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 Gotham Nights - Spellbound

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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:00 am

The blast near her feet brought Gem to the ground with a gasp, breath she couldn't reclaim as she looked up at the two members of the Royal Flush Gang. Ten and Jack, she noted, in the distant way people sometimes became when they couldn't believe what was happening. That was certainly how Gem was feeling. Disbelief and fear surged throughout her in equal measure, and Gem was helpless to do anything to stop them from overflowing. She'd known that this had been a bad idea, following the then-stranger into the alley, but she never pictured it would be this bad.

That same distant part of her that could still think in spite of everything cursed herself for not putting her phone back in her pocket after school...except then that probably would have been stolen as well. Plus, even if it hadn't been taken, what were the odds that Gem would've been able to send off a text to Finn or her da or anyone without getting caught and stopped or worse? Abysmally low, but it was moot point as her phone was still inside her backpack, for all intents and purposes useless. There was no way she could get to it as things stood, any attempt at doing so more than likely to trigger the woman with the gun. Any attempt at movement might even set Ten off.

Which actually wasn't that big a deal, because Gem couldn't move, paralyzed with fear and indecision. Should she run? Should she talk? Should she fight? Jack had a sword. Gem knew how to disarm everything from a knife to a nunchuck, but swords had never been covered in class. Also there was the gun. Gem knew how to disarm people with guns, but only handguns, not giant rifles that were being pointed down at her from several feet in the air.

At least it didn't use bullets.

"W-What?" Gem asked when she finally could, wasting precious breath on what was obviously a pointless question. Even without her powers it was easy to tell that Ten was not in a mood for anything but answers. Even so, she had no answers to give. "I d-don't underst-tand. I-I'm the only m-me there is."

Her emotions only grew stronger as the seconds ticked on, leaking more and more into the air and people around her. What the two gang members were doing didn't make sense, and what they were saying made even less. All Gem could gather was that they were not in their right minds, if they'd ever been at all, that they had probably done this routine before, and that she was in very, very deep trouble.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:55 pm

And then, it washed down over her. The fear. The sorrow. The anger. The emotions from the night before all crashing down on Gem like a tidal wave, all from the two forms that stood before her. It was Ten and Jack. The overwhelming emotions resonated within these two and their proximity to Gem only made it worse, like the heat of a flame growing worse the closer you get. Jack held his blade up, taking steps slowly closer to Gem.

"Stniartser ot drows!" A voice echoed from behind Gem, deep and booming with the burn of a Russian accent to each word. It made no sense what happened next. Even in his hysteria, Jack couldn't believe his crimson eyes. His sword seemed to melt as if the temperature around them turned into a sweltering crucible, and yet it remained the same. The metal snaked down around the wrists of Jack, now more confused than before, and solidified into a crude set of hand bindings.

"What is this?!"

"Dnuorg eht otni nwod knis!" Just as the sword did, now the ground beneath Jack's feet began to bubble, sinking him down into the churning alley-turned quicksand!

"Jack! How is this?!" Ten looked past the girl, to the figure now standing behind her in the alley. She couldn't see the hood over his hand or the old, worn blue jeans, but a second face sporting that Cheshire grin. Each word spoken came with that warped, digital sound that she knew as his voice. "You have magic? It doesn't matter!" Her rifle powered up, and Ten took aim at the figure behind Gem.

"Emoh nruter amslap!" As Ten fired a shot, the figure's hand shot out. The bolt of plasma launched through the air but as it arrived at his palm, the round curved, flying right back into the rifle it had fired from, exploding the rifle on contact!

"Gah!" Ten dropped the smoldering wreck that was her gun. She looked to the second Cheshire in the alley with unbelieving eyes, snapping out of it to soar down on her card, snatching up Jack from his sinkhole now up to his waist, and launching off into the sky!
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:26 am

The emotions from Jack and Ten would have sent Gem to the ground if she hadn't already been there to begin with. She couldn't tell if it was better or worse than the night before, how strongly their feelings were affecting her. While this time the onslaught happened during the day, when she had her guard up for all the emotions people experienced then as opposed to the more sedate nights, the duo was also closer than they'd been before. While distance didn't matter so much as long as they were in range of her powers, proximity did have a minor say in how strongly Gem effected others and how others could effect her. Not to mention everything else that had just happened, what with being threatened and all. Regardless of whichever time was worse, the emotions and circumstances were more than enough to send Gem spiraling into a panic attack.

She all but ripped her backpack off and swung it around in front of her, all previous concerns about not moving gone from her mind. In fact, all concerns were gone from her mind, all bar one, one that had her tearing through the contents of her bag in a frenzy. She found her phone hidden at the bottom as her vision started to blur, slowly beginning to lose focus with the lack of oxygen. It was solely muscle-memory and desperation that let her dial in the familiar number. Gem cradled the phone against her ear with both hands as they shook, waiting, hoping, needing him to pick up, because there was no air and she couldn't-

He picked up on the third ring. "Hey Ériu, what's up?"

"D-D-Da," Gem gasped, almost unintelligible from the lack of breath, "D-Da, I c-can't, I-I c-c-can't-"

"Whoa, whoa, precious, I got you, I'm here. I'm here, I'm here and it's gonna be alright, okay? Everything's gonna be fine, just listen to me, you can hear me, can't you? You can hear me, you know I'm here, I'm here and you're gonna be alright. Just keep listening to me. Concentrate on me, close your eyes and just listen. You can hear me breathing, right? Deep breaths, in and out, just like I taught you. Come on, precious, let me hear you breathe, big one in, alright? That's good, that's good, now hold it in, everything's gonna be fine, I'm here for you. Let it out now, slowly, slowly, that's good, you're doing so good. Just keep listening to me, follow my lead, I got you, you know? I'm not gonna let anything happen to you, I'm here, you're safe with me. Deep breath in again, precious, slow and steady..."

It went on like that, Ciabhán keeping a soft and even tone as his daughter clung to it like a lifeline, focusing in on it when she could focus on nothing else. In time her mind and body became her own again, letting her breathe and think without the aid of her da. Gem let him get to a pause in his words before she spoke. "I-It's over now. Thank you."

"You don't have to thank me, it's what I'm here for."

"I-I thought it w-was for entert-tainment value." Gem quipped, and the roar of her da's laughter finally settled her down completely.

"Can you tell me what happened?" Ciabhán asked when he quieted down. "Are you alright?"

"I'm n-not hurt, j-just really t-tired right now." Gem answered after a quick pause to check. Panic attacks were exhausting, physically, mentally, and emotionally. "A-As for why..." She paused again, unsure what to say.

"Just tell me what you can, Ériu."

She nodded, even though her da couldn't see it. "W-Well...I got r-robbed."

"Ah crap."

"Y-Yeah. Sorry."

"Don't be sorry! The important thing is that you're alright! Geez. That what set you off, then?"

"N-No. I w-went after the g-guy and...and th-then I g-got att-tacked."

"Craaaaaaap. And THAT set you off?"

Gem couldn't answer that.

"...Alright. We'll talk more about all this later, if there's anything else you can say. Can you get home? Do you need someone to come get you?"

Gem hummed as she thought about it. "I d-don't know. I'm g-gonna try on my own, b-but I'll c-call you or Brighid if I c-can't make it, ok-kay?"

"Okay. Stay safe, Ériu. I love you."

"Love you t-too."

She ended the call and looked at her phone. According to it, the conversation had lasted almost half an hour. She'd very, very pointedly avoided looking behind her during any of that time, even if she wouldn't have registered what was there for the majority of it. But now her head was on straight, and she remembered someone doing...something to the Royal Flush Gang, somehow stopping them from hurting her. There'd been more than enough time for that person to leave, and they had more than enough reason to, and she really should just gather her things and leave immediately, but...

Gem twisted around to look at the mouth of the alley behind her anyway, curious to see if anyone was still there.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:23 am

As she turned around, indeed there was no one there. No trace of any man, especially one that could possess the voice Gem had heard. All that remained was the girl and the alley. Even the concrete that had began swallowing Jack had smoothed back to its original form as if nothing had happened to begin with.

However, in the alley, a small glint caught the eye, rested against the wall to the left.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:36 am

Gem wasn't sure if she was more relieved or disappointed to find no one there. She knew which she should have been, all things considered, but even so she couldn't help the small bit of her that wanted to know what had just happened. Whoever'd been behind her had done some crazy things, and while she really didn't want to know why or how or who, she also really sort of did. Still, she pushed the feelings aside as she pushed herself to her feet and gathered her things. It was going to be a long, hard walk home, and she needed to get started on it.

Except the sparkle of something in the shadows caught her eye before she left the alley, and she found herself instinctively drawn to it. Wondering if she was a moth rather than a teenager, being so entranced by something shiny, Gem went over to the spot and crouched down, examining what was there.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:39 am

It was her wallet, somehow. It didn't make sense, but in the context of the entire scenario, nothing really made sense anymore. However, the wallet was not alone. The glitter obviously did not come from the wallet, but rather a small piece of gold: a signet ring, depicting a seal of an eye in the center of some form of crystal ball. Attached to the ring was a note.

It read: Cheers to your safety. Don't beat yourself up, цветок(tsvetok), you made the right choice following them. I shall drink to you and your family's health tonight. Consider this ring a bit to chew on. I do love a good mystery, don't you?

You can return it to me when the time is right. Take care, цветок.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:39 am

"цветок?" Gem asked, as if THAT was the most confusing thing about the whole situation. It really shouldn't have been. She had just seen what looked to be magic for all she knew. Getting called flower shouldn't even have registered as weird in comparison, yet somehow it was the first thing out of her mouth. Clearly she was in shock or something.

A shake of her head allowed Gem to move on from the odd endearment and focus on more important things. Things like the rest of the note. It claimed that she had 'made the right choice' by following Jack to Ten. What did that mean? How was that right, if letting it be would have been wrong? Did he mean it situationally? Individually? Morally? And who was he to say so? How had he known about it, anyway? Had he been following her? The others? Was it a coincidence? And what was with the ring? The mystery man seemed to be under the illusion (and oh God Gem hoped it was an illusion) that they would meet again. Merely thinking about it sent a shiver down her spine. 

She pushed her thoughts away from meeting the man and towards what she could infer of him. His voice sounded masculine, which of course led her to think he was a man in the first place. She couldn't place his exact age with his voice, but Gem would guess that he was an adult who hadn't yet reached middle age, so maybe around thirty. At the very least he was older than twenty, considering he was apparently going to be drinking that night. Or at least Gem hoped he was older. His accent was very clearly Russian, and цветок all but confirmed it. He liked mysteries, he had a very fancy ring, and last but not least he could do something that looked like magic.

Granted, all of that was speculation. For all she knew it was all a front to throw people off. She'd been blind to that sort of thing before.

Gem bit her lip and stopped the train of thought, too exhausted to go any further with it. Her attention switched to her wallet, somehow no longer in Jack's possession, nor covered in wet sand like she might have expected it to be. In fact, it was completely in tact, along with everything in it, her money and cards and photos, not a scratch on any of them. She couldn't help but sigh in relief. While they may not have been a big deal to anyone else with how little there was in there, it was a great weight off her shoulders that she didn't have to worry about replacing anything. Gem decided that from then on she was going to carry a false wallet. She did not want this to happen again.

The thought of again had her thinking of the man supposedly meeting her again, which made her think of the ring. She picked it up and examined it as well as she could in her exhausted state. It was a pretty small ring, made of what might have been actual gold for all she knew, and the seal was nothing she recognized. Well, she could tell it was an eyeball in a crystal ball, but she didn't know if that had any greater meaning to it. For all her curiosity it was tempting just to put the ring back down, walk away and be done with it, but she didn't. Instead Gem put it inside her pocket, along with the note and her wallet. She was too tired to make big decisions then, and the man had been right. She loved a good mystery.

Gem forced herself back to her feet and began the slow trek home.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:29 am


"In other news, the Princess Audrey dress gallery at the Gotham Auction Center will be put on hold after a robbery last night. GCPD Officers reported to the crime scene in-progress to spot what Officers described as 'a man covered head to toe in a black and orange swirled suit' fleeing the scene with the dress, as well as Auction House Manager Clyde Deakins in 'a confused daze' on the roof.

Upon reviewing the footage from security cameras in the Auction House, Officers identified Mr. Deakins himself as an accomplice to the robbery, carrying the dress over his shoulder to the roof where it was assumed to be handed off to the mystery suspect in orange. Mr. Deakins has been taken into custody, but has issued no official statement and is to be examined by a Doctor before any charges will be pressed. He did, however, express concern that, 'Louie made it off of the front lines in one piece'.

This is not the first reports of a man in Orange and Black convincing others to steal expensive items before leaving them in a confused state. While once believed to be a case of a story made up by a team, GCPD has now officially opened up a search for the 'Spellbinder', confirming that they are indeed a real threat.

Next on Gotham News Tonight, we discuss the search for the new CEO of Wayne-Powers...."
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:20 am

"Well that's weird."

"Mmhmm."

"Didn't you say something like that happened to someone at your school?"

"Mmhmm." Gem hummed again, only half awake. "Everyone seemed to think she was lying or something. Guess they won't be saying that now."

Her da let out a hum of his own in agreement, shifting so he could reach the remote to turn off the TV. Gem was grateful, even if she knew what was about to happen. She sincerely didn't want to hear anything relating to Powers. The nightmares were going to be bad enough without adding that to her mind. So she was glad, but sure enough, her da's next words after clicking the power button were "So, can you tell me more about what happened today?"

Gem had thought about it, best she could throughout the day. Exhausted though she'd been, she'd also been unable to sleep, and as she'd lay awake she had debated what to tell her da about what had happened. The answer she'd come up with was everything. Nothing she could tell him would put him at risk, and it was better that he be informed in case he ran into the Royal Flush Gang or mystery man himself, unlikely though it was. So, with that in mind, Gem took a deep breath and began. "Yeah. So, I had just texted you about going to the library, you remember?"

"I remember."

"It was right after that that I got robbed. A guy bumped into me and the next thing I knew my wallet was gone. Don't worry, I got it back."

"Again, more worried about you than that. Still, that's good."

Gem nodded. "So I run after the guy, and he ducks into an alley, so I follow him, and the next thing I know I'm on the ground and I'm staring at Jack and Ten of the Royal Flush Gang, the first with a sword and the second with a smoking gun."

Her da hissed in a breath and swore, but then paused, and Gem could practically hear him frown. "But that wasn't a gunshot panic attack you had."

"It was a plasma rifle, and she didn't shoot it at me. Well, no, she did, but it missed and she wasn't close enough, and again, plasma."

Ciabhán made a high-pitched keening sound. "Oh, God, please never chase after a criminal again, for my sake if not yours. My heart cannot handle this."

He didn't know it was a lie, and Gem wasn't going to call him out on that, but she did go on. "So Ten starts screaming at me, asking how many of me are there, how many of me do they have to kill? And there was a pretty heavily implied more with it too. I don't think they actually meant me, though, they didn't...I don't think they were in their right minds, Da. I really don't."

"You mean the fact that they threatened and attempted to kill you wasn't enough to make you think that?" Ciabhán asked, and oops, he actually sounded a little close to panicking himself. His next words came out marginally calmer and only after a significant pause. "Holy tap dancing kittens. Okay. Geez. What else? You said you weren't hurt and while I don't doubt your words or skills, I'm really wondering how that is."

It was Gem's turn to pause. "Okay, this next part is really weird."

"Ériu, there is a man in tiger stripes going around and hypnotizing people to steal things, and there is a gang of people dressed in playing cards who attacked my daughter today. I am pretty sure whatever it is can't top that."

"Well, I was already kind of panicking at this point, so I can't be completely sure, but...well, there was the voice of a man from behind me, and then the sword in Jack's hand melted, and then he was sinking into quicksand, and then I'm guessing Ten tried to shoot the guy, I never actually saw him but I don't think she was aiming at me, but the guy spoke again and the gun exploded, and then Ten grabbed Jack and they flew away."

There was another long pause. "Okay so maybe it can top tiger stripes and card people."

"Mmhmm." Gem hummed, too tired to say I told you so. A wide yawn escaped her.

"Whoa, that's a yawn. Okay, executive decision, you are going to bed and I am going to call Finn and tell him what happened. Don't know if the police can actually do anything, but they should at least be aware that the Royal Flush Gang's up to no good. Again. Still. C'mon, up you get."

"I can't even make a you're not the boss of me joke." Gem grumbled playfully, then smiled when her da laughed. She stood up. "Goodnight, Da. I love you."

"Sweet dreams, Ériu. I love you too."

It occurred to her, leaving, that she hadn't told her da about the ring, or the note that had been attached to it. She decided it was probably for the best. He was already worried enough, and she needed to figure out what to even think about it anyway. For now, though, Gem was just going to go to bed and hope for the sweet dreams her da had wished her.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:57 am

"Now come on, Mittens. This is no place for a kitty!"

Mr. Neil Emerson had worked for Gotham's branch of LexCorp for as long as anyone could remember. He worked six days a week, sometimes nights, and always seemed to have a smile on his face while he did so. Even in his old age, security was a passion he just couldn't shake off, but there was always one thing he cared about more than protecting his charge: his cat Mittens. It was a common name, but to Neil, she was anything but common. After his wife had passed, Mittens became the last real companion he had, and having her there at work was a real blessing in his eyes.

Sometimes she would go running off, and Neil would chase her into the warehouses. He'd find her in all of the high-points and usually on the steel racks where they kept all of the gadgets he was too old to understand.

This time she had wandered into the Research and Development section, where all of the new projects were being perfected. Medicines, vehicles....sometimes weapons. She had wandered all night; to the pharmaceutical division; to the safe where the payment from major clients was held until morning. He caught her on a lab table.

This had been the seventh time he had caught her that night.

This time, the "cat" was a laser. The ran on Kryptonite.

A laser he had placed into the white hands of Jack of the Royal Flush Gang.

Jack carried the gun outside of the facility, just as Neil turned to run off again, chasing "Mittens" into the factory once again. Jack smirked at his new score, joining his sister Ten as the two walked into the open night, and over to the orange....vehicle......and the man in orange and black that sat atop it.

"All of the money was a nice touch, but this..."

Spellbinder touched down onto the grass, taking the laser into his own arms. A few hundred thousand dollars was a nice score.

"There are a lot of bad people.....who will pay a lot of good money for this."

There was a shift in the trees. Nothing loud, but enough to catch his attention. Spellbinder shot a glance over his shoulder, then one back to Ten and Jack.

"It's the Bat."

As Jack took a step forward, he was knocked back and floored to the ground! A stiff thud after a whistle, but the yell that followed was louder still. Jack couldn't hold it in as he noticed the butterfly knife sticking out of the space where his shoulder connected to his chest.

"Sorry, kids," the sound of a gun loading a round clicked into their ears, as Ten and Jack's worst nightmare came to life. The devil had arrived, and his smile was just as wide as they had remembered.

Cheshire had arrived.

"The Bat's not coming."
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Sat Mar 19, 2016 5:31 am

Gem, meanwhile, was occupied with a cat of her own.

"You really need to stop going after the birds." Gem scolded gently, running her fingers down Dinah's spine and rendering the weak attempt at discipline utterly ineffective. The cat arched into the touch with a purr. "They're my friends, you know. Family, sort of. That makes them yours too. You're not supposed to hurt family."

Dinah had indeed gone after some birds that evening, three crows that liked to regularly visit the gym's rooftop. It really was a pity she had. Gem had been considering giving the golden ring she'd picked up to them, just to be done with it. Usually the trio were the ones to give Gem shiny trinkets in return for food, but she had figured that they wouldn't have minded this once. But it was moot point for at least tonight, all thanks to one misjudged pounce.

With the ring on her mind, Gem fished it out of her pocket, ignoring Dinah's plaintive yowls to examine it in the moonlight. It didn't look any different than before, especially not under the dark night sky, nor had it any of the other times she'd checked between the first time and now, but she tried to find something more about it anyway. There had to be some other clue she was missing with it and the note, didn't there?

Speaking of the note...

Gem replaced the ring and pulled out the scrap of paper from before. When she'd been in the alley it had read differently, but looking at it now all it said was 'Keep your head up'. That was a mystery in and of itself. Had she imagined the words before? Had they actually changed? Gem had no idea, and she had no way to have an idea or even to get rid of all the potential ideas because Dinah had chased off the gosh darn birds.

That was cats for you, she supposed.

As if knowing she was on the girl's mind, Dinah insistently headbutted against her arm, demanding affection. Gem finally complied, putting away the note and running a hand down Dinah's back as she yawned. She was so tired.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:51 am

"Not the bat. Definitely not." Spellbinder muttered to himself as he climbed back onto his strange flying machine, the laser gripped in his hands. "Ten ... I gave you my word we'd find him. Well....there he is."

The man in orange and black began lifting off of the ground, as Ten whipped around, her face the perfect vision of shock.

"Are you kidding? He'll rip us to sh-"

A bright flash stopped her mid-sentence, as the night time courtyard of LexCorp began to shift. From the quiet came one cheer, and then another, and hundreds more still until the entire Roman Coliseum she found herself in erupted in energy for the coming battle.

"Your weapon," Spellbinder tossed down a small lead pipe, or rather the mighty sword ten now clutched in her hands against the hungry lion that crept closer. This foolish beast would be slayed for the honor of her Emperor!

"Riiiiiight" Cheshire groaned in his warped voice, "and I thought I was weird."

The cat ran forward, gun at the ready as Ten let out a grand battle cry, leaping at him with a swift downward strike. Cheshire swerved out of the way, then ducked under another wild swing!

"Listen, my contract is on the orange creep. I have no reason to hurt you!"

This lion could roar! Ten thought, readying herself for another strike at the foul creature! Lunged with a stabbing attack, only to miss once more and catch an elbow strike to the side of her head! Driven by her need to slay the creature, Ten took the strike and swung back, slamming the pipe into the side of Cheshire's head! The cat tumbled to the ground, catching himself in a roll. As he recovered onto a knee, he watched in whatever his equivalent of confusion was while the girl dressed like a playing card called for cheers from a crowd that wasn't there.

And still, the man in Orange lifted from the ground.

"It's going to be like that, huh?" Cheshire said, returning to his feet while pulling his favorite knife into his free hand, "Then let's play."
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:57 am

Bluebell Cemetery was silent as the grave, fittingly.

Gem walked the stone path, not phased by the lack of people or how the only sound was her own footsteps. Nights were seldom occupied in Oldtown, places like this in Oldtown doubly so. Plus, it wasn’t as if Gem were the kind of person to lament a lack of crowds. Quite the opposite, and this night in particular even more so.

She’d fallen asleep on the roof, briefly. Nightmares had caught her quick, and she woke to the memory of gunshots and the smell of blood — the latter of which she quickly found was real, having thrashed in her sleep against the unforgiving concrete. She’d stared at her reddened knuckles and immediately been filled with the need to run, to flee, to get away from there and everything with it. She hadn’t been strong enough to resist, darting down the fire escape past a hissing Dinah and sprinting into the empty night fast as her legs would take her.

After she regained some of herself she’d texted her da where she was going, which meant she couldn’t stay long or else they’d both be up all night with no sleep. That wouldn’t be fair. It wasn’t fair now, but she couldn’t stand to be on the roof or in bed any longer, so she’d gone to the only other place she could think of where she could rest in peace.

And there it was.

A shiver crawled up Gem’s spine as the ground changed from cold stone to wet grass. It took no time at all to reach her destination. Crossing her heart, she sat down, then grabbed her bare feet with her hoodie-covered hands to keep them warm. A minute passed before she gathered the courage to speak. “Hi. It’s been a while.”

The gravestone didn’t answer.

Gem swallowed, then went on. “A lot’s happened since I last came. Were you watching? It was…a lot. I made a friend. I think. I thought. Except, he didn’t, doesn’t exist. Not really. And, um, there were the cats. You know them, probably. If you were watching. I like Dinah. She’s a spoiled princess already. The other, um…the other is, uh, mean. I don’t. I don’t know. About that one. Then or now. It’s been a while, for that too. Not as much as for you, but, ah, enough. Not enough. I don’t know. And, um, I saw, a lot of things. I did a lot of things. I didn’t help, much, but I tried. I tried. But I don’t…I don’t think I’ll be trying anymore. I won’t. I just. I won’t.”

She paused, and breathed.

“Sorry. That was…sorry. Um, I couldn’t bring flowers for you this time, either. I can’t for Hughie, even. I will later, though, when we can. Promise. Don’t worry. He’s doing better, I hear, so don’t worry about that either.”

Any other time not bringing flowers to the grave would be no big deal at all. She would just look around for the flowers that grew naturally around the cemetery, look for shamrocks if it was their season. But now it was too dark to go searching for shamrocks and wildflowers…and really, Gem was just too tired.

A gust blew by, and Gem shivered. “Y-Yes, yes, I kn-know, English only. I’ll be g-good.”

Even with that said, it took her several more minutes to form any words at all, English or not. “I’ve been having…n-n-nightm-mares lately. It’s b-b-been…m-messing with me. A l-lot. Every time I c-close my eyes, I feel. I-I see everything that happened and n-nothing that was th-there and…and it was so m-much like with y-you. Except it w-wasn’t, really, n-not at all. It j-just hurt. Pain all f-feels the same. And I-I j-just…I’m so tired. Of…just tired. I want t-to sleep. I want to st-stop this. B-But I can’t. It’s like you all over again, except n-not because it’s n-not and y-you’re n-not here.”

She took a deep breath. She let it go. She traced a finger over the letters engraved in the stone, idly wondering how much deeper she’d made them over the years with the habit. “Y-You’d know what to do, r-right? I’m sure of it. You always d-did. I b-b-bet…I bet you’d tell me t-to shape up, b-but the very next day you’d g-go out and ‘accid-dentally’ buy mix for peanut b-butter cookies ag-gain, and th-then you’d say I was going t-to have t-to eat them all, because you were allerg-gic but like hell you were g-going to let them g-go to waste. So you’d m-make them, and I’d eat them, e-every one of them r-right then and there. And I-I’d be full of sugar b-but my stomach would be full and I’d fall asleep on the c-couch in seconds, l-like a little k-kid again. And there would be n-no nightmares, because m-my thoughts and my memories and my d-dreams would all be sweet, filled up w-with love and you and l-loving you.”

Gem rubbed at her eyes. They were puffy around the edges with lack of sleep, and maybe a few tears. She probably looked ridiculous, talking to a rock in the dead of night wearing her jacket over her pajamas and tired enough to be dead herself. She really ought to stop and head home.

“I miss you.” She whispered anyway, half a secret and half a sigh. “God I miss you so much.”

The gravestone didn’t answer.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:26 am

*Thud!*

Jack dropped to the ground in a heap. Cheshire swung with his knife, just barely missing Ten with the blade but not missing with the spinning kick he turned into, and Ten joined her brother unconscious on the ground. Cheshire landed on his feet like the cat he modeled himself after, but the job wasn't done.

"Come back here!"

Spellbinder was well on his way into the night, but nothing short of an alien boy scout moved faster than a speeding bullet in Cheshire's domain. He took aim, firing three shots into the air. Two bullets glanced off of the hull, but the third found home in the laser in Spellbinder's hands. The faceless man in orange looked down at his now damaged prize.

"Well...that's truly unfortunate..."

Without a hesitation, he tossed the now useless hunk of metal to the round, speeding off into the night. It was not long until he was nowhere to be found.

"Damn," cursed Cheshire. He placed two fingers up to the ear of is helmet, activating his communicator.

"Cheshire to Oracle, come in. Jack and Ten are apprehended. Spellbinder has gone MIA. Will restrain fugitives for GPD pick-up."

------------------------------------------------------------------

"I'm sorry for your loss."

A voice spoke out behind Gem in an peculiar combination of warm and cold tones. Just outside of the shadow of a large tombstone stood the Batman; pure white eyes looking down to the Irish lass with no trace of aggression, but rather a true neutrality. He tried to muscle up a scowl in keeping with his character, but in this place that he was so familiar with, Terry couldn't help but offer a sympathetic blend of a grin and a frown.

"I'm also sorry for intruding."

Batman proceeded just a bit closer, kneeling down at a stone himself not two or three plots away from Gem, placing a hand on it with care. While only the back of the stone was visible to Gem, Terry could read the name just fine. It read: "McGinnis"

"I never wanted to do this, Gem, but I need your help."
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:15 am

Gem gasped at the unexpected voice, loud in the quiet graveyard, and pulled her hands to her chest as she spun to see the source of it. The sight only made press her back and a palm against the stone she'd been talking to moments before, as if she could protect it, as if it could protect her. Batman might have been a guardian to the innocent and helpless, but that only highlighted the fact that Gem was hardly innocent, and how she was very, very helpless.

She made a mental note of which gravestone Batman was at so that she would never, ever go near it again.

When the Bat didn't approach or say anything further than his apologies and his odd, final statement, Gem gradually began to calm down, exhaustion aiding her in the endeavor. She was just too tired to stay high-strung as she otherwise would have been. Instead she was on-edge, but not to the point of paranoia, and could think about the situation semi-rationally. Still, it was a situation that led to more questions than answers. What was Batman doing here? How had he found her? What did he need her help with? And why? Unfortunately, none of these mysteries would be solved without opening her mouth and asking, so open her mouth she did.

Much to her chagrin, nothing came out.

Gem tried to form words but found none would come to her, English or otherwise. It took several more tries for anything to be heard, and all it was was a small croak of "uh?"
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:48 am

"I know, bad timing."

The Bat stepped a few paces closer, but never enough to seem as a threat. He didn't want to impose on Gem's personal space, preferring to keep the distance. She was...jumpy at best.

"I don't know if you've been watching the news, but there's a bad man out there using some kind of...I'll be honest, I don't know what he's using. Mind control? Illusions? His victims are confused and scared, and you're the only person I can think of that could even possibly pinpoint what he's doing or where he is."

He folded his arms.

"I'm not asking you to fight. I wouldn't want to put you in harm's way. I need you to be my eyes if he does...whatever he does to me."
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:31 pm

Adrenaline surged through her veins, and any semblance of calm she had was immediately ripped away when she heard the hero's request. Gem leapt to her feet, clutching the gravestone with one hand and her heart with the other. Was this better or worse than her fears? She had no idea, but what she did know was that she desperately wanted no part of this.

Gem's eyes darted around the cemetery, back and forth, back and forth, looking for a quick way out. The entrances were off-limits, and the hole under the fence was past the person she so badly wanted to leave. Her gaze eventually landed on a weeping willow in a nearby corner. She could probably use it to vault over the fence if she really tried…but could she do it faster than Batman? That was unlikely. He was the Batman after all. But maybe...

...No, who was she kidding. Gem could barely stand, much less sprint. There was no running away from this.

Unsurprisingly, the knowledge only made her panic more.

Her breath was starting to come out faster but she took a big gulp of air, forcing it to keep deep and even. She gripped the grave harder, grounding herself with the unpleasant sensation of rough stone against skin, and made herself look at Batman straight in the mask. Her voice shook, but she found her words. "I-I kn-know who you m-mean, b-but I don't see how I-I would be a-any help. E-Especially if you d-don't want me to f-fight. M-My eyes aren't d-different than a-anybody e-else, s-so I r-really don't kn-know what you're t-talking about."

Gem knew what he was talking about. Maybe Batman wouldn't know what he was talking about, though. Maybe he would think that he was wrong, that maybe he been mistaken, that maybe Gem was just the ordinary girl she wished with all her heart she could be. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

(Deny, deny, deny.)

"Y-You should probably a-ask someone e-else." She added, finally breaking her gaze to stare past her shaking knees at her toes, coloring with the chill. She wiggled them and winced at the feeling. "I-I just want to g-go h-home."
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