6461/In Erebos: Pandora's Box

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In Erebos: Pandora's Box
Date of Scene: 05 June 2021
Location: The ballroom of a closed hotel in Metropolis.
Synopsis: The Titans bust an underground sale of magical artifacts, and some of them get eaten by a box that sends them straight to hell. Or to be more accurate, Tartarus.
Cast of Characters: Donna Troy, Dick Grayson, Victor Stone, Terry O'Neil, Ben Reilly, Gar Logan, Kate Bishop, Kian, Kara Danvers, Rachel Roth, Caitlin Fairchild

Donna Troy has posed:
    Things had got complicated.

    It had started simple, with one of the many tips the Titans receive catching the eye of Donna due to the subject having a distinctly Greek theme. There was going to be an underground sale of artifacts some of which were claimed to be magical, and the prize lot was supposed to be Pandora's Box.

    It wasn't. Donna had been clear on this: there was no such thing as Pandora's Box, it was really Pandora's Vase. Not that she had any great insight into that noted item, but the mistake of /pyxis/, a box, for /pithos/, a jar, is a very modern thing, and whoever these people are that are trying to sell it obviously haven't done their research.

    However a little investigating and due diligence later, and things had got elaborate. Several of the items on sale were stolen, while the provenance of the rest was dubious at best. Many of the people supposed to be attending the sale were very much of the criminal tendency, some with links to overseas terrorist organizations. The FBI Art Crimes team, HSI, Interpol, W.A.N.D and the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit had got involved. An undercover visit to view some of the lots had revealed that there were indeed at least several genuinely magical articles in the sale -- though the supposed Pandora's Box had yet to be seen.

    After considerable negotiation (read: arguing over jurisdiction), something vaguely approximating a plan had been decided on. The Titans would be leading the operation on the ground, or more specifically inside the hotel, currently supposed to be closed for renovations, where the sale was going to be held. They would be accompanied by two observers; one from the FBI and one from HSI. Not far away an SCU strike team was prepared to snatch people leaving, a couple of W.A.N.D containment operatives were waiting ready to take any dangerous magical items into custody, and a homeland security task force was on standby in case certain people of the terrorist persuasion who they had a specific interest turned up.

    The Titan's own planning was relatively simple. They were going in, under cover. Some mixed in with the crowd of attendees, some attending in rather more stealthy fashion. Attendees were going to be matched to persons of interest in the Titans database and secretly tagged with trackers. Careful attention was going to be paid to who was bidding on what. And when the final lot came up -- well, that would depend on what it turned out to actually be. The general plan was to bid on it, ensure a healthy bidding war breaks out.
After that? Who knows. Donna's seated in the crowd, dressed in a smart business suit, her lasso hidden away beneath her jacket, dark glasses hiding her face. She's going to be running up the bidding. Given that it's Donna, she may punch someone. This however is not the Titan's purpose here, or so the FBI, MSCU and HSI have repeatedly assured them. Attendance at this event is not in itself a crime.

    "Sold for twenty-two thousand dollars!" the auctioneer calls out. There is polite, scattered applause, and lot 26, a purported unicorn horn in a silver mount in medieval style ("Narwhal horn, probably 19th century" is Donna's guess) is taken away. "Next lot, lot 27. Early 20th century locket containing a carved crystal in the early Byzantine style. Strong magical indicators, but purpose unknown. Authenticated from the personal collection of Roderick Burgess. We shall start the bidding at fifty thousand."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing is in the rafters, watching over the crowd. He's got a couple drones out as well, all feeding back into his HUD so that he's got good coverage of the room. He's keeping special track of the Titans in the crowd, making sure nobody notices them placing bugs, driving up prices, etc.

As the next item is announced, he photographs it with one of the drones for evidence, but otherwise simply remains in hiding, waiting for the real show to begin.

Victor Stone has posed:
Up above in the rafters is Victor Stone. Cyborg is crouched in place, visually scanning the crowd below while listening through the various bugs tapping the place, having tied into the system for them. He couldn't blend into the crowd for obvious reasons. He would have accepted a magical disguise, but at an auction for magical artifacts he was worried that there might be spellcasters there that would be able to see through it, or at least sense that it's in place.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
There had been some heavy discussion earlier on between Donna and Terry. Mostly about the fact that Terry thought that Pandora's Jar sounded like an ideal organic preserves business that Caitlin could start to bring extra fund for the Titans. "Think about it. Cait can poise in a dark wig and a Chiton and the commercial can all be in Ancient-"

It hadn't gotten very far. In any case,the Cheshire Cat is also among the crowd, not too far off from Donna. He has adopted the guise of an elderly man clad in an elegant white suit, looking not unlike an older Cesar Romero... without the ridiculous moustache. Every now and then he nonchalantly glances at a person of interest and makes a mental note. Eventually, when one of them wanders close enough, he drops something small onto the floor while apparently withdrawing his phone from his suit. The tracker, for that's what it is, sprouts little legs and chases after its intended victim like a tech-roach, animated by Chaos magic. It eventually latches onto a pantleg and vanishes into the seams.

He looks towards the locket, and lets out a little puff of air in a dismissive gesture. "Paltry," he mutters, "That is all well and good if one is reading one's first grimoire, but give us a little credit here..." he whispers conspiratorially to the man sitting next to him, and then regains his upright posture, one leg crossed over the other at the knee.

Ben Reilly has posed:
Ben Reilly is another denizen of the rafters, his hood pulled up, his mask in place. He has a webline attached to the rafter in question and dangles upside down, looking over the situation. Mostly he's just tryig to fit in and not stand out too much. Especialy, he doesn't want to screw up. This is his first Titans mission, after all, and he's not going to make a good impression if the Parker luck makes him do something dumb at the wrong time.

Some of these things don't seem to be worth what they're getting paid for to him, but then, he's a humble boy of humble origins or, at the very least, an advanced clone of said humble boy.

Gar Logan has posed:
"Hey, guys. Check it out. I'm a fly on the wall!"

Gar's been buzzing around since before people were allowed in, so Titans who were harder to blend in could get set up. Some have decided to hide out in the main room, while others have taken up monitoring duties elsewhere in the building.

Naturally, the shifter of the crew decided to play up the ability to fly around unchecked, literally making his way from person to person as he picks up on conversation now that the place is filled with people. These conversations are relayed back through the team comms, conveniently enough.

Technically, he's not a fly on the wall now. He's a fly on the shoulder, a fly in someone's hair, a fly tracing patterns between legs, a fly doing the backstroke in someone's soup, to confirm the joke.

After finding Terry's guise, he alights next to an ear and says in a whisper, "You get one of those to crawl into my pants and we're gonna have a problem. And you look like a dork, dork." Ever hear a fly giggle? 'Cesar Romero' has.

Kate Bishop has posed:
Kate went with one of Vorpal's illusions.

Honestly the younger Bishop family scion has been to a lot of auctions in her time growing up. Mostly for art. Some for horses.

Rich people shit.

So she figured she could just pretend to be a twentysomething beautiful Rich <tm> criminal here representing a group with money and an interest in magical artifacts.

It will give her a clear view of the various players in the room and also let her help with the call out on any verbals Donna is too tied up to make.

Somehow she manages to not laugh at Gar's joke over the comms. She just shifts and covers her mouth a moment and then straightens back up to look towards the auctioneer.

Frankly she is owning that chair as she lounges with a devil may care sort of attitude. Lounging somehow and probably taking two of the chairs in the process.

It helps keep anyone from running into her illusion covered gear too.

Kian has posed:
    Kían has philospohical problems with hiding his wings -- that was one of the things that led to him leaving Happy Harbor for Titans Tower.  Hiding altogether?  That's fine, he can do that.
    So there's a birdman in the rafters with some of the other Titans, rendered invisible thanks to Vorpal.
    He doesn't need to be nearby the stage in order to see, and in any case he wouldn't recognize any of the items anyway -- it would be pretty mind-melting if there *were*.  Mostly he's keeping an eye on the crew on the ground, and watching Donna for any signal to act.  He's a very patient birdman -- but then, look who his closest friends are. He *has* to be.

Kara Danvers has posed:
Kara is dressed in business clothes, the sort she one day hopes to wear to work as a reporter.. you know after she is done with school! This mission is the perfect excuse for her to give business casual a spin! She's wearing a dark gray business coat over a dark gray business skirt and black heels. Tonight her fake glasses are plain black. Her hair is tied into a neat ponytail.

Kara is currently standing in the crowd, purse clutched lightly in case someone tries to run off with it, and she's watching the auction.

She's not a trained secret agent but she's practiced her journalism enough to know the basics of being undercover. All in all she is doing a good job at blending in right now without even a hint of awkwardness! She's as confident right now as she is when she's Supergirl.

Victor Stone has posed:
Cyborg has noticed what Terry did with Kate, and can't help playing around just a little. "Spotted high priority target. Suggest focus. Subject is known to have stolen... the Brooklyn Bridge, the Eiffle Tower, Big Ben, the Pyramid of Giza... where in the world she keeps them all I don't know." He keeps his tone as serious as he can. But you can still hear the smirk in his voice as he says all this.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal doesn't react, and he can't obviously comment on Gar's joke without blowing his cover, but his lips do curl up slightly at Vic. He glances around again. Kian is invisible, despite the very generous offer that he had made to turn him into an exotic dancer with fake wings a la Carnival Do Rio Do Janeiro. Surprisingly, Kian had refused.

That's gratitude for you.

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven had been, in some capacity or another, part of this whole thing from its inception. There was a small conversation, heated in a way, regarding the nature of Pandora's Box, that it assumes no specific shape. Certainly, Raven posits, the original was likely to have been a vase. Certainly too, the definition of Vase is altogether a modern concept in its own right.

    However, the more important thing that Raven attempted to argue is that Pandora's Box isn't anything other than what it holds. It can be of any shape, any size. It could be Pandora's Volvo's Trunk with a Broken Latch That's Hard to Open. As long as it contains- or has contained at some point in time- the contents appropriate to Pandora's Box, it is Pandora's Box.

    For a black market auctioneer, it is much easier to pedigree than to say it is the genuine article, the first thing, the one that was originally opened.

    This conversation of semantics continued ad infinitum, to some degree, even through the planning of the mission involved. Raven herself is floating quietly in the rafters, having agreed to be there instead of in the crowd- as she cuts a noticeable figure in certain circles and, frankly, does not disguise very well.

    She is also diametrically opposed to the idea of a Vorpillusion. Such a thing was never proposed to her, and that was likely a safe idea for those doing the planning. Raven is not exactly a tactical mind, at least in terms of the stakeout, and the initial infiltration.

    Raven is of course, the silent type- and dwelling in the rafters of the room is great for stealth. Having a conversation, though, is not. Always the type to spoil the fun, she speaks up in that dour, monotonous voice, barely audible at the best of times.

    "I think it would be a great idea if we avoided blowing our cover with comedy."

    Calmly and wordlessly, she conjures up a large, intimidating fly swatter made of shadow. For no reason in particular.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Bidding on the locket is quite fierce; it may not be the most exciting of objects to the cognoscenti, but to the more money than sense crowd, anything that used to belong to the notorious Roderick Burgess attracts attention. He was known to have gathered a lot of powerful magical adjuncts; who knows how useful this might turn out to be? Not very, but don't tell them that.

    The Titans up in the rafters are having a field day. Vic can do a lot of the grunt work of face matching on his internal systems, but there's a mini-terminal up there too, which the others can work with. So far they have identified a visiting New York crime boss who the NYPD would love to be able to pin something on, a Syrian on the Interpol red notice list, several members of the Metropolis underworld, a known petty sorcerer-for-hire known to have his fingers in many dubious pies but is no great threat, a pair of metahuman twins who go by the names Crinkum and Crankum (both telekenetics, of moderate power but no huge threat to the assembled Titans) who are acting as bodyguards to an older man not on the Titan's database, and a noted philanthropist and art collector who really shouldn't be at a place like this, and has the special agent from FBI Art Crimes particular interest, and Oswald Cobblepot, as ostentatious as always, sitting near the front with several obvious goons, who has yet to bid on anything.

    As time goes on, the detection team in the rafters will spot a few more persons of interest, and pass messages to those on tagging duty to tag them. Assuming, as Raven says, they don't blow the operation with comedy

    As the bidding continues, a pair of men carry out the next lot, the star attraction. A few people in the crowd lean forwards for a closer look as it's brought in behind the auctioneer. The box is cylindrical, decorated with red and black figurework in the classical Greek style. Whether Raven is right or not about the original being more an idea than a specific shape, to the eyes of anyone who knows their ceramics this looks very much too recent; 4th century BC, probably Athenian. Donna sends a quick text message up to the team in the rafters - 'Get me a close up'.

    The man seated next to Terry responds to his dismissive attitude with a nod and an eyeroll. "I am starting to regret coming," he tells Terry conspiratorially. "So far everything here has been junk. Petty trinkets, some with minor enchantments but nothing of value. With one minor exception." He regards Terry curiously, then turns back to the sale, speaking out of the corner of his mouth to surreptitiously add "You know which one I'm referring to?"

Victor Stone has posed:
     Cyborg narrows his cybernetic eye when the vase is brought out, his vision telescopping in to bring the item in question into sharp image. He takes a 'photo', and snds it off to Donna without saying anything. Then he does a quick pre-possible-battle diagnostic in preperation. Seems the main act is about to start.

Dick Grayson has posed:
One of Nightwing's drones zooms in on the 'box' from it's position over the display area and takes several pictures that are uploaded to the network. It flits through the rafters to get several different angles on the item.

He adds his pics to Cyborg's, then goes back to watching the crowd for any signs of trouble.

Ben Reilly has posed:
Ben Reilly is good at taking pictures. In another life, he might have become a photographer by profession. Not that his cellphone is the best tool for the job, especially without the flash. Especially because his cellphone is a bit of the bargain basement variety and he hasn't been properly upgraded with high tech equipment.

"I have no idea where to send these," he realizes suddenly aloud.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Indeed," Terry responds,his voice appropriately aged by the illusion and given the raspy quality of someone who has left too many cigarette butts strewn about in his life, "And I believe the prima ballerina is about to take the stage." He takes out a pair of opera glasses, a contraption in enamel and mother-of-pearl, so he can get a better detail on the item. "... the ravages of age," he says to the man, by way of explanation. In truth, he had raided his mother's attic to get these- it's the only thing that harpy of a grandmother left for his mother in her will, and he gets a kick out of the notion that they are being used at an illicit event that would have given the old hag a triple conniption.

Kate Bishop has posed:
It is challenging.

For the Titans up on overwatch to not blow an Op with comedy.

Kate doesn't speak up on the comms though she just lounges and looks board. "Finally.. soomething worth bidding on perhaps." though her tone is soft and even a touch dismissive she does sits a bit more upright to get a look at the bodx being carried up to the auction block which will be next.

She really manages the detached rich sociliate thing really spot on.

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan buzzes off, circling overhead without drawing further attention to himself. "Some of you just don't appreciate a good joke, and I wasn't giving anything away," he relays, flying lacy arcs above before getting a closer look at the coup de grace of the evening. There are some familiar faces in the crowd that have been identified, known more through reputation and going over a few files earlier, but he's not the first to care too much about paying attention to stuff like that.

"Here we go. Who's bidding it up?" he asks. "I'm sure we can get it as high as Vorpal on catnip."

Kian has posed:
    Kían is Being Patient.
    Also, he's carefully scanning the room, just to see if there's anything that he can mentally 'hear'... without being himself over'heard', as it were.
    It is a mentally quiet crowd, it seems.  Which has one side effect: it makes other things easier to sense.
    "I do not like what they just brought out," he radios down quietly.  "It has an... unpleasant feel to it.  I am more worried that I can sense it at all since it is a thing an' not a telepath.  Either the crowd iss very quiet or the object iss very powerful."
    There's a brief pause.
    "Or both, unfortunately."

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven locks her eyes on the main attraction as it is wheeled out. There is an immediate dismissal of the fly swatter, as something altogether more important has been introduced.

    "That's bad." Raven remarks, "Whether the appraisal is accurate or not is irrelevant," she continues after a moment, already seeming quite on edge. "That box cannot and should not make its way into the hands of anyone attending this event. At all costs, it /cannot/ be opened." her tone is much less monotonous now, and has taken on a dire seriousness.

    "Proper identification can wait. It /must not/ leave."

Kara Danvers has posed:
Kara watches this new artifact being brought out curiously. This one seems to be different from the others, possibly this "Pandora's Box?" She won't take her eyes off it, it's at least something she can do right now.

Kara has noted the locations of her fellow Titans, at least the ones on the floor. It would be pretty dumb to randomly look 'up', it's contagious in a crowd! Given the varying noises in the room, she doesn't let her super hearing let loose much, but every so often she will try to listen around at random in case someone says something valuable.

But that artifact is the main point of interest for now and it has most of her attention.

Donna Troy has posed:
    The man sitting next to Terry glances back at him again, narrows his eyes slightly, then turns to the front again, apparently dismissing Terry from his attention. Perhaps the lack of a direct answer to his question was enough for him to categorize Terry as a little more knowledgeable than most here, but still decidedly uninteresting.

    Donna studies the pictures sent by Dick and Vic for a moment before sending back a message: 'Weird. Don't recognize the scene. Tityos, Typhon, Hekate. Ominous.' Her eyes go back to the bidding, which is reaching its climax - an Metropolis industrialist is bidding against a woman of Middle-Eastern appearance, her face partially veiled, as yet unidentified on the Titans systems.

    Ben's frustrations, vocalized a little more loudly than he should have allowed, catches the attention of Crinkum (or possibly Crankum), who glances up in his direction. Ben's sure he hasn't been spotted; the Titans had time to get into good positions. However it looks like the twins' suspicions are raised, and they mutter briefly to each other, before Crankum (or is it Crinkum?) whispers in the ear of the older man they seem to be acting as bodyguards for.

    Kara is jostled slightly by the woman standing next to her, who turns to apologize. The woman is sharply dressed, holding a tablet, and making notes. In the brief moment she's turned to Kara, the Kryptonian's superior vision is able to take in some details of the notes she's taking, and interestingly those notes seem to be about who's in attendance rather than what's being sold. There shouldn't be anyone else official here without their knowledge, but it looks like whoever this woman is, she might be doing something similar to what the Titans are.

    "Going once, going twice... sold at ninety-seven thousand dollars to bidder forty-four." The locket is shuffled away, and the box brought forwards to the auction stand. "Lot 28, our star attraction - an ancient Greek box, believed to be the original Pandora's Box, containing un-named and unknowable powers of evil, and possibly also containing hope. This lot is sold as is, with no assurances, but our tests show very strong magic here. Several of you have had the opportunity to have this confirmed yourselves. Due to the nature of this artifact, the conditions of sale are that it will be delivered to the purchaser in a location outside the United States only. Bidding will start at half a million dollars."

    The Syrian opens the bidding, which is instantly upped by Donna. Surprisingly the petty sorcerer is next to bid - intelligence on him in the Titans' database suggests he's not that rich, so presumably he is working for someone else. Donna bids again, followed by the Syrian, then the New York crime boss. $750k already, it's moving fast.

    With her attention firmly on the bidding, Donna sends a quick message: "Rae, call it. Act now?"

    Next to Terry, the man he'd been talking to mutters "Foolishness. Pure folly." What he's referring to is hardly clear.

Ben Reilly has posed:
Ben Reilly really hopes nobody heard him. Definitely nobody did. Why would they have heard him? They're listening to the bidding and stuff. He's up so way high. He couldn't have been heard. No. Definitely not.

Crap. They probably had heard him. Screwed up everything on his first Titans run. Good job, Ben. Would've been nice if they'd cloned a brain into you along with the rest of your body. Stupid clone. Gahd.

He just dangles on his line and tries to be as still as he possibly can. If it was his fault, maybe nobody would notice. OR somebody else would attack first. C'mon, c'mon, somebody start something.

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan buzzes his way beneath the table the last item is perched upon. That's some pricey bids being made!

Figure if anything hits the fan here coming up, he's in prime position to surprise others by taking a new form, absconding with the goods to a safer spot, or generally causing mayhem and confusion. Others are trusted with their monitoring, their strategizing, and all that.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry lets Donna up the bidding, having no need to participate himself. Especially since it his next seat neighbor seems to have an inkling as to what this item is all about. "It certainly seems they're eager to jump into the jaws of the dragon, doesn't it?" he says, having heard what Raven said over the comms, "Imagine, paying for that privilege."

He's trying to decide whether the man has a good idea about what the 'box' is all about, or whether he's merely being dismissive by natural impulse. If he has an idea about what's in the box, this man might need to have a pair of eyes on him. Just in case.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing uses his subvocal mic to send a quick message, "Kara, when it starts, get up front and make sure that thing goes nowhere. The rest of us can handle anyone in this crowd. We're ready to drop on your mark Donna." He recalls his drones and marks the position of the people in the crowd who could cause trouble, Cobblepot and his goons near the top of the list.

Kate Bishop has posed:
Kate still has that lazy air about her, though she has allowed herself to show interest. "One Million." she says with this bored tone.

What Donna isn't the only one who can stall for time or drive the bidding up. They are all bidding out of the same pool of money after all.

Also if a NFT of a small cryptoKat can sell for more Kate has no problem bidding more for Pandora's fricking box.

Yeah she is also ready to go when the Go-signal is given. As Donna said though it is Rae's call when the fireworks start.

Kian has posed:
    The birdman turns his attention to the power systems, since there is nothing more to be learned from scanning the audience or objects.  Based on what has been explained to him, he doesn't expect anything radioactive of course... but if he can get a feel for where the main power feed is into the area, hmm.
    "I think I can put the lights out if that would he'p," he radios down.  He knows when it comes to actual fighting, he's not going to be much use.

Kara Danvers has posed:
Kara discretely replies, "Got it." Noticing that the woman who bumped into her was engaging in intelligence gathering though, she pipes up one more time, "We've got someone writing down names here. She bumped into me, don't know if it was intentional, but these are names of people who are here at the auction. I won't forget her face."

With that being said her eyes are still glued to the artifact, ready to quickly throw off her shoes, and get up to the podium as fast as she can without revealing her powers.

It's a plan!

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven doesn't even hesitate a moment in her response. As the others prime themselves for the show, Raven does much the same, pulling her hands free of her pockets and looking down at the prospective buyers. She conjures wreathes of shadow around her hands, taking the form of spheres of utter blackness.

    "Yes. We go now. Someone should have moved on this long ago. It should not have ever been in their hands to begin with." And, with that, she's positioning to fly downwards, on Donna's mark.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Terry's neighbor glances back at him and nods. "Yes. Imagine /paying/ for it," he says with a sneer. The dismissive emphasis on the word 'paying' might indicate that he is, indeed, worth keeping an eye on.

    Kate's bid pushes the contest into more serious grounds, and her bid is quickly countered with another raise to three million from the Syrian. The jump causes a moment's silence before the industrialist responds with five, then six from the petty sorcerer, and ten from the industrialist. The Syrian's large bid seems to have people taking notice; perhaps he's someone these people take seriously. Certainly there seems to be no sign of the bidding slowing yet.

    Garfly lands on the table close to the box unnoticed. Cobblepot sits up straight, his eyes flickering between the Industrialist and the Syrian. "Fifteen!" the New York crime boss calls out. At this point Donna seems to have opted out of keeping the bidding going; she doesn't really need to, and as she awaits Raven's word, she's got something to recover from inside her jacket.

    "Twenty!" the petty sorcerer calls out.

    "Twenty five!" The latest bidder is an unassumingly dressed young man at the back who's not on the Titans' database and has taken no part in affairs so far. Cobblepot cackles a little.


    This audacious new bid comes from the man next to Terry, who gets to his feet, leaning heavily on a walking cane. "You are all fools and I'm taking it," he says. Garfly finds himself suddenly tumbling in the air, pushed off the table by an expanding sphere of purple light that surrounds the box. He's rapidly joined by the pair of burly assistants who'd brought the box in to the table, both of whom are sent flying by explosions of that same purple force. The old man grins. Around the room, several men in suits start pulling out concealed weapons.

    Behind him, the man flanked by Crinkum and Crankum stands up too. "I like that price," he declares. "But I think I'll take it."

    The old man turns back to him with a sneer, and raises a hand. Tendrils of purple energy stretch out from his hand, but come short, blocked by a telekenetic wall projected by Crinkum and Crankum.

    "I don't really need to say now do I?" Donna whispers into the comms. She stands up, hand coming out from her jacket with her lasso in it, glowing golden. Raven drops down beside her. "None of you can have this," Donna states loudly. "This should not be in mortal hands. The Titans are claiming this on behalf of Themyscira. I strongly suggest nobody interferes."

    Small hope of that.

    "Hwah. Hwah. Amusing!" Cobblepot declares, getting to his feet, accompanied by his goons. "But none of this is the amusement I came for. Fight over this trinket if you will, I'm a law-abiding citizen and will have none of this. Come along boys...we're out of this stinking place."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing jumps from his spot in the rafters, batons in hand as he lands on the floor of the auction space. He raises his voice to call out, "Please exit the room as quickly as possible if you don't want to get caught in some kind of magical battle."

He raises his arm and fires a tranq dart at the man the twins are bodyguarding, hoping that since they have a wall between him and the sorcerer beside Terry, he might have a clear shot. It's worth a try, anyway.

Victor Stone has posed:
     As the rest of the Titans prepare to swoop down on the group below, Cyborg holds back at first. Making note of everybody that seems like they might be a threat, and preparing to drop down wherever he's needed. He flexes his left hand, and mentally warms up the sonic cannon inside, being sure it's set to a non-lethal setting. The purple tendrils coming from the main with the telekinetic bodyguards make him seem like probably the biggest threat there. Well, all three of them. Hopefully nobody bigger than them is lurking in the crowd. That's the thing with magic users. Like their own Cheshire Cat proved, they could pop up anywhere looking like anybody.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
So we have a magician on board. "Hmm," Terry says into his comm, "Target one should be the sorcerer. edges" The Cheshire Cat edges away from the magical fight, under the guise of an old man who does not want to get in the middle of it at all.

However, that doesn't mean he can't try something while Purple Tentacles is occupied. Especially since he can summon up Rabbit Holes without making magical passes or anything obvious that indicates he is making magic.

He's going to try to open a Rabbit Hole right under Hocus Pocus, trying to land him right on top of the old man with the twins. It probably won't work, but it will add to the chaos and distraction, hopefully, allowing Raven to maybe work at taking down that barrier around that box.

Ben Reilly has posed:
Ben Reilly almost cheers. NOT HIS FAULT! NOT HIS FAULT!

He releases his webline and drops straight from the ceiling, managing a few twists as he reaches to his beltline and pulls a couple of his specialized web bombs, little packets that would explode webbing all around them like a grenade on impact. He aims towards some of the fleeing suspicious types, maybe a chubby one with an umbrella who's frankly begging for it with that honking sound when he tries to run, landing in a crouch amidst the chaos and blinking at it all.

"So, this is being on a team? Cool."

Kate Bishop has posed:
I mean. Kate is still having fun.

She totally tosses out a couple of bids, peppering them admist the criminals and malcontents as iti s driven up to Twenty Five and then down to Nothing.

Is this the signal. This seems like the signal.

Ah there it is from Donna.

She sits up looking alarmed. "Titans!?"

Also palming and dropping a a small disc and kicking it with deadly accuracy across the floor to try to slide it right in under the Twins, where it should if all goes well detonate like one of her Flash Bang arrowheads.

Bonus points if it somehow gets stuck inside their blocking shields as it funnels upwards.

"Oh right.. Titans." she kips up and shifts drawing her bow from the chair beside her and letting the illusion fall as she covers a back portion of the room.

Gar Logan has posed:
"Whoa! I feel like Michael Jackson in the 'Black or White' video!" comes a voice from seemingly nowhere, after Gar had moved away from being beneath the table as things sounded like they were getting more interesting, only for him to be sent back by the equivalent of a force of wind.

A moment later the fly is no more, replaced by a very large green gorilla. "Oh no you don't! You're not taking this! Enough monkeying around!" He reaches out for the container the vase is in, only for that magical containment field to surround it. That means no grabby. "Haha! You think that's gonna stop me?" he bellows, hammering a fist down at the sphere. Maybe it will stop him if it's tough enough.

Kian has posed:
    No, Kían is not going to drop down and join the fray.  He is, however, going to add to the confusion as best he can -- dropping a curtain of light between the crowd and the object in question.  His teammates will have seen him do that before; the crowd almost certainly will not have.
    He remains in the rafters, hopefully still under Vorp's illusion of invisibility -- although really, who's going to look up when there's all that action on the floor?  What he's waiting for is someone who's not a Titan to get too close to the object.  When they do, they'll find their head englobed in light -- not enough to hurt, but certainly bright enough to make seeing what they're doing impossible.
    He's not a Roving Agent of Chaos on the order of Vorpal, but he's learned a few things by osmosis.

Kara Danvers has posed:
Kara sees the purple field now surrounding the artifact, at first not realizing how strong it is. At first she plans on sticking to Dick's instructions, and running up there immediately. However when Gar begins pounding on it, it's pretty clear that the shielding is designed to resist brute force, so no one is going to get at it any time soon.

This isn't a job for Kara Danvers anymore..

Nope she ducks down in the middle of the chaos and in less than a second her office clothes are abandoned, and Supergirl is hovering above the crowds.

She doesn't attack anyone but flies straight for the artifact, trusting Nightwing's assessment that the rest of the team can handle any of the villains present. Her task right now is to stay near the artifact and keep grubby hands off of it should the shielding come down!

Rachel Roth has posed:
    First order of business: Breathing room. There are a lot of criminals in the room, and not all of them are actively participating in the fight for the box. Raven's intended target is the Old Man, whom she judges as a sorcerer thanks to, well, all the spellcasting. However, conjuring tentacles blocked by telekinetics as your means of defending this artifact is not the actions of a master wizard. She has time.

    She drops from the roof at blinding speed, hitting the ground in the crowd near the Old Man, and seemingly discorporating into an effluence of billowing shadow, that swallows a solid chunk of participants and makes them disappear entirely. They end up outside, bewildered and disarmed, as MSCU close in around them to arrest.

    With that done, Raven squares off with the old man- his ward is protecting the box, which she finds fine- but that artifact is going with the Titans, and she won't have any other way.

    "I am Raven. You are not enough. Stand down, or this will get violent in a way for which you are entirely unprepared."

Donna Troy has posed:
    "HWARK! Targeted! Attacked! Assaulted!" Cobblepot yells out as Ben's web bomb scores a direct hit. "I'm a law-abiding citizen! You're slandering my good name! You'll hear from my lawyers! You'll answer for this outrage! You'll pay for my dry-cleaning!"

    One of Oswald's men stops to try to help free him from the webbing and shuffle him through the doors, but he's impeded in this by angry Oswald beating on him with his umbrella for no particularly good reason other than that he's an angry bird. His other men pull out guns and run into the crowd to attempt to get a bead on Ben.

    vic's sonic cannon, on a non-lethal setting, doesn't seem to be enough to get through the powerful telekinetic shield erected by Crinkum and Crankum, but Kate's flash-bomb is on the ground and the shield doesn't reach that far. It causes the pair to stagger, and splits their shielding. Dick's dart finds the opening, and the man they are paid to protect sinks to the ground. Crankum finds Victor's sonic cannon blasting directly at his shield, and without the support from his brother, it takes every ounce of his energy just to avoid being blasted; his veins bulge as he tries to take the strain, but the telekinetic shield is getting pushed back closer and closer towards him by the sonic cannon.

    Vorpal's Rabbit Hole opens at the sorcerer's feet, and... the sorcerer floats above it. Faint motes of purple sparkle across his body, and to the more magically adept, or at least to Raven, it's clear that he has already raised a spell around himself that places him partially in the astral plane. The sorcerer, smart enough to be able to detect the source of a spell targeting him, narrows his eyes at Terry. More tendrils of purple lash out, this time aimed at the Titan.

    With his first attempts to grab the box foiled, Gar's fist smashes down on the orb of purple light, but only he and the Titans in the rafters see the immediate effect, as the wall of light Kian projects separates him from the Titans on the floor. Said effect is satisfying if you want to see tables smash, but otherwise unproductive - the orb remains floating in air, with the box untouched inside it. Two of the guards, who had been closer to the table and are behind the wall of light with him, open fire with handguns on the Green Gorilla.

    The majority of the crowd at this point are rushing for the doors, and when it's clear there's a Kryptonian joining Amazon and Half-Demon, the rush becomes something of a panic as various underworld figures decide this is not the place to be. Both Kara and Donna find their progress towards the wall of light and the box behind it hampered by the flood of people they don't really want to punch through Flight is of course an option here - but then the guards have started opening fire on various targets they have decided must deserve it. Given the chaos, they'd need to be good marksmen to avoid hitting random people, so Donna finds herself on bracer duty, deflecting bullets from finding their mark as she forces her way through the crowd to close in on them. Raven starts to vanish people into the waiting arms of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit outside, but keeping people alive while she does so keeps Donna occupied for now.

    Purple tendrils close in on Terry... and then withdraw. The sorcerer turns to face Raven. "Ah. The famous Raven. Perhaps, perhaps." He reaches into his pocket and pulls out an amulet, a strip of ancient leather holding a glass bead held inside a cage of platinum, inside the bead a thick black fluid slops from side to side. Whatever this is, and Raven cannot immediately recognize it, it makes the sorceress feel distinctly uneasy. There is a kind of slipperiness to it in her mind, a sense that this is a magical focus of a type her particular brand of demonic magic may have significant trouble with, if the sorcerer holding it is smart enough to know how to use it.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal hadn't dropped his disguise, and it was hard to tell if the sorcerer could tell his true form. At this point, however, Keeping Up Appearances is rather silly and only suitable for Hyacinth Buckett (pronounced bou-QUET), so the old man is replaced by the Cheshire Cat himself.

The cat narrows his eyes as the man draws up something that looks like a relic, and it could spell trouble. But there was one thing that could trouble spells, after all-

A Rabbit Hole opens quickly, allowing Vorpal to cross the distance between him and the Sorcerer. He doesn't strike, since the man has clearly decided to try his hand at moonlighting as Casper, the Unfriendly Ghost, so instead he extends a hand.

"A Very Merry Un-Birthday, to /you!/"

A blast of purple-red, and Chaos magic branches out from his fingers, towards the sorcerer.

Ben Reilly has posed:
Ben Reilly puts his thumbs up to his temples and waggles his fingers in the direction of the Penguin that sends a very clear and direct signal. It goes "Nya nya. Nya nya. Nya nya nya na na."

And then his guys start trying to come for the Scarlet Spider, which is just fine by him because he would much rather fight garden variety rent-a-thugs than, oh, I dunno, purple tentacle sorceror things.

He leaps in the air and fires a webline, swinging in to catch one thug in the face with his feet while another takes a splat of webbing to his hand, gluing his trigger finger down and gumming up the barrel.

"Let this go to show you, crime doesn't pay. Okay, well, it does in your case, but not enough to make it worthwhile working for Chilly Willy's bastard cousin."

Gar Logan has posed:
Well, that's one set of tables down, but the target is still sealed up completely within the magical orb of protection. "That didn't work," the Garilla notes.

Then he's being fired upon. Bullets still sting, even as a gorilla, and he picks up broken pieces of table and flings them at the nearest gunman first, grabbing for the auctioneer's podium to throw that at the second one afterward.

While doing this, he calls out, "The magic around this thing won't let me in! Anyone got any bright ideas?"

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
In all the tumult and din, it would be hard to notice anyone moving around overhead. Frankly an armored truck could drive through one wall without anyone paying much notice.

Glass shatters overhead and a red-headed blur dressed like an Amazon plunges down on Crinkum with all the velocity of a dropped anvil. Caitlin doesn't land /right/ on his head, fortunately, but she hits him hard enough that there are going to be some broken bones when he wakes up in the hospital later.

"Take down the caster!" she advises Gar with a loud shout. The redhead turns and swings her hammer at the ground with a golf swing aimed at the other telekinetic being battered by Vic's sonic cannon; the force of impact sprays shards of tile and concrete and destroys the patch of concrete under his feet for a good five yards around the impact site.

Victor Stone has posed:
     Eventually, Cyborg points his left palm at the twin telekinetics, the nozzle on it irising wider as he increases the width of his sonic cannon. He aims for a few moments, then unleashes a visible beam of pulsing white energy towards the two bodyguards. Since this pretty much reveals where he is, he immedietly after drops down from the rafters, thrusters in his various cybernetic parts activating to make him hover in mid-air. "Everybody stay away from Pandora's Container Of Variable Type! Those that don't want a sonic smackdown, be sure not to trample one another on the way out!" He keeps up the blast aimed at the two, trying to either drop their shield or at least tie them up. Once their shield splits, he narrows the beam to focus on one and tries to punch through.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing nods as his tranq takes one interested party out of the equation. With the removal of much of the crowd either by Raven or running, he's ready to try other measures. Looking between the two twins, his time he uses a gas pellet. It shoots out to hit the ground between them, bursting into a small could of gas that expands in the area the twins are standing in.

"Make sure the gunmen don't hurt anyone. Gar, just guard it, once we have control of the room Raven can play with the barrier."

Kate Bishop has posed:
Okay that worked really well.

"Tactics bitches." she mutters under her breath.

She plays the fleeing crowd and spots Ben messing up Cobblepots day. "Was Cobblepot doing a crime or fleeing..." and then the bodyguards are running at Ben with guns. "Sigh." she notes.

The shifts her aim and then does some of that angles and math in her head before leaning firing an arrow up, actually managing to deflect it off the rafter, and sending it back down.

This arrow is aimed at the sorcerer from above. The purple one. There is a chance he doesn't see something as mundane as a threat especially when dealing with Vorpal's chaos magic.

It is a very normal broadhead.

Kian has posed:
    Kían has been on Earth long enough now to know what a gun is, and that he doesn't want them pointed at Gar.  He dives down to make a grab at the gun held by the second gunman, the one about to get podiumed.  "*Gif* me that!" he snaps, and it echoes loudly through the brief mental contact from physical contact, with one loud addition: {/*Now!*/}
    Hopefully the unexpected combination of a grab from above and the mental voice will convince him to let go... otherwise, he might find himself going up, not under his own power.

Kara Danvers has posed:
Supergirl doesn't hesitate when the gunfire starts. This artifact is -not- more important than innocent lives! She flies away from it now, doing her best to fly in front of bullets and help people to safety.

Of course it's not easy, not with the widespread panic, and she can't just bust a hole through the wall to create another exit, because that would no doubt make things worse. The collateral damage could get more people hurt. Yep bad idea.

So she lands -right- in front of the guards, "You're going to get innocent people killed! You don't need to panic! Please stop firing! Who is your commander?!" She's really trying.. if she can just convince their commander to call a cease fire then this might just turn out okay..

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven holds back for a moment, taking a stance across from the old man, but judging in silence whether or not he has any idea what he's holding. There is a narrowing of her eyes, a shift in her posture that not only inches her towards that ever tempting realm of violence, but also hints that she's taking this Old Man altogether more seriously than she was before.

    Vorpal, for his part, does what he does best: Provide crucially timed and decidedly targeted annoyance. This is enough, Raven knows- disrupting the focus even if the socerer knows how to use it.

    Raven strikes right at that moment, thrusting a hand forward and generating a tendril of shadow that exists at once in both the physical and astral realm, that violently- but not bloodily- spears through the head of the sorcerer. She drags this tendril back, as if retracting it, and with it seems to come the man's consciousness. Not /stolen/ or held captive by Raven, but instilling forced sleep is quite easy. He'll snooze his way right into prison.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Vic's sonic cannon pins Crankum back, and it looks like he's about to power through - but Crinkum starts projecting his own power to reinforce Crankum's shield. It only lasts a moment though, as Caitlin comes hurtling through the skylight and lands on Crinkum from above, a place he was not trying to shield. Crinkum falls to floor, unconscious, and Vic's sonic cannon bursts through Crankum's unreinforced field. Dick's gas pellet follows in behind the collapsed shield, encompassing the brothers in a cloud of smoke. When it disperses, Crankum lies across Crinkum, both brothers thoroughly unconscious.

    Gar's assault with the table puts the gunman off his aim, but does little damage. The hurled podium is rather more successful, the heavy item smashing into the guard square on and pinning him beneath it, in no fit state to keep firing. As Gar turns to the first guard again, he's greeted by the sight of Kian plummeting from the roof to help him. The telepathic command visibly startles the gunman, but not in the way Kian was hoping; instead the gunman keeps a tight hold of his gun, and finds himself being pulled into the rafters. His eyes shoot wide, and he yells an panicked "GAAAAH! HELP!" He looks into Kian's eyes, pleading. "Please don't drop me?" he asks. "I'm not good with heights. I'll come quietly."

    The auction guards don't have an answer to Kara's question, because they don't exactly have a leader. They were hired to stop people causing trouble, and frankly they are out of their depth. They probably shouldn't have been firing, because it was never entirely too clear who they should have been firing at. Having a Kryptonian land in front of them and make them focus on this point certainly has an effect, particularly when the one stubborn guard who decides to ignore her and stupidly enough thinks it would be a good idea to attempt to shoot her finds a lasso wrapped around his arm before he can finish raising his pistol, and finds himself yanked hard to the ground before he can quite register that has happened. The rest of them more wisely decide to back away and make for the exit, one of them politely calling "Sorry Supergirl!" as he runs.

    Ben's swinging attack is effective; his webbing of another Penguin mook's gun super-effective. However there are three more penguin mooks closing in on him. As they advance, the auction guards sprint between themselves and Ben, making a hasty exit. They watch the guards running as if chased by bears. They turn to see Supergirl and Donna now unengaged and available to help out Ben. They decide that wisdom is the better part of valor, and turn tail. Grabbing Cobblepot's web-entangled form up between them, they make a bee-line for the door, Cobblepot angrily "HWARRRRK!"ing in progress as he's carried away, into the arms of the MSCU.

    In the battle of the sorcerers, classical magic clashes with Demonic magic and Chaos magic. Channeled through the focus, the sorcerer's spells are a potent defense against Raven's magic. Kate's broadhead should have had no effect on the sorcerer, who is half in the astral plane, but with the distractions of two magical assaults and the vagaries of chaos magic being involved, it twists like a snake on its way down, and though as stray blast of magic turns it aside, at the last moment the arrow head bends around and jabs the sorcerer's arm, as if biting him. Because Chaos. He yells out in pain, and Vorpal's red-purple magic glows around the talisman.

    The sorcerer's focus is disrupted. Raven's tendril of darkness stabs easily through his remaining defenses, and when it withdraws, the sorcerer slumps to the floor.

    It's over.

    It's not over. The orb of purple light surrounding the box vanishes with the sorcerer's consciousness. Gorilla Gar leaps forwards, mighty green arms stretching out to snatch the box out of the air. He reaches the box before it hits the ground, but the lid rattles, and tilts? A sudden blast of white light spills out, and Gar vanishes.

Donna Troy has posed:
    The box lands on the ground, light spilling from the mouth, a brilliant ray that spreads out across the room. The ray crosses over Donna next, and she too vanishes. Caitlin is next. The jar rolls, and the light splashes across Terry, then across Kian. They all vanish. The jar continues to roll...

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan recoils from further gunfire, but he's able to handle more like this than in his smaller, squishier state. "I think they're getting to that!" he calls out to Caitlin, and when Raven does damage to the ability of the magician/sorcerer to maintain that guard around the box, and as Kian comes in for the assist to which he calls out a quick, "Thanks!" there isn't much time for anything else.

The magic is dispelled from the box, and Beast Boy acts. "I got it! I got it! I got it!" And he seems to, except for it being jostled just enough that the lid parts. "I don't--"

He doesn't get the chance to finish the sentence before he simply disappears as the white light hits him, the box lands, and the beam passes over others.

Victor Stone has posed:
Vic raises higher in the air when the beam sweeps out, avoiding it when it passes beneath him. Four of the other Titans have vanished however, and he stares at the thing in shock for a few seconds before diving towards it. Trying to grab it and keep it from hitting anybody else, aiming it carefully upwards and seeing if there's some obvious way to close it.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal grins widely when the Sorcerer gets defeated by teamwork. "What do you know, Rae? That was kind of cool-"

And then time slows down as he catches what is going on with Gar out of the corner of his eye. He turns on instinct, "Gar!"

And then the light flashes on Donna, and then him.

"Oh, Fuck, not AGAIN-"

And the rest is silence.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
"Wait, wha--" Caitlin is cut off, one hand rising to fruitlessly shield her eyes from the searing light as the energy surrounds her. In moments she disappears along with the rest.

Kate Bishop has posed:
Kaye kips up back onto a chair as the beam of light passes low and then blinks behind those purpleshades. "God Damnit not again!"

She basically echos Vorpal for the same reasons really.

She starts to look for the lid, then fires off an arrow off quick. Yeah she can predict where the lid will land, she is good like that. The arrow explodes cushioning foam goop on the ground for the lid to land in, unbroken.

Kate feels a bit helpless.

She was going to sass about how well that richochet worked but.... now well. Fuck.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing turns to look around after the gas pellet goes off, catching the various battles, magical and otherwise. Looking up to the display area, he watches Gar try and catch the box, then the disruption of the lid and disappearance of his teammates.

With Vic stabilizing the jar and Kate cushioning the lid, the immediate danger is over. Time for damage control. "Ok, somone get that lid and cover that thing. We need to find out what happened to our teammates. Raven, that's on you. Tell us what we need to do to transport it safely, it's not leaving our possession until we know where our friends are."

Kian has posed:
    {/Give me the weapon and I will set you down safely!/}
    The good thing about telepathy is that it's virtually impossible to lie while using it -- at least the way Kían uses it -- and when the thug surrenders the gun, the birdman is good to his word, setting the thug down safely... draped over a rafter, far above the floor.  He turns his attention back to the action on the ground, and notices the box is open, a fraction of a second before the light in it washes over him.
    And then there is no birdman.

Kara Danvers has posed:
Supergirl can only smile when the guards run off, it doesn't always take violence to solve things, and in those moments that fact is proven? Well she feels much better than when she has to use her fists!

All seems well.. until the jar opens and several of the Titans vanish.. seemingly into it? "NO!" Supergirl is horrified..

But it's not long before she can see what else is going on with the jar. When Kate stops the lid from smashing on the ground, Supergirl is quick, and in the blink of an eye the lid is back on the jar!

"It's back on!"

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven takes a moment to praise herself in silence before all hell breaks loose over the artifact and it starts spilling light. The first ray taking Garfield is, momentarily, somewhat welcome.

    However, as the second light strikes Donna and the amazon teleports away, there is a... Look. Donna only has a fraction of a second to see it, but luckily, she can perceive that quickly. Raven is frowning. Her eyes are narrowed. Donna let this happen /again./

    The light hits Raven next, but it seems to wash over her with little effect. Her angry glare doesn't waiver at all as an attempt is made to rip her from this dimension- But, Raven is the Key. She goes where she pleases. She stays where she wants to. One cannot move this anchor, at least magically.

    The others work their magic, wrangling the container, the lid, and then joining the two. Raven raises a hand at the 'box' and begins muttering under her breath, as phantasmal chains start erupting from the ground around it, encircling it and crushing down into it around the lid and the base: when the chains fully place themselves around it, they seem to fade into it, and when tested, the lid will be... Quite securely in place, magically bound to the jar. For the moment, at least.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Vic plunges down and grabs for the jar; servos complain at the rapid changes of direction, but he's able to twist out of the way of the ray of white light and direct it to the roof. Archer's arrow and Kryptonian speed save the lid and put it in place, and Raven's spell fixes it there.

    The room is silent a few moments, before the noise of a horde of MSCU agents arriving breaks the quiet. The Titans have secured the box, and a number of other artifacts of questionable nature. The villains have been captured and are in the arms of the MSCU - though Cobblepot may be making official complaints. The Titans have won - but at what cost?

    Gar, Kian, Donna, Terry and Caitlin find themselves falling, but not far. To short a distance to do anything about it before they land on cold stone. The air here is hot, and dry. The light is dim and red, but there's enough of it to see that the stone ground on which they have landed is a platform perhaps forty feet by thirty. The platform is colonnaded with tall pillars of dark granite, supporting a dark roof fifty feet overhead. At one end of the platform stands the legs of a statue, the upper portion broken off. The air is filled by a strange sound, a low susurration as of many voices speaking wordlessly.

    Donna rolls and leaps to her feet, looking around quickly. She smells the air and her eyes widen. Gripping her lasso, the glow of it seeming brighter than ever before in this dim red light, she takes a few rapid steps to the edge of the platform, and looks down. "Terry," she says, an odd timbre to her voice. "Do NOT open a rabbit hole."

    As the other Titans come up to join her, they see a drop of perhaps ten feet all round the platform to a plain that stretches out towards the horizon. Crossing the plain are a network of walkways raised to the same height as the platform, joining to a number of other similar colonnaded and roofed platforms in the distance, each looking like Greek temples, only much darker. Below the platforms and the walkways, every inch of the plain seems to be filled with shuffling forms, human in shape but grey and featureless. Arms reach up towards the Titans, and the susurration rises in volume, half moaning and half pleading, as eyeless faces regard them.

    The sky above is darkness filled with blood red clouds. On the horizon there are mountains and a volcano can be seen, its red light shining on what looks to be a vast wall of some dark metal beyond it. A hot air rises, blowing the Titan's hair.

    "Don't try opening a Rabbit Hole Terry," Donna repeats. "It will attract attention from people who's attention we don't want to attract. There are ways to leave this place, but they aren't as easy as that."

    Her voice drops to a whisper."I've been here before. This is Tartarus."