Spice Up Your Life
Roleplaying Log: Spice Up Your Life
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

As summer reluctantly gives way to fall, the Titans defend New York from a sinisterly delicious menace: The Pumpkin Spicer!

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: September 25, 2019
IC Location: Midtown Manhattan, NYC
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 26 Sep 2019 18:29
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

MIDTOWN MANHATTAN

THE EVENING OF SEPTEMBER 25TH

Technically, autumn has come at last after a truly sweltering summer season. You'd really have to strain to call the cooler evening air anything resembling 'brisk', though, since it's not even October yet, but there is something in the air. And that something… IS DANGER.

Among the glittering high rises a figure moves with an unsettling fluidity - it's humanoid, but the proportions are just wrong enough to unsettle, with a lanky frame and overly long limbs. The figure wears a rather dapper suit, of all things, with a formal cape and cane like some kind of Victorian-era gentleman, an appearance only spoiled by the fact that its head is a pumpkin.

Like, a big one.

It's weird.

"HA HA!" the figure laughs flippantly as he keeps ahead of his pursuers - consisting for the moment of at the very least Red Robin, swinging after him on one of those probably not very safe actually grapple lines - almost like some narrative contrivance was making things break his way. "You see?? Each year, my power only grows! Each year, earlier and earlier, they succumb to the forbidden allure! Soon, all the world will fall under the sway of me: THE PUMPKIN SPICER!"

"How come we never get cooler villains anymore," the Titans' leader complains, but despite his words the sinister and unearthly powers of the Pumpkin Spicer don't seem to be something he can easily counter.

Worse, among the midtown crowds there's a veritable army of Spice Imps, each looking like a chubby miniature Pumpkin Spicer, causing further mischief. Mainly by pumpkin spicing everything. People's water. Coffee. Their hotdogs.

Cars.

That old lady's cat.

"Titans," Red Robin says over the team line. "We need to get this contained."

It's already been going on for over an hour.

"I don't know, Red."

The comment is dry and bland as Zatanna Zatara watches the trouble from her perch - somewhere near their team leader, and behind her domino mask is an absolute look of utter amusement, barely able to suppress a grin. She's dressed in full costume, in the outfit that she managed to put together with Nico and Starfire's help, with the overlarge cowl pulled over her head and her eyes further obscured by the purple-and-black mask that Tim had constructed for her years ago. These days, she still uses it.

"I'm female and Caucasian, I might not be able to resist him. Plus, you know. Italian. Just looking at him makes me want a latte."
<Pose Tracker> Bart Allen has posed.

Cool or not, Impulse kind of doesn't mind the more zanier array of villainy. Anyway, it's something to do on a Wednesday.

"Where are you guys? I have an important question I need to ask him like, stat!"

*Ping*

"-oop, never mind, got it. Thanks SIRIN! Anywho, Impulse en route! In route?"

Zipping easily through the streets and convoluted lines of traffic, the young speedster refers to the fastest way from point A (him) to point B (them) as his helpful AI brings it up on the overlay of his goggle lenses. It's not long at all before he comes around perpendicular to the path of the other two Titans and the spicy menace.

"Wow, cool, he does have a pumpkin for a head!!" Impulse exclaims gleefully.

If she's being honest with herself, Raven can't shake the feeling of really wanting a pumpkin-spiced drink. But she has reasons to supply the need; it would at least keep her awake for a bit longer, for instance. There's enough sugar and caffeine to balance out the Flavors of Fall, after all.

"As they say," the hooded cloak adds quietly, not even bothering to look for Red Robin and Zatanna as she hovers somewhere above, "'tis the season." Pause. "Even if they do keep pushing the dates for the actual seasons."

Upon the words 'contained,' Raven doesn't even move. Instead, she lets the shadows come up from under a few of the imps running amok in their spice-sprinkling chaos, getting started with catching them first.

"…A cat? You spiced a cat." This non-sequitur seems to not be aimed at anyone within the Titans. "Why would you even— you know what, never mind."

Well, Nico Minoru thinks, at least nobody's getting horribly killed yet.

A Spice Imp breaks towards her.

She is, abruptly, spiced. As the fragrant orange scent - strong with the aroma of cinnamon - washes over her, Nico's eyes widen.

The ripples in time…
The terrible purpose…
A vision of the future…

… which lasts about three seconds at most before it turns into a sudden violent coughing fit, making her actually double over and raise a hand to indicate to Red Robin that she's gonna be OK in a moment. Straightening up, she breathes in deep and —

— the craving hits her — no, she tells herself, gritting her teeth. I will NOT give in. I will NOT be basic.

Nico rears back to kick one of the spice imps like she's going for a field goal. (Outfit check: Nico is in a top that is about forty percent black lace and is thus cold enough that she has a faded ESU hoodie on over it. Below that, she put together another leather pleated skirt, which jingles merrily. She's done a lot of those lately. Seems like it's big on the internet.)

(Oh, and the big ol' punk boots. Which the Imp meets.)

"So is this buttlord an elemental or is this performance art," she asks the group, wiping at her mouth as she does. Her eyes are watering.

The Spice Imps, it turns out, are more about mischief than mayhem. Several are caught by Raven's shadowy power, letting out high-pitched squeals of frustration as they struggle futilely against the Daughter of Darkness' grasp.

"Foolish children, thinking you can contend with the likes of me!" the Pumpkin Spicer declares with obvious offense in his voice - the Jack O'Lantern-style carved face actually moves when he talks, which is just even weirder - as he twists impossibly in midair, changing direction to slam both feet into the oncoming Red Robin, knocking the vigilante aside… Which is awkward since they're a long ways up from the unforgiving pavement below. "I, who have gained such power from Instagram posts that soon even Neron and Mephisto will have to acknowledge my might!"

Several of the Spice Imps are now trying to dogpile Impulse as he gets comments on the fact that their terrible foe's head is a gourd, maybe taking further offense on behalf of their master?

Another does, in fact, get kicked by Nico right in its own pumpkin head… Which bursts open (their strength is numbers, not… strength) like if she'd just kicked a regular pumpkin with her heavy boots. This close, she'd no doubt smell something else mingled with the appealing fall scents: A faint whiff of brimstone.

"But the girl is right about her own weaknesses. After all," the Pumpkin Spicer adds, swinging his cane (the tip of the cane is, yes, shaped like a pumpkin) from which erupts a pleasantly cinnamon-scented ray he aims to cut across Zatanna - leaving, if she doesn't avoid the beam, her stylish footwear replaced by shapeless but comfortable brown boots, and adding very plain heather-grey leggings to her outfit. "…How can you hope to stop me, when you can't… Even?!"

Red Robin contemplates the upsides of just falling.

There's a slight twitch of her brow upwards when they're addressed collectively in that way, Zatanna dropping from her height to land on the ground within spellcasting distance of the Pumpkin Spicer. "Alright, listen, you overgrown squash," she replies. "Not that anyone expects you to count correctly, but most of us are actually legal to gamble now, and second of all— "

POUF.

The ray hits her square on, and she coughs, because the spice is everywhere and oh god it smells delicious and the urge to turn around to march into the nearest Starbucks is so overwhelming that—

Get it together, Zatanna.

She feels it though, when she takes that single step. Ice-blue eyes turn to her boots…and leggings.

Gray leggings. Not even the stylish gray but the drab gray that reminds her of concrete and prison uniforms.

The shriek could be heard for miles.

"Oh, you are so dead." She spent months collaborating with Nico and Kori on this! She hurls a cinnamon-spiced ray of her own, except that it smells and looks less pleasant and looks more like fire and it's aimed for his head.

"I decided against the coffee, I'm turning you into a sandwich instead!"

"Ahahaha! And it moves! Come on guys, don't you think that's at least a little awesome?" Impulse grins. He effortlessly dodges the Spice Imps that make a leap for him, studying one in its midair path before side-stepping to allow it to resume its flight into the pile that might have been meant for him.

"Mister Pumpkin-Head, I have a question!!" he shouts, waving a hand in the manner of an overachieving student in a classroom of peers who'd much rather he kept his mouth shut.

"Pumpkin spice flavor's cool and all but—"

*Dodge* "—is there"

*Zip* "-actual…"

*Runrunrun-grab-Drake* " —pumpkin flavor?"

Surely someone with a pumpkin head spreading seasonal flavor must know!

Zee's shriek nearly throws him off his own feet as he misses a step mid-run. "AAaah waitdon'tkillhimuntilheanswersmyquestion!!!"

Raven is inclined to agree with Nico's assumption of The Pumpkin Spicer being a strange performance art act, but none of this is normal. Also, the spice is starting to get to her head. It's not fun inhaling something that tends to burn your lungs for a five seconds.

Internal thoughts aside, she continues gathering stray imps with dark tendrils, depositing them into a…ball of darkness (???) while the pumpkin-headed man monologues. Except that script shifts when she sees Red Robin falling in a sharp angle out of the corner of her eye. "Red— "

Things seem to stop right as Zatanna shrieks, causing her to lose her grip on the last imp she has in hand. A sharp breath is inhaled as she recomposes, refocusing on getting something under the Titans' leader before he hits the ground.

Not that he's not capable of doing that himself, but the best she can do on short notice is…send the dark ball full of pumpkin spice-flavored imps over his way as a safety padding.

IMP'd! Nico stomps downwards.

NICO MINORU STILL DOESN'T HAVE THE STAFF OF ONE OUT. The real peril of a lack of violent injury.

This limits her options, especially when she smells that lurking whiff of brimstone. She recoils, before looking over towards Zatanna— in time to see that she has, in fact, become Basic. The shriek of agony from Zatanna brings a pang of sympathy to Nico's heart. She would do the same - or worse.

"Mephisto is on instagram?" Nico then asks. She glances at Bart, as if he (perhaps through Tony?) would know.

"The spice must flow!" squeaks that lucky Spice Imp as Raven loses her shadowy grip on it, the pudgy little thing making a break for the nearest subway station.

Red Robin, fortunately, is quite securely saved from hitting the ground (or having to keep himself from doing it) as Impulse catches him in midair and then they both rebound off of the Daughter of Darkness' dark ball full of captive Spice Imps, launching the two into the air.

While, of course, Bart tries to ask the Pumpkin Spicer his 'very important question'.

"I don't really think this is the time," the vigilante tries to redirect Bart's concerns, but…

"FOOL!" the pumpkin-headed thing proclaims, swinging his staff around towards the two young men. "Of course there's a pumpkin flavor, it's seductive in its deliciousness, and—AGH!"

The 'AGH!' is of course the moment where Zatanna's own aromatic magic beam impacts that big pumpkin head, adding 'ON FIRE' to the Pumpkin Spicer's current status. The hit also puts his aim awry, the Basic Beam brushing past Red Robin and Impulse, instead cutting a comfy swath through the extremely confused crowd of New Yorkers…

…And heading right towards Nico.

Nico gets a shrug from Bart, because he has no idea what any of that's about. He'd give Raven a thumbs-up for the added save but he's still got Red Robin in an awkward princess carry. Just catchin' all the team birds. It's what he do.

"What do you mean, of course it's the time- it's literally the perfect time—"

And despite being called a fool Impulse still beams as he's given an answer to his oh-so-ever-important question, naturally unfazed by the fact that a pumpkin wand is being aimed at them. He doesn't even have to make the effort of dodging as it goes zinging past with a whiff of cinnamony goodness.

He blinks, looks at Red Robin and then back in the direction said beam has gone. Is that bad? That's probably bad. Maybe? It's kind of confusing really.

Rebound! Raven has to flinch, though, seeing how both Red Robin and Impulse go bouncing off of the dark sphere like a pin ball in play. Mouthing the words 'sorry' counts, doesn't it?

While Zatanna's feat of setting the pumpkin guy's head aflame is impressive, they still have other things to worry about. Like that Basic Beam cutting through everyone in the area.

"Oh no," she practically sighs, her expression leaning more toward a frown as she lifts a hand up to conjure a black wall. It's wide enough to save some of the bystanders from being just as Basic, but her concentration is off. Nico is still in the line of fire. "Oh no," she repeats under a breath, trying her best to extend at the last minute. BUT WILL SHE SUCCEED?

Maybe? Maybe not???

Her boots. And how are these leggings? They feel absolutely scratchy and uncomfortable. What was this made of, some inferior polyester blend?!

"Nice catch, Impulse! I still need that, by the way." Said of Red Robin as Zatanna attempts to reverse what's been done to her legs and boots. However, since the Basic Beam seems to be fired into the crowd and the Pumpkin Spicer seems to still be standing, she attempts to cast a spell by trying to pull the cane away from the costumed villain and towards herself. She'll let the other two magicians take care of the wayward spell, but she focuses on what seems to be the source of the Spicer's sway over the milling New Yorkers.

…and Nico.

"Nico, look out!" Hopefully the warning is enough.

the spice
must
FLOW!

Nico looks towards the demonaic being as he swings his staff around. She takes in a deep breath as if to say something before the beam begins to fire -

What are all the things you ever wanted to say? To do? To be? Before it became too late?

The ray crosses over Nico.

She shudders for a moment. Then she looks down - and the horrid thing is that she doesn't see it at first, because the hoodie… the hoodie was already pretty basic. She reaches down to slap at her upper thighs, her hips, wiggling around as she looks down to see highwater lululemon leggings. She raises one foot.

It rises with comfortable ease.

Penny loafers.

Nico looks up at the Pumpkin Spicer. (Unbeknownst to her, her hair has also become both symmetrical and a neat conservative neck-length style — and completely uncolored.) " you," she says, before reaching for her pocket —

WHAT POCKET? Lululemons only have a tiny single pocket, Nico, not like the quart of storage space you put in your damn leather schoolgirl skirts!! Nico's face tightens and she reaches up to bite into her thumb, hard, digging towards the cuticle before - Her eyebrows lift in cruel triumph as she accomplishes SOMETHING.

"When blood is shed let the Staff of One come Forth!" Nico says, inevitably, as the Staff emerges from her chest with sufficient force to brain another Spice Imp midair.

The shadowy shield does indeed protect many of the unfortunate onlookers from getting any more basic than they already are, though there's a definite increase in messy bun hairstyles since this whole fracas started.

Nico, meanwhile, joins Zatanna in having her sense of style impugned by the terrible powers of the Basic Beam, the beautiful suffering of gothique style replaced with comfiness… At terrible cost.

"Haven't you ever had, like… Pumpkin pie?" Red Robin wonders of Impulse, because now it seems they're stuck on this particular tangent. "You should try eating slower, so you can actually taste things." But maybe he's never had pumpkin pie. Manchester, Alabama must truly be a blighted backwater.

The vigilante does fire off a grapple line though, that telltale *paff* of compressed air lost under the other sounds before he starts to reel himself away. Even he can only tolerate so much awkward princess carrying before it starts to get… Well, awkward.

HOWEVER

Already distracted because his HEAD is on FIRE, the Pumpkin Spicer lets out an outraged noise as Zatanna magically grabs at his pumpkin wand. The wand itself, or maybe its owner, actually struggles against the Ugg-inflicted witch's pull - not just physically, but mystically as well, before Zatanna is able to disarm the pumpkin-headed reprobate.

This has a couple of immediate consequences:

One, the Pumpkin Spicer drops out of the air and down to the street, with an extremely undignified shriek. It doesn't seem to actually hurt him any though, except for his pride.

Two, Zatanna would know, as soon as she laid hands on the wand, that it's demonic in origin.

The Staff of One clobbers another Spice Imp, its pumpkin head spraying seeds and a sulfuric smell as it becomes all the more clear just where the fires that light those adorable little jack o'lanterns originate.

"FFFFFFFOOLS," the Pumpkin Spicer exclaims as he kind of… Unfolds from the ground, the motion wholly unnatural; starting by planting his feet, and then straightening his legs, spine bent fully backwards before he straightens up. His head is still on fire. "I won't be defeated by some mortals! Especially not ones who want to take away all that delicious pumpkin spice!"

The milling New Yorkers, at least the ones who weren't milling just becase it's NYC and they've frankly seen this sort of thing three times this week already, turn on the Titans at the Spicer's will.

And then, the lanky creature turns and makes a break for it.

"Give…me…it…!" Zatanna grunts as she engages in a mystical tug-o-war with the Spicer until she finally prevails, the wand flying into her grasp. And the moment it hits her hand, she nearly drops it in disgust, because she can sense its taint throughout the ebony length - like an oil slick, it feels viscous in her fingers, and assails her supernatural senses with the wrongness of it. While this wouldn't be the first time she has handled an object touched by Hell, or similar, it doesn't mean that she isn't unaffected. She actually goes slightly gray when her color drains.

And then, the crowd slowly turns their sights on the Titans and their efforts to save them from…this.

"Oh, hell," she groans. Turning around, she waves towards Raven.

"Raven, I think you better deal with this!" Having the Daughter of Darkness deal with this will probably prove a quicker solution than an full-on purification spell - maybe a lesser demon's powers will simply be cowed by the will of the Daughter of Trigon. That's what she's hoping for, because she fires the cane towards where Raven is floating.

With the escaping Spicer? She gives chase.

"Oh, no. You're not getting away so easily, I was promised a roasted veggie sandwich!"

It probably doesn't count if she promised herself that, but she can bend reality to her whims. Regular rules don't apply to her! She launches herself off the ground and surges upwards in a controlled, levitating float, so she can drop from the sky like a Space Marine and land on the lanky creature.

"Of course I've had pumpkin pie! I helped Carol make it once. It's got like, mushy pumpkin guts in it! But then they have things of pumpkin spice at the grocery store like, right next to all the stuff that you put in pumpkin pie so I wanna know what's really in those drinks!"

It's probably a good thing that Red Robin alleviates himself of being the damsel as Impulse hadn't thought to set him down. To be fair it's Rob's fault that he'd been distracted. Pumpkin be serious stuff.

As the Titans' leader goes zipping off, the speedster's too busy staring in horror at the flaming pumpkin-headed man to recognize Nico's upset. He probably wouldn't understand either way. Fashion, pff. Okay, maybe not horror. It looks kinda cool, actually. "Hey, it's like that Halloween special with that headless guy and the horse—"

Like a t-rex he's drawn to the movement of the strange pumpkin-spice obsessed being as he makes a run for it. To say that Impulse gives chase really isn't quite accurate as he simply ends up a few feet down the sidewalk from the lanky creature in its attempted get away. He holds up a 'STOP' sign, other hand held over his eyes as he gauges where Zatanna is.

"Who is that— oh."

Thanks to The Pumpkin Spicer's Basic Beam, Raven almost didn't recognize her friend Nico. Nico, who knows the ropes of fashion trends and the sense not to wear anything like…that. She doesn't know how to feel about all of this, and maybe it's for the better. Because she doesn't want to get in the way of Nico Enraged.

Oh, but the timing! The pumpkin cane wand flies through the air as the masses underneath Raven shift to turn and face the crew, shadows dissipating as a means of resetting under pressure. "Got it covered," she replies briskly in regards to Zatanna's delegating, brow knitting under the peaked hood as her eyes follow where the cane goes. With a push off of nothing, clawed hands are able to catch it, holding it tight so that it doesn't fall into the crowd of Pumpkin Spice Basics.

The cane is held high to gain their attention. Demonic sensations riddle the air in a guise of spiciness, but it's more like a nervous tingle under the skin.

She has it. It's simple; a mere suggestion to change their demeanors back to what they were before is all she has to do. But for a moment, she sees a red glint past her line of sight.

Or perhaps it's just the lighting.

The Daughter of Darkness shakes it off. "Listen to me," she speaks, her whispers resonating among the people gathered as she casts her spell. "That Fool of A Pumpkin speaks lies. We aren't in it for the Pumpkin Spice. There will be spice enough for everyone until the seasons switch over again. So it goes."

Calm their cravings, assuage any surge of panic that may come with losing out on seasonal flavor. That's all she needs to do, but effort goes into it.

bei sik beemu

Nico Minoru hates it.

She hates a lot of stuff, and she doesn't have time to focus on it as Red Robin tells Impulse about the joy of pie. Is she eating pie now? No she is not. Does she wish she was? At least kind of. "Oh that's horrifying," she says as the Spicer reveals his satan-granted flexibility. She raises her staff even as Zatanna grasps the wand.

She grasps the wand, and Raven is grasping the crowd.

Nico pops her jaw a little, slightly regrets it, and raises up the Staff as if to indicate.

"What limitations is this creature laying on you?" she says to the crowd. "You're just… being told that you can only have pumpkin spice this time of year? That's crap! You can have it any time of year! Maybe it suits the fall best, but you can just go get you some whenever you want! Or save it up! It's not like it's a super complex flavor!"

She sweeps the staff towards — she really hopes that's a Starbucks or something. "OVer there!" Nico says, having not yet, in fact, used her staff for a fell sorcelation. (To Raven she asks quietly, "how bad is it??")

Raven checks on Nico, her lips forming a thin line. ("…Pretty bad.")

Perhaps it's worse when Raven gets her hands on the Pumpkin Spicer's cane: Where the hell-born nature of it was anathema to Zatanna, to the only daughter of Trigon the Terrible there's a certain feeling of… Rightness.

The crowd seems ready to turn violent, their emotions stirred up, controlled and influenced by the Pumpkin Spicer even without the aid of his cane, and while the means and motive behind it might seem terribly petty, an empath like Raven would know how deadly serious this could get, especially once a mob mentality takes over. That New York City could experience its very own pumpkin spice riot.

But Raven brings her powers to bear, and Nico brings the simple voice of reason - and honestly now she looks far more trustworthy than usual - and bit by bit they manage to turn the crowd around. There's a few faint *pop* sounds among the crowd, as the Spice Imps lose their ability to remain existent, as the human minds around them are freed from demonic control.

By another demon, sure, but it still counts.

The Spicer - who is doing a very weird run, as though he doesn't actually know how a human body is 'supposed' to work and is just playing it by ear - stops up short at Impulse's stop sign, just long enough to have Zatanna jump on him like an Italian plumber.

Except with brute, inhuman strength, the Spicer stays on his feet, and moves to take a sharp turn away from Impulse (not really a solid long-term plan, unless he has some scheme up his sleeve) despite still having the witch on his back. He gets about five long, lanky strides down an alleyway between two towering buildings when he studdenly freezes mid-step. Zatanna can feel him quivering, like he was still trying to move and simply couldn't. But then, she'd also feel the magic that caught him. It wasn't 'real' magic, but the hedgest of hedge ritual, completely rote, like something out of a mystic vending machine. A circle traced on the ground in silver dust. Terribly simple, but terribly effective.

"Miss," says a low, confident voice as a tall, dark-skinned man in a white three-piece suit steps out of the dark. He has a very big gun that looks like it fell out of a sci-fi movie. With him is a second man, shorter and stockier and definitely Asian, in a suit as black as his partner's white. His gun is, if anything, bigger. "Let go of that thing and step away from it." One of the guns is pointed at the Spicer. The other is pointed at Zatanna. "I'm Agent Fite, and this is my partner Agent Maad. This creature is now the property of the US government."

It's probably because she's more svelte than a famous Italian plumber that Spicer still manages to move while she's right on top of him, and Zatanna is in the middle of attempting to get him in one of the sleeper holds that Tim had trained her in when the creature suddenly stops. Ice-blue eyes fall on the silver circle on the ground, hooding faintly in recognition.

But the massive guns pointed in her general direction pulls her attention from that, and lashes lower even further, to the point where her irises look like nothing but glittering slits. Hand a demon over to the United States Government? Perhaps it was all those years hanging out with John 'Anarchist' Constantine and her fellow goths that keeps her distrusting and despite the clear threat levied in her direction if she doesn't comply, she murmurs to her comset.

"Red. Government agents are here telling me they want to take this demon in. Should I let them?"

She doesn't let go. Not yet. She leaves it to the team leader to make the call, as is proper.

The thought that the pumpkin guy might mean to try outrunning him is almost cute. The only reason Impulse doesn't budge immediately from where he stands is partially due to being impressed that it yet stands even with Zatanna trying to try her hand at pro-wrestling, and mostly out of amusement that it simply turns to avoid the speedster.

As it turns out, Bart doesn't have to do much else as the creature just slows to a stop. "Huh?" He moves in to investigate, or help remove his friend from its shoulders, the new voice and the pair of figures who introduce themselves soon gaining his focus. The speedster blinks, looking between them. The corners of his mouth begin to twitch in a smile.

"Heheheh… Fite and Maad. Are these guys for serious?" And then a frown. "'cuz if they are we got dibs on the pumpkin. All the pumpkin spice talk puts me in the mood for pie."

Watching the crowd under her control is very reassuring. Breaking the mob mentality before it comes to blows over the dumbest reasons is perfect in its timing. And to have this cane, this power over them…

…No. No, it shouldn't feel like Raven should have this.

Having the little imps gone from their minds is fine. That's all she needs to do. And with Nico's help, it goes smoothly. She lowers her arms, trying to keep the cane at a distance as she catches her breath on her descent, drifting down to be where the other goth is still standing with her own staff.

"Looks like things will be okay here," comes a rasp, but in the middle of checking on Nico again, she catches part of the question Zatanna poses to Red Robin. " — What's happening?"

"Impulse," says the shorter of the two agents, Ishido Maad, talking like the speedster and the witch weren't even there. "I thought it was the Titans, but which one's she?"

"Right now? Doesn't much matter," the first agent, Donald Fite, replies. Both of them keep their weapons carefully trained. "This thing has had us running in circles for weeks. Consider us not arresting you our thanks for all your help."

Red Robin, naturally, is en route above, as soon as he gets that signal from Zatanna. Government agents, but from which agency?

"Raven's still got the cane, right? So we should be able to find it wherever they move it. Let them have this one, Zee. We don't need a fight with the government."

At least, not right now, is the unspoken part of that statement.

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