For a brief moment the three battlers stood stunned; silenced by this sudden development. In the distance the giant Cyclops did what came naturally to one borne of such destructive magic. It destroyed. It levelled buildings with a sweep of its enormous arms. It cracked the road beneath it with every movement of its titanic feet. Batman was the first to regain his composure. Sure this was pretty weird but walking the mean streets of Gotham City you got used to weird. A massive one eyed monster seemed comparatively normal when compared to that villain who saw through the tips of his fingers.
“What did you do?” He demanded.
“What did I do?” Rannus snapped incredulously. “This was your idea!”
“Excuse me?” Batman snapped back. “I said to blow the mist away not to create a giant monster to terrorise the town.”
“You don’t know the first thing about magic do you?” Rannus retorted. “I should have never let you talk me into such a reckless course of action!”
“Yeah I don’t know the first thing about magic.” Batman replied. “But I am not a magician, I don’t use magic. What’s your excuse?”
“Why don’t you come over here and say that?” Rannus’ crystal face was set into a grim scowl.
“Gladly.” Batman replied putting his fists up.
“GUYS!” Kay’s shout finally managed to get through to the angry pair.
They turned and followed her gaze. Standing off in the distance the Cyclops had uprooted a building and was holding it over its head. Barely a second later and it threw the inn over the town, towards the three combatants. As the building sailed through the air, chunks of wall crumbled away and furniture and bodies plummeted from the hurtling hotel, smashing into the buildings below. In the couple of seconds they had Kay and Batman desperately tried to flee the area of impact. Rannus clapped his hands together, spread them in front of him and focused. As the inn neared them it seemed to decelerate. Ever so slowly its speed lessened and lessened until it was practically on top of them but at a dead stop. It did not make it any more stable than it had been as more pieces of the inn sloughed off into the street below. Batman and Kay, now clear of the structure, watched as the archmage gently lowered the building. He didn’t have anywhere large enough to put it down without incident and so it ended up sort of straddling the smallest buildings, the drooping remnants of the building hanging across the street. Rannus gasped for breath for a moment.
“That was a little too close.” Batman said. Kay nodded her agreement. Batman thought for a moment and darted back to where Rannus was struggling to regain his composure. Kay sighed and after a moment she followed him.
“You and me, we’re okay for now.” Batman said as he reached Rannus. “More importantly, what do we do about The Evil Eye over there?”
“Well…” Rannus began thoughtfully. He glanced towards the distant Cyclops, merrily smashing buildings, and decided that it was probably best not to stay in one place for too long. “I posit that the concentration of fog directly affects what kind of creature it can support. Previously when the fog was in a dilute state, a large amount spread over the entire town, only small monsters were being manufactured. Compressed down into a relatively small volume allows it to create something much more complicated.”
“So…?” Kay asked.
“So my previous encounters with the creatures borne of this fog demonstrated that their bodies were temporary, designed to dissipate back into the fog when they were incapacitated, killed or otherwise.” Rannus continued. “I hypothesise that without that high concentration of fog this creature’s form cannot be maintained. We simply need to find a way to allow the fog to dilute itself, to spread naturally across the town. The simplest course of action is obvious.”
“It is?” Batman looked lost.
“Well…” Rannus began, “I suppose it is only obvious if you are familiar with the principles of magic. The tornado spell is beyond my control but it is finite. It cannot absorb more mana of its own accord and so eventually, given enough time it will burn itself out and the fog will be allowed to settle back over the town naturally.”
“You want us to sit around and wait?” Batman asked. “Batman does not simply wait for a crisis to be over.”
“Let’s just get over there and kill it.” Kay snapped impatiently. “No fancy plans. I’m sick of your long words and long speeches. Let’s just go and kill it until it is dead.”
“But…” Kay shot Rannus an exasperated look. “This is relevant and I will keep it as short and simple as I can. If we kill the monster it will dissipate back into the mist and five maybe ten minutes later the mist will have manufactured some new monstrosity for us to deal with. So yes you could kill it, at least in theory, but it is not a permanent solution by any stretch of the imagination.” There was a silence as Batman and Kay absorbed what Rannus was telling them and as Rannus tried to ponder a solution to their problem.
“It is still better than doing nothing.” Batman said his voice full of resolve.
“I…” Rannus hesitated. “I can’t say for certain but I don’t think this fog is natural. I think there is another magic user here, someone presumably native, who has enchanted this fog to produce these monsters for some reason. Hypothetically you kill this person and you render the fog inert; the monster diffuses the same way as if we’d diluted the fog.”
“Could be those weirdoes that we were fighting before you showed up?” Kay said thoughtfully. Batman nodded his agreement.
“Okay.” Rannus said with a nod. “You go deal with them I will do my best to stop this monstrosity from destroying the entire city in the meantime.” Without waiting for a response Rannus performed a short incantation, taking care not to overdo things this time, and with a slight azure glow he floated into the air in the direction of the Cyclops.