though it gets messy. All three just… explode. Whatever protects her when she argues with Reality does not protect organic (or demonic) passengers at all. Guts. Gore. Viscera. It all goes exploding outwards coating Charlie and anyone caught nearby. It is like the a horror movie who bought way too much prop blood and decided to use it all.

Charlie is still making a very primal noise as she shudders a bit and looks around to see if there are any left. That.. is not how she usually behaves at all.

o/' Wakin' up dead inside my head will never ever do, there is no med. No medicine to take. I've had a chance to be insane, asylum from the falling rain— I've had a chance to break.

Eyes closed, body outstretched, there's no current to carry Kon-El, but he drifts nonetheless, following the direct light of the daystar, soaking the sun in productive satisfaction even as battle is joined below; as portal #4832948392 opens. Why try to run away? There's always another crisis. It's a clear reminder to take pleasures where one can, and at least in this instance— Superboy has to admit Tim had the right idea. Or at least, agreed to the right very-smart compromise.

o/' I knew a girl she worked in a store, knew not what her life was for. She barely knew her name. They tried to tell her she would never be as happy as the girl in the magazine; she bought it with her pay.

It's hard to argue that the Titans live closer to their true purpose than most. The question is, for how long? The myriad demons below, the myriad demons within, it can all get very daunting some days. At least, times when one isn't drifting nearer the stars, zoning in the warmest sunlight. It invigorates mind as much as body, restores reserves that Kon-El didn't even realize were sorely depleted. It suffuses him with the will to do what has to be done, along with the power to see it through.

o/' Everyone has so much to say, they talk talk talk their lives away. Don't even hesitate… Walkin' on down to the burial ground it's a very old dance, with a merry old song. Looks like it's on today.

It's not every month the Krypton Kid comes face to face with his own mortality day-in and day-out— it's others he's concerned with. The pain and trauma of innocents and allies, not his own, that he deals with most often. Sure, he's had his ass kicked. He knows what pain is; physical and mental. But the threat level is up— way up. And Superboy? Superboy finds it changes very little. The 'S' means what it always has. Kon does as he always does. The stark reminder of his own mortality does nothing to sway him, and that's a solid tally in the 'Things Superman Does' column.

o/' Slow cheetah come before my forest. Looks like it's on today. Slow cheetah come, it's so euphoric— no matter what they say.

This is the kind of fight he was created for; and the Kryptonian protytype is a masterwork. Just ask him.

"Batarang," Red Robin corrects Nico offhandedly, but there appears - as if by magic (it's not magic) - one of the bat-shaped throwing weapons in his hand, offered towards the blood witch. "I didn't think throwing weapons was really in your skillset." It's at least half a joke: Given what he's seen of Nico's particular sorcery, there's probably all sorts of things she could do with a batarang. Not the least of which, he figures, is use the sharp edge to draw her own blood. "You okay if this gets violent, Nico?"

That question is asked more quietly, with genuine concern for the witch's wellbeing. After all, if it hadn't been for his big smart ideas she'd be… Living in a dingy squat in Gotham, sure, but at least there wouldn't be any armies of demons. Just… You know, the usual Gotham atrocities. She'd probably still have all her blood. Unless Professor Pyg got her, anyway.

But then, it gets violent.

"Big noise time," he says, as the rather gruesome-looking demons make their arrival; his computer is set aside, and despite having been sitting there like that for god knows how long, the vigilante is up on his feet in the blink of an eye, with more batarangs in hand. Unlike the one he gave to Nico, they're not just edged, of course: As he hurls them at the nearest critters, they beep quietly, the beeping coming faster in the bare handful of seconds it takes before they detonate, his other hand reaching to yank Nico down underneath the nearest grabber, and then to pull her clear, prioritising her safety over his in the process.

"Yeah, that's not great," he adds in an undertone, as Misfit is clearly not reacting well to any of this.

Nico accepts the Batarang. "Yeah," she tells him. "I don't really have a ch"


Nico responds to the sudden horde of demons by freezing up for a moment, lurching back - nearer to Red Robin, probably causing him an issue even if he moves adroitly - and then by slashing her wrist in a shallow oblong cut with the batarang, rather than throwing it. Now, self injury is a serious matter, and is also not a traditionally encouraged method of self defense, but:


Nico makes it work. Grasping the ancient rod, Nico swings it round to forfend demons, one of them lunging in and narrowly missing the hem of her dress.

"Deviled Eggs," Nico then invokes, her eyes aflame with magenta. With Raven not present, this is pretty risk free - the spell ripples outwards, though the forming pattern ripples at a different angle entirely as it brushes against Misfit's chaotic outlays. The intention is clear: Convert demons into eggs.

She was in a hurry.

Is he supposed to be here? Probably not, but no one told him not to be. To be fair, most everyone who would have had any say was already out, and if questions arose, Impulse would say that Superboy would vouch for him with a clean bill of health- in that his legs hadn't gone and snapped the moment he'd tried to push to top speeds racing around the island late last night.

He'd started off late, but when you're a speedster the time you started doesn't necessarily mean too much if you can still make it to the point you need to be at within the span of a few heartbeats, and even when careening through Demontown, New York, you were making good time getting across town.

It's not hard to find the others. He'd heard where they were going, for starters, and now that the light show's begun, it's difficult to miss those of his teammates gathered. And it looks like they're not alone. Also expected, but the demons that rain down upon them are fresh from Hell.

Enter Bart Allen, aka Impulse. Exiting high speeds to plant two feet square into one of the demons just after it lands.

"I came in like a wre~~~cking baaaaaaall~~!!"

And this is why it's good to have more than one magic user on the team. Because Sometimes one is fashionably late to the party. RAVEN doesn't mean to be, but given the timing and the demonic circumstances, keeping together doesn't always go as planned. Like seeing Nico and Bart out of their recovery beds, for instance. So that just makes things more challenging. They can take care of themselves, surely.

But again she's outside of the Tower and back into the fray that actively assaults her senses five, ten times over whatever she's used to feeling. Fortunately, she has taken advantage of the time she had to prepare herself mentally and emotionally, reinstating her control over these specific areas for her own sake.

Being in control reminds her of what she can do as an Empath. Not only can she maintain control of herself, but she can easily hold sway the feelings of her teammates. She can choose to boost their confidence, gather and recompose their sensibilities, or instill in them the courage to believe they are nigh invincible. But they do not need it.

They are the TITANS. They already possess these traits.

So Raven plays it by ear, staying silent until she finds it necessary to speak. Then again, there hasn't been much chatter at the moment. The danger of approaching an open demon portal should deter her and the others from getting in closer. And yet it doesn't.

If it's possible to stop the demon invasion, then she will believe it. But as of right now, the Daughter of Darkness will provide whatever cover she can within her power to help the whole process go a little faster. Bringing up the rear, Raven whispers, the three harshly-formed words lending form to the shadows swirling about her hands. Fluidly snapping her arms forward, a half-domed barrier comes up against any demons that try to attack, mimicking the arc of her cloak as it takes a fuller shape about her body.

The energy from the portal gun fires high into the sky and slowly it begins to work.

The portal begins to shrink, to fade, and while demons continue to fall the glut of dropping demons begins to diminish with each successive wave.

Along with firing the gun to the heavens, Caitlin likewise squishes those demons that drop down at her. The demons die painfully, but (thankfully) quickly.

Misfit likewise grabs for the demons and when she has them she teleports. Here, there, everywhere. From one side to the other and back again, and when Misfit reappears those demons go *squish* The feral noises she makes does garner a reaction from the demons, they turn their beady-black eyes upon her.

Robin's batarangs fly straight and true and they hit the demons perfectly so that when they detonate they take the demons with them. The explosion is fantastic and (once again) demon guts splash haphazardly about.

Bart's arrival and his double-footed barrel stomp works quite effectively. The demon slams to the ground and the sound of cracking bones can be heard and felt. Screeches of pain and fury can be heard from the demon. All of them really.

Perhaps Kon might hear their cries of pain even with being so far away from New York City.

For Nico, her spell reaches out with a frisson of magic and the demons around the group find themselves encapsulated. In eggs.

Each egg shivers and begins to crack and from those cracks two claw-tipped feet appear, along with taloned hands, and while there isn't a head seen per se, there is a 'face' that appears upon each egg. There's two broken bits where eyes would be and then a sharp slash of a crack for a mouth. The eyes glow and the mouthes gape and then the little egg-warriors run right at the Titans.

Thankfully, by this time Raven has whispered her words of powers and the eggs splat against the darkness of her shield.


The team is safe.

And above them where a portal once stood the sky finds itself mended. The portal gone, closed, banished from dropping any further combatants upon the ground.



Only that huzzah might not last long.

Not when upon the ground, so close to the team, a new portal surges to life. It splits the air violently with yellow-white energy and from the depths of the perfectly circular portal someone steps through.

A woman. Or a demon. Both really.

Her opaque red-eyes imperiously sweep the area and with a voice that rings with power, the woman demands, "WHO DARES DESECRATE THE DOORWAYS OF THE DARKCHILDE."

Oh, success. Victory is such a fleeting, cruel flirt. It demands everything a person can offer— heart and mind and soul— and at the penultimate moment, the goalposts move just a bit. Always wanting a bit more. Always demanding better than your best.

Caitlin's exultant jubilee is squelched by the force of the portal rending reality open. Off the charts compared to earlier measurements, a force of will and magic that defies all logic and science. She stares at her readouts agog as the portal opens, and turns a thunderstruck expression towards Illyana as the Darkchylde strides forth from the Pit to hurtle her indignation into the heroes' teeth.

"…Who is the Darkchilde?" Caitlin demands, trying to put some forceful authority into her voice. "And why does she dare to rip holes from one world to the next?" She gestures at the city around them. "Are -you- the one who caused all this… all this /suffering/?" she asks, aghast— clearly unable to reconcile such a notion with the (armor aside) petite blonde girl hurling accusations into the air.

Holy Crapsticks. Well Unholy Crapsticks. This lady is the one causing all of the portals. Aka Doorways of Darkchilde?!? That gets Misfit's attention. If this is all this demon satyr ladies fault (aren't satyrs guys and nymphs girls, eventually the monster manual will be consulted) then if this demon lady can be stopped it might stop everything.

To be fair blowing her up might be crossing an ethical line if she isn't actually a demon. That said she looks like a demon. Charlie makes a decision and yells "Dark Vengeance!" which is less a yell than a feral snarl. Not at all as comedic at this point as she bounces, teleporting with a jagged slash of Ruby and Pink/Purple smoke.

That bang of chaos goes off like a bell being rung to mystically attuned, which is really where everything goes wrong for Misfit because reality adjusting to the violence, even if just takes a heartbeat is enough warning for Illyana to strike like a cobra grabbing Misfit by the neck as she reappears. "GURRRRK" and casually Misfit is tossed through the yellow-white portal that the Darkchylde emerged from. Zot.

Misfit's lojack on her suit blips off the trackers.

"That's… Gross," is Red Robin's assessment of the way the egged demons start turning into horrifying egg demons, their drive to consume everything in their path - or, at least, whatever Titans they can get ahold of - giving them a kind of ontological inertia despite Nico's blood magic. It's grosser than the things exploding, really. Grosser than them getting cracked and broken by Impulse's attacks, or Fairchild's. As the egg-demons start to charge again, the vigilante has already palmed another weapon entirely, and is ready to throw when the Daughter of Darkness' shield is brought to bear, giving the beasts something to crush themselves mindlessly against.

So that's good.

What comes next: Not so much.

The appearance of the demonic woman - definitely more on the woman end of the woman <-> demon continuum than most of what's come out of the portals thus far - puts a prickle of dread down the back of the Red Knight's spine. They have a decent amount of firepower, but…

"Misfit!" he shouts as the girl gets tossed away, lost for a second time. For a moment, brief but dangerous, simple anger overwhelms his usually mostly rational mind, a whiteout that obscures cold logic and reason. In his free hand, his staff extends to its full length, ready to fight. But…

"Fairchild, figure out where Misfit went. Raven, Nico, lock our visitor down, I don't want her pulling any fancy magic. Impulse, get her off-balance. This ends now. Superboy," there's a slash of a smile on Red Robin's face, now. "C'mon and introduce yourself."

The call comes. The music cuts out. Behind his blue-lensed shades, Kon-El's eyes snap open. He's in motion before those baby blues are fully unveiled, hurtling downwards at impossible velocity. In space, a Kryptonian's speed is really only limited by room to accelerate, and by the time he hits atmosphere, Superboy is many times faster than the speed of sound. The sonic boom rips in the uppermost clouds, airflow reaved aside as the Dude of Steel descends in a white-hot sheathe, untouched by the alarming heat.

Cloud cover is both blown apart and downwards by the super-speed projectile, wildly styrating in a descending tunnel as Superboy burns straight for New York City; straight for the coordinates occupied by his threatened teammates. It all happens in a span of moments, by the time Kon-El appears in the skies over New York, he's still wreathed in the corona of re-entry.

Burning bright, that flaming blur of blue and red hurtles unabated from on high, a Kryptonian missile of nigh-unfathomable force aligned squarely with the Darkchilde. Either Superboy expects her to be able to tank at least one impossible blow— or he's way past caring if Illyana spatters all over the intersection.

"Whuh-oh, I think we triggered boss event," Impulse blinks, turning sharply at the sudden appearance of another portal, his egg-crushing victory dance cut short.

It's surprising that someone else acts out ahead of him, even though he hadn't planned on rushing the demon lady with the hooves for feet- not right away. He gasps as Misfit vanishes almost as abruptly as she'd reappeared, glancing worriedly towards the others as though to ask 'dive in after?' He would, but they still have this Darkchilde to deal with, and maybe sucking them all into her portal is what she'd want.

…ho boy he's actually thinking things through, it's the end of the world.

The speedster's attention snaps to as Red Robin starts rattling off orders, and with a curt nod he's off, dashing in what seems to be completely the opposite direction, and while he doesn't charge in towards the Demon Queen immediately, he's circling and watching for when might be the most opportune moment to zip in. But first he'll introduce himself.

"Hiya!" he says, practically popping up beside the Darkchilde with a wave before he zips off- just as Superboy makes his debut.

Demons become eggs. Theyr'e like, evil demon Sheldons but it's still a step down. She stares at one of them and Nico leans back in dismay as the damn thing lunges for them! She swings the Staff around to bonk one back - it would be comical if it were not so deadly grave -

Raven's there. Bart's just arrived like a streak of bart. She can even half-see Conner coming down. Titans… perhaps… are together.

The Red Robin's giving them instructions.

Nico's grip on her staff tightens. She looks towards the Darkchilde and realizes with a sudden surge of flustered outrage and intrigue combined that — what? She doesn't articulate it except that she grits her teeth even as Misfit lunges in and pays the price.

This is stupid, Nico thinks. I'm going to die.

Well, she thinks with a roll of her shoulders, I thought that like three times in the last month and I was always wrong. She sucks in a deep breath through her teeth.

"Who dares to desecrate frigging Uber but for Demons? *I* DARE, Platinum Bangsette! Now quit making that fierce face, pop out the contacts — " The Staff of One begins to crackle.


The light grows flaringly bright for a moment as the magic forms, lashing out with channeled frustration and vindiction towards the silver-armored figure. "EXPLAIN YOURSELF," Nico intones.

Wait, Nico thinks, is that really Superb—

It worked. Everything worked.

At least, it did - for a while. A noticeable shift in the air turns into a harsh reality even before their new 'friend' makes her grand entrance. The very feeling of it cuts through like a spear, piercing into Raven's soul and disrupting her concentration. Eyes widen as she takes in the presence of the horned demon lady adorned in armor, her cool set on edge the second her barrier is torn to shreds, wafting away like pieces of cloth before dissipating into nothing.

A suitable piece of advice for this particular situation would be to never talk to demons, but there have been many exceptions of late.

As questions and accusations fly, it's far too late to stop what has been in motion. Caitlin has already engaged and Misfit is effortlessly cast aside. And Nico - Nico only emphasizes the need for explanation.

"Cait- Nico, no- "

Again, too late. As she grits her teeth, she heeds Red Robin's instruction, summoning the darkness with a simple sweep of her arm. Her hands craft another barrier, creating a wide perimeter to surround and trap Darkchilde where she stands. "She's not going anywhere," she seethes, eyes narrowing into slits.

Caitlin's demand of who the Darkchilde is garners a grin from the demonic woman. "I am."

However the rest of Caitlin's questions are ignored as Mistfit attacks outright. It's any easy thing for the Darkchilde to reach out and grab the young woman by the throat and as Misfit dangles from her grasp, the demoness murmurs, "Aren't you interesting. Though for another time." And with a negligent flick of her wrist, Mistfit is sent flying through the portal behind Illyana Rasputina.

With Misfit dealt with, Illyana's reddened gaze sweeps back out to the group and then Bart.

Bart's arrival causes the demoness to say, "I believe I have a dragon who would like to meet you again. To likewise say /hello/." She she looks to Caitlin and Red Robin, to Raven and Nico and there's a spark of recognition from Illyana and with that realizatio a hard edge of anger darkens her features.

"Yo." She says to Caitlin specifically and then Yana looks upward, at the Kryptonian, "And you. I know you both."

"And now all of you shall suffer for their transgressions."

Kon's attack must be dealt with and when Kon is about an armslength away he will find himself /smashing/ against something solid. It's invisible up until he hits it and as soon as he does energy lights the area up around the Darkchilde. Reds and blacks and a bit of yellow intermixed. The shield sizzles with it, turning briefly opaque as it absorbs the kinetic energy behind the Kryptonian.

It, however, doesn't crack. Or bow or break. It stands up against the might of one of the strongest individuals upon this planet.

And Illyana laughs, "Silly. As if I'd leave myself unguarded."

Nico's words of power ring through the air and they reach out to Illyana, pressuring her to explain and the Darkchilde bears her teeth in another rictus of a smile. "A pretty spell, Witchling, but you should specify what you want me to explain. So easy to circumvent when left so broad -"

"But I shall 'explain' my motives just this moment." And again her gaze turns to Caitlin, "No one steals from the Darkchilde and lives."

With those words said power swells within the air, all around. It raises hairs upon necks and arms and with a gesture Illyana calls forth great streaks of black lightning. A dozen dark jagged zigs and zags rip through the clouds above and strike downward at the group.

At Caitlin and Red Robin. At Nico and Raven and Impulse, and even at Superboy.

"Dragon missed his chance to say hi back at the tower," is what Impulse would say, but he's a bit busy getting clear as Superboy makes impact. The force is impressive! …which makes it even more concerning when it proves not to have done a thing in the face of the Darkchilde's shield. Having come to a stop again, Impulse can't help but stare.

"Wait, what's she talking about?" He's pretty sure he doesn't trust anything the demoness says, not that he feels it makes a difference anyway when she's throwing lightning down at everyone. The moment she moves her hands, the speedster is moving as well, lightning streaking down like pillars from the sky.

It goes without saying that it would probably be bad to get hit by them. Slipping between and away from the point they make to strike isn't a difficult feat for someone so quick on his feet, able to see where they're going before they hit. He knows his teammates don't have the luxury of being plugged into the Speed Force, so he takes it upon himself in getting his friends out of the way if it looks like they won't be able to do it themselves.

Caitlin's brain goes into overdrive as multiple things happen at once. "ROVR, track Misfit!" she yells, responding to Tim's swift battlefield command. SIRIN, her hip-mounted AI, goes into motion microseconds after Caitlin speaks. A light glimmers in her eye and her remote drone, hovering a safe distance away, grounddrives like a hawk. The drone banks hard, all four rotors pulling, and zips through the portal hot on Misfit's heels. SIRIN can issue such commands vastly more quickly than Caitlin could, even with the complex aviation system on board the drone unit. Though, thank goodness for Stark's autonomous drone programs; the same software that allows cruise missiles to skim nap of the earth at hypersonic speeds is excellent for keeping drones alive in unfamiliar terrain. Add in hardened circuits and a few other useful components, and ROVR is off and chasing Misfit a fractional second before the lightning cascades down.

Caitlin finds herself staring at the sky, dizzily. She's taken some pretty big hits. Direct blows from metahumans, energy weapons, even godlings.

Illyana's web of lightning smashes Caitlin to the ground like a cruise missile.

She groans, body uncooperative, SIRIN's data feed to her contact lenses compromised. Nearby sensors, fried. Her personal gear and electronics, burned out as well.

"owww…" she forces her eyes open looks over at the heavy particle emitter, now broken from it's tripod and laying on the ground. For many people, it'd be a crushing defeat. The delicate parabolic focusing mirrors broken. Moderator jammed. Regulator fused. Batteries and the secondry generator behind it struggling with electrical overload and the overflow capacitor reading four hundred percent over limit threshold.

A pessimist would see her device as broken.

The engineer in Caitlin sees something else. She scrambles sideways, fingers clumsy, and makes a few frantic adjustments. Capaictor regulator deactivated. Safety override deactivated. Emitter rheostat turned to 100. Batteries in 'voltage dump' mode.

She staggers to her feet through the smoke and haze, braces the emitter on her hip, and aims it at Illynaa.

With teeth bared in a grin, she hits the 'fire' button. The beam itself is invisible to the human eye, but the secondary effect of the particle cannon throwing subatomic particles at Illyana at the speed of light rips the intervening air apart and sets it on fire in an eye-searing display of radiation.

"…teach you to shock a girl armed with a POSITRON COLLIDER!" Caitlin howls.

KRAAAAAKOOOOOOOMzzzzzztttTTT!!! The impact is impressive, the shockwave dramatic, a surge of forceful wind sweeping outwards in all directions as Superboy makes contact with the Darkchilde's impressive barriers. Bart isn't the only one surprised by the lack of progress of the nuke-from-space. -Not- a good sign.

To his credit, Kon-El recovers quickly, eyes snapping to the crackle of power from on high even as that shock fades right back to the resolute mask he brought to this shindig. "Damn." It's not so much a curse at the result as it is Superboy finally getting a good look at their arch-nemesis. "What the /hell/ lady."

The Dude of Steel's not fast enough to run around rearranging the team, but he is fast enough to dart around like a bat out of hell, difficult for the bolts to track, to say the least. It also lends him the focus to keep talking, luckily for everyone. "Someone must have /messed you up/ to spur this insanity!" The words come from here, from there. They're louder, softer, as he darts around the battlefield.

Superboy's running off at the mouth, and not exactly diplomatically or productively— but he's also not wrong, is he? She looks like such a nice girl! With cool armor! Kon likes blondes in cool outfits, it's entirely more tragic, now. It also doesn't stop him from taking several of the instants dodging lightning to -ram- full bore into that shield again, and again, and again, and then one more time. Her shield may be able to take full-force Kryptonian— but he can dish it out a lot more than once, too.

Darkness doesn't hold on as well as it should when it's dealing with dark-related subjects like a demon queen. The woman is talking and doing things like it's a walk in the park. "Red Robin, I hate to state the obvious, but this isn't working," Raven says, her tone straining to stay calm while she works. But there's a chill, one that runs down her spine the moment Darkchilde meets her gaze before moving on.

Although temporarily shaken, she catches the last part of the exposé. "-Steal?" A quick glance is about all Raven can manage in Caitlin's direction, but it flickers back toward the armored demon lady in less than a second.

Right when she releases all of that black lightning from the sky.

Feeling her own hair standing on end, the Daughter of Darkness relinquishes her shadowy grasp on Darkchilde, words lost among the noise as trails of dark energy flow from her hands. A large portal is conjured out of thin air, widening and angling upward to face a portion the lightning strikes heading the Titans' way to lessen the chances of being fried. Elsewhere, another portal opens up far from where they are to spew out the excess, static and crackling all the same.


Bravado falters as the Clone of Steel collides with the Darkchilde's barrier and, rather than overwhelming it and wreaking all sorts of havoc on the demon, when the shockwave clears the barrier is still there. Red Robin was… Well, honestly he was figuring that was going to go differently. Barriers that can repel Superboy dropping from orbit with the full power of his TACTILE TELEKINESIS don't happen every day, you know?

"Yes, thanks, noticed," the vigilante replies - his tone is maybe a little bit snippy, there - when Raven points out that this isn't working. Whether 'this' is Fairchild's original plan to try and counteract the portals, or their general efforts to deal with the new enemy attacking them. That doesn't mean he won't get under Raven's protectively generated portal, though. He's not sure if his suit's grounded and insulated enough that it'll work against evil hell-lightning, and this isn't really the situation in which he wants to stress test it.

"Wait, are you referring to yourself in the third person?" he wonders of Illyana, when she explains her immediate motives; he sounds disappointed in her. Fairchild unleashes a particle beam from her damaged equipment; Superboy tries colliding with the Darkchilde's barrier from the other direction (well, hopefully, anyway) - will their efforts be enough to crack that shell? Or…

"Hey, Raven," wonders the Red Knight, very quietly. "Can you open a portal inside her shield?"

Nico immediately regrets her words and deeds.

Her eyes flick towards Caitlin but despite the revelation that CAITLIN REALLY STEALS? (no dignity), she has no words for this. Whatever is going on with Crazy McHotbangs there is well beyond Nico Minoru, for whom 'witchling' is in fact a pretty good nom de brujeria.

Her face reddens at the critique. Then the lightning comes down and Nico free-associates a defensive spell -


At which point Benjamin Franklin appears before her, stoutly and in the flesh, bearing a kite with a string. The kite flutters in the screaming wind, the lightning frying the string partway to ash, drawn into a key - Franklin's arm is immediately destroyed, the flesh sloughing off like burned steak if with no smell. Benjamin Franklin lurches to the side for a moment.

Ben Franklin looks towards Nico, Raven, and Caitlin in turn. His attention returns to Nico; he seems about to open his mouth when with a magenta twinkling he ceases to exist, perhaps returned to the freemasonic heavenly halls in which he resides.

Nico, bug-eyed, hears Red Robin speak behind her.

Gotta distract, she thinks.

"So why the HELL are you doing all this demon shit anyway, DARK CHILDE?" Nico shouts, with obvious fear in her voice that is mostly being drowned out by volume, and that inconsistently. "Because I feel like this is kind of swamping out petty theft given all the DEMONS and oh yeah MOSTLY JUST THE DEMONS, OKAY!?" Sweat runs down her spine.

Speaking of portals…

A ring of blue-white fire coruscates into being suddenly, somewhere behind Red Robin and the defensive line the Titans are making in front of Darkchylde. As Kon and Caitlin levy their efforts on Illyana Rasputina, ensconsced in her protective bubble, a slender silhouette clad in black steps out of the new entry way, boots stepping forward until she stops.

If there is any hesitation on Zatanna Zatara's face, she doesn't show it, her expression grimly set and her ice-blue eyes fixed on the demonic blonde several feet in front of her, already taking stock of the threads of magic weaving around the area - she takes stock of the barrier, the stray wisps of magic left over from the spells Raven and Nico have already spent.

She doesn't have her obelisk.

"Sorry I'm late," she tells Red Robin and the rest quietly, though she isn't looking at him, her eyes forward.

Picking up on Red's snippiness, Raven refrains from saying anything else while he and Nico stay close under the shade of the portal. But she has to stare at the Magenta Ben Franklin Nico summons, brow knitting as the poor man meets his fate after the lightning strikes. "…Okay…"

As Nico pipes up again, the other goth Titan blinks, casting a sidelong glance in Red Robin's direction. Then she lets her gaze shift back to Darkchilde. "…It's worth a shot."

One hand gestures, circling to create another portal within the demon-cast shield just as Zatanna joins them. "Hey, nice to see you," she greets in that monotone, not even trying to sound cheerful even though she's glad another magic user is present. "Also, Red Robin - get ready. Dropping…now." The portals shift, now turning toward the attempted opening inside.

That Nico might have just done serious damage to the space-time continuum is… Something they'll have to worry about later, probably, when the Time Police come after the blood witch. First things first, though: Not dying right here.

Fortunately, Nico is good at covering for when other people do some kind of crazy nonsense, and uses her shouting to try and focus the Darkchilde's attention while Raven, off of Red Robin's suggestion, makes a new portal. It's quite possible that Illyana's power is too great for even the Daughter of Darkness to create a large opening, or that it won't last long. That's fine, though. He just needs a moment, and a hole about the size of his fist.

Because as soon as it pops open, the Red Knight tosses three of what look like they might be large paintballs (they're red, with the gold and black bird's head silhouette Red Robin logo (branding is important)) but which are, in fact, full of holy water, and primed to simply break apart as soon as they make contact with the Darkchilde within the barrier, or even get lightly agitated by the heat from Fairchild's particle ray.

"Zee, portal closing plan didn't go so great," Red Robin informs the newly arrived witch quickly. "Big bad demon lady. Refers to herself in the third person, kind of immature. I think Superboy is trying to flirt with her."

The lightning continues to strike at the people below. It strives to strike the Titans in a continuous sort of pattern and while it misses the majority of people, it doesn't miss the ground.

Wherever it strikes the ground darkens and splits and from within those blackened cracks shadows begin to form and slowly move.

Bart's zip and dash causes the Darkchilde's eyes to narrow, but her attention is pulled away as Caitlin shouts her threat and then fires that weapon of hers.

The visible streak of radiation reaches out and slams against the magical shield that protects Illyana. It causes the energy to flare once more in concert with Superboy's almost pinball like attacks.

And while cracks begin to form upon the surface of the shield, it doesn't yet shatter. Nor does Illyana show the strain of it either. "Not someone." Remarks the woman to Kon's verbal spars, "Somethings."

Now the demoness stomps a cloven foot hard against the ground. That stamp does two things - it shows her irritation for all to see, but it also shoots a thread of power down into the ground. That thread of power branches out into a lattice work of thin tendrils and they begin to feed the shadowy pools that the lightning strikes create.

Nico's distraction likewise works wonders as Illyana was just about to respond to the Goth's (screamed) questions. Only several things happen at once to cause the Darkchilde to pause -

Zatanna arrives.

Raven creates a portal. That portal opens within her own shielded domain.

And then Red Robin tosses a handful of balls through that portal and at Illyana Rasputina.

Then they break and release the blessed water onto the woman.

And it burns.

It scorches the Eldritch Armor and burrows deep into the skin below. Biting and tearing into the impurity of demonic flesh it finds beneath. It scars and blackens and the pain is great. It shatters a portion of Illyana's concentration and with it her defensive and offensive measures as well.

Kon hits that shield one more time and it finds itself sundered with bright FLASH of carmine light.

The lightning likewise stops and for a few seconds the world is quiet.

Then Illyana's gaze rises again and what playfulness that was there moments before is gone. Only rage can be seen now.

"I tire of this game." She announces, "My children will teach you to never enter my domain again."

And at the word 'children' those pools of darkness twist, stretch and expand and the shadowed form of creatures can be seen within. Nearly formed. Almost completed.

That particle cannon blast would have vaporized a tank sidewall, and most of the Titans are going to have some interesting tan lines tomorrow from the byproduct of UV radiation as the stream of positrons rips the air apart with a deafening howl of fire and vacuum.

Caitlin seethes in frustration, dropping the expended cannon at her feet. For once, she doesn't think about the cost of the equipment in her little 'experiment'. It can be replicated— provided they escape alive, anyway.

Her eyes start to slide to her own gear, trying to make her next call, then back to where Superboy's fists hammer on that shield to little effect. Caitlin curls her hands into fists in frustration. Conner is one of the few people who can out-punch Caitlin in sheer force alone because he's a dirty cheater with his TACTILE TELEKINESIS. All Caitlin has to back her up is footwork and friction, a slave to the physics of the world around her.

She slams her fist into her palm in frustration, and blinks at her gauntlets. They're badly battered, worn and dented from months of use aboard the Bilskirnir and then fighting the demons. Not enchanted Uru—- merely strong Asgardian alloys.

Which is why Caitlin was able to engrave hollows in the knuckleguard. It was into these hollows that she poured silver, melted down from communion plates donated by her parish priest to the cause. And in the quiet of the pack of refugees in the church, Father Patrick blessed them. Consecrating them as holy weapons in the hands of a Believer.

And Caitlin, for all her habits and behaviour inductions and programming, is a Believer.

So when she sees Tim's holy water ampules burning Illyana, she breaks into a sprint just as Illyana concludes her monologue. Superboy and Bart are fast, but it's hard to believe the sheer momentum of it as Caitlin breaks into a full sprint from a standstill. She accelerates to shocking speeds so quickly that she sends a rooster tail of asphalt up behind her. Faster than a car. Faster than a motorcycle, even.

Screaming a battle cry loud enough to pass for Asgardian, she drops a shoulder down, and ploughs into the forming shadows to charge at the demon-child.

Gauntlets crossed in front of her, a prayer on her lips, Caitlin puts her faith in her Faith.

Relentlessly, incessantly, Superboy slams into that mystical barrier from every conceivable angle, with super-speed and super-strength on full display, representing the 'S' to fullest form, fearlessly flinging himself into the deadly demonic demigoddess. "So you're gonna command a whole horde of somethings to do messed up shit to all of us, now?" Superboy is less flippant with that followup observation, though really, it was never a reality he took lightly; for some reason.

"Damn." he reiterates, shaking his head sadly, a sentiment that carries into his tone. "It doesn't have to be like this. Wouldn't you rather hug it out?" The surprisingly(?) sincere inquiry follows the last strike, the barrier visibly erupting with the resounding impact of the Kryptonian clone's dual hammer-fists.

Kon's not even kidding, not really. There's a layer of wise-ass to it, though. One that would become apparent the same instant his booted feet touch asphalt some distance from the Darkchilde. In that moment, invisible force surges across the ground that seperates them, and courses just as nigh-instantaneously upwards.

The field is indeed like being tightly embraced by massive Kryptonian arms, a sheathe of force seeking to surround Illyana, and compress her. Squeezed, drawn to Earth, Superboy's focus is on utilizing his trademarked TACTILE TELEKINESIS to incapacitate the demoness, just for a moment… they have something in the pipe, he knows it. They always do. They have to.

The Dude of Steel's gaze sweeps over the pooling shadows— in concern, but also in productivity. A brilliant, sustained beam of white-cored sunfire blasts forth at full intensity, melting a deep, narrow chasm in the streets as he sweeps heatvision-surging eyes across several of the gathering shadows. He's learned how much these shadow demons -love- the sun.

Zatanna arrives, everyone moves - Nico tries to watch it all but that's another thing she has to work on, situational awareness. She can see the Superb Oy smash into that field. Break it - silence reigns.

Illyana is making an extremely angry face. Nico also realizes belated that Illyana's legs are goatlike.

That's a little weird. Red Robin briefs Zatanna as Nico grasps her Staff all the more tightly. She sucks in breath through her nose - maybe this woman is an actual for-real demon. One of those pools twists near her and reaches out to grasp her leg and

Nico looks
and Gert is there, on the ground. Laying there and looking up at her with red eyes. Not the good kind of red, either.

"I see you have a bunch of new friends, Nico," says Gert.

Nico's mouth opens and closes for a moment. "You - Y - This is an illusion," she says, turning her head away.

"Yeah," Gert then says: "I guess it always was."

Nico blanches. She turns her head to look at Gert and her mouth opens again and it is that exact moment where she hears a familiar reptilian open-mouthed hissing and then feels a sudden tugging drawing across her abdomen. Nico looks incomprehending at the lowered foot of the Deinonychus and then she feels heat and like something's falling out and -

She falls down, one arm desperately going to her abdomen. "Stay back, Lace," Gert says to the dinosaur: "I want to talk to her for a while. You'll get plenty."

Of course from an external perspective, while /something/ happened and Nico looks agonized, she is not externally harmed. She has, to her left, a shadow of a stout young woman with enough resolution for the ghost of purple hair to be seen, and on her right, the shadow of a deinonychus with a fat bulge of a nose ring, who is - well - a pretty standard dinosaur, other than the nose ring. They're saying something but in the chaos caused by Kryptonian strength and total protonic reversal it isn't really audible unless someone wants to go put their ear up. (In which case, the stout young woman is talking with withering scorn about some life details. The dinosaur says little, as most dinosaurs do.) "I'm sorry," Nico mumbles, staring at the pavement.

Her eyes fix on the shadows, Zatanna narrowing her eyes. "Whatever you do, don't touch them!" she calls out to the rest. "They're night terrors!" Not really the technical term for them, but she describes them in the most efficient way she can in a manner so that everyone can understand. And what do night terrors do? They are fears manifest and rendered temporarily real.

Superboy has the right idea - and she has been using this spell for the last two years, ever since the magical community in New York has been informed that the Brujeria has been trying to bring about the Primordial Darkness. In the last two years they've been looking into it, only one thing was able to slow it from spreading.

This? This isn't the Primordial Darkness, which means that the spell should work even more efficiently.

Hopefully, anyway.

Her eyes shift from ice-blue to pure white, her form rising slowly over the floor. After all, her friends said it themselves - she was going to have to learn how to control whatever this is. She has been trying, practicing. Ever since what happened in the Tower. Arcs of blue-white light ripple over her form as she reaches down deep within herself and speaks some of the oldest words of power in human history….backwards, of course.


There's no sound, only a flash - like a star going through fusion, pure, pristine brightness spills from seemingly everywhere, bleeding over the untouched shadows in an attempt to burn through them, and those who have been ensnared in it free.

"Boss level, phase two," Impulse mutters to himself as he blurs out of another mad sprint. They've just gotten the Darkchilde mad, and even though at first he has no idea what the shadows might do as they pool and form at the dark queen's command, Zatanna about covers that with her warning.

Night terrors… don't really evoke much concern from him, but he knows better than to ignore Zee, and she manages to make it sound bad enough. "Don't touch- right," he nods, hopping back in preparation of maneuvering again. The others are charging in, blasting through and hurling water with surprising effectiveness.

Don't touch them. Okay then. He won't touch them. Are they physical enough that they can still be affected by force though? Only one way to find out!

Scanning the situation, Impulse dashes forth again, pumping a fist in cheer before shading his eyes as Zatanna unleashes a brilliant light. Granted it clears out some of the shadows he pours on the speed, circling Illyana widely at first, tightening it up as he tries to catch her and her shadows in the middle of a vortex.

It's bright.

Typically, of course, Red Robin is the sort of person who operates in the dark. Lurking in the shadows, fighting in the starless nights of Gotham City. It comes with the job, with following the path of the Bat. But when you get enough of it together - like say a brilliant flare of heat vision from Superboy, and Zatanna summoning the literal concept of Light from the realm of Platonic ideals into the world of flesh and blood - it's perfectly obscuring, too. The lenses of that domino mask turn black as smart polarisation compensates for the brightness, but even that is imperfect. He can't see if Nico is in fact freed from the strange shadows that cling to her, inflicting her nightmares with animus. He can't see if Fairchild made it through, or how much damage Superboy's Kryptonian eye beams are doing to the shadows. Mostly, what he can see are kind of vague outlines and blurs.

Which is fine, actually.

Sight isn't exactly overrated, but it's also not the only way to interrogate your environment.

A burst of phased muon propulsion hurtles Red Robin forward, without using his suit's wings - right now, he doesn't need them, he's not trying to fly, or to bring the alarmingly sharp inertrite edges to bear as weapons - as light itself bends to the will of the Mistress of Mysticism to shove shadow away, putting him into a kind of frantic long jump, hurriedly making calculations as he goes. But he's still taking a page from Conner or Bart's book, leaping headlong with maybe a third of an actual plan to his name, reckless even as Impulse starts creating a vortex with his superhuman speed.

"That's the thing about games, Darkchilde," the Red Knight says, swinging his battle staff down as he fires another burst from his suit's thrusters… Propelling him down at her, adding more speed, more momentum, more unyielding physics to the swing. And the staff… Crackles. It's plain old Electricity Classic, not some fancy black hell lightning, capacitors forcing so much through the weapon that the palms of Red Robin's gauntlets, insulated against these sorts of shenanigans, are actually smoking. Because the real point isn't the physical force of the hit, you see. The real point is that he's aiming for one of the spots where the Queen of Limbo's armor looked to have taken the most damage from the holy water assault, memorised before the blinding light became the whole of the world. The real point is that all that electricity is going to act like a stun gun if it hits - a stun gun that could take down an elephant, or maybe even a giant luchador on super steroids.

"I play to win."

Holy water bombs. It's a nice touch, Ravne thinks, closing up the inner portal just as things move into upsetting Darkchilde territory. With a flick of her wrist, the larger portal above her also disappears, being replaced with more shadows.

More shadows - shadows that aren't controlled by her. The Daughter of Darkness narrows her eyes as she takes an air-step back, her magical senses sharpening as everything takes shape. "This isn't good," she breathes, feeling the impending danger pull at her, tempting her to reach out and gain their unspoken trust. Zatanna is able to get the words out before she can, allowing her some time to refocus on whatever she's doing. "The last thing we need is everyone getting sucked into a nightmare- "

Her muttering is interrupted as Impulse heeds the warning and goes running, letting her see Nico now staring at the pavement. "Nico?"

The light brought forth by Zatanna causes Raven to wince, her cloaked arm rising to shield her eyes from the brightness. Even then, she goes over to the other goth witch, reaching out to gently shake her by the shoulder. "Nico." Another shake. "Listen to me, Nico, we're still in the middle of a problem concerning a demon. We still need you here…!"


Tactile Telekinesis.

Word of God.


All of that combined starts an almost domino like effect.

Kon's attack presses hard into Illyana's form. It's enough that her Eldritch Armor instinctively reacts to the danger their Mistress is under. Where pressure presses the armor expands outward offering a magical counterbalance of pressure to his crushing grip.

Caitlin's prayer reaches the Darkchilde's ears and the belief behind it causes the demoness to hiss with irritation as those holy words push against the demon within her.

And then Zatanna Zatara adds those last four words and light flares to life from her spell.

It shines painfully bright and reaches out to touch all those shadows nearby. The light combines with Superboy's heat vision and now the nightmarish creatures implode. One by one.

Pop. Pop. Pop.

For Nico this frees her from her own brand of pain.

For Bart this allows him to sweep up the remnants of those shadows into that vortex of speed.

And for Illyana she staggers.

Her face creases in pain as her armor smolders and then her flesh.

Wherever the light touches it burns.

"I will kill you -"

All. She will kill them all.

But her words cut off sharply as Robin's staff slams into a pitted portion of her Eldritch Armor.

It's what allows the electricity to jump between and magical ward and discharge right into Illyana Rasputina's form.

Her back arches, thanks to that electrical current, and nonsensical growls can be heard from her, but she doesn't fall.

Not for the first second or the second -

But time is limited, she understands this. There's the possibility that she could truly lose here and with that understanding the Demoness reaches metaphysically outward and finds the links of an unseen chain.

She takes hold of that binding and pulls -

Then the Darkchilde's knees go out from beneath her and she falls.

The Darkchilde reaches out and pulls.

In response, in the distance, there is a sound that would be… actually rather familiar to the Titans. The crack of the sound barrier breaking is rather distinctive, and doubtless something they hear all the time.

An instant later, a streak of shining black cleaves across the field of battle, a line of fire leaping up along the ground in its wake. It draws one circle around the fallen Darkchilde, searing up a whirlwind of flames around her, before several thousand meters per second decelerates to zero in the space of a few nanoseconds.

At a standstill, the appearance of this interloper can be discerned: a lean male figure sheathed entirely in demonic black armor. The expected chain, long and rattling, drags down from between his armored shoulderblades. For half an instant the Darkchilde's defender blocks in front of her, wielding a longsword lit entirely in corrupt fire in a down-pointed guard stance. A raked helm and lowered visor anonymize his identity. He might well be nothing more than an enchanted set of walking armor.


That faceless helm tilts in consideration. He leans forward slightly, in the attitude of a racer balancing at the start line, staring Tim Drake in the face, before that internal debate seems suddenly to resolve. He turns instead to the Darkchilde, lifting her in his arms, and with another cracking sonic boom the two vanish, leaving in their wake only another long line of sulfurous smoke and fire.

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