8379/EROTEME: The Old Ball Game

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EROTEME: The Old Ball Game
Date of Scene: 29 October 2021
Location: Lance Dayton Stadium, Gotham City
Synopsis: The Scarecrow brings terror to the final game of the World Series.
Cast of Characters: Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle, Harley Quinn, Damian Wayne, Gabby Kinney, Austin Reese
Tinyplot: Eroteme

Bruce Wayne has posed:
The Riddler's first clue had pointed to one of Gotham's two stadiums. But the second referred to the Gotham Goliaths, Gotham's second and arguably more fortuitous baseball team, had narrowed it all down. The final game in the World Series, between the Goliaths and the Keystone Patriots was set to be a nail biter, already driving baseball season into the end of October after a series of even matches and ties.

The stadium is at a capacity crowd, Gothamites shrugging off the autumnal chill to get a chance at seeing history in the making. Thousands of them, arrayed in their seats and shouting at the game going on under the heavy floodlights below. Out in the parking lot, hundreds more gather to listen to the game on the radio or watch it on portable televisions.

The final riddle pointed at the Scarecrow. Involved somehow, though the investigations could not figure out how. All the Bat-Family and their associates can do is watch, wait, and hope they can act fast enough.

Selina Kyle has posed:
The things you do for love.

Or, at least, unhealthy all-consuming infatuation. Still feeling that one out a little.

The point is Selina Kyle is trying to keep out of sight in possibly the most crowded place in Gotham at the moment - in her new silvery costume, thank you very much - perched out of sight with an overview of the baseball field. Should be relatively safe! Errant Home-runs not withstanding.

<Cat.> She announced herself on coms, reporting, <Don't see anything. I don't suppose Crane got picked up for jaywalking on the way here?>

Catwoman has not mastered Bat-com discipline.

Harley Quinn has posed:
Harley loves baseball. Sure, not as much as she enjoys roller derby but that 'sport' has a special place in her heart. Yet it was with a gleeful smile that she had accepted to be here today to help with the patrolling and making sure this didn't turn into a disaster. Because let's be real, where Scarecrow was involved it usually turned into such. And in a game like this? It was ripe for it. Too many people, in tight spaces. Crowded stadium.

So Harley was taking this as serious as she could! Which meant she had this huge Goliaths cap on her head, the ensemble beautifully finished by two beers on each side of it, a straw delivering it to her lips. Such fashion. She is near the front seats to the game, pointing at the referee, "That was a cleaeh out! Awhe ya blind oh somethin', ref?!" yep, she can get worked up with games like this!

But a moment later she remembers her purpose here, <Nothing heah eitha. Besides this ref bein' a sold out!> she announces on comms. <But hol' up, who is this? I could recognize yoh voice anywheah siren!>

Damian Wayne has posed:
     <Clear comms.> Robin snipped. <Eh, screw it. Nothing here either.> Robin was perched behind some of the stadium lights, letting the high-powered luminaries disguise him in plain sight.

  <Who checked the seats beforehand?> The red and gold Bow Wonder kept looking using his mask to magnify and scout.

Gabby Kinney has posed:
Gabby Kinney was on loan from the Outsiders while a few certain individuals that would work with the Bats was recovering from an unhealthy overdose of lead. While she wasn't trained by any of the Bats, she'd at least been trained... and was small, unassuming in a crowd, and able to blend in rather well with shadows. Enough so that she had managed to sneak down from the perch she'd chosen to snag a soda before returning to her spot unnoticed. At least, unnoticed by the crowd or anyone in it. Those she was currently working with might have spotted it. Either way she's sitting crouched low with knees to her chest, one arm looped lightly around her knees, with a rather large souveneire soda cup in the other hand.


<Honey Badger here. Concessions are clear. Soda isn't poisoned at least.> It's her own addition to the chatter over the radio while she keeps a rather thorough gaze sweeping around the stadium. With the occasional glance at the game itself. <So.... This is my first baseball game. Why's there a guy dressed in a costume with an oversized head chasing a guy dressed as a hotdog? I don't get that.>

Austin Reese has posed:
Do you know how hard it is to get tickets to the final game of the World Series? Especially when the Goliaths might actually bring home the trophy this time, instead of coming in second? You'd have to either have more money than God or win a contest or something. None of those apply to Austin Reese, so instead he has gotten into the stadium a different way.

Wearing a jacket, work boots, a hard hat and a high visibility vest, along with an ID badge that he lifted from some poor guy in the men's room, he has managed to get into the guts of the stadium. All he has to do now is figure out how to get from where he is to one of the stairways up into the stadium proper, and then maybe he can actually catch some of the game.

Too bad this place is basically a maze. He'll just do his best to look like he's supposed to be back there until he can safely ditch the disguise.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
For all the gathered vigilantes can tell, the Stadium is free of any sort of malicious influence beyond the usual organized crime running odds on the results. Once upon a time such villainy might have drawn their attention, but Gotham has since developed a more garish cast of criminals. One such moves among the citizens of Gotham, a heavy and stained coat with the collars pulled high meeting a Gotham Goliaths ballcap with the brim pulled down. Disguising him, just another face in the crowd.

But there are other faces in the crowd.

Not far from Gabby, a man in a dark windbreaker with the hood drawn shifts to check his phone. The glow momentarily lights up his face where it might otherwise be concealed in shadow. He wears a skeletal Halloween mask, and bares a scent her enhanced senses would doubtlessly pick up. Acrid chemicals, man-made poisons.

Catwoman and Robin may see something similar. A man dressed in a similar hoodie, rising from his seat under the guise of stretching only to surreptitiously hop the fence into the tunnel that leads to the visiting dugout.

Only a few seats down from Harley, another man fidgets with something inside his jacket. Someone so acquainted with the criminal underworld would know on sight what it looks like when someone is trying to hide a gun.

And finally, across from Austin, stands the man in his Gotham Goliaths ballcap and heavy coat. He turns for a moment, catching eyes with the young man. His features are not human, but rather concealed behind a mask of sackcloth with the eyes and mouth cut away into a jagged, rictus grin. He produces from his sleeve a small device, depressing it with his thumb.

On the diamond, the catcher stands up in the middle of a play. The ball whizzes past him, bouncing off the advertising pinned up around the edge of the stadium. He tugs at the padding on his chest, calling out something that cannot be made out over the den. He waves his arms frantically, as though trying to drive people away, before a plume of greenish-grey smoke hisses out from beneath the padding he wears. At the same time, similar jets hiss out from beneath seats throughout the stadium.

Then there's the screaming.

Selina Kyle has posed:
<You see that?> Catwoman asks, semi rhetorically as the man disappears into the tunnel, tilting her head in curiosity. If this is as hard as her day gets it'll be a blessing. <I'll head him off.> She says before vanishing from her perch, speeding through the complex to get ahead of the man, planning to bring him to the ground when he nears the corner she's ducked behind.

Screams begin to fill the air, however, and Catwoman worriedly murmurs "Oh, hell..."

Harley Quinn has posed:
<So grumpy today, Shorty...> And Harley would continue her banter through comms if only it wasn't for that meddling hoodlum with that gun under the jacket. Tsk! <Think I see some movement, guy with a gun ovah heah..> and she is approaching too.

With the screaming starting means Harley gets on the move real fast. She does thrive in chaos after all. And right now? It's chaos erupting. She can feel it in her bones. This is going to turn into a panic zone real soon. And while that's not something she can control now there's something she can.

The guy with the gun.

"Hey you ovah theah..!" She calls out to the guy with the gun, picking up one of her beer recipients from her hat, "Hold my beer!" and she throws it at the man with all her might. Sure, it could be an undercover cop maybe, or just someone checking their wallet and she mistook with something else. But she is not taking chances. So someone is getting a beer pitch out of Harley. It's baseball game anyway. It fits!

Austin Reese has posed:
It should be against Austin's better judgement to do something when he makes eye contact with that inhuman face. But it's impossible to ignore, especially when the thumb comes down on that button and mere moments later, screaming starts to fill the air. But not the kinds of screams you'd expect from a baseball game. The kinds of screams that will haunt you when you're trying to sleep.

"Hey!" Austin immediately starts running for the man in the hat and mask. Honestly at this point his plan is to try to draw attention to him, hope maybe a security guard or cop will spot the commotion and not let him slip out of there unseen. After all a disguise like that, that has to be the plan. Because it's basically the same plan Austin had to get in here.

His feet are already moving him forward before his brain registers how terrible of an idea it is. First the Joker, then the Scarecrow? Does he want to get himself killed? Because at this rate he'll be flipping the Penguin the bird by the end of the month.

Gabby Kinney has posed:
It's not the chemical smells that give away the man with the mask, but the mask itself. While some here were wearing costumes to cheer on their team, none were wearing skeletal masks. Nor were they really wearing masks at all--It was more face paint or goofy hats. If they even bothered with that. Being one to wear a white Kabuki mask on occasion for her own attire, spotting that really does snap her attention toward the man.

<Looks like multiple targets--Oh, gas. Hope you guys have masks!> With that she reaches up to pull her own down over her head. Sure she could probably be mostly immune toward whatever was being pumped out, but that doesn't mean she wants to find out either.

Abandoning her drink she dips through the crowd toward the man. There's no call toward him or attempt to gain his attention: She just launches herself at him with a quick jump and spring off the armrest of a chair not being used by a patron intending to knock him down with her body weight. If she's lucky she can yank off his mask, too, and see how he likes his own medicine.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     <Got it.> Robin decrees before slipping in front of the lights, With as high up as he was, he threw himself off the scaffold, making his cape go rigid as he glided through the air.

  Robin's journey from the lights gave him a bird's eye view of what was going down on the field. <He rigged the catcher's gear!> Shit, this isn't good. But the fear gas could be counteracted, catching the guy would have to be the main objective.

  Robin let his cape return to normal as he reached the visiting dugout, perching on the railing to stop his inertia. Moments later, he hopped down to give chase through the tunnel, he hoped Catwoman got there in time to intercept.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
The man near Harley rises to his feet, about to draw his gun when the beer strikes him in the side of the head. It's unexpected, and the handgun clatters free of his gloved fingers and onto the concrete at his feet. He turns in time to see Harley Quinn, instinctively scrambling back across the people still seated. It's then that the gas begins to waft over them, dredging up fears and horrid memories - rendering them real to the mind's eye as the crowd begin to scatter in every direction, pushing one another to get out of the way of something no one else can see.

The gunman tackled by Gabby doesn't see her coming, toppling onto his back as the Honey Badger lands on his chest. The mask is torn away easily, revealing it to be more of a hobby store respirator affixed inside a Halloween mask. Even as he falls, her image blurs before him and coalesces once more into that of a rabid dog. The gas already affecting him. Clasping his boot knife in his hand, he attempts to drive it between the ribs of the young mutant as he shouts in abject terror.

Catwoman and Robin's quarry flees through the tunnels, reaching down to pick up an overstuffed suitcase that appears to have simply been left leaning against one concrete wall. He half-carries, half-drags it with him. Even as he goes, the same strange gas begins to pour from it. A cloud of it rising up to meet Robin as he gives chase.

The Scarecrow, seeing Austin bolting for him, acts quickly. With the sort of recklessness that only the truly insane can muster, he draws a handgun from the interior of his coat. He fires wildly, bullets flying in Austin's direction. A concession stand practically explodes as it is hit by the hail of bullets, the spindly man already running away as he continues to fire the gun behind him until he clicks empty. He bursts out into the stadium proper, diving down the steep stairway two steps at a time as he rushes towards the pitch.

Selina Kyle has posed:
    Something's going on outside. Catwoman can't focus on that right now; the hopefully the others can handle it. In the short term, Selina can round the corner as the fleeing man approaches it and just pump kick him straight in the stomach so hard that he goes horizontal and falls flat on his face. "Men are such babies about their teams losing, I swear." She sighs wistfully for her own amusement, before kneeling down beside the man to reach out to the suitcase. <It's Cat. We caught a runner. He was trying to make off with...>

Selina sniffs once. Then again, just as she goes very very pale. "Shit. Oh *shit.*." She stands up quickly and tries to wave off the approaching Robin. <Kid, get back!> She calls out, not knowing she's too late. <Bat! Code... code... fucking whatever the code for 'I just got Fear Gassed' is! I think I was just exposed to..."

Catwoman goes rigid, staring straight ahead. "... to... to..." Her arms begin to wrap around herself, and her breathing rapidly grows heavier. "... Oh my god. Oh *fuck*. Oh no no no...."

Harley Quinn has posed:
"Striiiikkkeeee!" Harley imitates a baseball ref when that beer hits the man's head. And look, it's a gun! So she was right. Nice. The other beer is already sailing it's way towards the man but then he scrambles away. Sneaky git! "Come back heah! I will teach ya not ta bring a gun ta a ball fight!"

It's then that the gas starts to seep up and around them, hitting the clownette and making her eyes go wide. Sure, she has developped one heck of a resistance to these kind of toxins after Ivy gave her a little 'gift' yet there's something that's just not natural about this. It makes her stop, rubbing at her eyes before shaking her head.

Why are there so many of *him* around now? And all of them flailing and screaming that hysterical laughter. She puts her hands to her ears and staggers back. "Get the fuck away from me. You and yoh twins!" she shouts defiantly.

Austin Reese has posed:
If he'd known he was about to be shot at Austin would have come to the game with a weapon. Instead all he can do is dive for cover as the man starts to wildly spray bullets at him. It definitely works to keep Austin from chasing him until he hears that gun click.

Having found himself sprawled behind a pillar, Austin realizes he's next to a rack of baseball bats. He grabs one, just in case, and after peeking out from behind cover and making sure he won't still be shot at, he gets back up and resumes the chase. At this point he knows the guy is still going to try to slip away, and with everything that it sounds like is going on in the arena proper, he never the less resumes his chase.

It's a terrible idea in retrospect as he emerges onto that staircase, looking down the steep steps. If it had one long rail he could try to slide down it, but it's no good. So he just chases on foot, bat at the ready, but it seems the guy he's chasing has way too far of a head start.

It's then that he notices a shape out of the corner of his eye. He turns and swings the bat at it but his swing is wild as he tries to smash it, "Get the hell away from me!" He yells, swinging wildly at the image he's seeing. The chase is forgotten as he tries to fight an image that isn't there with a blunt insturment that is.

Gabby Kinney has posed:
"Nice try," Gabby remarks with only the breifest glance at the make-shift mask and respirator that the man had been wearing. "You should try more heavy-duty equipment, though--Oh. Ohhhkkkaynotnice." Clamping her teeth down around her own, legitimate respirator behind her mask she sucks in a quick (thankfully filtered) breath. The gun was knocked away with a quick kick of her foot to send it skittering beneath the seats where it potentially bumps into one of the gas cannisters itself. The knife was not expected. It pierces through the light bodyarmor she wore finding it's target right between her lower ribs and into one lung causing her breath to go raspy and liquid. Without hesitating, or even thinking of it, her gloved hand slams down on the man's throat to dig her fingers in against the sides of his neck pinching the cartoid artery. It wouldn't kill but if she could just keep that grip a few solid seconds it would help him pass out.

<Skkhggoonna be a--*hhk* --sec... 'vry ones... *hhh* gassed. 'N I'm working w'half a... *Huuuh* Lung. Gimminute. Clear th'place out s'mow?> The garbled, hard-breathing update and question comes while she doubles forward grabbing the knife that had become an annoying hinderance.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     The tunnel was dark enough that Damian couldn't make out the cloud of gas that reached up and met him, not until it was too late. The smell of chemicals in the air wafted to his nose, and immediately he reached for the rebreather in his belt, and attached it to his face. His heartbeat hastened, and he breathed heavily.

  That was when his vision started to wane, the hallucinations had started, and the fleeing man turned into an image of Batman with his back turned, Catwoman had melted to an image of Talia. <It's too...no. Don't go.> He tried to give chase to the Batman that was running away from him, but his legs would not move whatsoever. His comms were still on, as he talked. <Don't. Please....> he said softly, barely above a whisper, but to those listening, it could be heard. <Please don't leave me alone.>

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Across the Stadium, the gas has begun to sink in. Those patrons who are not pouring out through the exits wrestle with one another, choosing fight over flight. Whatever monsters or ghosts of their pasts they see, they attack them with mind-shattering viciousness. A pair topple together down the concrete stairs, fingers raking flesh red in an effort to grip one another's throat. On the field, the uniformed players tangle in a haphazard mess of violence and terror. Some merely huddle, curled up and shielding themselves from phantoms.

<Catwoman,> the Bat's voice growls over the comm, receiving her message, <Do you have eyes on Scarecrow? Catwoman?>

<Honey Badger, you need to gather whoever you can and get to the utilities office. Reroute the power to the stadium roof. We need to close it before the gas spreads out into the city.>

Almost a mile overheard, behind the yoke of the Batwing, the Batman curses to himself and grits his teeth.

Selina Kyle has posed:
Catwoman begins to step backwards as shapes loom in front of her. Familiar, human shapes with hungry eyes devoid of soul. There are so many of them and they're SO much bigger than her. She stumbles and falls back

into a shallow pool of stinking water. She stils up sharply and gasps raggedly, her eyes wide and small as she finds herself in an underground labyrinth - a sewer - where a throne of scant precious metals, roughly welded parts, and utter *garbage* has been placed in prominence. There are small shapes now, skittering around, circling in close. They pull her back underwater

into an enclosed space. She can't see anything, she can barely move. She's drowning. Kicking and clawing at the space above her, accomplishing nothing. She can't move. At any given moment she's locked inside a

a dancer's cage
a strong pair of... arms...?

She pushes away so hard that she goes sliding backwards, scrambling backwards with her arms and legs until her back touches the wall of her childhood home, where an ocean of roaches swirls and skitters in front of her. There are shapes standing on the other side of the room, they must be a hundred feet tall, their bodies barely visible in the dark space where the ceiling should be. They all reach impossibly long arms down towards her to offer their hands.

Selina slowly, timidly, reaches out... but her arm is wrong. The costume's different. Gray silver and dark blue gloves. She's wearing... a cape? A symbol...!

Unfortunately the response Batman gets is <FUCK YOU! FUCK *YOOOUUU!!* GET AWAY FROM ME! STAY AWAY!!>

Harley Quinn has posed:
Madness has many faces. Those of her old paramour, that crazy laughter. It fills her senses, overwhelms them. The cackle that both saved her life but also destroyed it. The clownette ambles to the side but still she stays her ground. She has learned to fight it since she has been out, learning to live away from that dependency. Yet that was never the real fear, was it? The Joker was only the catalyst...

Black and red, the colors of the harlequin, the tingle of a jester's cap, face bleach white, lips black as death. Insane laughter that is so familiar, because it's her own. She sees herself, unhinged and terrible, being all they say she is... Blood coats the mallet in her hands. Blood of friends, enemies.. She doesn't care, the only thing that matters is burying the world in laughter.

"Sod off you crazy harlequin! I am not you anymoouh..!" Or is she?

Gabby Kinney has posed:
Get who she can get. Catwoman was quite obviously already affected. Robin---Was also, judging by that quiet whimper over the comms. That left Gabby with fewer options than before. Honey Badger yanks out the knife feeling the blood that comes out spill down the front of her suit, sticky and warm. Unconcerned she stands from the man she'd been atop with her knewly freed bloody knife in hand making it all the easier for her to scare off anyone that might come her way. It was the itching, burning NEED to cough up the blood that filled her lung which causes the worst distraction.

<Hkkkright. Gottit.>

Eyes watering to fight the need to COUGH she pushes forward to trudge against the flow of people. Utilities. Get to the utilities room. These are the thoughts she stubbornly sticks to when she finally breaks from the throng of people into the line of sight of Harley. The short, dark haired girl, wearing a white mask with painted red lips and large, hollow black eyes, bearing a bloody knife. That just has to pause long enough to flip her mask up so she can cough and vomit a mouthful of blood before uttering in a raspy voice, "Come with me if you want to live." It was a bad attempt at an Arnold Shwartzenegger voice made worse by the coughing of blood before she tugs her mask back in place to regain her breath.

Austin Reese has posed:
The fear gas is not something that Austin had encountered prior to now. The sense of fear was overwhelming. But it was more than just BEING afraid, at least to his senses there were actual tangible threats.

To anyone not affected, they would probably see him swinging at nothing with the bat, each swing ineffectively whiffing at the air. The figures he was seeing were reminding him of monstrous versions of the very worst people he had ever dealt with in his life. Instead of cowering he was trying to fight back. It was easier than trying to run away.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Selina's comments on the coms stay the same, but through Talia's voice. <Goliath...Father...Mother...no one?> Robin's voice continues on, before he starts to blink, squinching his eyes over and over. <What did I do?>

  Damian's fist clenched hard, enough to start to hurt his joints. It was enough for Robin to start breaking through his fear, and not being continuously exposed to the fear gas helped. <B-Batman. We lost him.> Well, at least the rebreather and a certain teenager's stubbornness kept the exposure to a minimum. Even if his voice still sounded like he was shaking from fright.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
<Selina,> Batman's voice hisses through, isolating Catwoman's comm so the others cannot hear him, <Selina, you need to fight through this. Fight it, god damnit!>

His teeth grind against one another for a moment, almost threatening to break under the stress. His fists clench around the controls, bringing the Batwing into a controlled dive towards the stadium.

<Damian, I'm here. We're all here.> He repeats it, in the hope that it may cut through the noxious green fog and be heard.

The path to the utilities office is relatively sparse. The Scarecrow and his men are too busy trying to spread the toxin, and it gives the unlikely duo all the time they need to find their way. Down a series of unremarkable, cinderblock corridors. Inside the room itself one of the maintenance workers cowers, not yet affected by the drifting gas.

"Who the hell are you?!"

Selina Kyle has posed:
Normally Selina isn't prone to crude vulgarity, but, well, refinement was not a natural feature in her upbringing, and in her current terrorized state she falls back on a rapid onslaught of curse words as she holds her head in her hands, fingers parting over her eyes as she rocks back and forward, muttering "Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Oh *shit.* Oh fuck...!"

In some corner of Selina's mind, she knows exactly what's happening. The fear toxin does its damned best to override one's rational mind, even to the extent of nearly negating your knowledge of it, but it's not perfect.

And Selina Kyle is a profoundly stubborn and willful person.

She can sort of see the actual world around her, and she sort of can't. An odd part of her idly wonders if this is what echolocation is like, getting glimpses and flashes of your surroundings; except instead of darkness, the alternative is your entire adolescence. She hears a voice, she knows that much. "Baaaatttt..." she groans, almost drunkenly as she begins to feel her way forward.

Breathing heavily she slurs. "Guy. The guy I- who..." Selina falls silent for a moment, then resumes in the same cadence as if she hadn't stopped "I knocked him out. Knocked him- should still... be here. The case!" Selina stops, and begins feeling around herself for the case. "... case is full of the stuff. Should stiillllll be... still be right here... leaking it right in my... god damned face.... gnnn..." Her hands rest on either side of *something* or other, and it occurs to her to try to hold her breath. "... what do I do with this thing...?"

Harley Quinn has posed:
Fear and hallucination blends in with reality as the Chucky-Gabby comes close to Harley. The harlequin remade! Or at least in her mind. Those spoken words are garbled in the clownette's head but there's eomthing she is sure of...

It was time she *faced* her fears.

So gritting her teeth Harley reaches to what is closer. A chair! She rips it apart like it was nothing, ending with the arm of the chair as a makeshift bat, "Time to go back into the box, Harlequina!" so sayeth the clownette, expression turning dangerous and ...., Gabby does get her wish. Harley will go with her!

Or rather, she will be *running* after her with that bat in hand. Which is the same thing, right? Right?!

Gabby Kinney has posed:
Gabby Kinney sucks in a thankfully bloodless breath through the respirator as her mask is drawn back down in place quickly before the natural instinct to gulp air in after throwing up happens. It was difficult to resist but even she might be affected by the gas if she got a good whiff of it. Best to avoid that. Right now she was the only one apparently coherent enough with feet on the ground that cound try to bring everyone together!

<You were doing your job, Robin.> With that small attempt at reassuring him offered she finds herself now facing an... angry Harley. "Fudgebucket. Okay come on then you psychiatrists wet dream let's go!" Whirling around she starts to run toward the utility room much as away from Harley. <Heading to the utility room with one in tow and she's PISSED and I'd like to avoid being bludgeoned tonight as well as stabbed so hoof it, Robin!>

Austin Reese has posed:
Austin is getting a bit tired, swinging at nothing at all. He has been at it for a while, and he is sure he's made contact with a few of the figures! But it seems no matter where he swings, there's more figures closing in on him.

He swings the bat in a wide arc, and then hauls up and tries to slam the makeshift weapon down on something. But he stops his swing a moment before the bat strikes the kid who just came into focus. A young boy wearing a Keystone Patriots jersey. Not what he was expecting to see. But the look in that kids eyes, how scared he is, Austin drops the bat and takes a knee next to the kid, who latches onto him. Austin wraps him up with his arms, hopefully shielding him from anything else that might try to come at them. Saving the kid from all the monsters attacking him is the important part.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian's speaking a little more clearly now. <I can see the canister. I need to...get it away.> He grabs the case, and shuffles it away from Selina, once back in the dugout, Robin hucks the case towards the field, away from as many people he can get it. <Catwoman?> He asks, maybe she can still get out of it easily.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
<Get it underwater,> Batman's voice cracks over the comms, <or freeze it. Honey Badger - I need that power rerouted NOW.>

High above, the underside of the Batwing hisses away. Batman plummets through it, arms folded across his chest. The way he holds himself allowing him to plummet at an incredible speed, piercing the perpetual cloud-cover over Gotham City like a bullet.

As he closes in on the open top of the stadium far below, he activates a button on his gauntlet. His eyes close for a moment, and he silently hopes the young mutant is as swift on her feet as he thinks she is.

Down below, as the mob crowds in on Austin, the masked figure of the Scarecrow pushes his way to the fore. He grabs the young man by his shoulders, his words a deranged hiss.

"Don't you see?!" he shrieks, eyes wide behind the mask, "He'll put me back in the bat box if I don't do what he says! I can't go back! Can never go back! You can't make me go back!"

He lifts a fist, striking viciously at the young man.

Gabby Kinney has posed:
It took a bit of manuevering, and jumping over rows of seats, but after a bit of a chase Gabby manages to shake Harley. Long enough to duck into the utility room which she quickly bars shut with a chair. ... Just in case. It never hurt to ensure someone wasn't about to sneak up on you.

<On it! Done in... thirty tops.> Thirty seconds. She's already at the breaker box throwing them open to begin doing what's needed. A breath is let out at the sight of the controls. "Oh good someone knows how to use a label maker around here!" That would make things all the quicker as she sets to work rerouting the power as required. All the while keeping a half ear out for any footsteps or sing-song taunting about clowns.

Selina Kyle has posed:
So the case didn't get submerged OR frozen; but it got away from Selina long enough for her to catch her breath a bit. Enough, at least, that she's able to get up and walk towards the field at a deent - if slightly unsteady - gait. Maybe she'll finally rethink the heels. As she passes Damian, she gives his shoulder a squeeze and just says "You're a good kid." with a bit of a sigh, before she grabs the heavy case and hauls it down a side passage, searching briefly before she's able to find a deep sink.

She hefts the case up with both hands, giving a sharp grunt before it drops into the tub with an almight clatter; then turns the water on before she limps back out into the hallway again and leans against a wall. "Haaaa..." she sighs. "... You'd think I'd be used to the stuff by now."

Austin Reese has posed:
Several members of the mob are trying to beat Austin down as he covers up the kid. It isn't until Scarecrow comes out of nowhere and grabs him up that he's forced to let go of the boy when he's hauled around to face the masked maniac.

He spots the hand coming in to try to strike him, and does what he can to bring his own hands up to try to block the blow. It won't be pretty, but at least he might be able to absorb most of it. He's still reeling from being hit several times and the effects of the gas, defense is his only option at that moment.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Well hell. At least Selina can make it to the case and submerge it. "Don't let anyone know." Like it's a big secret.

  <The case is neutralized.> He offers to comms. <How do we neutralize the gas trapped in the stadium?> Robin keeps the rebreather on for now. "He keeps reformulating it, so we have to adapt the antidote. Sometimes it's longer lasting, sometimes the hallucinations are stronger. I...have not been exposed to it before." He has a look of seriousness on his face at that, fresh memories, his family abandoning him.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
<I've got it.>

As the power is rerouted just in time, the machinery in the stadium's roof begins to groan and screech with the sound of tortured metal. The rooftop is closing, the hydraulics forcing it shut at a greater pace than usual thanks to some alterations to the mechanism. Like a falling angel, the Batman plummets headfirst through the opening just before it clangs shut to seal the gas inside.

He cape flares around him, slowing his descent enough to land noiselessly on the ground behind the Scarecrow. As he lifts his fist to strike Austin again, Batman catches it and draws his arm painfully behind is back. Scarecrow lets out a croak of pain before collapsing, arms drawn back and entwined in a cable tie in one slick movement.

The Bat kneels, lifting Austin by the chin to look him in the eyes. He doesn't ask permission as he lifts a hand, injecting the antidote directly into the young man's neck. Already the effects of the gas begin to clear, those not already overtaken by will being neutralized by the substance.

"You're okay," he growls, swooping both Austin and the boy he was defending up in one arm. It's a rather spectacular show of strength for one man to fire his grappling hook upwards and swing with them both across a bay of vacated seats. Letting them down somewhere safer, he lifts his gauntlet again. The stadium's ventilation fans begin to whir and hum, drawing in the gas and sucking it downwards to below-ground storage tanks.

<I've got the antidote,> he announces over the comms, pausing to give Austin and the boy another quick look to check on them, <Going to distribute it through the ventilation system. Find the Scarecrow's men and bring them in. I've dealt with Scarecrow.>

Selina Kyle has posed:
Catwoman's head is craned, watching the roof slowly close just an instant after Batman drops through it, and lets out a sharp breath she hadn't realized she was holding in. "Twenty years he's been doing that." Catwoman mumbles to Damian, her voice still shaky, though she's forcing a measure of confidence back into it.

Selina heaves a sigh, and regards Damian for a long moment. Then she simply pilfers a pair of batcuffs from his belt and walks back towards the fallen accomplice, taking a little extra time to roll the man upside down before cuffing his hands behind his back, around a small pillar. "There we go." She says tiredly, and gives the man a swat on the rump for good measure before moving back to the entrance and leaning against a wall. The antidote will filter in soon, and then... then she won't have to work so hard to be normal.

She opens one eye and arches an eyebrow at Damian as he speaks, before smirking a little and just silently making a little 'zipping closed' motion over her lips with one hand.

Gabby Kinney has posed:
<There's one I already dealt with in section E in the 34 row seats.> Gabby leans on the control console for the stadium regarding it while just catching her breath. This was far larger a mission than she'd been on in quite awhile. The rush of adrenaline that came with it hadn't yet worn off, but with no immediate threat to deal with, her heart was still racing. Or perhaps that was partially the fault of the gas as well? She couldn't be a hundred percent sure she hadn't gotten a little whiff of it when she'd had to cough to free her lung from the blood that had filled it. A quick shake of her head chases off such thoughts. Instead she offers a quick addendum to her first radio. <He should just be out cold.> Just to reassure the Bat that she wasn't going around killing people. Too many people seemed to think she would do that in her experience in spite of her actions to the contrary.

Abandoning the console she moves to join the others in the clean-up task. Knocking the chair away from the door she cautiously ventures forth, soon enough coming up toward the figures of Catwoman and Robin. "Are you both okay?"

Austin Reese has posed:
The sight of the figure coming up behind Scarecrow makes Austin scared. It's hard to ignore the imposing figure of the Batman, especially when hopped up on fear gas. Thankfully it seems that Batman is not there for him, instead taking down the Scarecrow in one quick move. Austin soon finds himself getting stuck in the neck by something, and his vision starts to clear immediately.

Which means he's very aware when Batman scoops him and the kid up and takes them up higher in the stands, where they'll be safe. Once he's sure the kid also gets the antidote, Austin stands back up, "Thank you." He says, as he looks upwards at the fans starting up, "I can help, just tell me where you need me." Maybe he can help distribute the cure somehow. He doubts he'll be able to do much more from up here though, at least not without one of those grapple guns.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian didn't catch Batman coming through like he did. "He just squeak through?" He asks, before looking back to Catwoman.

  The rebreather muffles his voice just a little, but he can be heard just fine. "Recovering." He mentions to Gabby, still looking a little frazzled from the gas. "I only got a light hit. But it was enough."

  <I am good enough to work. Where you need me Batman?> Robin starts to get out where he can get wherever he needs to be.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
"Get him to safety," Batman tells Austin in no uncertain turns, pointing at the boy, "The police are outside."

The lenses of his cowl take stock of Austin's face, running it against criminal profiles cached on the Bat-Computer. A profile runs alongside it, identification as much as can be scavenged from city records. Batman makes a mental note of this but says nothing further. Rather than insist upon his request, he simply steps up onto the back of one of the rows of seats and glides down - cape extended - towards the field.

<On my way to the sub-basement. Things are under control for now. Only a handful of victims still suffering and Scarecrow's in custody. We'll discuss it back at base.>

That said, he disappears into the tunnels beneath the stadium. The terrorized cries of the public still echoing through the otherwise now eerily silent stadium. He pauses for a moment, lifting a hand to press it against writing scratched in lurid green paint on the concrete wall.

'What is stronger than steel but can't handle the sun?'