Fate
Roleplaying Log: Fate
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

The ancient Egyptian deity, Anubis, reaches out to the mystical community of New York to report some distressing news - namely, the Helmet of Fate had been stolen from where it has resided, without a wearer, for a few years. Concerned over the ancient artifact's whereabouts, Zatanna Zatara enlists Wally West and Bart Allen to help her corral the thief, though once they actually come face-to-face with him, they find out that things aren't what they seem…

Other Characters Referenced: Red Robin, Giovanni Zatara, Doctor Strange
IC Date: January 03, 2019
IC Location: Brooklyn, New York City
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 03 Jan 2019 08:11
Rating & Warnings: PG-13 for action-oriented violence
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Despite the fact that New York, in particular, has its share of active magicians and mystics, their community is actually very small - anyone who was anyone, under any alignment, tends to know of one another at the very least. This also means that word travels very fast when something important comes down the wire.

And something does - namely that the Helm of Fate was stolen, and the word came directly from a disgruntled Egyptian deity who, ostensibly, wants it back in its proper place.

There are numerous magical artifacts in existence, but the Helm of Fate is particularly ancient and notorious not just for the level of power it commands, but also for the entity that resides within it. The fact that it is floating out there and in the hands of a thief is a concerning issue enough, and for the daughter of Giovanni Zatara, it is simply too dangerous to leave it in the hands of anyone who might not even know its full capabilities. She therefore resolves to try and do this herself.

…or that was the plan, anyway, until she comes across two speedsters raiding the industrial-sized fridge in the new Titans headquarters, and decides that she will also save her fellow Titans from starvation and a small famine by roping them in to help. After all, if she does find the thief, chances are, he or she will run, and running is what Flashes do best.

A portal opens in a side alley in Brooklyn, Zatanna Zatara stepping out of the swirling, white-blue vortex. Dressed in her signature, fashionable blacks, the only spots of color in her overall monochromatic palette are the pale blues of her eyes, the flush on her cheeks - pushed up by the cold, her cherry lipgloss and the crimson scarf wrapped loosely around her neck over her winter coat. She has what looks like a strange antique on her gloved hand, wrought from gold and gleaming with a faint glow. It, too, is ancient, but not as old as the Helm of Fate, and regularly, it's the size of a standing globe, but she certainly has enough magical power to reduce the size of Cagliostro's Astrolabe to a palm-sized affair.

Its dial spins to pinpoint the direction as to where the Helm of Fate could be.

"Thanks for coming with me, guys," the magician tells her fellow Titans. "Not to get into a long and maybe boring history lesson, but the thing's simply too dangerous to just leave it in the hands of a thief."

"It's a four-letter word that starts with 'F'," Wally replies, stretching his legs as he's transported to the New York alley. "It's supposed to be a problem. That's a Fate fact."

He grins and nudges Bart with an elbow. "Get it? Because -" Wally pauses and sighs. "Never mind. It was funny, though. Hey!"

The Flash snaps his fingers and looks to Zatanna. "I'm back on track. Which way?" He takes off with a rush of air, a red streak disappearing into the distance …

… until he returns several moments later. "Sorry, I didn't actually check the direction." Wally looks at the magical compass and nods. "Okay. Let's do this. Think the thief's going to be trouble?"

"Always happy to help, Zee!" Bart chirps from where he's come to stand beside the magician after hopping out of the portal. Portal travel is about the only other method he enjoys given it's about the only thing better than running from point A to B in a heartbeat.

He's decked out in his usual red and whites, yellow goggles set in place just beneath his shaggy mop of auburn hair. He rolls his eyes at Wally, shaking his head. "Did we really have to bring him?" he asks, although he spoils it with a grin. "So anyway, what's this thing do again? Without a really long and boring history lesson? And what's it look like?"

While he's raring to go the only thing that keeps him from tearing off ala Wally is the magical doodad that Zatanna holds in her hand, which Impulse reaches out with a finger as though to poke at it.

Always one to be appreciative of any degree of a sense of humor, probably because she spends so much time with people whose smiles are like unicorns, Zatanna flashes Wally a cheeky grin. "Yeah, I got it, it's— "

And then the Flash is gone. The magician is left blinking faintly, the Astrolabe pointing in the direction opposite where Wally had gone. "…er…"

But then, he's back. She shows him the metallic surface and the arcane symbols engraved within, and interprets the reading by pointing in the right direction. "That way," she says. "And it depends. I have absolutely no intel on who might've taken it, but even if he doesn't have the Helm on him, he'd be able to summon it…if he knows that much about it, anyway. And once it's on him, the trouble can range from insignificant to…well. Really disastrous. So we gotta try to be careful, the best we can. Hell, if we can just steal it back without having to confront the guy, I'd be happy but if wishes were horses, beggars would ride and all of that."

As Bart reaches out to poke at the Astrolabe, she lightly swats his finger. "Hey, easy," she says with a laugh. "This is a family heirloom. Cagliostro was an ancestor and it's very delicate." With a whispered word, she calls up an image of the Helm of Fate - a golden helmet reminiscent of those that covered the heads of ancient Greek warriors.

"Lore has it that it was created by one of the Lords of Order," she explains to Bart. "But despite its age, nobody really knows what the limits of its power are…it can do almost anything - conjure, make things fly, control the elements. Some even say that it can make the wearer immortal, on top of phenomenal cosmic powers. The entity that lives inside of it is the creator and once he decides that you're compatible with him, he will never let you go unless someone convinces him otherwise." Her lips press faintly in a line. "We might have to be prepared for the possibility that he's worn it and that Nabu won't let him go. The Helm's been sitting around without a wearer for a while, he must be desperate for a body now."

With that, she moves, pulling up the hood of her coat, and slapping on the black and violet domino mask that Red Robin had constructed for her, the world suddenly broken down in a digital readout through the inscrutable white lenses.

The Flash nods, hand on chin, listening to Zatanna's explanation of the helm. "I see. So will we be able to steal it? Will it hex us or the like?" He looks at Bart. "The two of us aren't going to, like, fuse into one person or anything? Or some other equally preposterous magical curse?"

He shrugs and takes a deep breath. "Guess we'll just have to find out. Fate of the world sort of stuff, right?" Wally smiles weakly. "That's my favorite kind of stuff to do."

Then, the larger speedster hunches to take position and races off again - this time in the correct direction. "On the plus side, at least golden helmets aren't 'in' right now, so whoever has it should stand out…" he says into his super-speed wake.

Puffing out his cheeks, Bart retracts his hand as Zatanna swats it away. Still, he gives her space as she summons up the image, amber eyes wide as he studies it. And then his eyebrows furrow as he frowns, just a little. "No fancy designs? What's the armor rating?" It doesn't look like much to him, although he's sure he's seen it for some sports or school mascot somewhere.

As Zatanna explains what it's capable of he looks once again interested. "Flying, really?" Of all the things, that's what he- well okay, he has to admit, the other stuff sounds pretty cool. Immortality, eeh.

"Soooo it's possessed? Great. Nabu? Isn't that the name of a monkey? Or was it from that space movie…"

Well, either way, lesson over. Time to go? "Not if he's not wearing it at the moment anyway. I mean, you'd think it would have been spotted by now if he were," he replies over the comm as he dashes off with Wally- only to come back to the starting point as he realizes something else.

Grinning sheepishly at Zatanna, Bart thumbs behind him. "Need a lift?"

MEANWHILE:

Some odd streets over, a bunch of ACTUAL thieves are tied down with what looks like yards of fabric, falling over in a heap next to a row of shops that have been recently broken into. And somewhere above them, a man masked in a golden helmet and amulet hovers, making sure that they haven't gotten loose from their wrappings.

"Oh hey, that actually worked this time," KHALID NASSOUR says mostly to himself, flicking away some of the excess magic that helped him with the job. The confidence in his abilities so far have been a 'two steps forward, one step back' kind of dance, but this gives him a small boost for the new year. Speaking of which, he really should get back on track with what he's doing.

"Stealing electronics and raiding the cloth shop's cash register at the same time?" he says, voice deep as he addresses the culprits, scrutinizing them through the helm's narrow slits. "I gotta be honest with you — it's not the best way to take advantage of the holiday season." Although his tonal nunaces don't flow well with the helmet's grandeur, he takes a moment to watch them, shaking his head as they helplessly roll over, using befuddled exclamations and swears he's heard several times before.

A sigh almost escapes him the longer he stays there, resisting the urge to roll his eyes as he chooses to advise them. "Fate may not smile upon you in this particular moment…but perhaps you can take this opportunity to learn from your mistakes." With that, he decides to leave them for the cops, shrugging before he begins to make his leave. "New Year, new you."

And now to get back to what I was trying to do earlier, he thinks, hoping to get home early enough to catch Shaya online for reviewing class notes.

"If that happens, Wally, I'll do what I can to undo it," the magician promises - because, really, the possibility of fusing two conscious minds in one body is not unheard of, these days. They're all veterans, despite their young ages. They've all seen some shit. It should be noted, however, that she in no way says anything reassuring - something like 'no, that would never happen', because let's face it, it can.

With both speedsters dashing off and leaving her behind, Zatanna crosses her arms and waits. To her credit, however, she doesn't tap her foot.

Eventually one of them remembers and comes back for her; she grins at Bart. "I always wanted to do this," she says, hopping on the space provided for her. She points her hand forward, Astrolabe in her grip. "Hi-ho, Silver, away!"

And they're off, following the guidance of the Astrolabe which eventually takes them through the the thoroughfares of New York's beating, frenetic heart and into the end of the street where some crimefighting drama unfolds before them. The tableau Fate presents is rather muddled, but considering they lack a few important pieces of information, this is what they see: a young man with the golden helmet they're looking for, floating majestically a few feet in the air after bundling up a few bodies with yards of fabric. Considering all the cloth, they could either be criminals or innocents.

Still, the Helm of Fate is a dangerous artifact and as the speedsters round the corner, Zatanna points. "There!" she cries, pointing to the shiny golden glint before them.

"HEY! HEY YOU!" Because the magician is no detective - she specializes in the magical battlefield, and given the fact that she's a performer, she's not exactly subtle unless it's time to apply some misdirection.

"GIVE THAT BACK! IT BELONGS IN A MUSEUM!"

Because she's always wanted to say that, too.

The Flash zips back and forth from one storefront to another, and then up and down the sides of buildings, peeking into open windows. "Nope. Nothing. No. Nope. Sorry! Nope. Nada," he reports after each scouted location.

He spots the scene with the tied-up criminals at just about the same time Zatanna and Impulse do. "There!" he shouts as well, turning to race toward the golden-helmeted figure.

"Time for the old razzle-dazzle," Flash says cheerily, pumping his legs at high speed to close the distance as he clenches and unclenches his hands. When he gets near, the Flash reaches out to attempt a five-finger discount of the magical headgear. "Impulse, be ready to catch!"

"Oookay, I stand corrected," Impulse admits as their target comes into clear view. It's kind of ridiculous, really. Not nearly as ridiculous as the guy wearing a magical ancient helmet over a HOODIE.

"- ooh, ooh! I know where that's from!" he can't help but quip while Zatanna shouts at the mystery helmet man. He is grinning so hard right now at this. Ancient artifact thievery and they're here to get it back? That's like, every other action movie plot ever.

The red and white blur comes to a halt just long enough to deposit the magician. "Catch? Got it-!" he says, cupping a hand over his ear before he all but vanishes from Zatanna's side. Speedsters!!

IT BELONGS IN A MUSEUM!

That line. He knows that line (he watched that movie two nights ago with his family), and it throws him off of his cool exit from the scene of the crime.

"— The hell?" It's an unexpected response from someone with a deep voice exuding age and wisdom wearing a light blue hoodie underneath a heavy jacket, faded gray jeans, and a pair of dull red hi-top canvas shoes. Because that's what some magic users wear nowadays, obviously.

Except that isn't important. Khalid tries to explain. "Wait waitWAIT hold up, I'M not the— " While sound travels fast, his reply happens right when he sees two blurs coming at him. His hands go up, magic light sparking wildly at his reaction and losing that chance the second Flash freaking PUNCHES him. It doesn't take long for him to go flying in Impulse's direction, either.

Deposited on the ground, Zatanna's eyes widen as the Flash takes off to engage, with Impulse following suit. "Wait! Guys, be careful, it's— "

Oh god.

"REIRRAB!" she casts in a quick, split-second decision, her word of power rippling over the length of the street and bending the rules of the world to her whims. A mystical gate of sorts encompasses the avenue they're in - not just in an attempt to prevent the current avatar of Fate from escaping, but also so other people won't make the mistake of stepping into a minefield of superpowered heroics. The Helm is dangerous, yes, but she is still a Titan - civilians are always a priority.

With another backwards word, she banishes the rolled-up people in the bands of cloth away from the street and into the building from which they were attempting to steal things, though at present she doesn't know that, and forms a barrier there as well to prevent most harm from coming to them. There's no time to move them outside of the area, not when the speedsters have already engaged.

And then Fate is tossed towards Impulse.

It happens so fast that she barely registers what is happening, but she does point at Khalid as he flies. That, too, is a split-second decision - she isn't even sure if any spell can actually bind Fate once Nabu has a human host, and ironically, perhaps just as recklessly as the speedsters she's with, she goes for the most immediate solution:

"OG MIH TEL UBAN!"

As Wally's hand connects with the golden helmet, he cries out in pain. "It's so tough!"

The crimson comet stops suddenly, clutching his right wrist with his left hand. "Be careful," he calls out through gritted teeth, "it's fist-proof."

He jogs back toward Zatanna as she casts her spells, and then he asks: "Okay. So plan A, 'take candy from baby,' doesn't seem to be working. What's plan B consist of? Persuasive appeals?"

Then Wally's eyes go wide. "Oh, man! Impulse!" Tucking his arm against his stomach, the Flash leaps forward to race back in the direction of Bart and the helm-wearer.

Well, Wally did say to catch? Impulse hasn't slowed down (pfff, why?), tracking everything as it unfolds. Zatanna conjures her spells in slow motion. Wally connects with the helmeted thief but it doesn't seem to work out quite right- only obvious to Bart by the reaction from his speedy something-removed cousin.

But the blue-hooded thief is still ricocheting towards him, and the distance between dwindles in each fraction of a second. The younger speedster throws his arms out to catch hold of him, if just to set him down so he can grab the gaudy helmet off of the guy's head. "Yoink-!"

And there the fabric-wrapped thieves go, safe and sound from the madness now taking place. Khalid, on the other hand, is still reeling as he tries to figure out how he got in this position, ears ringing long after the fist to the helmet. "Augh! Not cool!" he yells. He's never faced speedsters and another magic user before. It's all too different from what he's gone through with Ancient Egyptian deities. "Nabu! A little HELP here!"

Zatanna's spells sound like gibberish to the young man's ears. Nabu, however, hears the call-out loud and clear.

As far as accusations go, the outcome is usually less than amicable.

But the helmet is now within Impulse's grasp, adding insult to injury. And that's where things go decidedly sideways.

"A Thief? …FOOLS!" booms the voice from under the helm of Fate — not Khalid's, nothing like him at all — not pleased with the situation he's met with. "It Would Be Wise To Consider Who You Are Accusing Before Doing The Same!" Hands shoot out to either side of him, conjuring twisted reams of golden light. They gather broken glass along the sidewalks and the concrete, sifting them like dead leaves before they are flung outward, hurtling at all three of the Titans gathered. "He Is Not Swayed By Nabu, Witch!"

Two powerful magics collide, but what is a young woman's will compared to that of an ancient deity's? As Wally skids to stop next to her, Zatanna keeps her eyes forward, her expression set and her teeth gritted together. "I tried to command the spirit inside it to let him go, but he's resisting me," she says, a bead or two of sweat rolling down to glisten from her temple, her hands extended and her eyes growing paler in color, her own light burning from within. "Flash, I don't think I can…hold…"

FOOLS!

Shards of broken glass are swept up by golden torrents, hurled towards all of them. The magician throws up her own shield in an attempt to deflect the wave of dangerous debris, and while she is fast enough to call it up for her and Wally before it hits any vital organs, several large fragments slice at her shoulders and one spears directly through her calf. Blood wells from her wounds, and she bites back a cry.

"WOLS!" she commands, in an attempt to slow Fate's everything, and render him sluggish.

"Anubis sent a warning that the Helmet was stolen!" she exclaims, and by the way she names him, it's easy to conclude that she is talking about the actual Egyptian deity and not some rapper named Anubis. "And what do you mean he's not swayed? You'd do anything to keep a compatible body!"

And a quiet mutter: "Had no idea he talks about himself in the third person. Yeah, that's not gonna get annoying super fast."

Even as Zatanna calls out to slow the sudden explosion of glass shards, the Flash is sprinting toward his fellow speedster before being abruptly halted by the razor-sharp cloud. He tries to duck and weave between transparent blades, but the spread of vitreous shrapnel is not so wide that Wally can find space between tiny threats.

As he rapidly grabs and shifts individual shards from out of his way, others that he can't grab in time, even slowed, slice along his limbs and sides. Wally's scarlet streak of speed, left behind him like an afterimage, begins to dissipate out in an unusual manner: it's a mist of blood slipping from the fresh cuts made all over his body.

A moment later, the Flash collapses on the street, falling to his knees. He attempts to hold himself up with his good hand, but the arm quivers, and Wally slumps. "Not - not fast enough …!" he gasps, rolling onto his back. He blindly gropes for bits of glass sticking out of his body, weakly pulling them free.

"Uh-oh."

Amber eyes wide behind his goggle lenses as he stares at the helmet…that isn't coming off. And the voice that's speaking definitely doesn't sound like the one that was protesting earlier. Impulse yelps as hands raise up and light manipulated, his own hands releasing the helmet as he hops back. He watches as the glass on the ground start to gather and seemingly come alive before they're cast at them.

Dodging projectiles, basic Max training. Impulse vibrates too fast to be noticed, the glass passing through him. He looks back towards Zatanna as she shouts out another spell, although the tone and the word knock his thoughts back to that time when another word was directed at him. He doesn't even notice he's reacted until something sharp cuts across his cheek, slash by his shoulder, his concentration slipped.

Wally's peril is sensed more than seen, a shudder in the speed force and so close by that Bart can't ignore it if he tried. Pushing himself into motion again, he winds a tight circle around Khalid, keeps moving, keeps circling. Pull the remaining glass back. Keep the thief in check. Win-win. Right?

Rising up and away from Impulse, Fate sees what Zatanna is doing. Yet he finds his movements fatigued by the magic she casts, his arms still rising to meet their final point to attack the Titans even further. Her magic is strong, but he can try to break through it. He can do it without a second thought.

Fortunately for the timing of her message, his attention shifts away from a counterspell, snapping back to the present. "Anubis?" The name makes him stop, makes everything stop. The rest of the glass shards not caught by speedy hands cease to be used against the trio, falling to the ground like glistening rain, shattering into smaller pieces and scattering across the ground. "I Know Of Who You Speak…

"…And did you ever stop to think he might be lying??" Khalid adds, sounding more annoyed than regal now that he catches up. "And what do you mean by compatible!"

Wallace West is down and Zatanna's heart leaps to her throat. "Flash!" she cries, keeping a visual bead on Bart, who handles the rest of the slowed shards. Half-limping, half-dashing to where the speedster has fallen, she skids on some snow and ice, leaving a streak of garish red across snow from her wounds. The razor-sharp shrapnel within her skin burns, but she manages to grit her teeth and move. She's suffered worse than this.

It brings her to her fellow Titan's side, reaching out in an effort to push him to a sitting position, her hand up defensively, an ephemeral circle stitched with glowing glyphs manifesting in front of them both in a defensive fashion. "Impulse, be careful," she breathes through her comm array, her eyes narrowed.

If only Daddy were here…

It has been a long time since she has nursed those thoughts, not since the first year he disappeared. The following months have seen her coming to her own, but when faced with another notorious superpower in the mystic arts such as Nabu, Lord of Order, she can't help it. The line of her shoulders tightens in readiness, to throw another spell when…

…everything suddenly stops.

"…alright, there might be a misunderstanding here," Zatanna says slowly, conflict warring within her, and visible on her pale mien. "Anubis sent a magical all-points bulletin to the mystics in New York claiming that the Helm of Fate was stolen and was lost in New York somewhere, and the thing's too dangerous to keep floating around so we decided to do something about it. And what do you mean what do I mean by compatible?! Do you even know what you have?"

Choking back cries of pain with each newly released glass shard from his muscles, the Flash closes his eyes and attempts to sit, aided by Zatanna, and then stand. His legs are wobbly and his breath is ragged, but the speedster manages to stay upright.

"At the very least," the Flash mutters, "we know for sure the helmet is not meant to be out and about like this." He stares at its wearer's clothes and then speaks a bit more loudly and confidently, stumbling in his steps beside Zatanna. "At least, I'm assuming that anyone wearing that getup hasn't been at this magic game for decades or centuries."

Standing next to the more dapper magician, the Flash straightens his back and attempts to look intimidating, even though he's got streams of blood running down each of his limbs. "How do we want to do this?" As Zatanna speaks, Wally offers a thin-lipped smile. "Persuasive appeals after all," he whispers.

Glass rains down, but thankfully out of anyone else's immediate vicinity. Zatanna's words don't go unheeded, but with the helmet-bearer leaning towards talk for the moment, Impulse decides it's better to regroup. He comes out of his mad dash, back beside his teammates, not quite glaring in Khalid's direction. A smear of red is left on his cheek as he wipes at the cut there with a thumb.

"You doing okay Flash?" he asks, slipping a glance towards the other speedster, then to the young woman beside him when he notices her own wound. "Zee?"

Maybe they'd all gotten off on the wrong foot here, but his friends had gotten hurt and he's not going to let it happen again. As Zatanna continues to address the so-called thief, Impulse positions himself in front of her and the Flash, fists balled but at his side as he watches the flying man. No more funny business on his watch!

"Okay dude. So if Anubis was lying, then what's your deal?"

"He what," Khalid balks, somehow managing to keep the wisened tone all the while. "I didn't get this message. How come I didn't get this message?" The second question is more for Nabu than a repeated statement for Zatanna, but he's met with nothing but silence.

Of course.

"Right." He crosses his slowly crosses his arms over each other, the gold helmet canting at a slight downward angle. "Obvious answer: he hates me." Much like the assumed outcome of this meeting if he chooses to continue doing what he's doing. But one hand lifts to help explain the hidden facial expression he wears.

"The helmet wasn't something I wanted in the first place! I went to the museum and was suddenly chosen by Bastet to become Fate. Which I didn't do until I was brought back to the museum to fulfill the duty of 'healing the world,' as the gods and Nabu put it." It's here he does air quotes, but eventually his arms drop into a stance of surrender. "Given the fact I wasn't high at the time, I would've believed it was all a terrible dream," he says.

"I'm okay," Zatanna replies, flashing Bart a grateful smile. The magic circle slowly dissipates, before reaching for Wally to heal his wounds. His quip about persuasive appeals earns him a tight grin as well.

Throughout the befuddled Fate's explanation, she furrows her brows - it's hard to determine whether he's lying, with the mask on and with Nabu clearly inside his head, powerful enough to call the shots whenever he wants. A hand slowly moves forward to touch Bart's shoulder at his protective posture in front of her and his cousin, giving it a squeeze.

"…in a sense, it is. A terrible dream. You really don't know what you have, do you?"

The magician sighs, rubbing the back of her neck. "What I meant by compatible body, I mean that normally Nabu bonds with someone with an inherent gift for magic. You might seem like an average person, but there has to be something in your bloodline that allows you to tap the power the Helmet has beyond the basics, otherwise Nabu wouldn't be so…insistent…in staying with you. I know we just met, but you really have to be careful. Nabu is…notorious….in our community. If you let him do whatever he wants with you, you'll be under his thumb forever."

Great power comes at great cost. It is one of the first things that her father has ever taught her about her beautiful, terrible world.

Setting her jaw in a stubborn angle, she limps a step forward, and another, moving past Bart. Towards the floating Khalid, she extends a hand.

"If you didn't want it in the first place, prove it," she says. "Tell me who you are. Give me your contact information, and come with me to see someone who can advise you how to harness the Helmet's power and control it. I know we just met…and I'm learning still, but I grew up with magic. I know I didn't really give you any reason to trust me, but please let me help you before the Helmet takes all that you are."

Zatanna can reassure him all she wants but he'll princess carry her back to headquarters if he has to. But with her mending Wally right up, he imagines she'll see to her own wounds once they're not in such a tense situation.

Impulse continues to frown, but at least the Helmet is answering them, although the exasperated words and the deep tone are really jarring that it's hard not to find it a little comical. "Bastet?" He pulls out his phone, thumbs a blur. "How's that spe- ooh, got it. …wait." FROWN. "Don't tell me this is just a big ol' fight between an ancient dog and cat!"

Pocketing his phone, he turns his head as Zatanna moves past him, and as hard as it is not to follow after her he trusts her to know what she's doing as he steps closer to Wally to support him as he recovers. But just so the Helmet knows, Impulse points at him, and points two fingers to his own eyes and back.

"About that," Khalid mentions, looking off to the side for a second. "She did say something about coming from a line of Pharaohs on my father's side…" Because everything about the old country seems to stick around with him no matter how much he doesn't dabble in that side of his family history. "But I haven't had any real problems with Nabu. Not really." A shrug. "Well, save for the fact he doesn't tell me squat."

Nabu, again, says nothing. Not even when he's dropped like this.

But there's a noticeable pause between listening to Zatanna, squinting at the Flash for the earlier clothing comment and spunk, and glancing over at Impulse after everything's been said about the helmet. He blinks.

"— Damn, he's right."

Why didn't he get that earlier? Not like it matters now.

Then she comes up with an ultimatum: If you didn't want it in the first place, prove it. Prove it. That's what he's being told, that's the offer he's being granted instead of another crazy battle over who has the rights to the Helmet of Fate.

Khalid's golden head lowers, sighing audibly, shoulders sagging and arms akimbo — a posture not befitting an all-powerful magical being. Taking care not to cause another spike in excitement, he drifts down to the witch's level, meeting her gaze from behind the mask. His hands lift to his face, initially hesitant in taking the helmet off; eventually, it does come off, easily sliding from his head, revealing the tired face of a college student with helmet hair.

"…I'm Khalid Nassour," he finally replies, blue gray eyes facing forward as he meets her halfway. "And it's been several months of crazy, but I feel like that's going to be the norm from now on."

Don't tell me this is just a big ol' fight between an ancient dog and cat!

Zatanna glances over her shoulder at Bart, attempting to swallow a sudden laugh. Well…he's not wrong.

For a moment, no one moves - tension strings between both magicians like taut livewire, liable to shock and kill them both. But finally, the other man moves, drifts down to her level. She watches intently as the Helm is removed to reveal…

…her surprise is apparent when she looks at the face of a young man not much older than herself. Her tense, determined expression fades into one of aching, almost tender sympathy.

"…it would make sense," the young woman tells him softly. "Nabu was once an advisor to the ancient pharaohs. Maybe that's why he is content to do the same with you…for now. For what it's worth, I'm sorry that it chose you."

Sorry. As if the thing was more a curse than a boon - and from her studies, it is.

She shakes her head towards Bart and Wally, a silent gesture to keep their identities intact, before she reaches up with both hands to slip her hood from her head, leaving midnight waves spilling out from its confines and framing her face. Her hand moves to remove the domino mask off her face to look him right in the eye. Compared to his gray-blue stare, her own blue irises are pale, almost like ice or lightning kept in a jar, each black pupil standing out - striking and disconcerting at the same time.

"My name is Zatanna Zatara," she says, reaching out to dig out her smartphone. "You don't have to come with me now, I'm sure you probably have a lot to think about, but I'll call you sometime soon and I'll take you to the person I'm talking about, okay?" She offers him her device.

"His name is Doctor Stephen Strange, the Sorceror Supreme."

Behind Zatanna, Impulse leans out as far as he can without compromising his balance between him and the Flash while he looks on as the helmeted wonder finally sets down and de-masks himself.

The result is so anti-climactic that he nearly falls over anyway, not that he expected to recognize the face beneath the shiny helmet.

Poor guy. Forced to stand still and watch as things unfold, Impulse at least regrets their immediate action taken against him. At least they managed to straighten things out before it got any worse. …he's sure they could have totally taken him though, if it came down to it. Maybe.

Brows lifting behind his goggles, Bart raises his head at Zatanna's gesture towards them before nodding once, closing his mouth again as he sees her remove her own mask to be on equal ground with the young man who had revealed himself. While she's offering her phone over to Khalid, Bart's finally gotten bored enough that he leads Wally on over so they can be closer to Zatanna. He tilts his head. "Ooh, a sorceror. Can we meet him too?" he asks, visions of a certain mouse with a bright blue pointy hat decked in stars and moons set upon his head popping into the speedster's overactive imagination.

Gone are the suspicious looks from his face as he glances towards Khalid, smiling crookedly. "Crazy's the new norm everywhere these days."

Sorry? Khalid's brow arches, questions bubbling up within him due to the lack of knowledge and experience he has with the mystical artifact he now bears. But he says nothing as he listens, glancing away for a moment to see how the two speedsters are. Even if Zatanna has healed their previous wounds, he now feels a little guilty for reacting the way he did.

Can't change that now. If first impressions are everything, then I'll just have to roll with it.

Just like handling his business as Fate. It's a terrible comparison.

As she hands her phone over, he shifts the helmet into the crook of his arm so that he can shove a hand into his jacket pocket for his to complete the exchange. "Strange," he sort of laughs, incredulous about the Sorceror Supreme's name. "And a doctor? So there's hope for me yet."

It's not clear if he's being facetious or not, but he takes it in stride.

He does nod at Bart's confirmation of crazy being normal, though. "Yeah. I figured as much. But it'd be nice to get a break from it." And he looks over at Zatanna again, brow creasing slightly. "You're right, too. With classes and all, I'm gonna need a lot of time to think this over."

Khalid looks up, and the faint strain of sirens slowly rising within the ambiance is audible to all four. "…Yeah. Definitely going to need to think. And leave. Now."

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