4277/An Inside Straight Flush

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An Inside Straight Flush
Date of Scene: 02 December 2020
Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Synopsis: The Royal Flush Gang is apprehended and no doubt headed for prolonged incarceration. But was it really nothing more then a robbery gone wrong?
Cast of Characters: Bruce Wayne, Zatanna Zatara, Carmine Falcone, Thaal Sinestro, Diana Prince, Clark Kent, Karen Starr, Carol Danvers

Bruce Wayne has posed:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Always a jewel in New York City's crown. But tonight it seems to shimmer just a little brighter. As a centerpiece to the charitable social set of the city, it hosts quarterly galas to help with fund raising efforts, whether directly for themselves or for other worthy causes. And tonight, tonight is another one of those occasions.

The evening might be cool but it is clear and it has hardly put a damper on any number of the city's wealthy and powerful from putting in an appearance, walking up that red carpet and into the spectacular Great Hall where the bulk of those that have managed to score an invitation have begun to congregate and mingle, some breaking off into the side exhibits to be sure while waiting for the event to truly gear up, for their host to take the podium set up one end the Great Hall where an elevated platform has been constructed.

Walking in amongst the crowds that flow around them tuxedo-clad waiters and waitresses distribute drinks and light appetizers for those so inclined though most seem intent on their conversations, the buzz of conversation filling the halls with its own particular sort of music. A cacophony that almost drowns out the string quartets periodically spaced amongst the columns and other intricate stonework that makes up the Great Hall.

A string of robberies, even high profile ones is not necessarily the sort of thing that requires the Justice League of America to be brought to bear on the situation. Afterall, they number some of the mightiest individuals on the planet. Then again, the Met does feature countless works of art and historical artifacts that are truly priceless and if Gotham's Dark Knight is correct it will indeed be the next in a growing lineup of robberies that have plundered the nations museums and private collections over the past several weeks. And not just the next site on a list. But one that will almost surely be hit tonight. Despite the crowds. Or perhaps because of it.

And then there is the nature of the thieves themselves. The colorfully named 'Royal Flush Gang'. Not only has the group shown an excellent level of competence, they have also demonstrated a number of extra-human abilities or unique technologies in service of their crimes. Worth looking into on their own.

Of course museum security was alerted to the potential threat but found the possibility of robbery less then compelling. Understandable perhaps, given the sophisticated security. Of course they were unwilling to cancel such an important event. Yes, they were quite sure that they would be able to handle things if anything came up.

Batman, unsurprisingly, disagreed.

Which is why he is camped out on the rooftop of the museum even now, his cape draped around him as he crouches down next to a security panel. Taps have already been installed to give them access to the internal security cameras and he has rooted the feed both to a small display set up just beside him as well as the HUD within his cowl, watching intently as each view flickers past in time. Of course, not everyone present needs a video feed to keep track of what's going on inside. "Keep an eye out. It looks like the intial speech is about to begin..."

Sure enough, an older gentleman begins to walk up the steps of that elevated platform, moving towards the podium as other dignitaries and members of the museum's board move to take seats behind. "Ladies and gentlemen, if I can have your attention..."

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
Oh this is official JLA business TOO? What a convenient little coincidence.

For Zatanna Zatara, famed Mistress of Magic had been looking forward to attending the next of many MET shindigs for weeks! This sort of fancy dress-up, upper-crust hobnobbing is just too much fun.

Thus, she is attenting the gala among the many glittering New York socialites and celebrities. This isn't the stage, so her signature look is nowhere to be seen for the time being. Instead replaced by something that is simultaneously both even more daring but also utterly luxurious, a 'split halter'-style evening gown in a deep midnight blue so dark it approaches black, with just a light dusting of something- sequins? gems? delicately woven silver thread? - that gives it a shimmery appearance, like the night sky at witching hour. Her hair is up, piled in rings, showing off long, dangling and equally sparkly earrings.

She arrived arm in arm with another local celebrity, Themysciran Ambassador, Princess, and Justice League icon Diana Prince. They've had time to do the official reception sorts of things, and have gotten into the circulating. Zee is just replacing her first drink with a second, snatching it from a passing tray. "I'm going to realy hate it if we have to work," she's comaplining to Di.

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     Carmine Falcone the Gunman of Gotham, the Roman, so many names over the years, right now the only call he answered to was 'Monsignor? More wine?' From one of the nearby waiters.

     The elderly mobster offered a bit of a smile as he looked towards the waiter giving a friendly nod as his glass was filled just right with a bit of fresh red. A lovely situation like this was perfect for getting the meet and greet out of the way.

     Already he'd been doing a fair bit of talking and right now he was supposed to be relaxing and examining the art, but he had other things on his mind. His hand goes to brush aside that sleek and respectable white hair from the side of his head just the lightest tap onto the side of an almost invisible headset.

     His words aren't audible as he speaks into his drinking glass the sub vocal microphone picking up his words. "Someone get me a sitrep on security." Before taking a long sip of his wine, a friendly smile crossing his face.

     Throughout the party he had his own men mingling and mixed in with the crowd. They weren't dressed as security and to the casual observer they were just more members of the social elite paying a visit to this little occasion.

     Truth of the matter was a little stranger then fiction. The only identifying mark on each of them was a little white rose tie clip. Barely visible at a distance but just enough for each man on the job to recognize one another. There was no uniform otherwise no standard of dress. Just a lot of different levels of high society hanging out and enjoying themselves.

     Near one of the exhibits dedicated to a local artist specializing in Arte Povera a man in a rather respectable turtleneck scratches his ear responding back into his subvocal. "All sectors report all clear Godfather, looks like they got cold feat."

Thaal Sinestro has posed:
Not everyone present needs a video feed, but Sinestro's happy to provide one via a half-moon of faintly glowing, monochrome screens.

Floating a few feet from the roof with both arms folded and a narrow green sliver slithering over his forearm to the back of the monitor bank, the Green Lantern is a newcomer to Earth, having earned a small amount of notoriety in NYC several weeks ago for protecting Wilson Fisk from assassination, and a little more in Metropolis for assisting Superman with a ~superpowered, high tech jewelry store heist.

Barring any surprise political leanings, the latter's why Sinestro's part of the group assembled to put the Royal Flush Gang in its place, having been granted reserve access by way of 'is a space cop' by Superman.

('Putting the Royal Flush Gang in its place' was -- perhaps? -- not quite how Batman might've framed the mission during whatever briefing may have occurred, but Thaal is extremely confident in his ability to read between the lines.)

"A group of wealthy men and women," he murmurs, voice carrying just enough on emerald winds, "gather in a place filled with priceless artwork, artifacts; et cetera, to raise money."

"For the less fortunate."

"Before returning to their comfortable, luxurious existences..."

His eyes squeeze shut for a beat and a sigh.

"Is that correct? Have I summarized what... this is accurately?"

Someone, apparently, did some kind of homework before the mission. Fortunately (?), his question is closely followed by an older gentleman ascending a platform, prompting narrow-eyed focus and a displeased lip curl.

"We'll want to deprive them of their vehicles first; yes?" he murmurs, voice hollowed out of anything beyond cold, tempered readiness.

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana's dark hair is styled down the right side of her head tonight, voluminous and waving down the front of her right shoulder. Beneath her hair she has a comm link in her ear that allows her to listen to the JLA communications, and of course she can hear Batman's voice giving updates. Otherwise, she is dressed quite elegantly, and accompanying Zatanna, staying close together the two have been mingling and making their rounds. Her own dress being a sleeveless number that is a glittering gold over her upper body, but fades in to a dark blue down around her legs, clearly custom designed for 'Wonder Woman'.

Unlike Zatanna, Diana's first drink is only half way consumed at this point. She glances over to her friend and upturns her deep crimson painted lips into a wide smile. "Work can be fun too." She says to the other, her heavily accented English calm and relaxed, as she's quite used to events like this, even if there is an underlying danger to this one.

"Besides. Who would dare do anything with us here?" She states with a grin before sipping her drink once more.

Clark Kent has posed:
Mild-Mannered Reporter Clark Kent is working inside the crowd. His vision and hearing powers make Clark ideal for picking up on subtle signs of an attack, and his invulnerability makes him a great point man in case they blow the place up or turn everyone to gold or something. New York's underworld has exactly no manners, and Clark feels fairly sure something ridiculous is going to happen tonight. At least it's not Gotham, where the answer to everyone's problems is still "deadly gas" because Clark guesses no one's thought of an air filter yet.

That's mean. Gotham's crew are inventive, cruel, and constantly a step ahead of the law and mundane science, Clark reminds himself as he eases into the crowd, being virtually invisible thanks to poor posture and a look that screams 'low self esteem'. You're just in a mood, Clark thinks to himself as he picks up Batman's preperations over com. Not that he needs a com, but sometimes the key to making Bruce happy is to wear something with his logo on it.

"Nothing in here, so far." Clark murmurs, gently stuffing something gray and flame broiled...duck?, Clark thinks...into his mouth. He is a little off his game because of personal issues so he forgets to swallow before talking on the com, which is embarrassing for everyone really. "I must be getting old, I can't tell if these new paintings are any good." Clark spares some attention to who is basically his guest, Thal Sinestro, hoping he is settling in with an earth-style stakeout alright.

"When you're cold and hungry enough, Thal." Superman murmurs right back, sounding a bit more like himself, "I'm not sure how much it matters where help comes from, or who's getting a tax write off to give it."

Karen Starr has posed:
    Tonight was an odd night. The museum had requested that the League not get involved, but there was good intelligence that the place would get Flushed. Conflicting as those sentiments may be, it means that Power Girl would not be a pleasing guest, and Karen Starr has both little to do with the exhibits in question... And having her constantly make an appearance where Power Girl will almost inevitably be is going to be equally problematic.

    Thus, at the door, an ineffibly tall woman in an impeccably well tailored, pinstriped suit checks a small suitcase at the door, leaving it with the coats and other almost-luggage that accompanies the sort of high profile events just like this one. She makes sure, as she places it in their care, that it will be accessible.

    When she steps out into the event proper, Power Girl is wearing a shoulder length wig in chestnut, coupled with some brown contacts and a pair of glasses that help break up the lines of her face. The disguise is not exactly perfect- as she's still as tall as ever, and without other factors to hide it, she's still a pretty prominent figure, in a way- but it'll be good enough. Some no-name Metropolis art dealer whose name can be forgotten after this whole business is concluded, and warrants both no fame, and little investigation.

    Stepping out into the crowd, Karen keeps a position near enough to the entrance to get at the last pieces of her costume at a moment's notice.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Up on the rooftop of the museum the Dark Knight continues to monitor the situation inside. Of course he had an easy means of gaining access to the event, to blending in so it is perhaps telling that he chose to sit out in the cold. Then again, he is hardly the only one in the League that can blend into such events.

"More or less accurate. Regardless of the motives of some of those within their donations have the potential to do great good. And the artifacts that the thieves intend to steal are incredibly valuable parts of society's shared cultural heritage," Batman offers up quietly to the newest Green Lantern to work with the League. He continues to fixedly watches the monitors, eyes intent on those screens.

Back at the end of the Great Hall, the beaming man at the podium looks out over the sea of some of New York's wealthiest and most influential -- and those special guests from outside the city proper. Those close to him might notice that glassy gleam in his eyes. Someone really intentive might notice that all of the board and dignitaries seated behind him have that same look. Too much alcohol perhaps? Seems unlikely.

"I am so pleased that so many of you have made it out for such a good cause this evening. Indeed, I cannot think of a better one! I am honored -- as should all of you -- to be in the presence of a truly great man this evening. A man who has a revolutionary outlook on this world. A man who has made the lives of so many of his acolytes better. Truthfully, you can call him Master, as we already do. Please give him a warm welcome!"

The crowd titters, clearly taken aback, some perhaps nervous. There is a rustle from the long hanging banner that rests at the back of the stage and the figure that emerges is hardly what one would call intimidating. A little on the husky side, he is dressed in what appears to be a long, white hooded robe. Gold inlay lines the fringes of the robe and various symbols that are meant to look mystical or arcane mark those seams in pure black, stark against the white background. As he emerges from behind that drape, the speaker at the podium turns and begins to clap loudly. Seconds later the members of the board are all on their feet as well, clapping with wild enthusiasm.

The rotund man is followed out on stage by a number of figures dressed up as if leaping from a deck of playing cards. There is no mistaking the figures meant to be the KIng, Queen, Jack, Ace and Ten, most bearing smirks as they fall in behind the robed man. "Thank you, thank you," a great booming voice echoes through the hall as he moves to the podium. "Your warm welcome does my heart good. You may call me Wildcard this evening, and both my associates and I will be only too honored to relieve you and this fine institution of your valuables. Your cooperation is greatly appreciation. Any... objections would be unwise," he says, his voice dipping, working the room like a master orator. "Now," he continues more brightly, clapping hands together. "Please stay where you are and we will be around shortly to accept your kind donations."

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
"Criminals are stupid," is Zatanna's response to her friend. And she believes that, deeply and truly!

The woman is just tipping back that second drink as the murmurs start, and with a glance around and a heavy sigh, she never actually inbibes it, lowering it before she has a chance to enjoy the contents. "That seems like the signal that the stupidity is starting." She waits a moment, turning her eyes up to the podium, as the new arrivals emerge.

And boy, aren't they a bunch?

Still, Zee isn't precisely the 'leap to action' sort, being both simultaneously the most versatile and unlimited in what her abilities can achieve... and the most human and vulnerable of the gathered members of the League. This is why she stands next to Diana all the time!

Reaching up, she taps the small communicator in her ear, speaking quietly onto the channel they all share. "They're here, Bats. The one in the robes has some kind of magical aura. I'm guessing luck. Fits with the whole card theme. So uh... careful with your overt displays of violence, folks, don't want to end up knocking each other around."

A beat. "We got an operating plan here?"

Thaal Sinestro has posed:
"The desperate have little choice but to accept whatever blessings the benevolent few are willing to hand down," Sinestro evenly allows. "I simply find myself marveling at the... tawdry inefficiency of it all." His eyes shift Batwards, then, and the Detective's cynical realism earns a small, tight smile. "You'll never have to assure me of the value of a cultural artifact-- alien though yours may be," he states.

Clad from neck to toe in black and green, the Lantern from space keeps the persistent aura that comes with his office at a diminished wattage so that he's not playing beacon to anyone who happens to be looking in the general direction of what's about to become a battleground. Even when atmosphere of the phone takes a turn for the faintly cult-y--

-- and then the downright sinister--

there's hardly a wisp of spare power floating from his aura. Nothing wasted on excess shows of status.

There's a time and a place for those, and both are coming--

About a third of a deck of playing cards strolls onstage, which feels like a pretty good indication that some shit's about to go down. Accordingly, his eyes dart towards Batman, narrowed; brow arching as he wonders:

"Now, what, exactly" at a measured pace, "is it that you... do?"

Without missing a beat, he then turns his eyes down towards the roof and transmits, "Probability manipulation could prove-- problematic; how quickly do you believe you can neutralize him?" sounding just a bit annoyed as he acknowledges the potential for trouble. "I can attempt to separate one or more from his vicinity; if his ability's proximity-based..."

Clark Kent has posed:
"There's a problem." Clark says into the microphone, eyes narrowing. "There are men here working as off the books extra security. Protecting some kind of investment, maybe, I wasn't able to pick up the whole conversation. But..."

"They're reporting to Falcone." Clark says, chancing a glance at the Roman. Looks pretty good for a dead guy, aged or not.

And then the Royal Flush gang makes their move. Clark raises both eyebrows as 'Wildcard' takes the stage. Well, there have been chubby supervillains before, heck Luthor certainly wore a few pounds before he got hard into self improvement out of spite, right? Plus, all these mobsters with all of those guns.

Clark quietly makes for a bathroom. "Excuse me, my stress ulcer..." Clark murmurs if anyone's listening, trying hard not to be seen. This looks like a job...

The bathroom's closed. "Uh." Clark says, faced with bright yellow 'keep out' tape. He eases under it, slowly, trying not to alarm the Royal Flush gang, and accidentally steps on his own shoelace and a freshly mopped floor. There's a loud, loud SQUEAK as Clark slips, twists around, breaks the caution tape and wraps himself inside of it, before he takes another desperate step and ends up finding himself flailing into the air and crashing into the ground head first with another incredibly suspiciously loud SMASH.

The left lense on his glasses cracks, gently, and then completely falls apart. "What." Clark says.

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     "Alright people protect the paintings we're here for, Alpha you're on Lady In Red, Bravo, Blue Summer, Charley October Rain, and Delta Functional Disfunctional." Carmine pulls out some parts from his person and begins to assemble them into place. "They aint going nowhere , can't care less about the rest of this place."

     Carmine mutters into his throat microphone broadcasting to the rest of his eyes at the gallery, as he slams together the last part of his perfectly legal Thompson SMG.

     Men who had been blending in just fine prior come out of the crowd armed with concealable weapons now folded out into full on assault rifles and more falling in line to protect very specific VIP's and paintings. They drag individuals out from the crowd and throw them behind human shields of themselves and in front of the paintings they've been ordered to guard.

     Bruce would recognize the military precision and the white roses as belonging to the Gotham City La Cosa Nostra formerly the most powerful mob family on the coast. Even if these days it's mostly limited to the bounds of Gotham.

     Carmine Falcone speaks up as his armed goons step to either side of himself his own face now hidden behind a mask much like each of his guys. "I am sorry my overly regal friend but this venue is under the protection of the Gotham City La Cosa Nostra I am afraid you are not taking anything, except for your leave out through that nearby door."

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana's gaze is on the podium and the 'presentation' that unfolds upon it. A grimace graces her guise for but a moment before she has to draw a breath in between her dark red lips. Her glasse is sets down upon the corner of a marble divider before she looks over to Zatanna who is talking to the team through the comms. "This is bold of them." The Princess states. "Suspiciously so."

The Princess' stare sweeps around the room to take in the reaction from the gathered crowd...

Karen Starr has posed:
    Power Girl hasn't necessarily heard the extent of the power available to the Gang, and as a result, she is not overly concerned over their appearance. To some degree, Karen is even a little bit flippant about the whole thing. Unsurprised at the obvious- seeming, at least- corruption of the board of the museum, she waits a short while.

    With the crowd's eyes on the podium, Karen makes her 'getaway', moving to the front of the building and into the lobby that she'd entered through. Quietly, she walks up, picks up her briefcase, and starts making her way back into the party. Karen isn't going to burst in, cape flowing and fists throttling. Batman wouldn't appreciate that, she figures- even if there isn't a formal plan that's been shared amongst the League, Power Girl knows full well to expect orders from the Bat soon enough. Not being -already- in position for those will only make things more difficult. Really, one day, someone will appreciate the restraint.

    So, instead, looking all fancy and valuable, Karen just takes a position near the edge of the bar, looking as if she's been there, and belongs there, for all intents and purposes. Never mind the briefcase. Just a regular Metropolis museum goer. Nothing special.

Carol Danvers has posed:
Over the comms from a very high altitude Carol chimes in <'The wealth disaprity on earth varies greatly depending on the country. You don't see it as much in some parts of Europe for instance. Here it is honestly more pronounced and more of the populance think hardship can solely be overcome by hard work or charity to fix any ills in society.'>. Seems she is trying to be helpful for the newly arrived Space Cop.

As for what to do about the problem she maintains her altitude and follows up with <'Holding back for now, let me know if you need a hammer drop on the situation. Luck manipulation seems like a pain in the ass. Do we have intel on any of the others power suits?'> yes she totally made a bad pun.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
And there they are. Just as expected. While the Dark Knight already provided his fellow Leaguers with a breakdown of the potential abilities and tactics of the group he never the less quickly gives out a few of the pertinent details again.

"Survelliance was light at the previous robberies. Known cameras were taken out before hand or tapes were erased after the fact. Only a few cameras unknown to onsite security and a few minutes of cellphone footage uploaded to the cloud exist. All of them seem to be armed with high-intensity energy weapons. Possibly prototypes stolen from Star Labs. The big one, Ace, is superhumanly strong and durable. The King seems to be able to exhibit some sort of hynotism or mind-control. The Queen might be able to make things appear that aren't there. Whether through mental manipulation or actual light-based illusions. The Jack is comparably simple. He seems to have some sort of high energy blade. Ten has a wrist launcher that fires razor sharp darts in the form of spades. She also seems to have peak-level or superhuman speed and agility," he offers up before his voice becomes slightly more grim. "This 'Wildcard' is new. No previous records of his involvement directly. Though I have a certain suspicion," he says. He clearly doesn't like not knowing so when Zatanna offers up some new information a moment later there is a pause. "That could explain some things. Be very careful around him until we know more about the limits of his power," he says, echoing her warning.

It's no surprise that the potential difficulties with that are apparent to him almost at once.

"We might want to consider divide and conquer," the Dark Knight says with a brief nod Sinestro's way. "If this man is manipulating chance around him the more we can spread them out the better. If the range of his magic is limited it might bode well for us," he asserts quietly. "Watch out for the bystanders. The stretch of cellphone video seemed to show them willingly cooperating with the previous robbery."

It's a shame that the cameras don't cover every inch of the building. It might give a better idea of just how far the probability manipulation of the man at the podium do stretch, but while the cameras might miss the show they do pick up the aftermath with a body sprawled out across the floor by the nearest men's washroom.

As Falcone's men make their presence known, a great booming laugh comes from the round, robed man. "Oh my, did we interrupt a fellow devotee to the art of criminal enterprise. My apologies. While we were not here first, I'm afraid we will certainly be the last ones standing if you choose to press your claim," he says rather jovially. "Deal with this," he says with a flippant wave of his hand, too important or just too bored to bother.

The other five seem willing enough to do as he says however. The towering 'Ace' leaps from the makeshift stage, a grin on his face as he begins to stalk towards the nearest collection of armed men.

The 'King' seems to take an alternative approach, waving his scepter grandly over those already starting to back away from the stage. Abruptly they begin to turn, glassy-eyed like those up on the stage, as they shamble forward. A pair of security guards in their midst draw their side arms.

The 'Queen' moves up to stand beside the king, also holding a scepter. She too waves it and suddenly there is a shout from one of Falcone's men, then another. "There's a snake! It's slithering up my leg!' 'Spiders, where did all these spiders come from! I'm covered, someone help!'.

The Jack takes a more direct approach. He simply pulls out that sword as it flares to life, glowing bright red before he hops down to wade into the crowd after Ace.

'Ten' lingers near the boss. Apparently his orders did not apply to her. Or perhaps she has a different assignment.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
"Magic is hard to predict," Zatanna answers Thaal over the comms. "Its more art than science. So no promises. But I can give it a try. And if it doesn't work, that will give us some idea of the sort of power he's wielding, or the constraints of how far he can go and how far I can push back. But yes, it wouldn't hurt to spread them out. I'll keep with Diana, maybe at least I can keep the fight fair for her?"

She looks sidelong at Diana, who doesn't require the communicator to hear her. "Whats your play, Amazon? Head right for the stage?"

However, all this planning is somewhat disrupted by the fact that a SECOND criminal makes an appearance to challenge the first. She does an actual, honest to goodness facepalm. "What is it about these people, honestly?"

Still, she has a job, and she sets to it, speaking her usual reversed lines: "Neve eht sddo!"

Time for some fair play. Mr. Terrific would no doubt approve.

Diana Prince has posed:
Being that this was a planned operation, Diana had made arrangements to donate a piece of Themysciran art to the museum and had it brought in with her. A statue that was draped over by a light blue cloth that was placed off to the side, not far from where she and Zatanna had been mostly anchored to during their mingling so far tonight.

With the sounds of people shouting from the mind manipulations already going off, creating more panic within the hall, Diana is moving away from Zatanna when the magician turns to speak to her. She's moving right around that draped-over statue, and coming out on the other side of it now...

... holding her own sword of Athena, and the lasso of Hestia.

"My plan is to stop them." Diana replies to Zatanna, as her lasso comes to life with a brilliant bright golden glow. "Stop the madness."

The Princess' eyes fall on the man with the sword first, and in response to his brazen wielding of that weapon, her divinely powered lasso twirls and lashes out to wrap around the blade of that impressive weapon! Her intention is to just rip the weapon from his grasp, if possible.

Thaal Sinestro has posed:
"Really," is all Sinestro has to say when Falcone's men reveal themselves.

-- sigh. It's all he has to sigh, as heavy as Ace's stride.

"As good of a distraction as any," he then scoffs as the Gang begins wading into charity-goers and mobsters.

And with that, he's-- gone, having sunk straight through the museum roof as if there were an elevator built into it, just for him. His aura remains restrained, and once he's passed through the roof like a sour-faced phantom, he doesn't stray far from it; in fact, while his eyes remain trained below to track the unfolding chaos, his trajectory leads towards one of the Great Hall's walls, towards a stark white room dotted with dark scupltures and vivid abstract paintings.

Along the way, dull sparks shimmer across the ring's surface while Oan energy slowly bleeds down the back of his hand and wrist. By the time he's nearing the wall, it begins to take form: a radiant .45, accurate to the first images the ring could find down to a nick in its facsimile of a wooden grip. If he manages to make it through, he'll immediately point the gun towards the ceiling, and -- as he descends --


he fires several rounds of carefully recreated sonics into the air, hoping to draw one of the Gang members towards what must be another pocket of mobsters.

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     Carmine's men are well trained, quite incredibly so for common street thugs. For the police it would have been a bloodbath to fight against these men. Yet for the royal flush gang it seemed something of a peace of cake.

     At the end of the day for the most part Falcone's men were mortal. Sure a few of them had some mutations but they were kids stuff when compared to the might on display from the Royal Flush gang.

     "Pull back and defend what we came to protect boys. No heroes." Carmine mutters into his throat mic as his bullets seem to bound off of the big guy no matter how many he pelts into that thick armored hide. He throws down the magazine into his suit and pulls out a fresh pack of depleted uranium rounds. They still don't seem to be enough. He's between a rock and a hard place.

Clark Kent has posed:
Gunfire, Clark hears, as one mob moves to guard the paintings and another moves to take them. The crowd is already both panicking and being lulled into docility at the same time. Someone, his senses scream, is going to get hurt, sooner rather than later.

Could he have prevented all of this if he was like Sinestro? Not bothering with the human affectations? How quickly would they have surrendered if a Superman came in the way he could?

Clark narrows his eyes, now is now the time for fooling around. Lowering his glasses, Clark's eyes glow red for a searing second.

A flash of heat goes off near the Met's sprinkler system, right over where King and Queen are herding the crowd in their own mutually terrible way. The sprinklers turn on, just for them, pouring water down on the criminals and a few nearby bystanders. It's a cheap trick to buy time, but that's all Clark needs as he forces himself up and out of sight.

He rips his shirt open, changing in an instant and waiting for the right moment to reveal himself.

Carol Danvers has posed:
Carol frowns into the night sky. <'If we are divying them up call your targets people. Zee should take point on the one with magic. Sinestro you're will is likely one of the strongest here so I might suggest the King. Aces sounds like Power Girl or Superman. Jack probably Diana with the sword. Open to suggestions on Illusions and Darts. Someone should probably be on protect art and the citizen duty. Wish Flash was here.'>. she sounds a bit amused for some reason.

She was staying up there in case it was a noshow and some other emergency or SHIELD call gained priority. Since it seems to be really going down now she drops down out of the sky in a arc of light heading towards the roof of the museum and roof access now. She takes a moment before stepping into the museum yet though listening carefully over the comms, then quietly heads inside and down towards the main room. Jogging not phasing like some aliens.

Karen Starr has posed:
    Karen remains in the crowd, patrolling it for a time. There becomes a problem, though, as she sees the monstrous Ace start lumbering into the crowd. She doesn't want the giant thing to find his way to any of the security guards, or worse, any of the unwitting patrons of the museum. Karen moves forward, and as the sprinklers Clark hit start unloading on King and Queen...

    All it takes is a moment. A small crack forming in the block of the crowd, like a faultline. Power Girl takes advantage of this, blurring heavily as she sweeps from one side of the building to the other, making her way to a few feet from Ace- appearing there, as if she'd just been shoved out of the crowd towards the giant man.

    "Oh no!" she calls, feigning a direct and complete level of cowardice that is so very much unlike her. Making sure she's somewhat in front of Ace, she holds out the briefcase. "Please! Just take it!" she calls, physically- and convincingly- cringing in the face of the muscular 'droid.

    It may be inevitable that he opens it, programmed to reap whatever spoils lay within. The problem is that within the case is a golden pauldron, a short, red cape, and a blue matched set of gauntlets and boots.

    The confusion from that moment, if it occurs, is the opportunity that Power Girl will take to suckerpunch Ace, holding back only enough that she'd barely destroy an eighteen-wheeler.


Bruce Wayne has posed:
Despite the apparent boredom exhibited by the man up at the podium that robed visage never entirely turns away from the scene, keeping tabs on everything as it plays out below. And if the whole setup is brazen and far too over the top, he almost seems to revel in that fact. Even with his features cast in the shadow of that voluminous robe that much seems clear. Even the defiance of the other criminals present only seems to delight him, as if he was looking for a challenge.

As they, and then others first begin to reveal themselves the robed figure becomes animated again, hands gripping each side of the podium. "This could have been so easy on you all. I suppose we will now get to find out just who Fortune truly favors," he says in that booming, good natured voice though as he is about to speak again he suddenly staggers in place, those hands actually clutching at the podium to keep him up right. "Who..." he begins, no longer sounding anywhere near so jubilant. He stiffens, straightens as if concentrating hard, that hooded gaze sweeping over the assembled crowd.

While only two people in the room might sense it the waves of power flooding from the robed man suddenly find themselves beaten back, their radius inhibited and no longer spreading across the entirety of the museum or even the Great Hall.

The crowd in the hall begins to panic a little now, set off both by the strange figure now dominating the makeshift stage at the end of the Hall and of course the screams that have begun to sound from panicked gunmen. Those closest to the gunmen add to that disturbance and it quickly becomes clear that it is no mere trick in their mind. Spiders appear to crawl over over one of Falcone's goons while a small pool of snakes does appear to be clustered around another man, some of them beginning to coil up and around his leg. Adding to the confusing is the fact that a huge, metal slab suddenly appears in front of the main doors, trapping everyone inside.

That golden lasso is unmistakable, as good an announcement that the Justice League -- or at least one of their foremost members -- is on the scene and as it lashes out, flying unerringly to towards her target it is suddenly interrupted. Despite the formidable bulk, 'Ace' is abruptly there, an upthrust fist interposing itself between the lasso and it's initial prey, a cruel grin on the towering man's face. "Sounds like Jack has another appointment Princess. You get me instead," he sneers, veering towards Diana and Zatanna. At least until Karen stumbles into his path. Even with one hand bound it isn't hard to take the offered briefcase. He's not delicate. Hopefully she isn't attached to it. He more or less wrenches it open, spilling not valuables but an assortment of clothes. Is that a cape? "What gives?" he starts to ask in apparent anger. With one hand bound, and now this distraction he might not be at all prepared for Karen's response.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Grinning out from behind the formidable bulk of 'Ace', the Jack winks at the Amazon Princess, blowing a playful kiss her way before darting off to the side, clamoring towards one of the side passages that lead to one of the Met's exhibition halls, summoned no doubt by the sound of gunfire. With his glowing laser sword leading the way, the dapper man vanishes from view.

Both the King and Queen linger at the edge of the stage, their attention, their concentration on the crowd. More and more of those close to the stage turn away and begin to shamble out towards the rest of the audience, dropping purses and wallets and jewelery as they go. As they reach others who have not fallen under the sway of the King they begin to reach for them, grabbing hold and dragging them down as they begin to strip those unfortunates of anything valuable.

The Queen seems intent on keeping Falcone's gunmen occupied, the illusions beginning to spread when she can pick out any others in amongst the crowd -- no easy task with all the bodies and growing confusion. One would imagine she is responsible for the sudden obstruction at the door as well, an obstruction that is joined by a creeping, crawling mass of insects that begin to skitter across the floor driving those close back.

At least until there is a sudden downpour over the royalty of the gang. Concentration fades as the King and Queen find themselves abruptly drenched from the sprinklers that spring to life. Suddenly the illusions take on a more translucent look and begin to fade. The glassy-eyed crowd slows, stirs, confusion in their eyes as they cease trying to rob their fellow party-goers.

"Focus," the man at the podium barks at them, glaring up at the ceiling. Suddenly there is an odd cracking noise, a grinding sound and the sprinklers suddenly cease. Such unlucky timing. "Mmmm, it is possibly I may have misjudged things my dear," the robed man says to 'Ten'. "It seems that there is a fellow practictioner here. Surprisingly adept really. I wanted a challenge, but I abhor even odds. We may have to withdraw I believe..."

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
Zatanna, again, doesn't really do 'point.' But as Diana leads her glorious warrior charge to meet the sword-wielding fellow, that whole business is going more or less the right direction, so she follows along in the Amazon's wake, using her formiddable presence and cover. She whispers a quick "Krow sehtolc!" as she moves, and thereby invoking her literal magical girl transformation into her more signature stage outfit.

What? Fishnets are definitely more movement friendly than a trailing evening gown she's perpetually at risk of popping out of.

Diana's charge meets the mighty Ace, but Zee is pretty sure the Amazon is on it. Doubly so when it becomes the Amamon plus Karen. Poor guy. So she maneuvers around Diana's other side, keeping low for a moments to avoid attention from the big guy, but then leaping upward to challenge the figure at the podium.

While she's not the charge in type, she's more than willing to confront him on the magical field, to answer when he asks 'who.'

"That would be me. Zatanna Zatarra. Maybe you've heard of me? Kind of a big deal." So modest too! "Anyway, nice trick you have there. Got any others? Because I sure do.

She throws her hands forward: "Sebor dnib!"

This is a relatively 'gentle' start, invoking the man's own robes against him.

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana's lasso wraps around the big mitt of the one known as 'Ace', rather than her targeted Jack. With a brief exhale, the Princess re-centers her focus on the hefty Ace, just as Power Girl arrives to reinforce her on this new target. She'd looked to where Jack was going, but only comments on it in to her mic. "One of them has separated into the exhibits." She states.

Her eyes glance to Zatanna who has moved to take her own charge of sorts, then ehr eyes go back to where her lasso is wrapped around that of Ace. She unfurls it and draws it back to her hand, only to instantly lash it out again, now aiming it to wrap around Ace's legs, hoping to help lock him up for Karen to have an even easier time subduing the man with his legs bound!

Thaal Sinestro has posed:
The 'gunshots' come in intermittent bursts, because those interstitial gaps give Sinestro an opportunity to actually look at the camera feeds now playing directly across his eye like a trifurcated contact lens. Moreover, they give him precious moments to think.

To create.

To welcome the Gangster closing in on his position.

If it's obvious to perceptive ears that the gunfire came from the White Room, the emerald pulse that flares beyond it and washes incoming corridors in meticulously intensified brilliance ought to make it blatantly, blindingly obvious that that something bears investigating.

And when Jack's within eyeshot, it becomes apparent that something is a White Room dyed cold, shimmering green thanks to the combined light of five-- ten--

-- well. Is there really any use in counting exactly how deep Sinestro's committment to protecting cultural artifacts goes?

Thrumming Oan light facsimiles of his emblem slowly rotate in place, a Matryoshka of badges separated from one another and the alien's chest by carefully plotted inches. Emerald light roils around his body in seething curls that look for all the world as if they're a heartbeat away from triggering yet more sprinklers.

A long, and vaguely wave-like blade's clutched in his ring hand as he pivots to face Jack.

A taut smile's forming on his lips.

"I wanted your King," he remarks. "Perhaps your Queen; your muscle. I wanted to make a conclusive statement on the futility of your lives' paths and the intense foolishness that brought you to them, writ large upon his, or her broken body."

When he rolls his neck towards the right, a sharp *krk!* echoes through the monochrome duel field.

"But you'll do," he decides as a pair of translucent, sword-wielding Sinestros charge the Gangster. Animated by simple, straightforward directives to flank and attack, they're distractions through and through while Sinestro launches himself swiftly into the air, only to dart right back down, hoping to land crouched behind Jack and catch him off-guard with a slash across the back.

Clark Kent has posed:
Superman appears on the scene.

"Not so fast, Royal Flush Gang!" Superman bellows, mostly so the swiftly panicking crowd has a big, blue attention sink to sponge onto. If they're marveling at him, they're not tearing each other apart. "Don't you know the Please Touch Museum's down the block? Ha ha!"

Wow, this Sinestro guy's kind of intense, Clark thinks as his attention multi-tasks. Thank goodness for Karen taking on the big guy, he can worry about no one getting hurt. "If everyone'd just follow me..." Superman says, and sends a brief, concentrated blast of Super-Breath at Queen, freezing her feet to the ground! Another distraction to mess with her powers, as Clark mimics breaking apart what he suspects is very much a fake iron slab in front of the entrance. "I'll get you some night air as the Justice League folds this dastardly deck!"

"Would cuts be better?" Superman thinks alloud, "Hey what do you guys think, folds or cuts?" Superman hovers in place, keeping track of each Royal Flush Gang member he's likely just pissed off with that corny joke just now.

Carol Danvers has posed:
Carol is still listening to the comms, glancing at a small holodisplay on her wrist as she finally gets down from the roof and takes a moment to see the chaos and action in the main room. Then off with Jack and Sinestro. "Well not the split I would have picked. Eh fine."

There is a bit of a sigh there and she circles heading around to try to come up onto the stage from the backstage area, employee hallway, or other exhibit whatever it may be.

Her goal is to cut off any retreat really and confront The King at this point. Mental shennigans and her are old friends so worst comes to worst she hopes to be able to stand up to whatever influence his scepter can bring to bear.

Karen Starr has posed:
    In the midst of Jack evading Diana, Ace's hand is bound. Thus, with the clasps on the briefcase undone and the man off balance a bit, Power Girl draws back and delivers that mighty haymaker right to the robot's midsection. A blow that could crumple hardened steel impacts the overlarge android, taking advantage of his distraction with the lasso, just as it unfurls from his arm.

    He doesn't reel so much as he is knocked backwards with incredible force, his feet leaving the ground as tons of robot are sent into the air. The timing for this is pretty perfect, as Diana's lasso wraps around his ankles and arrests his momentum, turning it to a downward slam into the floor of the museum, which is sure to stun the robot for at least a spare few seconds. Ripping the wig and glasses from her head, blonde locks flowing shorter around her face, Power Girl pulls open the suit as if it was tear-away (it wasn't) exposing the all-white of her costume underneath.

    This is probably a moment for anyone with a camera.

    The briefcase dropped to the floor, had deposited her mentionables surreptitiously, and though to everyone mortal present it looks just as if she blurred past it and had instantly accessorized, for anyone with faster than normal vision, there's a moment between seconds where Karen struggles to get a boot on, hopping on one foot and barely remaining decent all the while. Of note, it is very likely she'll hurt anyone that says anything.

    Looking composed and definitely like a cool superheroine afterwards, she is adjusting the wrist portion of her gauntlets when she addresses Diana. "I've got this cyber-punk. Go get Game of Thrones over there while I put this Ace in the hole." she says, gesturing with a nod in the direction Jack had run, while striding confidently towards the fallen titan.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Up on the rooftop Gotham's Dark Knight watches as everything plays out on the video feeds as anticipated. While the team might not end up able to divide themselves up exactly as Carol suggests, they certainly seem to have the matter reasonably in hand. At least for the moment.

Any notion that Jack has avoided trouble thanks to Ace's intervention is quickly put to an uncomfortable rest as he emerges into the side exhibit, the White Room and finds nothing what he would have expected. None of that other criminals here, no one pilfering the cultural treasures that he and his allies are here to steal first. No, just a whole lot of green glow and what he can only assume is an alien. In an instant the sword in his hand is joined by that high-energy blaster, a cocky grin still resting on Jack's features. "Well, I suppose I get what I deserve. Or you do. Either way, I almost wish I had taken my chances with the ladies," he says with a sort of playful resignation. As the energy-construct swordsmen close in on him he begins to blast away while swinging his sword, trying to keep them at bay. Problem number one? They're energy. Problem number two? He definitely loses track of Sinestro, never noticing the man settling in behind him...

As if things couldn't get any worse for Ace. As the costume spills out in front of him the lasso binding his other hand vanishes, drawn away in a blink of an eyes, The big man tries to keep his attention moving between Karen and Diana, but it does him no good. Instead that haymaker catches him full on, threatening to thunder him across the room and into one of the columns perhaps. But Diana seems to have timed it perfectly and he has barely even been lifted off his feet when that lasso whips right back in, snaking around his legs and making him even more immobile, sending him crashing to the floor. A massive dent rests in his chest, exposing what Karen could easily see but others might not have realised. Instead of a gapping chest wound, only wires and gears and other mechanical and electronic innards populate Ace's chest cavity.

There might be craziness all around but the apperance of Superman is always reassuring. It helps, immensely, that his efforts have broken the illusions that have added to the confusion. What lingering traces there were of snakes and spiders and insects and big metal walls fades out entirely as the Queen suddenly finds her feet encased in ice. Now it's her turn to panic, frantically tugging at her boots, trying to free them. Even trying to just slip her feet free so she can try to make her escape. No luck there. So while the Man of Steel starts to lead the bystanders towards the exit, she turns to the King. "Help me!" she calls out.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
The King doesn't even pause, leaving the Queen to her fate. "Sorry Mona, but this isn't what I signed up for," he says, turning and fleeing to the back side of the stage and then darting behind that curtain. In a flash he is in the hallway leading out to the back loading area. And straight towards Carol. Skidding to a stop, the King levels that scepter at her. "You're going to help me get out of here. Fly me out of the city," he commands, waving that metal rod at her.

Up on stage, the apparent mastermind of this comes face to face with the Mistress of Magic. "You think you're going to get the best of me? Just you wait until I..." he starts. And then stops. Because his robe is wrapping around him, binding his limbs.

A sound of disbelief escapes him and he squirms and struggles. He starts to call out and the hood suddenly collapses in around him, muffling his cry. Lady Luck is a fickle mistress though. She gives and she takes away. To 'Wildcard', she abruptly gives him his freedom. As he stumbles the fabric of his arcane robes catches on the lecturn and gives a lound tearing sound, freeing him from Zatanna's improvised bindings.

The tacking away part? That would be his dignity as the rotund man with stringy black hair suddenly stands in his naked lack of glory on the stage.

"Professor Amos Fortune," Batman murmurs over the comms from his rooftop perch.

Some might recognize him. Guru to the stars. Peddler of mystic claptrap like the power of positive -- and negative -- thinking. Bring good fortunate on one's self by willing it. And disaster on one's enemies. Except he really can.

Red-faced and spluttering, the now naked Amos Fortune begins to backpeddle away, glaring daggers at Zatanna. "Kill her," he sputters, almost falling on that ample -- and bare -- behind.

Which is exactly what Ten tries to do. Her arm raises at once, those wrist launches firing off a half-dozen spade shaped darts in Zatanna's direction. Even as she fires, she's moving, turning to grab her employer with one hand while the other begins to fling razor-sharp playing cards towards the nearby columns that line the Great Hall.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
Zatanna clearly isn't too impressed by the man, and that's while he's still dressed. As he goes on, she decides shutting him up is the next logical step, following "dnib" with- wait, gag backward is still gag! That's a pickle.

Realistically, she probably has dealt with this before and has an appropriate spell ready. But it doesn't matter! Because before Zatanna can invoke some of that cloth into his mouth, he rips free of the whole ensemble, ending up living a real life version of that famous recurring nightmare.

"Oh jeez," she mutters, with a wince at the spectacle. "I'd always wondered if these overly elaborate criminal personas were a bit of overcompensation..."

Sadly, what has only been gentle restraint and a -teensy weensy- bit of mockery on her part is met with deadly force. And see earlier about Zatanna being on the squishy side. So she's immediately thrown on the defensive, turning attention from her other magics as she shouts, more urgently, "DLEIHS!"

Thus the darts are stopped, their flight arrested midair some short distance from her face. It's enough distraction, though, to turn her magics to defense and give the villains a momentary bit of breathing room.

Diana Prince has posed:
With Power Girl able to deal with Ace, Diana draws her lasso back and lets it weave it's way around her midsection. Her eyes sweep the room once more, looking to the others but ultimately where Jack had gone did require her attention and she turns to go off toward that exhibit section. Her own evening dress has ripped up the sides of her legs, due to the longer lunges of motions she's taken now since the fighting begun, which gives her added dexterity to her strides, she bounding forward now at a quick pace.

She arrives, sword in hand, and lasso around herself, to see Sinestro battling with Jack. Diana draws in a breath, she gives a small flourish to her sword and starts to dash in with the intention of helping the other fight and subdue the one with the energy sword!

Using her own sword, Diana's hope is to clash with Jack's and disarm him with superior sword training! Hopefully... at least.

Carol Danvers has posed:
Carol blinks as the scepter is pointed at her. Then her eyes narrow intensely as she stares at King. Her jaw tightens, clenching. It honestly feels like an eternity and god knows for a moment what the King is thinking is actually going on there.

Finally she draws in a very slow very deep breath and then lets it out. One can practically feel the serenity now moment there. "You have no idea how much people trying to mess with my head." she tilts said blonde head popping her neck with an audible crack. Lot of sudden muscle tension and now Carol has a damn headache. "You also have no idea how lucky you are we are on planet right now King." she calmly lifts her hand and lets loose a slightly stronger than necessary photon blast <ZOT>

Carol's intention is to blast the asshole backwards out onto the stage he just left and flatten him with a smidge of excess but not lethal prejuduice. She definitely wants him out of comission right now.

Thaal Sinestro has posed:
Jack's energy blade is a stream of plasma; a shaped, contained particle field; a razor-sharp hologram--

SOMETHING wickedly advanced and radiant with killing energy.

(SOMETHING; a quick glance guides the ring to scan it and him, to give him a better idea of what 'SOMETHING' is...)

Sinestro's is drawn from the heart of the universe, shaped through willpower and ancient circuitry alone. As his duplicates shatter into screaming emerald shards-- as he lands--

-- as he slashes, smooth and precise, the shape of his will shifts in tune with fresh intel from the ring.

The blade crackles, phasing through Jack's body; electric and nerve-searing, it's markedly less physically traumatizing-- less painful than a man swinging a broad blade through another man's body, carving an immediate path from spine to shoulder ought to be. Less gory, less smoky, less cauterize-y-- less of all the things that would make a lethal sword stroke a lethal sword stroke, were it coming from most anyone else.

But: since it's his sword, when the stroke abruptly stops with the blade running parallel to Jack's blaster arm, that curving green blade bursts into emerald ball lightning a few feet out from the other man's hand. Crackling tendrils arc between the blaster and the ball, growing in intensity over a handful of seconds as power tapped straight from Oa feeds the blaster's own batteries without mercy, intent on letting it explode in the Gangster's hand.

While his eyes remain laser-focused upon the ball, and his arms tremble as he holds clawed hands towards it, he spares a few words of gratitude for Diana's expert intervention:

"Hhnf-- fine swordswomanship, Princess--!" hisses through his teeth, taut and clinical.

Clark Kent has posed:
"Oh, man, the luck guru guy?" Superman says as Batman identifies their mastermind. "Didn't he used to actually steal it? Which...I'm still not sure how you can steal an abstract concept, but top experts in the field tell me it happens all the time."

Superman shrugs, as he gets the last of the guests out of here. Job one is always crowd control. He's a little bummed out that no one came to take a shot at him, he thought that was some a material...

"Ace in the hole?" Superman winces at Power Girl, and then grins. "Nice punch."

Superman simply walks over to the shivering Queen. "Hey, sorry about that, but you were going to cause a stampede. I mean, where I grew up we raised corn, mostly, which isn't as common as you'd think anymore, soybeans are the new cash crop these days, kind of a shame, but..."

"Listen, lady, I don't want to hit you." Superman just up and says to Queen. "It was a good run, but your boss is clearly about to suck up all the luck in the room to make his getaway. Why not keep your head down?"

Karen Starr has posed:
    Karen watches Diana go for a moment, before turning her attention to Ace. Quietly, she folds her arms, and begins to rise calmly into the air. The arc isn't very high, but it doesn't need to be- wordlessly, Power Girl seeks to finish what she started: Stopping the robot they brought along.

    It's not the smartest thing, bringing an android along- because Ace isn't -quite- as advanced as some other androids, Karen doesn't feel bad about putting an end to the thing. This is why instead of fighting it further, allowing it to get up or even trying to pursuade Ace to give up, Karen just drops from the sky, driving her heels down in a brutal flying stomp right towards the head of the robot.

    The blow is terribly powerful, and there will be regardless the noise of ground below her feet crunching and shattering. Whether it destroys Ace is irrelevant, because the stage has her attention next, regardless of whether she's succeeded in ending the powerhouse.

    It might be overconfident to leave Ace behind without really checking his status, but Power Girl doesn't like the... Technical two-on-one that is happening with Zatanna. After all, Wildcard only has to -be- there to influence the battle, nude or otherwise. Power Girl hopes to really even the odds by giving the fleeing pair her attention.

    Surging up to the stage, if everything goes right, she'll be -right- there as Ten picks up the boss, ready to deliver a pretty devastating backhand to Ten as she tries to flee.

    She just has to get a little lucky- or, specfically perhaps, not get especially -unlucky.-

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Up on the rooftop Batman continues to survey the scene, watching as the Royal Flush gang are dispatched one by one. He rarely smiles, but there is a certain satisfaction in watching this particular gang disassembled. But that does not breed complaceny and when Ten tries to make her escape along with her now naked employer he overrides the Met's security system for just a moment, making one of the camera's zoom in on the playing cards embedded in the stone columns lining the way. "The playing cards are explosive. They won't bring down the room, but the damage could be extensive," he warns over the comms.

Ace is most definitely down. Perhaps not for the count, given that he is clearly an android. But he isn't moving now and that gapping hole in his chest suggests not without some considerable work. Which definitely frees up Diana and Karen. Of course, any chance that the android might see quick repair is put to a stop rather quickly by Karen's boot. If the gapping hole in it's chest was a pretty big clue of it's artificial origins, the smashed head seals the deal as it were, twisted metal and electronic components scattering underfoot, grinding against the floor.

Off in the White Room, Jack fights an increasingly desperate battle, keeping those green constructs at bay, but just barely. If the blasts of his energy weapon or swipes of his laser sword are actually doing anything, it's just enough to keep him out of their range. But he's running out of room to retreat. Which is when the sword-wielding Amazon shows up. "Oh, you've got to be kidding me. Haven't you lot ever heard of a fair fight?" he complains. "I thought I was supposed to be the bad guy..." he whines. Then that green blade is sliding straight through him from behind. Surrounded on all sides, he really didn't have a chance. Still, his eyes go wide, his face goes even whiter and he stares at the blade. At least until it suddenly shorts out the blaster, shocks ripping through him as it does. "If I surrender, do you think I can get time off for good behavior?" he asks, trying to flash his most charming smile Diana's way. But mostly he looks sickly as he starts to slump to the floor.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Standing there in that hall, King is unsure of whether his gambit has worked. It has time and again during these robberies of course, against scores of people. But never has he tried to use it against someone with powers before, never against a member of the Justice League. For a moment he stands there, unsure, watching her. Is she trying to resist? Is she going to do as he asks? Nope. She's trying not to reduce him to a fine paste. Eyes widening, he trurns and tries to run away. But some things you can't run away. Like, say, trying to dominate Captain Marvel. An instant later King's unconscious form is indeed flying back through that curtain, landing in a heap on the stage, not so far away from his abandonned Queen.

While 'Mona' might not have any great desire to spend time in jail, a quick glance around pretty much confirms the inevitable. Ace, down. KIng, down. Jack, gone. And she's pretty sure he isn't coming back. And while Ten and Wildcard might be rabbitting, things don't exactly look good for them. "Seeing as you've frozen me in place I don't really have much choice, do I?" she asks, just a little bitter about the entire thing. She glances at the scepter in her hand and then just shakes her head and lets it fall from her grasp before looking at Superman. "I don't suppose you'd believe that they made me help them, would you?" she asks hopefully, those eyes even welling up artfully.

Ten's barrage had it's intended affect. It's keeping Zatanna busy and even as she directs Amos Fortune towards that back hallway she turns that cold-eyed gaze back towards the sorceress firing off another volley of darts. Which is when King suddenly flies out to land in front of the fleeing pair. It's all she can do to bring her charge up short, to keep him from falling over the prone man and while she shoots a glance towards the nearby playing cards and grits her teeth, heading towards one of the side passages. "This way," she says as solicitously as possible. But as she gets him straightened up, as she turns to try to lead him to safely she finds her way blocked. There's no time to bring her wrist launcher to bear this time, no time draw that blaster at her side, or even lob one of those explosive playing cards towards Power Girl. INstead she gives a little yelp and takes that backhand across the face, unconscious before she ever hits the floor.

For his part, Amos Fortune seems to largely be reduced to sputtering indignantly, vowing terribly revenge on everyone. But especially fishnet wearing magicians. Damn all of them! If he notices Karen there he is a little too busy raging against the world and desperately trying to cover his shame.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
Catching Zatanna off guard has value, as the woman's magics do require effort, focus, time- her spoken words. So the first volley worked very well.

But repeating the process is a great deal less shocking, less surprising, and less of a threat. For starters, the shield is simply still there, conjured before the magician's outstretched hand. While invisible, it is fairly potent, and there's no chance of the darts getting through it no matter how many the woman shoots at her. Indeed, this is where Zatanna would have an opportunity to roll her eyes at the silliness of it all. Yet with a moment's preparation for the exact same attack, she has time to prepare more than a dirty look.

"Esrever thgilf," she intones, firmly and unworried.

And so the second volley doesn't just stop in front of Zee, it uniformly turns end-over-end and then reverses course. En route, the darts take much more agile flight paths, no longer controlled by pure physical vectors or trajectories, but by magical imperative. Of coruse, by the time they get there their target is already basically down, and so at the last minute she calls:


And the darts stop short and hang there, hovering in the air, pointed at Ten and Wildcard. Lingering, like they're ready to strike. "Ready to behave?"

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana spares a moment's glance to Sinestro when he speaks to her, giving him a nod back in response before they're back in it again with Jack and his plasma sword. She defends herself and counters with strong swiping and thrusting attacks up to the point where Jack's blade falters and deactivates. She was intended her next attack to actually sever the man's arm off, so she relents on that and steps around him as the criminal makes his quips.

"You have a tall hole to climb out of before you will ever be considered 'good' again." She tells the man just before he passes out. She lets him fall, and then kicks his weapon away from his body.

She sweeps her sword back in her grip so that the blade is aimed behind her hips then and her eyes go up to Sinestro. "Thank you for intercepting him in here." She states then, her eyes looking around the White Room. "This whole attempted heist has been... unusual." She nods once more to Sinestro. "I will stay with this one." She tells him.

Clark Kent has posed:
"Nah." Superman says, grabbing Queen around the waist and hefting her up over his shoulder. Some daring young photographer takes a picture, because that's just how it works in this town. Superman sighs, hoping it wasn't anyone working for the Bugle. "You didn't try to kill any of my friends, though. That's a plus."

Superman walks into the main part of the room, seeing Amos's shame and the rest of the wrap-up. "We good here? Does someone want to get our guy a robe or something?"

"Nice casting, Zee, by the way. I get the feeling this would've gone a lot differently without you backing us up." Superman says, quietly.

Carol Danvers has posed:
Carol notes over comms <<Can someone super fast clean up the explosive cards safely that Batman found?>> she wants to make sure it isn't missed in the chaos. She also doesn't feel comfortable blasting it because it could just cause it to explode after all.

She does walk from the backstage area popping her neck again trying to work out the stored tension. Pausing to scoop up the King's scepter as she comes out though, twirling it idly in her hand as she looks through the very wet room and worried people, whom Superman has been seeing to so well. The Scepter is idly pointed, but not activated, towards some of the excess 'security' with their guns. "Everyone should definitely put away any weapons that aren't part of the Justice League right now." not that she looks too worried about it as she looks over at the very damp Queen. "You really need to find a better group of associates."

Karen Starr has posed:
    Karen folds her arms again- a gesture that should, arguably, be in some ledger somewhere as illegal and plausibly immoral- after she drops Ten with about as much effort as one would expect it'd take. Unlike the others, Ten is a supremely agile, but seemingly otherwise normal human. Had Diana and Power Girl not ganged up on Ace, Ten might've been able to stay firmer in her wheelhouse. Now she's unconscious. "You should've known when to fold 'em." she remarks, to Ten, before really looking to Amos for the first time.

    "Holy- you might be able to manipulate probability," the statement starts, as King flies through the air past the set of them, "But your luck ran out at puberty. Maybe before that. Jesus." Karen takes up a spot next to Zatanna, then. With the way out cut off, and the volley turned back upon Wildcard, she chooses to stand menacingly and as intimidatingly as she can next to her compatriot, hoping- or perhaps insisting- that Wildcard surrender.

    This statement is made all the more poignant as Karen's form blurs, disappears for a moment, and then reappears in place- just slightly off from where she was a second or two ago. In one hand, she holds two of the thrown bomb-cards. The other, the remaining one. Her hands curl around them and crush, the sound of their explosions muffled by the formation of her fists, which seemingly have little trouble containing them as they close.

Thaal Sinestro has posed:
"No need," Sinestro offers with a raised hand-- and then, a wrist-flick.

Emerald energy spirals from every work of art in the once again White Room, gathering at a point just above Jack. Once the room's 'clear', that scintillating ball flows downwards, forming a green sphere around Jack's body that - immediately upon sealing - lifts off from the ground and races through walls until it's floating near Ten, Wildcard, and Zatanna's own demonstration of force.

If Diana cares to look closely, she can actually see when one of the Great Hall's cameras captures Jack being unceremoniously dumped off in front of his cohorts, reflected, compressed many times over, and playing right across Sinestro's eye.

"It would be downright cruel to separate this poor, innocent man from his friends, after all."

A beat passes. The ring feeds back telemetry from the rest of the fight. Another beat passes; dark brows slowly, but surely arch as his eyes settle curiously upon Wonder Woman.

"They thought themselves immune to the hand of justice, all because of a clever parlor trick; unusual indeed, but tragically endemic to ambitious minds." Extending a hand, he adds, "Your sword work is excellent indeed; I would relish the opportunity to see more of it."

And then, with a long exhale, the Korugarian sags as if his strings have been cut, free hand clutching his chest while the other remains extended. As he pants deeply for air, blood slowly trickles from his nostril, only to be cleared by a quick swipe; apparently, wrapping an exhibit room in bubble wrap while maintaining sword-fighting clones, doing fancy sword tricks, and attempting to break a criminal's spirit is hard on the body.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
And so a string of high profile, even daring robberies comes to an abrupt and rather unceremonious end. The Royal Flush Gang might have proved more then a match for local law enforcement -- but not quite up to stealing from out under the nose of the Justice League it would seem. Of the lot, only the Queen remains conscious and she looks cold and miserable.

The co-conspirators are gathered up and unceremoniously dumped by the stage. The bombs tossed by Ten to try and facilitate their escape are neutralized and while Professor Amos Fortune might remain on his feet, he shows no signs of paying the slightest attention to the world around him. The powerful waves of chance magic that were rolling off of him have slip away to almost nothing, only the slightest tinge of potential still lingering there for Zatanna to take notice of.

Now that the trouble is dealt with, none of the 'extra security' seems inclined to disagree, weapons quickly disappearing. They are here for perfectly legitimate reasons, right? Or at least it's somethign they might be more willing to take up with the authorities rather then the superpowered set.

"The authorities should be there momentarily," comes the Dark Knight's oh so dulcet tones. "I'll forward you all the debrief later," he adds. Killjoy.

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana offers another simple and short nod to Sinestro as he deals with Jack. "Likewise to you." she says to him before rejoining the others out in the main reception hall where the gala was taking place... before the chaos. She takes a second to speak in to the team comms though. "Well, Batman, you were right about this one. It is a good thing we were all here too, this was a rather powerful group, all things considered." She says, her eyes looking for each of their team members to visually scan their well being. Her lasso is unfurled from her around her torso and she coils it back up as she carries her sword back toward that Themysciran art display where her leather harness is partially visible hanging from underneath the cloth that is draped over it.

"Well done, everyone." The Princess says over the team comm then to the rest of the JLA members.