Raining Vampires

January 27, 2019:

Blade and Moon Knight are forced to land a glider in Gotham while evading vampires. Spoiler is on patrol and offers them support, short-term and long-term.

East End, Gotham

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Doctor Strange

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The night sky over Gotham is as clear as it can be, a full moon illuminating the skyline from above, while neon signs paint the streets and their pedestrians.

That clarity is what makes the smoky streak in the distance so easy to spot - plumes pouring out of some small aircraft in a trail from New York south toward Gotham.

As the craft approaches Gotham's city limits, it also becomes apparent to the observant that, while very visible, the craft is silent. And small.

It is a crescent-shaped glider, or something like it, with two passengers.

One, clad all in white and harnessed to the craft's underside, seems to be trying, and failing, to pilot the glider.

The other is dressed in black and standing atop the glider, a sword in hand.

Other figures emerge from the thick trail of smoke belched out by the aircraft, following it closely. These figures appear to fly under their own power and, in the right angle of moonlight, can be seen to wield sharp claws and fangs.

Several facts can be gleaned:

The craft is not going to stay airborne for long.
It's going down in Gotham's East End.
The flying creatures look angry, or hungry, or both.

"This is a really fucking stupid idea," Blade growls at Marc. The dark-skinned dhampir balances effortlessly atop the swaying craft. Which is to say, it's stylish looking but hardly a stable platform. It's already being piloted by a madman and wasn't ever meant to sustain the weight of two men, let alone with combat damage.

Blade dives a hand into his duster and produces his submachine gun. Bullets spray into the air in tightly clustered cones, *BRAPAPAPPA* into the night as chunks of lead fly skywards. He's a hell of a good shot, and his enhanced strength means running the pistol more effectively than most men can shoot it shouldered and stable.

"If you have a plan besides landing in the river, make it happen fast," he adds, snapping down at Marc below.

—-

The first thing that catches Spoiler's attention is the smoke. The optics in her cowl help enhance things for her and she spies the glider a moment later. That it's taken combat damage is apparent and she kicks her skycycle out of passively idling in the shadows of a Gotham building. She's on an intercept course, one that makes the other shapes come into view a moment later. Shapes flying under their own power, in pursuit, and then one of the men on the glider has a gun.

Fantastic. Guns.

Well, whatever those things are that can fly without mechanical means have to be dealt with first. They are, after all, more than likely of the sort Batman has decreed at not allowed in Gotham.

Spoiler flicks her eyes over her HUD, triggering her system to locate a com frequency that the glider might be using and patch her in. She speeds toward the pack of whatever they are flying after the glider, speeding up as she latches onto the com frequency.

"Please stop firing your gun. Spoiler Alert: I'm going to clear them off your tail, and be back for you two in a bit," she says, voice coming out with that digitally distorted growl that no matter how gruff she seems to try to pitch her voice, still ends up sounding like it's coming from a teenager.

—-

"I've never been more sure of anything in my life," Moon Knight lies through his teeth as vampires disintegrate into ash clouds mixed with the glider's smoke trail. "Just trust me."

Just then, the glider's controls spark and the craft goes from 'slowly but surely descending' to 'plummeting.'

One benefit to the sudden and confident dip in trajectory is that the closest remaining vampires are suddenly off-track, and they spin and corkscrew about in an effort to catch the two heroes.

Their attempted re-angling is complicated further by the unexpected arrival of Spoiler on her skycycle, although more children of the night make themselves known from the edges of the smoke trail.

Moon Knight takes the opportunity for a moment's respite to call out: "Next stop: daywalkers off!"

He wrenches back on a pair of levers that cause the glider's wings to scream, misaligned lift-flaps scraping against the metal of the main wing components.

The craft levels out, although its descent is only slowed by a barely imperceptible amount. Nonetheless, as it levels out the glider passes by a building whose rooftop height matches its own altitude.

A moment later, Moon Knight ejects himself from his pilot harness, firing out a grappling hook and line so as to swing back around and up to the rooftop.

The glider continues on to smash into the ground, shuddering along the asphalt to park itself halfway inside a nearby convenience store.

—-

Blade tenses on the canopy for a split second and flings himself sideways when Marc nears the roof. Rather than the catastrophe of pushing off the vehicle he grabs a passing vampire creature for elverage, flinging it through the air to give him some oppositional force. Bullets sail through the sky and split the monster's skull open, four or five of them in a fist-shaped group.

While Blade is backflipping through the air in the middle of the night, bailing from a hang glider and shooting one-handed. Vampires.

He lands with a *crunch* and ignoring Stephanie, shoots at the sky again. He's accurate, though the arcing bullets definitely are not making Gotham any safer for people downrange.

"Get out of here," he booms up at Spoiler. "Not your fight. Amateurs are just gonna turn into fang food." He holsters his gun and flicks his blackened silver katana in a whirring arc, the blade reflecting virtually no light.

—-

Spoiler rams a vampire, thinking these things similar to some of those flying demon things from before, and uses him to skid-stop-spin so she can fling a batarang at another.

"You're in my city. It's now my fight," she growls back, voice low but amplified by her flying motorcycle the moment her limited AI noted that the glider's coms went down. Her throw was accurate and clearly something she's used to downing a foe. To have the two she tackled pause only for a moment before doubling back on her, bringing friends with them, has her grumbling and skittering her bike out of Blade's line of fire. He's not going to stop firing, she has a feeling about that. Not when whatever he's doing it working while these things took a steel projectile to the chest like it was nothing.

"Also? Not really an amateur. Though… What the heck is fang-food?" she quips all in one breath, as she prepares to spin her bike to use the ICER rounds it packs.

—-

As he alights on the rooftop, Moon Knight flings a pair of silver crescent throwing weapons at two vampires that land nearby, causing them to disintegrate.

Two dozen more can be seen approaching on the wind.

"Normally, I'd say we should just play nice," he shouts. "But I think this really is the deep end of the shit."

Some of the vampires landing on the rooftop grin in response. One is immediately beheaded by Blade.

Some of the vampires attempt to grab ahold of Spoiler's cycle and reach for her limbs.

Moon Knight reaches for a baton on his leg. It's an emergency flare, which he pops and holds out cautiously. "New ally, whoever you are," he calls out, "I'd bail if I were you. You look pro enough, but he's a 'good guy' vampire and I'm a playboy who dresses up in imagery of the night to fight criminals on a regular basis. I don't know if this kind of thing is up your alley."

Half a dozen circle around the vigilante and leap at him. One takes the flare to its mouth, but the rest quickly tackle and obscure the knight.

"Food for fangs," Blade explains. The 'obviously' is left out, and he just shakes his head at Marc when more of the vampires rush Spoiler. He tosses something at his ally and swings his sword in a blurring series of arcs to create space around the man. "UV Grenade," he tells Marc. "Three second fuse."

The flickering motion of the weapon drives back the vampire and like a samurai, Blade holds the katana overhead parallel to the ground, in a ready stance that can lash out in all directions at once if need be. Seems the ashing bodies on the ground have bought them just a little respect.

—-

Two are dropped by the ICER, though not being exactly human the electricity that shorts human neural connects probably won't have as big of a punch on them. They drop and will get back up sooner than any of the heroes would probably like.

As several claw their way onto her bike, Spoiler kicks them away, pulling a titanium alloy baton from teh small of her back and beating them to clear some space for herself. They are more manuvearable than she is in the air,but not as fast. She heard the swordsman say UV Grenade. She's got something similar. She just needs some space to use it. So, seeming like she's taking the two below up on their 'run away little girl' comments, Spoiler turns her bike skyward and guns it, rocketing as hard for her vehicle's top speed as she can safely muster. Safely for her, because as a human in nomex and kevlar she is not immune to super sonic wind sheer.

The three clinging tumble away from her from the velocity, one at a time, like stubborn insects clinging to a windshield. The air thins. The temperature falls. Spoiler spins her bike around and zips back down to Earth, using the time now to set up the next series of actions.

The UV Lamps set into her vehicle from what feels like ages ago will draw more power than the vehicle likes to have drawn. She'll have enough for one three second burst while pulling her speed back into something that might allow for a rough landing on the roof. Then, she'll have to let the bike sit for at least fifteen minutes for the systems to cycle back online before she can check if there will be enouhg juice to limp away. Either to the Cave or the Mansion or her Den. The Cave is closer, but she'd rather not have Damien thinking he can crawl all over this ride the way he had the last one.

At least this one doesn't have a roof to dent. Stupid Batbrat.

She doesn't give warning, to any of them as she comes screaming back down from the sky, flicking on her UV highbeams just as she gets into range of the horde of vampires.

—-

The rooftop receives a one-two punch of UV light and momentary vitamin D production in those present and alive (or even half-alive). Those undead explode into clouds of ashes, like unholy dandelion fluff.

But grosser, and made of former people.

Moon Knight looks up, his costume shredded in myriad places. "Well…" he begins, "…I have to say, that was both fantastic and also blinding." The man shakes his head, blinking several times, before he shifts to a sitting position.

"Well, Plan A worked." Moon Knight glances from Blade to Spoiler. "Plan A was 'stay alive'. Plan A part two worked as well: 'kill the vampires thirsty for our blood'. Now to Plan A part three."

He pauses for a moment, shaking his head. "No, not yet. No. Just - just shush," he mutters, waving to the empty air.

"What /does/ one do when one possesses a key ingredient in the recipe to bake an unspeakable ancient evil into the world?"

"Your plans fucking suck," Blade tells Marc, bluntly. He whips his blade in an arc and wipes it against his coat sleeve elbow to clean it before it's sheathed with a flickering of his wrist, the grip sticking up over his head.

"Come down here," he growls up at Spoiler. With his dark sunglasses it's hard to tell if he's been dazzled by the light display in the sky or if he's just Stevie Wonder's angrier nephew. He doesn't make it a request, either, and looks back at Marc when the Moon Knight starts speaking to himself.

"We've talked about this," he growls at the man. "Let us know when you're just talking to the voices, or I'm gonna start tuning you completely out."

—-

With the UV bath over, Spoiler makes that rough landing. Her bike sends up a small shower of sparks before it settles heavily, engines whining down into sleep mode. Spoiler sags a moment, a little breathless before she's pushing up and moving toward the other two. It ended up looking like she was complying to Blade's not-request, even though she hadn't any choice in putting down just then. The bike was down for the count. Her eyes drift to Marc a moment, a bit worried about him, before they go back to Blade.

"Introductions before you tell me what those were and why you two thought dragging them into Gotham was a good idea?"

—-

"Don't hate Khonshu 'cause he's not you," Moon Knight retorts before throwing his head back and cackling for a long moment. Then he stops, sighs, and clears his throat. "I couldn't help it, I couldn't help it."

Moon Knight slowly pushes himself to his feet, walking calmly toward Spoiler. He extends one arm out, hand positioned for a shake. "Moon Knight. This is my temporary partner Blade. We hunt vampires … although, clearly, sometimes they hunt us."

He rubs his chin. "The Egyptian moon god Khonshu told me that something big is happening. Vampires are trying to resurrect, or bring into reality, or some other rough synonym, a great dark entity that should not be. We need to stop it."

"As for Gotham," Moon Knight continues, "it was just a place where the gas ran out. But the city seems to take care of itself pretty well."

—-

Spoiler regards Moon Knight again, head tilting faintly. A moment and then she reaches out to shake his hand.

"Spoiler. Ancient Egyptian Gods coming back to Earth are rarely good things," she notes, leaving off following up on comments of Gotham now that it's clear they hadn't meant to. And, the threat was neutralized quickly, so… maybe no harm no foul.

"Who's 'we' and what else are you needing to keep this resurrection from happening?" Just like that. Not only does the purple lipped blonde-haired batling belief them but she's ready to see hwo she can lend a hand.

—-

Blade doesn't offer Stephanie a handshake. Or an Anything. He just stands there with his arms folded across his chest and scowls at the woman. It's hard to take it personally, he seems like the sort who scowls at everything. Including Moon Knight, as Khonshu's Avatar is currently under the brunt of Blade's ire.

"We. Me and him," he tells Stephanie. "No one else gives a shit. So we're taking them on, head-on. Help us, or get out of our way."

—-

"Well, this one's been around for a /little/ while," Moon Knight replies, shrugging. "He sometimes likes to get more involved than at other times."

"As for 'we' … the two of us have been doing some recruiting, here and there. Boots on the ground and brains in the books, so to speak." The vigilante in white looks to his partner. "I'm not sure if everyone /wants/ to be identified, but suffice it to say that, since we're dealing with vampires, we're dealing with magic. As well as guns and swords and fangs."

He puts his hands on his hips. "If you're 'in', though, I guess it can't hurt to know that we called a doctor for help. I think he's /that/ kind of doctor, but he's also a magic doctor." Moon Knight wiggles his hands in a poor imitation of Doctor Strange's spell-casting gestures.

"At the very least," he adds, "know that the eleventh hour is approaching quickly. We're triaging as much as we can, but we're slowing things, more than anything else, to try and get all the help in position as we can."

—-

Big Bad Blade's Scowling at her? Spoiler takes it in stride. Batman scowls at her often enough. She fires back at Blade's broody growl with a bright smile of her own, and even a light giggle. If she wasn't willing to help, she wouldn't have offered, but then that makes sense in her head. It doesn't always make sense for others.

"The Sorcerer Supreme. I've heard of him. I haven't seen any hint that these things have come into Gotham before this lot, but I'll put an alert to keep an eye out. In the meantime, what help do you need and where?" she asks, tone and expression growing serious. It ages her, making her seem much closer to the early twenties that she actually is.

"Information. Tracking," Blade growls. He seems unable to speak in anything but a sibilant baritone. Voice like crackling gravel. "Vampires are predators. They hunt and track prey. Watering holes. Migration paths. They'll work in dens of one to three. Sometimes a smaller coven of five. You probably know where their home is. It'll be old. Stale. Near a lot of missing persons reports. A place no sane person would live. If you find them, run. Because they'll see you coming way before you spy them out," Blade says, bluntly.

Nodding, Moon Knight points idly to Blade. "What he said, really. All of that is dead-on. Undead-on?" He snaps his fingers. "Also, the whole 'flying motorcycle with a massive UV light' was a pretty neat trick. Do you have a dealer contact for those?"

Then, he retrives a small smartphone-like device and taps a few commands on its interface. "Uber will be here in maybe ten minutes," Moon Knight announces. "The car couldn't travel as the vampire flies, you understand."

—-

"Oh. So, a little like Arkham," Spoiler quips at Blade, hands planting on her hips. She sighs lightly as Marc confirms the terrible information Blade gave. Her hand fall to her sides again. Her black cape with purple lining falls closed over her, obscuring her form.

"So, you need information on their movements… within Gotham or New York or Metropolis or all of the above? That's a lot of area for me to cover. Also, I'll need contact information, and no. The bike isn't from a dealer. It's a limited run with heavy modifications," she says. Meaning that she took the bike the Avengers gave her for signing up and with Batman's help kitted it for a batling's use and then has continued making alterations. This is now not a stock model anything.

"And I'm in no rush," she adds. Because her ride needs another ten minutes at least itself to cycle back on.

Blade's gone.

Not invisible or nearby. Vanished, and with a silent alacrity that would put most ninjas to shame. Not a word of excuse or apology, no preface or clever quips. He's simply vacatated the area, and for the lack of his presence the only notable change is that the air might be a tad warmer than it was in his chilly presence.

—-

"That's right. Whatever you can -" Moon Knight stops himself when Blade suddenly disappears.

"Uhh. Hmm. I should have mentioned he might do that, but he tends to make me look bad by not doing what I say he will. So - I'm sorry about that." He sighs. "Please don't hold that against us. I figure life as one of /them/ - well, kind of one of them - must be absolute hell."

The engine of a limousine can be heard, and then the car can be seen, approaching and slowing down next to the building.

"Guess I need to recalibrate the ETA notifications. Do you need a ride somewhere for a new battery or the like?" Moon Knight asks, stepping toward the roof edge.

—-

Spoiler blnked once at how quickly Blade vanished on her. Training was the only thing that kept her from immediately looking around for him. Batman did this sort of thing all the time. She should be used to it,a nd in her defense she was… from Batman. Not from some random sword guy who is hunting vampires…. and is a vampire? sort of vampire?

This night just got all sorts of craycray.

"No, thank you. And no need to apologize. I'm used to ninja-types. It's fine. Do i get your number before you go though? So i can call if I get any intel for you? Or do I just hope you and Toothy can find me when I'm ready for you?" Not that that would make Stephanie comfortable in the slightest.

—-

"Oh, right," Moon Knight says, holding up the smartphone. "I just got a new app that lets you bump another phone and exchange info." He extends his arm out, walking back toward Spoiler. "Just tap it and we're buds. Contact-wise, at least."

"The help is awesome. Really. I promise that some of our contacts are much nicer to know and work with." He glances over his shoulder. "None of them are /worse/ than Blade, at least. And he grows on you."

Moon Knight walks back to the roof edge. "But then I guess we all have our own 'brooding loner' type who seems to both hate you and love you. I know deep down he cares."

With a raised hand, the man steps off the roof and glides down toward his limousine, thanks to a billowing white cape. The car's sun roof opens and Moon Knight enters smoothly, feet-first.

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