12358/Cartoonish Connections

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Cartoonish Connections
Date of Scene: 08 August 2022
Location: Hell's Kitchen
Synopsis: Zatanna traces evilnastybad(tm) power to Hyperion and talks him into a mystical bleach job. Yes, it really is as awkward as it sounds.
Cast of Characters: Hyperion, Zatanna Zatara

Hyperion has posed:
    Having had a nice chat with Mister Fogwell, Mark Milton is seated on the bench of a bus stop across the street from the Gym. Every once in a while, a bus passes by and stops for a pickup. A pickup that is waved off with a smile by the man in the short-sleeved buttondown shirt and bluejeans.

    Mark has a sketch pad on his lap, and he's been working on things in almost a comic book style. Making panels... some almost caricature-ish, while others are more traditional cartoony, and another is almost superheroic.

    It is something he's been doing once a week to draw more attention to the little guys, the small businesses in Manhattan. And sure, he may have some lingering dark energy linked to his soul. But there may also be traces of Lady Death's power... as she was the one who evicted Eris from his soul.... body.. whatever!

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
Hell's Kitchen. Alley's riddle the area, remnants of its gritty, working class poverty lingering in cobblestones that haven't been asphalted. The name for the area, likely coined in the early 19th century, when the area was chock-a-block with Irish immigrants has stuck, refusing to be called Midtown West or Clinton. It kept real estate prices low until the late 20th century.

A purple line sizzles in the air, next to a super-sized dumpster. A sandaled foot appears, followed by a shapely leg and the hem of a linen dress. Zatanna seldom comes to this part of Manhattan. But today is a notable exception. Before leaving Shadowcrest, she had performed a spell, one that required thought and planning. She is on the trail of a goddess. One that had darkened her life and posed a threat. Oddly, the spell led her here.

    Puzzled, she consults the compass in her hand. The needle swings east to west and then settles to a point that will lead her across the street.

Hyperion has posed:
    And there he is, a tall man who is obviously in shape, but whom has gone out of his way to appear ... well not mild mannered. That's almost copywritten. Mark has gone out of his way to appear awkward and maybe even a bit introverted.

    But there he sits, working on his artwork without much of a care in the world. The odd thing is, those glasses of his were designed by Reed Richards to dampen his senses so that he can survive without going mad due to the increase in sensory input since coming to this universe. It's one thing to be stronger and faster. It's another thing entirely to have every augmented sense... further augmented to almost out of control when it comes to input.

    So he doesn't notice anything amiss right now. He merely works on his project. Anyone looking over his shoulder would see artwork made with expert skill. And to those with the ability to sense magical power, he is basically still tethered to something dark out there. Perhaps it is Lady Death's power that keeps Eris at bay... keeps Eris from possessing him once again.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
The compass, an artifact that doesn't look much different than any Boy Scout would use has been modified by the woman using it. Glancing from the unwavering needle, steady in its case in the palm of her hand, to across the street, Zatanna, eyebrows drawn, frowns. The building behind the man sitting on a bench has nothing special about. Likely it houses a collection of sub-rate lawyers and detectives driven into the district for its low rents.

    Sighing to herself, she crosses the street, stopping mid-way to let a taxi pass. She strides up to the entrance of the building and consults the compass again.

    Surprise registers on the magician's face, the frown deepening as the needle swings back in the direction she came from. She shouldn't be surprised. Eris is as clever as they come and likely has a spells that counter tracking her.

    Retracing her steps, she comes to a dead stop when the needle moves again. This time it points to her right.

    The man sitting there has nothing seemingly magical about him. After taking a deep breath, she settles on the bench next to him.

Hyperion has posed:
    Okay. So focused on his work, Mark didn't notice the magical woman nearby. However, when the woman approaches from across the street, his hand pauses in its work. Something in his brain recognizes her to one degree or another. Could that be...? No...

    It's not possible. But maybe it -is- the woman he met before. As Zatanna walks past him, he exhales in relief and goes back to his drawing.

    His hands move with unerring speed and precision. Right up until she sits down beside him. When that happens, his eyes slide left and then he flinches... screwing up one of the drawings completely. "Can I help you?" he asks.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
A complex expression crosses the dark-haired woman's face, she bites back a typical New Yorker's response and takes a deep breath. She had caught the flinch, but is not so forward that she will stare at what he is drawing.

    She settles for a more neutral response, asking with an open air, "Is that something you often ask strangers?" After a last glance at the compass, she pockets it.

Hyperion has posed:
    His own senses zeroing in on the compass, Mark shrugs his shoulders as he looks back up to the woman's face. "Actually. It is." he says. "Something tells me that you are looking for me. But you are not sure why it is -me- you have found."

    "I'd like to say I understand, but that would be a lie. I completely do not understand. But I -do- at least realize that it is me that you found. So... again, can I help you with something?"

    He pauses then and tilts his head to the left. (to her right. Perspective can be a bitch.) "So, you must get this a lot, but aren't you Zatanna the Magnificent?"

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
    Zatanna sputters at Magnificent and flashes him a brilliant short-lived smile, amused. "Only to those close to me. But, yes, I am Zatanna."

    Frankly examining his face, she purses her lips, shaking her head.

    "Well, I feel like we know one another. I just can't place from where."

Hyperion has posed:
    There, caught -her- off guard. Mark shrugs his shoulders, "Maybe I just have one of those faces?" he asks.

    But he's not -that- good an actor. He smiles hopefully, shoulders lifting.

    "So what does a world famous illusionist want with a cartoonist for the Daily Bugle?" he asks, still -trying- to hold up the cover ID.

    But then he reaches up and lowers his glasses down his nose and lkooks with unobstructed vision. It -is- definitely her. And he sighs. "Zatanna. Can you magic up a portal? We have met, but it will not make sense unless we can find someplace private to speak."

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
Zatanna exhales noisily in surprise at this sudden turn in events. Her sapphire eyes search his face when he lowers his glasses, recognition coming in stages. Eyes widening, she expels a breath, saying, "Latervia."

The pieces come together though her eyebrows still pinch as she tries to make them fit, "I can make a portal. Step into my office." She unfolds her hand, indicating the alley across the street with the super dumpster.

Hyperion has posed:
    Glancing towards the alleyway, Mark looks down at his sketchpad and sighs. "Give me a momenbt." he mutters before going into low-end hyper-speed. He finishes at least one of the drawings in record time before standing and saying, "Okay. Now we can go."

    That said, he turns and walks down the aforementioned alleyway. He does not appear to be worried as he does so. He steps into the summoned portal and he emerges on a rooftop in Gotham. One with a skylight. Does Wayne Enterprises give away free skylights to insure he has rooftop access to places?

    Either way, he turns to face the portal as the magician follows him, and he reaches up to remove his glasses, "Latveria indeed. How can I help you?" he asks, smirking as he repeats his sentiment.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
Watching him complete the drawing, Zatanna remembers the last time her vision strobed like this. Japan. After a visit to Mount Fuji while waiting for the Shinkansen. An express had passed at over two hundred miles an hour, seeming to flicker in and out of existence as her eyes tried to track its progress.

    They walk across the street to the alley and portal.

    Walking a few steps toward the edge of the roof to look down, she explains, smiling wryly, "I thought we should talk someplace neutral. Or, at least, someplace where you are not known. If someone sees us, we might make the tabloids under the headlines, 'Prestidigitator casts her spell again.'"

    "I'm sorry, you've asked twice, how you could help me and I have avoided the question. It's...not a subject I think you will enjoy. I'm sure you remember Eris." Uncomfortable at finding the magical trace in the man, she observes him closely.

Hyperion has posed:
    "Eris." says Mark. His shoulders no longer slouched. His back ramrod straight. It is amazing how much that sort of body language can totally change a man's appearance. He tucks his glasses into his shirt pocket and looks about the area. "Well, this seems as desolate as a cityscape can be. So, how about you tell me what...." and then he goes still for just a moment. "You could say that I recall that name. I was trapped in my own mind, able to see what I was doing, but unable to control my actions. I almost killed...." he pauses before he adds the word 'you', but it was implied.

    His hands clench, and it's almost like the air itself compresses from his tension...

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
    Nodding with concern, his reaction was much like what Zatanna had expected, worse even. Tension seems to pour off him like vapor. Losing control like he did was a memory that she wished on no one.

    "I am so sorry that happened to you. She was targeting me. And entities like her don't care who or what they destroy between them and their goals. If I could protect you against it happening again, I would. I'm not sure that I can, but I won't go into that right now unless..."

    She spreads her hands and holds them in the air, "So you know. I was looking for traces of her. There is no reason that she has stopped her quest. Still, I can't find her. It's always better to know where the people who wish to eat you alive are." This last said with wry finality.

Hyperion has posed:
    "And she is still hiding in me?" asks Hyperion, his eyes widening. Those eyes capable of disintegrating most matter with pure nuclear fusion level of heat.

    "Should I be worried? Perhaps quarantine myself? Go into space and never return?" he asks. And yes, like a hero, his first concern is for others, not for himself.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
    Zatanna equivocates, saying, "Well, ah, no, not exactly. It's like she has left a window open in case she wishes to inhabit the house again. I caught the trace of the spell, that's how I found you today."

    A quick glance at the glasses he folded and put in his pocket, "They do a good job of covering who you are. And," she nods emphatically, "I know how important it is to have a private life." She mugs a smile, "Or, can imagine. Your identity is safe with me."

    She adds quickly, slashing her hand at the thought, "No, leaving Earth would be our loss, something she would revel in, believe me. As for keeping you safe." A hint of a smile ghosts across her lips.

     "There are several possibilities but they all involve magic which I understand is problematic for you."

Hyperion has posed:
    Shrugging his shoulders, Hyperion states, "Problematic in that it can get around my invulnerability. Magic itself is not something that I dislike or distrust. I understand that it has its uses and like any tool... can be used for good or for ill."

    He shakes his head and adds, "It is just that when it comes to attacks that involve magic, or enchanted weapons... I am no more durable than Joe the Plumber, you might say." He pauses and adds, "Okay. Maybe a little bit more."

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
    Crossing an arm across her chest, she supports an elbow in one hand, drumming her fingers on her mouth in thought, "Would you mind if we experiment? Or, at least ask you a few questions."

    She raises an eyebrow in anticipation and uncurls a hand to him in invitation. "I've seen you hold a magical object. One I made myself. Did it harm you in any way?"

Hyperion has posed:
    "It did not seem to. It seemed to be just a weapon... albeit a potent one, in my hand." replies Hyperion. He inclines his head and looks down to his hand, "The harm that I suffered in Latveria was due to the enchanted weapons of the enemies."

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
    "Then, I would like to try something."

    Her gaze grows distant as she remembers the battle on the border of Latervia. On a quick intake of breath, she asks, "But have you felt yourself since that time? She marked you with magic, and now I wonder if it has changed you somehow, wounded you."

Hyperion has posed:
    "Felt myself..." repeats Hyperion, both brows lifting a bit as his gaze turns downward. Well downward a bit. Zatanna isn't super short, but he is six foot four.

    "I am assuming that you mean in more of a physical sense. To my own senses, I do not feel any different."

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
    "Good then. The equivalent of being sprayed like a skunk and not, the more dangerous one of being open to her again. I can help." She laughs, "We will give you a light mystical wash and rid you of her traces."

    Her smile lingers as she asks, "How can I get in touch with you?"

Hyperion has posed:
    Smirking, Hyperion shrugs, "If you are in New York, you can tell my name." And he pauses, "I mean, my hearing really is that good, if I am not wearing the glasses. Or..." he shrugs, "You can try the JLA communicator." he adds as he pulls his out of his pocket. "We -are- both members, yes?"