He'd been working with the League because the White Council needed all the help it could get if it was to remain relevant. The Day Watch had essentially destroyed it, taken out the leadership, and made it look easy too. If they didn't stabilize quickly, they might as well give up, and become a club for old men to rub shoulders, and talk about the old days rather then a decisive force for good. And so, he'd done his best to tie himself to the new age, and hoped that they could become a represented minority, like the mutants.
Course, the mutants had numerous advantages in that direction that wizards were finding out. At the very least, they had a very charismatic, universally respected leader. Wizards on the other hand were a fractious bunch, it was amazing enough as it was that they could even make as much progress as they did and agree to form the council, let alone what it meant now. It was a battle uphill to keep them going at all.
That and he was also the only member of the Order of the Dark Tower left on this world. It was a hard group to be a part of, though he got the impression sometimes he was only keeping the seat warm for whoever was going to replace him. But at the moment, his membership meant his job was to keep an eye out for multiversal threats. On top of his duties in regards to what was left of the council, and to The League. Yes, he was even more overworked then he'd ever been before.
So that was why he found himself in Gotham, looking up at the top of the bank where an old man in robes was making dramatic, flamboyant and over the top gestures and yelling at the top of his voice, filling in every cliché in the book all on his own. Gotham had no shortage of maniacs, but this was something else. Somebody had to do something. The answer was obvious.
He was Ramirez, easily at hand. And he was a wizard, and Batman was busy, so it was Ramirez's job to deal with him, because of his 'experience' at these matters. Experience. Right. Two months ago, physics had explicitly worked differently, and nobody wore costumes. Now it had always been that way, and he was 'experienced'.
The wizard he had come to deal with could have been pulled from any children's picture book ever written. He certainly fitted the bill of a second-rater. A sure sign of this was that he had all the time-honored attributes of every stereotypical wizard, a mane of unkept hair the color of tobacco ash and a beard that jutted out like the prow of a ship, and a pair of particularly bristly eyebrows. His nose was long and broken, his eyes a watery pale blue, and he was stooped and hunched. He even had a staff that he was flourishing proudly like a conductors baton as he ranted and raved and occasionally sent a torrent of sparks up into the air.
Right now he was laughing maniacally. "I shall call upon the eldritch forces forgotten by all, and use them to blanket this city in eternal night. The sun shall never rise again over Gotham, law and order shall break down, and the city shall devolve into chaos as the forces of Old Night conquer it for their own!" He yelled, from within a pentagram that looked more like a giant chaos-theory propeller, drawn in chalk.
"Why's he telling us all this?" Ramirez asked Zantanna, who had accompanied him, given he was still largely a non-entity and was being given on the job training. Essentially, he'd go in and try to sort things out. If he didn't pull it off, she'd be his safety net. It was an uphill battle, but he wasn't trying to stare down at her top or looking at her legs. Or at least, making sure he wasn't caught. "I mean, we'll know when he's done, won't we?"
"Kraklow's old school." She replied, shrugging. "Now go up there and shut him up. I'll be here as back-up."
Ramirez blinked. "So you're tossing me in solo?"
"That a problem?"
"Not to Ramirez." He declared, trying to sound as confident as the more experienced heroes sounded and not quite pulling it off. Still, having her as support wasn't exactly a problem. You could do a lot worse.
He climbed up the fire escape, to find the wizard still yelling up the top. He removed his gun. The League frowned, but didn't actually forbid (at least expressly) and he preferred it to always falling back on magic. Better gun and lateral thinking then being reduced to a single gimmick, at least as far as he was concerned. Too many people relied on their single talent, and were no use at all out of their element.
"Yeah, gonna have to stop you there, gramps." he said, pointing it squarely at him, taking aim with both hands. It was a big, big gun. Kraklow, now styling himself 'The Midnight Magician', turned slowly, narrowing his eyes. "And who the inferno are you supposed to be?" He asks, his voice becoming peeved.
"I'm a warden. And you're being difficult. That's a shooting offense." Ramirez said. "Now step down, and we'll try a reduced sentence. Come on, make it easy on both of us."
"A warden?" He chortled. "Stars and Stones, don't make me laugh." He said. "A warden with a gun. What's the world coming to? We didn't need any of that sort of thing in my day. We used the gifts we were given, not questionable scientific gadgetry. And that was the way we liked it!"
"Yeah, well, things change." Ramirz said, double-checking his aim and hoping he wouldn't have to fire.
"Not so much as you seem to think. Hexus!" He made a largely superfluous gesture, and the gun just fell apart, as all it's components violently pushed away from each other.
Ramirez blinked, surprised. That was pretty good, actually. Perhaps he could pull the look off afterall.
"I have a question. What's the point of all this?" Ramirez pointed out, trying to regain the upper hand.
"Seems sort of pointless. I mean, eternal night's not really possible, no matter how much power you have. And even if you did, how does making it night forever benefit you? Or are you just generally evil?" Ramirez asked. Eternal night. Now that would be a hell of a ritual. He almost wished Kraklow wasn't blatantly crazy, anyone with the brilliance to figure out how to do that was just the sort of man the wizards would need if they were going to carve out a place in this world.
"I'm three hundred years old." Kraklow said. "Show some respect to your elders. I'll have you know that I have the imagination to make eternal night work for me. And it's a simple matter. All I need is to change the location of the poles, and the axis the earth rotates on."
Ramirez nearly laughed at that. "I'll admit, it's theoretically possible. But it's still not a good idea. Now, step down. Your just confused, or possibly senile, and you don't want to do what you're trying to do."
"Senile? Me? Watch what you say. Back in my day, we didn't have these fancy focii and other what-have-you to do our magic. We just had good old fashioned mongrel and applied will." He rambles, waving his arms in the air to illustrate the point. "You damn kids these days don't have a clue what wizarding is all about. Now I might never have been on your council. But I do know that proper wizards wear robes and have pointy fucking hats, and you damn kids today with your 'techno-magic' and your 'voodoo' babble and all the rest of it don't know how to properly summon a cacodaemon worth a good goddamn."
"Yeah?" Ramirez said, having moved into place while the old man continued his ponderous, though admittedly justified, rant. "Well what happens if I do this?" he smudged the ritual circle with the heel of his boot.
"NOOOOO! You fool!" Kraklow said, horrified. "I am undone! Now I must wait a hundred years before trying again!" He snarled, and met Ramirez's gaze. "This is not over." With that he called thunder, and vanished in a puff of smoke. Ramirez looked around, but there was no sign of him at all. Well, he had no clue what to make of that one. In the end he tossed a bucket of water over the elaborate circle, then stepped back to the street, where his watcher was levitating.
"Congratulations, Ramirez." Zantanna said, after he explained it to her, after laughing. He supposed he could see the funny side himself, though it all felt slightly unreal. "You just got a nemesis."
"Huh." Ramirez said, privately hoping that was not the case. So he'd turned out to be a pretty good wizard, Kraklow was still far less exciting then he felt he deserved. Having to deal with his attempts at revenge every month would quickly become a tedious chore. It occurred to him that anyone who saw a crazed wizard trying to kill him as a chore was probably taking nowhere near enough care, but he decided he didn't care.
"Did I get the girl?" He said, doing his best to flirt.
"I'll let you know if I see her." She replied lightly, then walked away.