Who Wants To Talk About Murders?! V
Roleplaying Log: Who Wants To Talk About Murders?! V
IC Details

Atlas, Ghost Spider, and Red Robin gather to talk shop about the Charles Arany case. Static wanders in and gets recruited.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: February 14, 2020
IC Location: Gotham, NJ
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 15 Feb 2020 06:26
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [*\# None]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* OOC Time: Fri Feb 14 18:17:53 2020 *

* * *

FEBRUARY 14th, 2020

Carolus Sinclair has called, through Ghost Spider, for a meeting with Red Robin. The 'extremely summarized' version of events is that he's got some information on a probable murderer in Gotham City. He didn't really want to get into it anywhere other than 'in person'.

So an arrangement was made to meet on the roof of West Mercy Hospital.

Which is where the mothman can now be found. Carolus apparently decided this would be pretty official, because he's wearing his X-Men uniform. It would stand out a little in these surroundings, if not for Ghost Spider soon providing a contrast.

He paces — not impatiently, exactly — across the hospital rooftop, wings occasionally vibrating to life without lifting him from the ground. It's probably just to keep warm.

"I didn't mention it the last time we were here," he muses aloud, "but this city has a fairly unique look. Not just architecturally, but the lighting style in particular. Gives it a face that makes it stand out."

In ways other than the crime rate and distinctive vigilantes, anyway.

* * *

Of her many preturnatural abilities, one of the more useless ones (for fighting Themed Goons and Baddies) is Ghost Spider's ability to play cat's cradle with web lines to form simple things like bags.

Or hammocks. Minutes after arriving at the designated roof, the white-and-black Spider-hero has assembled a spider-cradle and is spider-lounging with her spider-phone. Ok. Some of those are probably not actually "spider" things.

"Robin says he'll be here. Or not. He gave me a… domino mask emoji? That has to be custom. I got him on the group chat. So if Starfire or Raven shows up, just be aware it's my fault and I pre-emptively accept no blame."

Swiping with her white-gloved thumb, Ghost Spider looks over at her fluttering moth compatriot. "I hope this isn't the show, by the way. Rooftops in Gotham aren't private - but you're right, the color is unique. I actually think I prefer it to New York in this universe. Smellier, and dirtier, but… Can't beat the atmosphere."

* * *

They call it 'the City of Yesterday', in sharp contrast to the nearby Metropolis, its skyline visible if you look south across the bay: That one, they call the 'City of Tomorrow'.

They each have their own particular feel, distinct from the similarly populous New York to the north… Feels which, perhaps, are reflected in those nicknames. Gotham's glory days are seen as long gone, for all that it remains a center of finance and industry… A city that limps along despite gaping wounds in its soul, the dark face of the very concept of an enormous city with a population numbering in the millions.

Of course, mainly that's just the island itself. On the other end of its various bridges, the less urban areas are generally nicer… Especially over in Kane County.

But still, even from this relatively modest height, Gotham stretches out, grungy but alive. All lights and noise, though a not inconsiderable amount of that is generated by emergency vehicles. Yes, even - or maybe especially? - on a day like Valentine's Day. Who knows what Calendar Man is up to, out there today.

But still:

"You should've seen it a few years ago," says a shadowy corner of the roof.

Okay, well, no, there's a person there. For (as far as anyone knows) a normal human with (allegedly) no superhuman abilities, Red Robin sure manages to be alarmingly stealthy. There's no way he'd be able to trick Carolus' super-senses if the mothman were looking his way, but being careful (some would say paranoid) was second nature to the Red Knight by now. He even made sure he was downwind, just in case. Gotta keep up the mystique.

"Batman and the rest of us have put a lot of work in," continues the caped and cowled vigilante, a hint of amusement in his voice, as he looks between Atlas and Ghost Spider. "You said you had some information?"

* * *

When you're new to a city, you change your patrol routes. Who you know, who you recognize, starts to differ greatly. The young superhero known as 'Static' only just migrated to Gotham City, and therefore is a relatively unknown name. Back in Dakota in the midwest, people knew who he was. Here? He's a newcomer.

A manhole cover surges through the air, covered in purple electromagnetic energy, having been borrowed from an out of the way street. Standing on top of it like a skateboarder, Static is looking for trouble, but as he passes by West Mercy Hospital, he notices something out of the corner of his eye. Skidding to a stop and looking up to the roof, the teenager glances upwards, squinting, when he realizes there's people up there.

And they look like capes.

The manhole cover resumes its aerial voyage, as Static decides on impulse that whatever this is, this is 'his turf' now, so he wants to know about it. It shifts up to the roof, levitating upwards in such an obvious way that the heroes up there can see him coming (not that he's trying to obscure it), and stopping in a spin a little bit away from the group.

After brushing himself off, he looks to the heroes, and puts his hands up first in a 'I'm not a threat' way, before speaking with excitement. "Hey, superhero business going on over here? 'Hate' to barge in, but, you know, when you're a hero, and you see heroes circling around with each other, gotta check it out." A tilt of the head once he realizes Ghost Spider has a hammock, and then a nod in general. "You get me, right? Right."

This is awkward. But, they'll understand, right? Yeah, totally.

* * *

"A live show /is/ what I had in mind," Carolus admits, turning around to pace in Ghost Spider's direction, "but not private at all, much like this rooftop. If I was going to choose a rooftop to observe a show from though, it wouldn't be this one."

He wrinkles his nose, "Lots of cleaning agent."

Which might be a part of what keeps him from noticing Red Robin, apart from the fact that he is Red Robin. The latter attribute is far more meaningful in such an exchange. He doesn't flinch, but his antennae both turn in the direction of the voice before he does.

"I think it's lovely. It is just also unique." He replies, with a hint of amusement.

On to business. Atlas nods an affirmative and begins to speak, "A young lady by the name of Tiffany Orlie was recently denied bail on murder charges. She didn't do it. I stalled out on tracking down leads because I got drawn into another universe for— too long. I won't get into that."

"The probable culprit is a former model by the name of Miranda." Carolus fishes a slip of paper out of a compartment on his belt, passing it towards Red Robin. It contains an address. He continues, "The murders started with a New York fashion designer. Charles Arany. Whoever's doing it, and we think it could be Miranda, has been murdering their way through Arany's associates. The killer has always reeked of essential oils— for a while we thought it was a robot somehow being powered by the stuff."

"But it seems it might be this woman. She was heavily scarred in an accident and fell out of fashion, her house smelled 'correct', her assistant reacted fearfully to the idea of her being disturbed…" Carolus shrugs lightly, "I can't go snooping around a private citizen's house, though. Mutant, registered."

"This is in your back yard, so I was hoping you—" He stops abruptly, frowning. A smell like ozone fills his senses. Carolus turns in Static's direction pre-emptively.

His antennae rise and fall in answer to Static's explanation once he arrives, but there's no tension in his frame. No suggestion that there's a real problem. Atlas looks about at Red Robin and Ghost Spider, then answers, "Trying to solve a case, nothing too physically imminent. You seen the Orlie girl in the news?"

* * *

For all that Ghost Spider appears and disappears like a spectre, she has nothing on the ominous entrances of Red Robin. "I've got nothing like it, where I'm from, Robin. Just… Jersey, and upstate. Not sure if that's a good or a bad thing but…" Ghost spider shifts, sitting at the center of her hammock and crossing her ankles beneath her, turquoise 'shoe'-tip scraping the ground as she rocks slowly. "I can tell, though. About the work. Normally, up on rooftops, there's this low hum, like an atmospheric pressure, in the inner ear. But up here, at night? It's pretty calm. Metropolis feels like electricity in the air, but you and Batman have done some serious lifting in this city. All of you have."

Carolus explains the murder case, and the 'tingle' in the air becomes literal as Static shows up.

Gwen's lenses track towards Robin's, before she stops to consider. She can't say 'you're new at this, aren't you?' because… Well, two months ago, she'd probably say the same thing. In fact, she basically did. Except worse.

"You wouldn't happen to want to stop some sort of Darth Essentia, would you? Because if this is a city you work in, you may be able to help us—"

Ghost Spider stops, glancing at Carolus's outfit, then Static's. "You're not an X-Man, are you? Because if you are this is way easier."

* * *

You can already imagine how this would go if it were Batman present, and not Red Robin.

This many costumed metahumans? In his Gotham? He'd frown so hard that milk would curdle and children would start crying for miles around.

Fortunately, while this particular former Boy Wonder shares some of the Dark Knight's, eh, less than ideal habits, he's rather more open-minded when it comes to letting other people help out, and those people having superpowers.

Naturally, as Atlas explains the circumstances of the murder of Charles Arany - the mention tickles something at the back of his mind, but there's been an awful lot going on since that original murder - the vigilante listens attentively in his own particular style: With his costume's cape completely draped around him, he stands completely still, hardly even seeming to breathe. What little of his face is visible doesn't show anything in the way of emotional response to the details as he commits them to memory, and his eyes are of course completely hidden behind featureless white lenses built into his cowl. A lot of people would find it unnerving, but then a lot of people aren't mutants, or spider-persons.

He doesn't even seem surprised by the idea that a badly scarred model would wind up becoming some kind of serial killer, because hey, Gotham. Nobody introduce her to Clayface, though.

Static, being definitely on the other end of the scale of subtlety from Red Robin, is thus the subject of all three of the other people on the roof turning to look at him perhaps even before he's completely arrived. Red Robin's head tilts ever so slightly to one side as he regards the newcomer.

"Hm," he muses, quietly, scrutinising with hidden eyes. "Batman thought you'd be taller."

* * *

Static is, surprisingly to him, immediately asked questions instead of told to go away. Man, Gotham's cool. "Name's Static. You're talking about…Orlie, the fashion designer's assistant who killed a model, right?" He keeps up on the local news.

When Ghost Spider asks him about stopping a villain, his eyes light up. "Definitely." And then, in response to her second question, he shakes his head. "Nah. Free agent, currently. I've got experience, though." He's not going to say he's only been in Gotham for a little while and actually comes from somewhere like Ohio. That'd be even more awkward. Red Robin gets eyes. Static's heard of Batman, being a Gothamite, so you hear about who he runs with. Well. This is nice.

"So, if a bunch of fellow capes are talking about someone who's already in jail, and as far as I've heard, didn't bust out, that's not the full story. Lemme guess, based on where we are - supervillain?"

* * *

"He is not an X-Man." Carolus says, simply. He doesn't rush out an answer, because he expects Static to offer the same response. Apparently it's just in Carolus's inclinations to take people at relative face value in situations like this— or perhaps in general. He doesn't really recognize Static, though. The lightning-themed hero isn't really a part of Carolus's sphere of awareness.

He nods an affirmative to Static's question concerning the 'who'. Before he answers any further, he turns fully towards Static. His antennae angle forward. Carolus remains like this for a moment, then turns back to Red Robin and resumes his story, "We've encountered the actual murderer only narrowly, and she slipped away. Superhumanly strong, fairly fast. Mechanical. We assumed it was a robot because it presents as a mannequin. It's still possible that it is a robot and she happens to direct it, but the cyborg theory seems more likely with the considerable bodily damage. Tiffany Orlie is a slight young lady without special abilities that I am aware of, she's not physically capable of the feats that the killer has managed."

"The where," he indicates the slip of paper he passed to Red Robin, "is all right there. There are three known residents: A long-term caretaker, Miranda herself — our suspect, and a lawyer-happy brother. I can't get close to this myself because of legal constraints, but I can be back-up in case of a fight spilling out into the open."

* * *

"The whole place reeked. Lemongrass, I think. I'm not an expert - Carolus has the super-nose - " Ghost Spider adds, tapping the bump on her mask where her nose would be (and, you know, is, her mask isn't that bulky). "- so I can't be certain. But if we were to go on my sense… Yeah. Yeah, I think the killer is either in the house, or the burn victim. But you can't convict on a gut instinct, and we don't have any evidence that'll open the door. We can't go to the police, because getting a search warrant on a residence with 'because I feel like it' would get a cop laughed out of the DA's office, much less some idiot in a hoodie who thinks they're a spider."

She sounds officious, as if reciting some riot act she had heard once.

Ghost Spider stares at Static for a few moments, considering him. And gets… nothing. Nada. Barely a raised hair, and the guy's practically popping with electrical power. "Anyway, Statc. Because of the electricity, right? Pretty cool. I'm Ghost Spider. I do spider stuff." She thumbs at herself, before fingergunning at Robin. "That's Robin. He leads the Titans. Google them, if you haven't. I tried to break into their tower to talk to them, funny story. He does… ninja stuff."

A transitioning gesture to Carolus. "This is Atlas. He does moth stuff, and he's an X-Man."

She returns her hands to her lap. "So, basically… We want to check this house, or maybe contact some journalists who went radio silent, to confirm the identity or operator of the killer, and then bring them in. Robin has some mad skills and runs this city more often than Atlas or I. So, Static, got any cuh-rayzee information powers? Super-hacking?"

"It's cool if not." Gwen adds, mollifyingly. "I don't like the odds of us stopping the killer without anyone else getting hurt, especially with the nanny minder on-site, and it being a residential area. Four seems good, right? Unless…"

A turn to Robin. "You want to bring in any other help?"

* * *

There are, to be sure, all sorts of things in Gotham that happen without the Batman being aware of them: He is, after all, only one man, albeit one who remains a kind of quasi-mythological figure in the city (and even among those who do believe the Dark Knight is real there's no doubt a subset that also believes there's more than one of him)… He can't know about every crime, every killing that happens in a city of more than seven million people, despite his best efforts.

But, on the other hand, some things are just bound to get noticed by him, like a previously unknown metahuman (or even regular human) taking up crimefighting in 'his' city. That Static hasn't already gotten a surprise Batmanning and a gruff speech probably has something to do with him not shooting people with crossbows or generally getting Punisher-y.

"Red Robin," he says after Gwen introduces him, making a subtle but important distinction, as the current actual Robin has a bad attitude and honestly more knives than any teenager ought to. The paper has… Already disappeared, as if by magic (technically true, but sleight of hand is more 'stage magic' than 'magic magic') and presumably has vanished into the vigilante's utility belt.

"What do you know about these journalists?" the vigilante wonders, since Gwen brought that particular thread up. "If there's more than one target, I can pull in some other people from the Titans or around town. Still, if it's a cyborg or killer robot we're dealing with, a guy with electricity powers might come in handy."

* * *

Static listens to the information keenly, storing it in his mind. When Ghost Spider introduces the group, he nods, grinning in his mask. "Yep. Electromagnetic powers." And then a frown as she asks about super-information powers, and a shake of the head. "Nah, wasn't that lucky. Just got lightning bolts, metal manipulation, and an award-winning smile."

Musing while Red Robin says that his powers might come in handy, Static gives a thumbs-up to the group, shifting on his manhole cover. "If they've got ferrous limbs, I can probably mess with them, lock them down. If not, well, they're certain to conduct. The ol' taserfist always works well."

Counting on his fingers, the superhero looks over the group. "So we have a suspect, a possible hostage, and a guy who will probably sue us if we're not extremely careful. And then something about journalists? This sounds messy, but 'fun'."

"Reminds me of Dakota." He mutters, not actually finding it fun at all.

* * *

"Lemongrass, yes. But I got a whiff of the same scents from the supposed robot when the caretaker's patient approached the door. Couldn't get a look at her, though." Carolus affirms Ghost Spider's assessment.

"The journalists are a new angle. We haven't even explored it yet. The brother— we only know him by the name Victor— sued anybody making noise about this into silence. Find any articles about this, and I'm sure you'll find a target of the lawsuits— if nothing else." He explains, nodding gratefully towards Ghost Spider for the quick introductions. He'd slipped back into a business pattern too quickly to be as polite as he'd have preferred in retrospect, but what's done is done.

"The victims so far have all been employees of Charles Arany— apart from the man himself. Tiffany was a receptionist at the second killing, I assumed she would be targeted eventually. Didn't think that she'd end up used for a framejob. I don't know if that means that the killings are at an end, or if it was just a way to throw people off for a little while." He turns back 'round and paces away from Ghost Spider, aimlessly.

"So to round up… Charles Arany was poisoned in plain sight during a fashion event. His right-hand woman, Helen Arche, was next. She was also killed in a way that would grab attention. Thrown through safety glass while Tiffany was on-duty, to a lower floor. I was there when that happened." Carolus pauses here, turning again, and raising his primary right hand to gesture into the air, "The perpetrator is good at hiding. It — she — hid among mannequins, then scrambled away when I went back to Tiffany. I chose not to pursue at the time because I wasn't certain it wouldn't circle to Tiffany. But I think at the time at least, Tiffany was intended to be the witness that got the story out. Maybe a scapegoat, even then."

"The third victim, who was taken to Tiffany's apartment and stabbed through the eyes with cloth cutting scissors, was never identified to me. I simply know of her as a co-worker of Tiffany's." He concludes.

With a grim little smile, Carolus remarks to Static, "Deeply unpleasant, isn't it? But that's the scene we signed up for. Or were drafted into, depending on your point of view."

* * *

"Award winning smiles aren't superpowers. That's just not wearing a…" Ghost Spider gestures towards her full facemask. "And flossing."

"Ok. I'll give you that consistent flossing is a superpower."

The journalists are brought up, and Gwen stands finally, rotating her phone in her hand and waking the screen back up to flip through some pictures. "I've barely got names and faces, no other details. Just some journalists that suddenly lost interest in the case, or disappeared entirely. May have gotten bought out, scared off, or dumped somewhere. Completely unsure - it was a while ago. They're paparazzi types, trying to catch a glimpse of the disgraced star."

She flips through the photos, most of them grainy and faded or just artifact-laden messes from social media. There's not a lot to go on!

"So to narrow it down, Static, we've got the probably-mundane minder, plus the unknown killer who is a powerful robot combatant, plus *maybe* the actual suspect. Charles Arany is dead, so, he won't be suing us. His estate may, but that's only if we suck. And, well, Robin-"

Gwen chuffs nasally, through her mask. "Red Robin doesn't do 'suck', as far as I've seen. I do plenty of suck, but I muddle through."

She re-favors Robin, crossing her arms and leaning on her right side. "If you wanna bring in a lot more people, that's totally fine - and up to you. But I don't know if this is *big* enough to tie up the whole team for an evening, even as a teambuilding exercise. Heck of an icebreaker though."

"Hey everyone, here's Ghost Spider! Static just came into town, let's pair up to do takedowns on the oily killer cyber-bot." She drawls, using her best teacher impression. She *sounds* like she's rolling her eyes, though her lenses poorly convey the gesture.

"It does't have to be a frame job though. Tiffany has bare motive - not great, but good enough - and her alleged crime is serial murder. That's a grand jury indictment, if I'm not mistaken, and since it's a string of killings, that's murder one. She's not going to be let out on bail."

The crossed arms tighten, fists balling up. "We know she didn't do it - I'd know. But she's still going to prison forever unless we bag the real murderer, because with these sorts of cases, it's all a sham to start. You get someone close and hope the whole thing gets the killer to go to ground and get it to stop. Make a big show of it."

"We've got to stop it - so getting the whole team together and chasing down every lead isn't really an option in my book. It's why we wanted help."

* * *

The poisoning, Red Robin thinks to himself. There was something about that. Something right there, something he should remember…

"Starfire was there," he recalls, out loud. "I'll see if she knows anything. Plus if we need some extra muscle, we could do a lot worse." It would be an understatement to call the Tamaranean 'unsubtle'… Still, sometimes you need to hit a bad guy really hard, even harder than a spider-person might. Though, if it gets to the point of a super-powered alien throwing down in Gotham, he's going to have to find a way to keep Batman distracted.

"As for the others, we can keep them for backup. The Titans can get around quickly if it proves to be a larger problem. In the meantime, we'll keep following the leads you've brought." And by 'we', he almost certainly doesn't mean he's going to do any additional poking around on his own, right? Because that would be an absurd thing to do and oh no he's definitely going to do it, isn't he. Just look at him standing there, plotting. Scheming.

Because it's a puzzle, now. Something that's been put in front of him that he wants to completely understand.

"Static, I guess you've been deputised. Ghost Spider, you're on point on this, since Atlas needs to keep a safe distance. But you know, I can absolutely go snooping around her house." Snooping around the house of a possible serial killer who maybe has a murder robot? He's been doing that sort of thing since he was thirteen!

* * *

Static takes the update to his information not super well, placing both hands on the side of his face and moving them downwards briefly as he takes in the grisly information - teeth gritted sharply - and shakes it off. "I dealt with quite a lot of gangbangers. I can handle it."

Ghost Spider's flossing mention makes him chuckle slightly, helping offset the mood, as Static agrees. "Yeah. If another person dies in this, and we can't stop it with the information we have, that's a problem. But, hey!" He says, trying to exude confidence. "We have the information, so we can stop it, right?"

Finally, Static gets deputised. He smiles, uneasily, but he means it. "Sweet. I won't let you down. You know what they say about first impressions."

They can probably easily get the vibe that Static is kind of a dork and a nerd and a little bit weird and almost certainly unused to East Coast Superheroics, but he's definitely on their side.

* * *

"I'll try to figure out some sort of alternate suit to occlude me while I act as back-up. I don't think it'll be a problem, though." Carolus says, with a faint shrug. He gives Ghost Spider a little look in response to her self-depreciation, but doesn't verbalize whatever thoughts had occurred. Knowing him, historically, probably just reassurance.

Regarding Tiffany herself, he says, "Yes. We have time, but we can't take our time either. I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted to make a show out of it, so I would expect our actual time to be closer to three to six months rather than nine."

Pausing in his steps, Carolus nods at Red Robin, "I'd actually been meaning to contact her, but things kept coming up, as things do. I'm sure you'll see her before I do, at any rate."

"I left a couple of burner numbers on that slip of paper, by the way. You can get in touch with me quick through those. Static…" Carolus looks towards the other man, "I'll need to write something new down for you."

"For now, I'm going to focus on the journalists, see if they have anything interesting to say. Red Robin, I /would/ appreciate if you would handle the house recon." Carolus pauses her, looking between them. He gestures from Robin to Static, "For that at least, I would recommend Static being your minimum back-up if possible. As you observed, the electromagnetic man would be solid against a mechanical being."

"Ghost Spider is my usual back-up. In summary, I think the work is reasonably well divided. Is there anything else? Any questions? Would you like me to come up with a more detailed written report for later review?" Carolus asks, simultaneously fishing around in his pockets with his two auxiliary hands. Out comes a pencil, a notepad. He scribbles a couple of contact numbers and hands it to Static.

"And, er… thank you. I know that you are simply doing 'your thing' in your own territory, but all the same." The mothman adds, towards Red Robin.

* * *

Carolus asides to Static, "I'm assuming you can handle it, but it isn't… unexpected, or unreasonable, if you can't. Or if you require assistance coping afterwards. Not pretty is not pretty, no matter how tough you are."

* * *

"I'm on point?" Ghost Spider wonders incredulously. There's a whole world of strangeness here. "Well, uh… Okay then. But I think the plan's pretty good. Red Robin goes in to check the site, Static runs backup, Carolus and I try to run down to journalists, a new costume, and any leads we can. Once we figure out if the killer is on-site, or get the evidence we need to clear Tiffany, we'll slam this shut before the sentencing hearing. Red Robin can submit the evidence to the Gotham DA, and we'll move on. That's the mission statement. As for you, Static…"

Gwen hands Static her phone. "Go ahead and punch your info into it. If I hear of anything I can send it your way if you're the random acts of heroism type."

Gwen, hands free, has a moment to make a sort of wide-eyed 'really???' gesture at Red Robin.

"First you bail me out from a magic paintbrush guy, and now I'm leading a team? Does stuff just…"

"…escalate around you?"

* * *

"It would've been handy to be able to examine one of the bodies directly," Red Robin says. "Too late now, though. At this point, the plan is to not have any more bodies to examine." It's easy to say, of course, and much less so to do… But if the job was easy, anybody could do it.

There's a faint, tight grin from the Red Knight as Ghost Spider expresses her surprise at being put in the lead on this, but from his point of view she's doing a good job of exactly that: Keeping things on goal, finding people who have the skill sets she needs, coordinating with the new guy.

When Carolus offers his thanks, Red Robin turns his attention towards the lepidopteran mutant. There's the faint suggestion of what might be a shrug, in response.

"If anything, I should be thanking you for bringing it to my attention, and for the work you guys have already done. We can't be everywhere at once, you know? Still, we need to be careful… Costumed heroism isn't exactly popular around Gotham, lately." If there was ever a city that went back and forth on how it felt about its strange protectors, it was Gotham City. In fairness, though, it wasn't like they were reassuring aspirational figures like Superman.

But what about Gwen and her reaction to this state of affairs?

Does stuff just escalate around him?

"Yes," is the simple, initial answer. It's okay though, he elaborates. "Anyway, I didn't want to just take over something you've been working on. That'd be kind of a dick move, right? It'll be fine, you've got this."

* * *

"I've seen some stuff. Not…that bad, but this isn't my first rodeo." Is all Static says, laughing in a way that doesn't fit what he just said at all, before promptly taking Ghost Spider's distraction to put in his number into her phone. "Yeah, I'm totally that kind of guy. Random acts of heroism's my thing."

He hands the phone back promptly, and then responds to Red Robin, despite having not been addressed. "It might not be popular, but the city sure needs people like us."

And then, a pause. Should he thank them for letting him help? Does he need to? What's the proper etiquette here when working with other supers? His mask disguises his expression of confusion and awkwardness, but he decides, in the end, to just say one thing.

"I look forward to working with you guys."

* * *

"He did just sort of show up and try to get involved." Carolus observes, about Static. He seems entirely unconcerned by this. His antennae rise as Ghost Spider questions Red Robin's thinking on who should be leading the charge here, smiling more-or-less uncontrollably.

He seems to accept at face value that they both owe each other 'some' form of thanks, and declines to engage a potential feedback loop. When Red Robin mentions the lack of popularity in regards to costumed superheroism in Gotham, he nods, "That's not too different from how I'm used to operating. New York seems to have decided that it is rather less than fond of us, overall, unless we submit to oversight I'm still not sure I won't regret. But that is an extended conversation for another time."

To Static, he says, "I… apologize, Static. Ordinarily I would be more welcoming, and I feel as if I have offered you a rather lukewarm 'hello'. Presuming it is not in the heat of conflict, I will endeavor to make our next meeting friendlier. I do look forward to working with you, also."

"And if you happen to be interested in an educational facility specializing in metahumans by some chance, take a look at Xavier's Institute in New York. The student body is mostly mutants, but we don't discriminate."

With a heavy flicker of motion, the mothman's wings unfold. Carolus nods at the collected group, "We should probably get going. There's a lot of ground to cover. Take care, and stay in touch insofar as you can."

He turns and ascends, wings turning into a buzzing blur of motion as he goes.

* * *

It's Gwen's turn to be sheepish. "Sorry, Robin. The only bodies I saw were ones that Atlas had already called the police in. He was using that whole 'color of law' he can swing, being registered. But…"

Her lenses narrow, her stance loosening as she exhales slowly. "I guess that's all we can do. Try to cover. I'm just not used to it - all of it. Back…"

A sidelong glance at Static. "… where I'm from, I'm pretty much the biggest player on the streets that's not SHIELD."

Ghost Spider shakes her head once at Robin's last insistence. "No dick move. This is your city. I'm on your team. That means you call the shots. This is your beat, and we're not counting stripes and bars here."

Carolus leaves, and Ghost Spider extends a hand, fingers out, for Static to shake. "Yeah. If you're in this whole thing to help out, that's what counts. Well, at least eighty percent. Anyway!" Lense-squint in self cringe. "Glad to have you."

* * *

As Carolus speaks to Static, he nods one more time, firmly, and then watches him go. As Ghost Spider extends her hand, Static shakes it briefly with a soft grin, the faintest hint of incidental static electricity on his fingers, and then steps back onto his manhole cover. "Well, you have my contact information and I have Atlas'. See ya later!"

With a kick to the manhole cover, electromagnetic energy punts it into the air, and it flies off rapidly. He's gotta go put it back in the street where it belongs before Gotham traffic gets worse.

* * *

Watching Static fly off, Ghost Spider tracks his flight with her head, seeing him rocket off into the distance.

"You think he puts the manhole covers back where he finds them, or does he just leave big open hazards in the street?"

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