Possession is Two Thirds of... Something

January 19, 2019:

A pair of enterprising Daemonites set a trap for Grifter. Unfortunately (for them) they also catch the Enchantress.

Old Gotham

An alleyway leading to a police warehouse

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

"That's the last load, Dr. Moone." The officers who had been assigned courier duty loaded that last of the steel storage containers into the back of the delivery truck that bore no markings. Which was either entirely suspicious or simply a bog standard attempt at not drawing interest to what was going on. "Thank you, Lieutenant. You said you had some paperwork for me to review?" The tall officer handed over a clipboard, which June began to review, before she signed off on each page. "Once we've had a chance to analyze the artifacts, we'll send you a full report." Full, of course, was relative, but wasn't it always?


Cole is not happy to see the unmarked truck. This is supposed to be a federal storage facility, discreet and well protected. Not prone to… surprises. Not even he knew it was here until two days ago.

It is dumb to put a place like this in Gotham, seriously. Too many dangerous criminals. Not powerful, no, dangerous. It is not the same. Then again they have to put the crazy weapons of the crazy people somewhere. And STAR Labs Gotham is mostly botanic research, if he remembers correctly.

However he was told Black Mask would hit the storage today to steal a canister of pure Smilex, of all things. Those things should be destroyed. Yet he has no problem believing they are stupid enough to keep that there as 'proof' or to 'research'.

Alas, in this case Grifter is way too cynical. There is no smilex in the depot, and Black Mask is innocent this time. No, this time it is a party just for him, prepared by old friends.

But… lets not anticipate facts. All its happening right now is half a dozen tall gentlemen are moving up the alley, dressed in dark trench coats, dark scarves and dark hats. All normal for the foul, icy cold Gotham weather. A couple of them even carry umbrellas. Black, of course.

They are looking for Grifter, and of course they pass by the dirty wino huddling in a corner of the alley. Which is ironic, because the 'wino' certainly sees them, and man, do they look like Black Mask gang, too.

They, however, spot the unscheduled van. And they, of course, don't like it at all, so like one they advance. In fact, too much like one. Certainly eerie enough to startle the Lieutenant and his men.


June did her due diligence, crossing every 'T' and dotting every 'I'. Whether this shipment actually ended up getting where it was supposed to be in the end, there was certainly no desire, on her part or on the part of her employers to tarnish the working relationship between themselves and the police. It was simply too useful. So, the clipboard was handed over, and the drivers and his assistants moved to secure the van.

The movement along the alley caught June's attention, movement out of the corner of her eyes. Rather than registering surprise, there was a dip of her shoulders as if in resignation. "Lieutenant, thank you for your assistance. My team can handle it from here, if you'd like to return to your offices."


There is not a chance the Black Mask goon will start a shootout with the police and the feds, right? Not even the crazies of Gotham would be so nuts… well, look, yes they would!

The Lieutenant just saw the thugs, and one of his men is moving to intercept, when they all pull submachine guns from under their coats and start firing. 9 mm mini-uzis and in full auto. So. Many. Bullets.

Fortunately June is at the other side of the van, most of the others are not so lucky. The lieutenant manages to also get behind the van, and pull his gun. The truck driver might have been able to duck too, but they are fanning around to get at them.

Meanwhile, behind them, Grifter has pulled down his mask and wasted half a second in disbelief, then opens fire from behind the thugs. Bullets hit two of the men's backs, making them stumble, but fail to penetrate the armored coats. He points higher and one of the thugs. His head explodes.

The rest move fast.
"The Grifter"
"Get him"
"Was behind"
"Vengeance will be ours, Grifter!"

Two of the killers are still moving around the truck to kill everyone else, though.


June, in a movement that would seem only natural, ducked down as soon as she heard the gunfire, crouching to make use of the protection the body of the van provided. She was no stranger to this sort of thing, though. How could you be when you hung out with the sort of malcontents and ne'er-do-well she tended to spend her time with. She reached out as she caught sight of the Lieutenant, grabbing for the man's shirt as he drew his gun. "No." The voice was no longer quite June's. She was still, for the most part 'present', but the witch was clearly ascendant. "Get under the truck." She looked away, eyes staring down the alley, though she did not seem to be focused on any one thing. "One day. One normal day." And then she spoke the witch's name, Enchantress bursting into existence with a flash of smoke and embers, spinning on her heel and moving to intercept the ones coming in along the right side of the van, her for flickering, insubstantial, and dancing as she darted around, guaging the enemy before she struck.


To the enchantress supernatural senses these men feel odd. They feel no fear, they feel nothing, as if they were hollow, or under a charm. But there is no magic involved here, just mindlessness, will suppressed. Ah, psionics.

Deeper behind, she can feel two powerful presences. Old (but not as old as she) and ruthless, and alien. They lurk inside two of the dark-clad men. Not the pair that turn around the sides of the truck, glancing briefly and showing no surprise at seeing the Enchantress. They are very fast, and fill the air with lead, a dozen bullets flying towards the elder witch from two directions.

And in the alleyway Grifter also has an alarming number of bullets coming at him. But he is sneaky and, quite frankly, he cheats. After all he has been hiding in the alley for two days, plenty of time to plan for an ambush or three.

He fires up, and there is an explosion. Faming oil and gasoline hit one of the men. When he recoils, Cole puts a bullet through his face. Then blows up the uzi from a second gunner's hand, taking also a couple fingers. A flashbang grenade follows, LOUD, forcing the thugs to take cover.


Enchantress as she moved looked, making best use of her ability to teleport to flit her here and there as they fired at her, not so much annoyed as simply bored. A lash of her will and time stopped, the bubble of it taking in the whole of the area around the van, as she advanced on the two who were firing on her. She cared nothing for their circumstance, whether they would have, had their minds not been controlled, have been unwilling or unable to attack her. She simply did as she always did, and eliminated those who threatened her, or thought to. First one and then the other, as she tore the head from the first and then the second, tossing them away like bowling balls.

She had not, however, failed to notice the alien presence and that, she advanced on. The explosions now occurring farther in the alley, that she would deal with after. if it was another enemy, well, she would deal with that too.


While Enchantress ruthlessly dispatches two of the thugs, Grifter is moving out of the alley, shooting at the one armed man left. Then kicking down the injured one. Except he doesn't go down as a regular man would after being kicked on the head. He just snarls, and it sounds inhuman. "Grifter…"

"Oh. Fuck," is his response. Followed by empting an ammo clip on the man. "Hadn't see you assholes since Teheran five years ago. What's the matter? Trying to score points with the bosses?"

Second gun is pointing the last thug, who is pinned against a corner and breathing with difficulty. He pauses, though, as a head comes rolling. That is new.

A very brief distraction which comes with consequences as the Daemonites abandon their injuried hosts and materialize. They are obviously alien, seven foot tall, grey-skinned, red eyes, with powerful upper arms and smaller lower arms. Four in total. Powerful minds too, but their psychic attack crash against Grifter’s mental shields. One of them glances at Enchantress, and she can feel him clawing at her mind. Psychic claws dripping poison.

"Lord Defile will be pleased with your death, Grifter," growls one of them, tackling the red-masked gunman.


Perhaps if these, whatever they were, had been facing Dr. Moone, their attacks might have penetrated. But there was no human mind that inhabited their shared body now, but a being older, craftier, and more alien even than these two. She unleashed her own mind in retaliation, her psychic abilities slashing across those probing fingers, as her hands lifted, "Children. Always, I am forced to deal with children." She pressed the attack now, bindings appearing around the two creatures, as much magical as physical, her will lashing out like a blade against their minds, seeking to control them as they had tried to do to her. "You have so much to answer for," that to Grifter, despite the fact that it was clear he had not, as it were been the one to 'bring the party'.


The Daemonite balks when Enchantress rebukes his psychic attack, showing to be powerful enough to threaten him (her?) in the psychic plane. Mystic bindings wrap around them, but they struggle against them with considerable physical power and an unstable, time/space-shifting not-quite physical presence. And Grifter takes advantage of the struggle to kick the one on top of him away and rolling a couple yards. "Open eyes, sucker," he growls, emptying the second handgun clip on the creature's head. Two of its four eyes explode, and he roars in pain.

Even with several bullets in the head that Daemonite is alive. But obviously crippled, seriously injured. The other one, struggling with Enchantress seems to realize he is not going to win after all. "You will pay for standing on the way of Daemon, witch," he threatens. Then phase-shifts with a supreme effort, and wrests free from the bindings, and through the wall of the alleyway.

Grifter was reloading, quick as lightning but not fast enough. When he shots he hits brick, not alien flesh. Then he curses loudly. In several languages, he knows a few.

Then shuts up, realizing Enchantress might be, perhaps, a lady. Nah, not a chance. "So yeah… they are aliens, they hate me," he half-explains.


"Will I? Well, I have grown bored of the entertainments of this world, I look forward to our next meeting." Though it might be that Enchantress could have stopped the being from escaping, she instead allowed it to struggling, only tightening the bindings now and then as a cat toying with its food, before she allowed it to escape and began to walk towards the gun-happy man, and was that not familiar, and the second downed alien. She crouched onto her haunches as she looked the creature over, "Would you mind terribly…if I took a few souvenirs?"


The Daemonite is trying to crawl away while closing his injures, and perhaps if left alone it might have survived. But Grifter has no intention to allow him to escape. Only the Enchantress odd request slows him down. "Souvenirs? You mean like trophies? I don't think you can, they kind of vanish into smoke when they are dead," leaving no evidence of their existence. But it is because their physical forms are unstable and held together by their minds, not because they don't want to leave corpses. "They are assholes even when dead," explains Cole.


"Ah, well, then I will simply have to look while it is still alive." Enchantress' form flickered as she instantly moved from where she had been hunkered down to looking over the creature, her hands reaching down and using some of the bullet holes like finger holds as she tore its flesh, opening it as she might have done a downed animal about to be bled and dressed. "Do they share some sort of…group mind, do you think?"


Cole looks at the grisly spectacle of the Enchantress tearing at the flesh of the injured Daemonite and uhs. "Lady, you are a weird one," he concludes. "They are… eh, probably not. At least not long distance. They have some mental mojo, and some can change shape real well. The really old ones have many different abilities. Supposedly they live forever, but most get killed early on." He shrugs, feigning ignorance and indifference.

"Didn't catch your name," he points out, returning his guns to the shoulder holsters. He figures the rumor about the Black Mask gang coming here to steal Smilex was a deception. Clever one, all things given. There must have been a Daemonite or two in Gotham for years.

Which is no surprise. It is Gotham. Of course there are -also- Daemonites.


"Thank you for the compliment." Enchantress rummaged around in the daemonites interior, completely oblivious to its screaming, those same bindings appearing to hold it immobile as she poked around inside, bit and pieces of something blue and ethereal clinging to her fingertips, though it dissipated a moment later. It was still not quite dead, as she hunkered back down, her forearms resting on her knees, "I am called Enchantress. And you may have the kill, if you would like."


"What is not to like," replies Grifter, evenly. No, now the fight has ended he is not so eager to kill the Daemonite. But after all the carnage Enchantress did, he doubts he can survive. It is mercy killing this time.

Maybe. Or maybe he will heal and keep killing people with the idea of conquering the world some day. Holding Daemonites prisoner might be possible now the technology has advanced so much, but that is SHIELD's job, not his.

So he shoots the creature. A lot of times.

Wails. The police are coming. Actually it is here, the lieutenant survived and he is looking very pale from his hidehole under the truck. Aliens are a little off even for Gotham.

"Hmm, I would offer you a victory drink, but," Grifter shrugs. "Don't want to talk to the cops," and besides, he stinks to Gotham alley. Two days there, also part of his disguise. "Raincheck, okay? Have nice Gotham day?" He says as farewells.


"Oh, I don't concern myself with the police, I will handle them." It was as close to her acknowledging that she was giving him a way out as he was likely to get. Once the daemonite was dispatched, Enchantress rose to her feet, her form changing, until she looked nearly identical to her human counterpart, save the the slight shift in the tone of her skin and her darker hair. But given the night and the winter clothes, it was near enough to the mark that the police might not notice, and if they did, well, being fully willing and able to manipulate minds would do for that. "I would like to have a drink." She walked back towards the police without any further indication that she had seen or spoken to the homeless man who was, more than likely not at all homeless, but at least, probably a man. All eyes on her and all.

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