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Post by Jonathan Crane on May 6, 2021 19:29:09 GMT 1
Crane groaned and growled as he reopened his eyes. He was met with a grey cloudy sky, the cold wind whipped at his body as he laid in what felt like soft grass. Sitting up he cast a glance over his shoulder only to be greeted with the sight of an old decrepit mansion. It was rather extravagant by the look of it, and even though its paint was now chipped and its windows boarded up and broken, it still gave off an inkling of the impressive home it had once been. It was very different from his own underground lab, one he was torn from in the middle of his work. He stood up to his full height, while not muscular like Bane, he still stood at an impressive height. He was still tall and lanky after all these years, it was no wonder why others called him Scarecrow.
He took a glance around the old property. The lawn had become overgrown, the walkways became riddled with dirt after what seemed like decades of no cleaning, and the nearby lamp posts were covered in vines like a biker with tattoos. No one has been here in quite some time. Am I outside of Gotham City? Or perhaps, I am even further than that.
Turning back to the large oak doors of the mansion he stood there for a moment. With purposeful steps and a long stride he made his way up the steps and tried the door. It was locked of course. He looked to one of the nearby windows, his one good eye peered inside. He was shocked to see that the interior was still intact. Gripping the wooden planks he pried them off, one by one, with some difficulty (again he wasn't Bane) but sure enough he managed to make himself an opening. Raising his booted foot he sent it through the glass creating a loud crashing sound as the glass shards rained down unto the floor.
Stepping inside he took a gander around. He found the structure of the home quite nice, even a bit impressive with how it held up through decades of neglect. Far superior to his old lab for sure. He walked aimlessly throughout the mansion in search of something, anything that would give away his whereabouts, and he found it. A gold platted plaque that read: Xavier Institute. That explains the school-esk feel to the place. He had never heard of such a place.
"So it would stand to reason that I am not in Gotham." He spoke to no one in particular, a deep and raspy edge to his voice. A certain chill climbed up his spine. Not a fearful chill, but one that snapped him from his thoughts. Someone was watching. "I would advise coming out, whoever you are. And please by all means, try testing my patience." The Scarecrow turned around, brandishing his toxin-filled syringe glove.
Post by Carmilla Black on May 6, 2021 23:47:38 GMT 1
Carmilla was use to wandering the streets aimlessly, with no idea nor direction of where she wanted to go. She let her feet take her wherever, guided by intrigue or interest, and sometimes just because she was bored. An occasional wandering stroll could be good for clearing the mind, setting her thoughts straight and sometimes finding the most interesting of situations.
Today was no different. The green haired woman found herself strolling through an older yet neatly kept neighborhood, full of upper class homes and mini-mansions. Even in her high-tech yet flexible Scorpion battle suit she was not bothered with being noticed, often strolling by without someone noticing and if they did tended to be gone moments later. It was nice out here, and yet too luxurious for her tastes. It vaguely reminded her of the grand halls and throne room AIM and HYDRA had, as well as the boot camp in Madripoor connected to the royal mansion. Luxury never suited Carmilla, and probably never would. She was content with an apartment, decent sized and comfortable rather than unnecessary space she saw with many of the buildings. But soon enough, she found herself in front of a much more decrepit, run-down mansion, massive in size and still impressive to look at despite the passage of time.
Pausing for a moment, the young woman raised her left hand and used a bit of her toxic touch to weaken and tear some of the vines away from a dirtied plague. The Xavier Institute, the school for mutants in her universe. It really looked like it hadn’t been touched in years, perhaps neglected by the owners of this universe. For a moment, Carmilla found herself wondering if Laura Kinney, AKA X-23, existed in this unusual nexus they were all drawn to only for those thoughts to shatter as the sound of glass breaking caught the young woman’s attention.
Glancing around, Carmilla made sure there were no passerbys before she vaulted herself over the fence with practiced ease, using her robotic tail to haul her over more easily and landing in the overgrowth of grass and vines. Landing in a half-crouch, she scanned the area closely before she spotted an opening in one of the windows, some of the plywood torn from the window as well as the glass broken from the outside. Vandalizers perhaps? Curious, Carmilla made her way towards the window, moving with a light foot across the unkempt yard so as to not draw attention immediately, waiting a minute or two before she soon climbed in after Crane. Still, she moved stealthily, following the sound of heavier foot steps and keeping to the shadows for a short while until she came across the source of the noise. It wasn’t some random group of bored teenagers as anticipated, but a man bearing an unusual striking appearance of a scarecrow. ‘That’s a new one.’
Though her presence was soon noticed, no doubt from a man who knew the chill of eyes watching him, causing Carmilla to raise a brow as he turned in her general direction. He was sharp but seemed to have an impatient side, and appeared to brandish a most unusual weapon of choice. Not knowing what she was about to get herself into, she decided to play it safe and on the defensive, stepping from the shadows as parts of her form fitting battle suit took on a eerie green color starting from her left hand and ending at the stinger on her tail tip, “Lack of patience can make a man sloppy.” She countered towards Crane with calm caution, eyeing the man with cold green eyes. “Suppose it’s safe to say you aren’t from around here hm?”
Post by Jonathan Crane on May 7, 2021 4:30:35 GMT 1
Scarecrow's one good eye surveyed this new arrival from head to toe. She wore a high-tech suit that vaguely resembled a scorpion, the technology woven into the suit seemed like something that could rival the Bat's technology. It looked both flexible and durable, it was unique, it was impressive. Crane cocked his head to the side as his needle-tipped hand sunk a bit. He didn't recognize the woman. She likely wasn't a supervillain, or at least not one from Gotham. Crane nearly sighed at the notion of crossing paths with a do-gooder so early into landing in this new realm, but after a few moments of watching her, he knew better. He knew a villain when he saw one. His cold grey eyes met her own.
He noticed how she watched him, standing a good distance away and studying him closely. She didn't necessarily seem afraid, something that irked the madman, to say the least, but she hardly seemed comfortable in his presence either. Deciding to test the limits of her boundaries he took a few steps forward, just a few paces. His face was more visible now. It was impossible to tell where his scarred skin ended and where the edges of his gasmask began, almost as though his skin and the old burlap material of the mask had meshed together. His mouth had rough jagged edges, his one working eye was a cold grey color, while the other was a cloudy white.
"I am not of this world," Crane spoke quietly as he put his hands behind his back. He began to walk once more, but not towards the woman, he walked around. He circled her like a vulture circled a carcass, taking great pains to ensure he remained out of her stinger's reach. His voice was stoic, soft and monotone, carrying a raspiness to it that wasn't always there. He watched her with much curiosity, it wasn't often he was introduced to new creatures like this. A new test subject perhaps? A plaything? So many possibilities. "I come from Gotham. I take it there is no Gotham in this world?"
"Oh, I assure my dear. I'm never sloppy." He retorted with an almost humorous edge to his voice. He finally stopped pacing around her after the fourth or fifth time and stopped in front of her. He still stood cautiously out of her reach, though his relaxed body language gave away his lack of any real fear.
"So tell me. Where am I?" He asked as he glanced around the old mansion once more. "And what about you? Are you of this world?"
Post by Carmilla Black on May 14, 2021 4:01:39 GMT 1
When Crane fully turned to her and took a few steps closer, only then did Carmilla get a proper look at her potential adversary. The man indeed bore a resemblance to a living scarecrow, down to the burlap sack upon his face that seemed to mesh into it and making it difficult to distinguish one from the other. His face appeared scarred in fact, and one of his eyes seemed a milky white indicating possible blindness. For most, such an appearance would prove to be unnerving, but for Carmilla it brought up a sense of weirdness more than anything, and even when he was just out of reach of her stingers she did not express any fear towards him so much as cold curiosity. Something of which reflected in his own expression.
Her eyes followed the man as he began to circle her, observing and watching him as much as he was with her and only tilting her head when he began to answer her. His voice was surprisingly raspy and quiet, more so than she was expecting. “You’ll have to pardon me, but I don’t exactly know of this Gotham of which you speak.” She answered with having never heard of such a location before. Perhaps a city of whatever dimension this man fell through? There seemed to be a lot of unknowns coming into play the more people arrived to this very universe. Though it would not be hard to figure that out for sure since this place seemed so...odd in its own right. “You actually landed in the Big Apple itself, New York City, more specifically North Salem.” No point in not telling him that much, he would find out sooner or later.
Though a faint smile began tugging at her lips, “Never sloppy hm? I am sure we are all sloppy at one point my scarecrow-esque friend.” She interjected before slowly relaxing her stance somewhat but her tail remaining curled over her poised to strike if necessary. Carmilla knew better than to completely let her guard down. “As for me, I am not from here either. I come from a very different version of New York, and have been here for a few months thus far.” She answered him, crossing her arms as she continued to watch Crane, “But, I have a feeling you will not be the last individual to fall from these mysterious portals. No one seems to know exactly what is causing them or dragging individuals like us to this nexus.” She explained to him before pausing to think for a moment. “And you may call me Scorpion.” She introduced herself shortly thereafter.
If they were going to talk, couldn’t hurt to know who or what she was dealing with and vice versa.
Post by Jonathan Crane on May 18, 2021 17:20:37 GMT 1
"New York City," Crane repeated quietly to himself. His own universe had its own version of New York City, a few big heroes had come from there: John Stewart, Supergirl, Nightwing, and the like. Though it was obvious this wasn't the New York City he was familiar with. He would have remembered a school for gifted meta-humans, likely would've terrorized its students. It was strange to think that this world's New York was comfortable enough with meta-humans to open up a school for superpowered youth, then again heroes always did seem partial to having underage sidekicks, something that Crane never fully understood. It hardly matters anyway, this place hasn't seen students or faculty in years. Maybe decades.
Scarecrow let out a raspy chuckle. Very rarely did he find someone so partial to his unsettling appearance, let alone taking part in banter with him. "I suppose you are right." He placed his hands behind his back as he watched the young woman careful. His one good eye flashed with interest. "Oh, so you and I are not the only people to fall into this new world?" He briefly considered the idea that, perhaps, he would cross paths with other villains he knew, or their alternate-universe counterparts. Perhaps he could even cross paths with another version of himself. The mere thought of that nearly sent him spiralling down the psychologist rabbit hole, a hole filled with what-ifs about his true fears and nature. Oh, how interesting it would be if he could grapple with his own ego.
"Do you have any idea what caused this rip in time and space?" He asked as he once again cast a glance around his surroundings. He had heard some things here and there about Quantum Theory, something about alternate universes and all that rot. Up until this very moment he wasn't very interested in the theory, psychology always suited him best, but if he was going to be spending some time here he may as well learned how he got here, and if there was a way to go back. There was, after all, a Batman back in his world just begging to be terrorized.
"My apologies, it seems I have forgotten my manners." Holding out his needle-clad hand to the woman he smiled, though it was hardly a comforting one given his, well, disfigurement. "I am Scarecrow. Pleased to meet your acquaintance. It's very rare I find someone so-" He paused for a brief moment. "Unafraid."
Post by Carmilla Black on May 24, 2021 13:06:14 GMT 1
Carmilla was quiet for a bit, letting the idea of being in a completely different New York, much less a different dimension altogether, sink in for the man. With all things considered he seemed to be taking it rather well where most might panic or wander aimlessly trying to make sense of what had occurred to them. Admittedly, she had gone looking for answers herself and had required some trial-and-error before she got a grasp of what the situation had been.
At least she could offer some help in clearing up that confusion for someone else.
Talk of being sloppy aside, the green haired woman turned her attention fully to his first inquiry, “Hardly. It seems whatever has been causing the random portals to appear have been pulling people from all sorts of dimensions and universes, including ones we have never heard of for some.” She explained a bit more, acknowledging for Crane that she would not be the only individual he found who may not know or his universe and vice versa. Which did bring up an interesting notion of what other types of worlds and realities lies out there, yet to be known or discovered across the multiverse. “And some seem to be throwing out theories to the sources of these mysterious happenings. Those of this universe believe us otherworldly aliens, sent here to take over their world and others believe we’re some part of greater conspiracy that was hidden by governments.” There was an amused edge to her voice as she spoke towards the end, never being one to take conspiracy theories seriously. “But on another front, it is believed the cause is from objects we call Infinity Stones in my home universe, six powerful otherworldly gemstones with different powers but on their own are a force to be reckoned with. Or not. Depends on who you ask.”
Not that Carmilla herself had ever been remotely involved in such otherworldly matters. Such a job had been left to SWORD, the Avengers, and a few other short-lived teams. The only outer space threat she had ever really faced was Venom and the World Breaker aspect of the man she believed to be her father. She left that theorizing to Otto.
Glancing down at the man’s hand as be introduced himself, she still seemed guarded about making pleasantries but suspected by now if Scarecrow, aptly chosen codename, had intended to harm her would have attempted to do so already. Letting out a slow breath she uncrossed her arms, reaching out to shake with her right hand as the eerie green glowing briefly disappeared from it to avoid poisoning the man. “Aptly named I must say. But then again, suppose I am not one to talk.” She commented, offering a brief smile of her own. “In our line of work, you get use to the unsettling and oddities. Your schema is different I will admit, but nothing that is out of the ordinary for me.” She explained as she let her hand rest at her side.
Post by Jonathan Crane on May 30, 2021 3:39:18 GMT 1
Crane allowed the notion to sink in. The idea of being in a new world, one without a Gotham, did not trouble him too much. As far as he was concerned, fear was universal. Where he was did not matter so long as he could strike fear into the hearts of the locals. This new change could actually be good for him. In this new city, there would be no competition. No Penguin, no Two-face, no Joker, and no Batman. If he played his cards right, got a feel for this new world, he could carve quite a decent chunk for himself. His own personal area for testing his latest toxins. The thought nearly warmed his chest. Crane's face pulled into an odd smile as his mind wandered over the possibilities.
"Infinity Stones?" His smile dropped as the woman regained his attention. He fell silent as he hung onto every word in regards to the stone. Powerful magical gems? It sounded like something out of a fairytale, but he could hardly downplay the potential of such an object. There were plenty being in his old world which had magic-based abilities, though he rarely interacted with such people. If there was power to be had, even in a magic stone, he wanted it. If he could find these stones, even just a piece of them, and harness their power, it would bring him even closer to his end goal of total domination. "Interesting."
"Ah, yes. People in our line of work. Tell me, what are your gifts? Assassin? Mercenary for hire?" Crane asked curiously. Crane might not have been the strongest villain in Gotham, nor the most powerful, but he was good at one thing. Networking. "I have a proposal for you my dear. Despite falling into this world my end-game has not changed. I plan on carving out a nice chunk of this new world for myself, a territory if you will. You seem like a capable and valuable ally." He spoke smoothly as his eyes met Scorpion's. He had been through this song and dance before, recruiting was always the easy part, it was not scaring away the help that he struggled with. Though something inside him told him that the woman was not so easily scared away.
"You will be paid handsomely, of course, and you will be given your own portion of the city if that is what you wish." He tilted his head slightly as he read her reaction. His promises were true, if he could spare an area of the city for her she would have it. He wasn't a greedy man.
Post by Carmilla Black on Jun 2, 2021 4:00:50 GMT 1
Crane’s reaction in regards to the Infinity stones told her volumes even if he didn’t know it. For one, it told her that he more than likely came from a universe that did not have such powerful elements. Second, the mere mention of the power they could possess seemed to capture his attention, noticing he became more attentive and focused on her words, hanging on each one. If he was like any other supervillain undoubtedly this would be appealing to someone such as Scarecrow, quietly noting to herself that he seemed much like any other. Domination or causing chaos was his end goal.
Her thoughts turned away from the Infinity stones for the moment as she gave a faint smile. “Espionage, sabotage, enforcer, mercenary, you name it I have been at least one of those things.” She answered him, resting her hands on her hips. “A Jack of all Trades if you will, but at the present I stand as a mercenary for hire.” Which in truth still felt right, being her own person, not taking orders from others or being used as their personal guinea pig. “Honestly, I don’t stand by any of this good versus evil side either. I like to think an open mind means more opportunity.” A part of Carmilla was curious what Crane’s perception was of her when they first met in this moment. Did he think her a villain? Perhaps too mysterious to know? Sometimes it was interesting to hear the different opinions, especially when she walked that dangerous razor’s edge.
Though the sudden offer that followed did catch Carmilla by surprise.
Yea, she definitely hadn’t been expecting that. But, it confirmed her suspicions from earlier, Scarecrow wanted what most villains that fell through the portal wanted: chance to create the world in their image or build a place for themselves. It was a noble goal in an odd sense. Everyone wanted a piece of the pie, a place they felt like they belonged somehow. “I’m afraid I will have to turn down the offer to an extent.” No use mincing words or giving the usual “I’ll think about it” schtick, “I’m not a woman particularly interested in world or territorial domination. It is just a means to an end with the work I do.” She told him. “Technically I am already offering my services with another, but if you need the help getting on your feet, I can offer my alliance however I can. Temporary support if you will.”
That felt like a fair offer in her mind. She was technically still allied with Otto but not particularly breaking the deal they had made. No, for Carmilla, this was expanding her clientele so to speak. Villain, hero, anti-hero, it was all the same to her. “What do you say Scarecrow? Get you set up and rolling in this universe, half the funds you would normally pay since it’s not the full package. Seem fair?” She negotiated and this time offering her own hand.
Post by Jonathan Crane on Jun 10, 2021 1:29:01 GMT 1
"Honestly, I don’t stand by any of this good versus evil side either. I like to think an open mind means more opportunity."
"Ah, you and I are alike. I was never a fan of ethics or 'morality' much either." Crane's words were truthful. As a young man, he had always contently walked moral greys, even as a child he was a tad morally dubious. He never did care for the predetermined societal rules that others seemed to enjoy forcing on him. He always found such concepts needlessly restrictive, especially suffocating for the mad scientist and self-proclaimed master of fear.
Scarecrow's body language gave nothing away as she gently rejected his offer, well, sort of rejected. It was obvious to him she had some sort of prior engagement, though she didn't completely adverse to working with him either. This eased his mind just a bit. Finding a worker to do his bidding full-time in the future would hardly be a problem, especially if this world's Gotham was anything like his own, the type of place where a gun-for-hire could be found by nearly every seedy street corner. Considering his lack of stability at the moment he considered the deal a good one. The woman would prove useful, at least for now.
"That sounds perfect." He agreed as he shook her hand with his needle-gloved hand, not that the woman seemed to mind. She didn't seem to share any phobia for needles or sharp objects. He gave her hand a light shake as he signified agreement with their setup.
"When I do get a decent foothold in this world, perhaps a lair of sorts, I will contact you if I am in any need of your services." His monotone voice informed her politely. "The information you have given me about these stones has been invaluable, to say the least. I hope you are up for some treasure hunting in the future."
"Oh, I must ask before I go. Do you have any special abilities I should be aware of? Body enhancements? Superpowers?" He asked with interest as he carefully watched her face.
Post by Carmilla Black on Jun 14, 2021 19:37:29 GMT 1
To see Scarecrow as a morally dubious individual seemed unlikely in Carmilla’s mind. Given his appearance, she would be far more inclined to consider him more of the villain type, more so given the motivations he seemed to have. But, she wasn’t one to judge. Carmilla has more than made her own morally ambiguous choices, swinging back and forth across the lines even if she had been more of the heroic sort.
With their deal made she only smiled, “Things may get a little more interesting around here then.” She remarked as she let her hand fall back at her side.
Given the growing numbers of villains though, Carmilla was becoming all too aware she would have to soon consider her own priorities. Soon, Otto likely would not be the only major player in the market to take over the world, much less dominate the competition, which meant she would have to be precarious in her future dealings. She had agreed to Otto’s offer, but she couldn’t ignore the fact her services were still open. She was a mercenary for hire after all, therefore she would be branching out her services beyond the mechanical armed man she called an ally. Besides, this deal with Scarecrow would likely not be long-term, or at the very least on and off in terms of being needed. Conflicts of interest would certainly pop up in the future, but Carmilla didn’t sweat the small details for now. All that mattered was she was making a life for herself, building life from being torn away from what she knew and adapting to an unknown future.
“Hm, there will be no lack of that I assure you. Portal and treasure hunting will be plentiful for some time.” She assured him, giving a small nod to show she would be ready to act any time. “More than likely our paths will cross again soon enough if you’re hunting for the Infinity shards.”
With that said, the young woman turned on her heel to leave, feeling they had stayed there long enough in their conversation. But she paused however when Crane inquired to what she could do, if anything special. Smiling slightly, she glanced over her shoulder, “I was scientifically engineered in the womb along with several others to survive nuclear fall out; poison, radiation, stuff like that don’t harm or bother me. And my body produces and processes poison which I store for a rather potent weapon.” As she spoke towards the last part, Carmilla raise her left hand that glowed far more strongly than the rest of her body had earlier when she had spread her poison across the suit to distribute it.