hypnotic_patter: (Presentation)
Bass, Alto, and Soprano had known about Billy's new consort shortly after Billy did. Of course he'd left out some of the details of how it had happened (the drunken half-remembered sex, for instance) but the general gist was that he had a Romantic Partner and everyone should recognize how awesome he was for having one.

Alto found Music Meister's enthusiasm adorable, like an eager teenager trying to work references to having a <3~boyfriend~<3 into every single conversation. Her boss had always seemed like a fairly sweet guy and she had extended fantasies of candlelight interludes, riverside serenades, and expensive gifts stolen from the most elite of galleries.

Soprano, who'd had a rotating string of bad boy affairs that almost inevitably ended in disaster, was a little more cynical about the subject. Music Meister had a tendency to bring drama into everything, no pun intended, and the person he waxed eloquent about this week might be the unholy spawn of the Devil as soon as they found something to argue about.

Bass had little opinion on Ragdoll, but he rarely had opinions on things that didn't involve money, imminent danger, or edible products. A happy boss meant less fuss and tantrums so he supposed he was for it.

And their happy boss had been quite daring tonight. Between hectic missions, Arkham visits, and troublesome New England geography Billy and Peter hadn't seen each other in person since the cultist incident. Worryingly explicit (or even more worryingly vague) text messages were no match for a proper romantic get-together. With Ragdoll arriving in town that evening Billy needed to get boyfriend funds together quickly, so he'd neglected the usual ploy of stealing a large shiny object in favor of going after actual cash--in this case, a craps game run by one of the more affluent Gotham gangs. Such games dealt in untraceable cash and goods, and tended to be more on guard against cops than a rousing rendition of "Luck Be a Lady". They'd be upset later, Billy imagined, but what could they possibly do to him? They were mere mobsters and he an archcriminal. At least he'd be spending the money on healthier things than drugs and prostitutes.

The Tempest wasn't originally designed to hold company for more than the length of a show, but Billy had made appropriate accommodations. A few seats had been removed from the balcony to make room for an antique table, as well as an easy chair from which to watch films on the theater's retractable projector screen. Bass, in pinstripes-sans-jacket, was setting the table with fancy silverware and candlesticks. They'd been drafted into wait staff duty for the 'afterparty', as well as making the preparations while the boss was out buying appropriate romance supplies.

Alto was lounging in her flapper girl costume, playing with the long string of beads. A glittering headband with a peacock feather stood out in her blonde hair. Soprano, with her boy cut and less flamboyant style, wore a Coco-Chanel styled women's suit whose kitten heels she'd swapped for sturdy leather boots. Her bell-shaped hat was hanging off the armrest of one of the chairs.

"So what's he like?"


"I mean, as a person."

"Freaky. He's got these scars all over him and the way he moves is just...freaky. It's like watching a spider with half the legs."

"That doesn't mean he's a bad guy." Alto re-crossed her legs, stockinged feet propped up on the balcony railing. "Meister's plenty weird too. And there's Mr. Nygma, he treats his girls real well and he's all kinds of crazy."

"Look, I only met the guy once and we were both kinda busy. I got no idea what he does in his personal time."

"Besides the boss, hee hee."

"You are such a goddamn twelve-year-old."

"Come on, it's cute that Meister's got a guy. He even went and rescued the boss from those jerks who kidnapped him and that's totally adorable. I bet he's got that same romantic spark Meister does."

"You know Ragdoll's on a mercenary assassin team, right? He's probably wanted for murder in ten states."

"...still doesn't make it not cute."
hypnotic_patter: (Suited for Suits)
Given the nature of his business Ragdoll had a habit of going off the radar for days or weeks at a time. Billy was generally all right with it. Plenty of people had long-distance relationships where their first conversation in a month involved giddy Skype calls from remote South American dictatorships that had recently had a major administration shift.

Still, he kept tabs in the best way he could. When his Google Alerts notified him that "Peter Merkel Jr." had made the news again he abandoned his half-finished sonic gun and ran to see what his dancing doll had done to make the world more interesting. The scene of a smoking building half-submerged in the river made him smile. Meister popped open a soda and stretched out to watch the news report.

The costume worn by one combatant was identified as that of Peter Merkel Jr., better known as Ragdoll, while the identity of his attackers was unclear. Their brutal battle spanned several city blocks, ending at a fuel station used for local barges. It's unclear exactly how the fire started but the blaze quickly led to a massive explosion that demolished several nearby buildings. Witnesses report that Merkel's injuries during the battle were quite severe, indicating he most likely died in the explosion. The only bodies identified so far were those of local dock workers, and two others were burned beyond recognition. So far no one knows the motives behind--

Some part of him had always assumed Ragdoll was invincible. Rubbery, able to bounce back from any catastrophe with a smile and a bizarre quip. In some ways he had seemed more force of nature than mortal human. Billy left increasingly desperate messages on Peter's voice mail, but after a few days of silence denial seemed impossible. He huddled in his dressing room trying to write some appropriate requiem in Peter's honor. Nothing he could create seemed grand enough to encompass the beautiful kaleidoscope chaos that was Ragdoll. He spent hours staring at the ceiling with the RENT soundtrack playing in the background, devoid of inspiration or the will to create.

At the end of the week a knock on the back door roused him from restless drowsing. He leapt from his bed and ran to the door, still in t-shirt and boxers, hoping against hope that--

Who the heck were these dorks?

A group of one man and two women were gathered in his back alley. Their clothes were loose white muslin with embroidered red coats. All of them wore elaborate jewelry and golden bangles around their wrists, as well as beads threaded into their long braids. "Music Meister." The group bowed low to him, as if he were some pope of weird people. "It is an honor, a privilege, to finally be in your presence."

"Eh?" He brushed his hair out of his eyes. "Who exactly are you?"

"We are the Acolytes of the Celestial Echo." Possibly they could sense how close he was to ordering them to pile themselves in the nearby dumpster, so the explanation was extremely rushed. "We believe that the universe was created by a single song, and that this song was then taught by the gods to the first humans. All songs thereafter are humanity's feeble attempts to recreate that which they once knew, buried deep within our ancestral memory. No living person can repeat it, for time has withered our voices."

"I see. You're crazy people." When he found who gave them his address he was going to beat them with a stick. Billy frowned. "I'm really not in the mood for creepy cults right now."

Again the low bows, their jewelry clinking. "We are sorry for your loss. We know how it must pain you."

"You know nothing about it." He had the door slammed in their faces before the implications of their words fully sunk in. The door opened a crack. "...what do you know about it?" Few people knew he was connected to Peter, let alone dating him. It wasn't their business.

"We have been following you for some time. You have a voice like no other, something precious beyond measure, and we believe it may accomplish what no other voice can. You alone, Music Meister, could bring the first song back into the world."

"So basically you're saying you're my stalkers." He leaned on the door, arms folded. This was not garbage he needed to be dealing with before coffee and a shower. "I appreciate the sentiment, I just don't care. There won't be any performances for a while, and you should understand why."

"Fully." The lead man reached into the ragged bag hanging at his side and produced a familiar mask. It had obviously been cleaned, but traces of dried blood and dirt lingered where the false hair met the pale face. Billy gaped.

"Why do you..."

"It was pulled from the rubble by the police. We recovered it by--"

"Give it to me!" Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar?
Billy snatched it out of the acolyte's thin fingers, hugging it tightly to his chest. His fingers ran fondly through the red mass of yarn. To Billy the mask was Peter's face as much as the scarred flesh beneath it.

"If you will come with us you may get back the rest of him...and more besides. The song created the world. Bringing one soul back from the dead would be a minor affair by comparison. Come with us and we shall teach you the song that meager mortals cannot sing. You will be worshiped as a new Apollo with we your willing servants, and your dancer shall return to your side."

Billy tongued the gap between his teeth. In his thoughtfulness he did not hear the soft humming by the acolyte in the back or see the way her fingers moved in arcane patterns across the symbol held in his first two fingers. The merest nudge, though even that took a great deal of their power. They appealed to the Songbringer's grief and his pride in unison, and this was only the final push to tip him over the edge of the cliff. The mask of the fallen dancer would bring his lover under their sway.

"Keep talking."
hypnotic_patter: (Opera)
[Carrying over from this post.)

Music Meister’s been in contact with the Riddler ever since his dramatic rescue and by now they’ve got the heist neatly planned out. He’s sent Riddler lyrics (and later recordings) of the be-riddled song he plans to use on his victims, and the puzzles are so woven into the more normal lyrics that the Batman will have to work hard to even know they’re there. Now it’s time for their final preparations.

The address Music Meister gave Riddler will lead him to a closed theatre. The doors are boarded up, though the boards are painted black with window patterns in order to make them seem more attractive. For an abandoned building it seems to be in fairly good shape. The doors are locked, though the lock is easily picked. Behind the doors the lie is further exposed. The lobby and box office have been completely refurbished with an elegant cream and gold tiled floor and walls hung with framed posters for musicals and concerts. The doors leading into the theater itself are also shut, the better to keep the heat in and the wind out.


Sep. 1st, 2012 12:01 pm
hypnotic_patter: (Default)

Name: Billy Harris
Alias: The Music Meister
Age: 26

Appearance: Billy Harris has blue eyes, chin-length orange hair and a notable gap in his front teeth. He is broad-shouldered and reasonably strong, though more by genetics and heavy lifting of props than any intentional training. Unlike many villains, Music Meister's wardrobe is not consistent. He has a wide range of costumes based on musical genres or specific musicians such as Elvis or Liberace. Whichever costume he's wearing may relate to the heist he's pulling or simply be his preference of the moment. The costumes generally have a green and purple color theme. They are accompanied by a visor with a musical note pattern on the front, which substitutes for the glasses he wears as a civilian. His bears a surprising resemblance to that of well-known performer Neil Patrick Harris, despite a complete lack of family relation.

Background: Billy Harris had a mostly average childhood. He developed a passion for music at a young age, particularly singing, though he was a frequent target of bullying. At thirteen his voice cracked during choir practice and Billy found himself able to reach a specific pitch he hadn't been able to achieve before--a pitch that allowed him to control the minds of the people around him.

Billy kept his ability a secret, letting his less-than-perceptive parents believe that people were simply enthralled by his musical talent. He did casual experimentation on the children he babysat, and less harmless experiments with his former bullies. In college he majored in electrical engineering rather than the performing arts as many had expected. He had already dispensed with his dreams of musical fame and begun planning his career as a supervillain.

After college Billy moved to Gotham City and purchased (for a hypnotically-induced low price) a run down theater. This would become both his base of operations and his home for the next year and a half. He refurbished the theater into a proper concert hall (with makeshift living quarters in the dressing room) while planning his debut performance as the Music Meister.

Music Meister seized his chance when the launch of a communications satellite was interrupted by Gorilla Grodd, Clock King, and Black Manta. When Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Black Canary arrived to stop the trio Music Meister stepped in to take control of all six. He used the group to attach a device to the satellite before launching it. During the heist he realized the beauty of Black Canary's singing voice and became enamored of her. Batman arrived on the scene and employed a set of sound-filtering earbuds in order to block out Music Meister's hypnotic pitch. Music Meister set the group on him as a distraction and then ordered them to dance into the rocket's flames while he made his escape.

After rescuing the heroes and arresting the villains, Batman tracked Music Meister to his lair. Music Meister escaped and unleashed the mind-controlled hordes of Arkham Asylum upon Batman and his allies. He confessed his love to Black Canary in song, while Canary herself was likewise confessing her fondness for Batman,, but acknowledged that she would never accept his villainy. In deference to her wishes he instead knocked her out and put her in an immensely complicated death trap. The death trap itself was only a stalling technique (as proven by the fact that he tied her to Batman) while Music Meister put his plan into action. He hijacked the satellite to broadcast his voice worldwide. Earth's population broke into song and began to eagerly steal money and valuables in his name. Once again, enter Batman. Music Meister's hypnotized minions captured Black Canary and removed her ear buds, bringing her again under his control. However, Batman tricked Music Meister into having Black Canary sing high enough to shatter his equipment and shut down the transmission to the satellite. A single punch to the jaw silenced his plans for good.

Due to internal politics and the fact that no one was quite sure what to do with him, Billy was (quite inaccurately) ruled criminally insane and placed at Arkham Asylum. He was fitted with a specially designed collar that prevented his vocal cords from vibrating, rendering him mute. This forced him to communicate primarily through crude sign language and a small whiteboard, a confinement that only increased his anxiety and depression at having his wings clipped. However, he eventually managed to escape and is currently still at large.

Abilities: Billy's greatest weapon is, of course, his voice. When he hits his perfect pitch everyone who hears him is compelled to do his bidding. The only people immune to his hypnosis are blood relatives and those with strong enough wills or training to resist his control. However, he cannot make people directly kill themselves or do something utterly against their core principles, such as harming a loved one. To compliment his voice he is skilled in electronic engineering, which allowed him to hijack the communications satellite.

Non-offensively, Billy is also trained in many of the theater arts. He designs and makes all his own costumes, as well as composing the songs he uses during his crimes.

All icons made by [info]alanahikarichan, as this was originally her journal.


hypnotic_patter: (Default)
The Music Meister

June 2013

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