The man stood there, pleased with what he had done to the Hulk, a teammate of the man whose power he had found some way to copy, to some extent, at least enough to have done what he had done that day.
He had yet to notice Chris, her head sneaking out around the doorway. Chris kept an eye on the not so good doctor, as he drew closer, the long red cape flowing behind him as if a wind somehow blew down the corridor. With his apparent mystical abilities, it wouldn't be impossible for him to be conjuring up the wind just to look cool.
Once he was done taking pride in stopping the Hulk, he cast his gaze around the hallway, and did notice the crest of red hair looking out from behind the lone open hotel door within sight. The brick-like tuft stood out against the cream coloured walls, like a blinking airplane light amidst the clouds.
"You there," he called out in the cocky, confident voice Chris recognised from earlier. "Come out here, I won't hurt you, I promise."
Chris considered ducking back inside the room, but was certain that Strange would only follow the sight of a pretty girl, and knew he would be nothing but trouble if he found Ashley and I in our trancelike state. It was better to just go out and confront him, once and for all, and buy the two of us more time if he was going to be a problem.
She was apprehensive about stepping out there, but gripped her spear and slipped around the door, as timid as a mouse. The last time she had faced this person, she had found herself transformed into a woman, and causing everyone else to go through their own changes.
The wizard watched the apparent woman reveal herself, and paid the weapon she held no mind. This was just another woman in his eyes, armed or not. As Chris drew nearer, realisation flickered over his eyes at the vision before him.
He pointed at her as his brain processed who it was standing there before him. "You're the girl from earlier," he said, and Chris could hear the sarcasm he infused into the word girl.
He crossed his arms, a self-satisfied smirk coming over him as he moved closer still, admiring his work. "You turned out quite well," he said. "Even better than your costume made you look before. How does it feel, to finally be turned into what you wanted to be?"
Chris was about to blurt out his anger, but that voice inside him, Barbara's voice, urged him to remain calm, and play dumb. So when she opened her mouth to speak, rather than a lengthy diatribe about everything Strange had done being wrong, instead Chris just fluttered her eyelashes and looked innocent when she spoke, "I'm sorry, but I don't know what you mean."
Strange stroked his beard, as he regarded the woman he had created. "No, I suppose you wouldn't. The spell would have taken you over almost completely, and turned you into a girl through and through. Well my dear, you are quite lucky, because this will give me a better chance to meet the new you."
Chris only smiled and looked confused as the man came right up to her and placed a hand on her shoulder, brushing some of her crimson hair out of the way as he did so.
"You're very beautiful...what's your name?"
Before she could stop herself, Chris blurted out, "Barbara Gordon."
The doctor nodded, pleased that his magic had worked. "This must have been quite a trying day for you. You look very tired, but even that can't hide your natural beauty, Barbara. You are very fortunate to have met me. I can keep you safe until this is all over with."
Chris flashed a smile and placed a hand on her hip. "Gosh, you'd do that for me? We've only just met. I could sure use your help, though."
Strange stroked Chris' arm with a gentle hand, and she had to fight an urge to run him through with the spear. She was letting Babs do most of the talking, and did her best to not interfere.
"My name is Sebastian. You could say that I'm the one responsible for your being here, and I wouldn't want to see you get hurt. It would be an honour to watch over you, and keep you safe."
"My hero," Chris couldn't believe the tone his voice was taking on, as she was flirting with this person who had caused so much trouble.
"That's right." His hand moved down her arm, and his smile never faded, as it moved down to her bare hand, spear still held within it. "With me around, you won't be needed this pitiful thing, I'm much more well equipped to take care of anything than some little girl could."
Even Barbara was beginning to bristle at his attitude toward women in general, and themselves in particular. Still the two of them remained calm, and released their hold upon the spear, and let Sebastian take it. Chris wanted to keep it, but let him take the weapon away.
Sebastian tossed aside the spear and let it clatter to the ground beside the Hulk, who wasn't stirring, but Chris could see the giant was still breathing, albeit the breathing was shallow.
With the weapon out of the way, the sorcerous lothario slipped an arm around Chris' waist and pulled his creation close.
"My magical senses tell me that someone here is trying to tamper with my spell. It can't possibly be such a pretty thing as yourself, but maybe you've seen someone who was doing magic?"
Chris continued her ruse, "I don't know anything about magic, that stuff is way beyond me, and I'm not sure I believe what little I do know. I did hear some people talking though, and it sounded like they might be up to something. I thought they said they knew how to fix things, undo them? I'm not sure, but they went into that room over there."
"Excellent, you've been most helpful, my dear. Now, for your reward." He smiled down at the girl, who smiled back, seeming to be infatuated with him almost as much as he with her. Sebastian leaned in closer, seeking a kiss from his conquest.
As his lips grew closer, his cheek was met with a harsh slap, and he could feel something crack and shatter against it. He stumbled backwards, releasing his grip on Chris, who leapt backwards, and covered her mouth and nose with the inner bend of her elbow, as gas spewed forth around Sebastian's head from the small pellet that matched the colour of the belt she had snuck it out of while her pursuer was distracted by the pretty creature in his arms.
The cloud dissipated, as did the curses Sebastian was spitting out, while the gas made him feel more and more groggy. He tried to cast some spell at Chris, but the fast acting gas had him unconcious on the floor before his fingers could trace even the start of any arcane symbols in the air.
Even Chris felt light headed, and had to lean against the wall for support before her legs gave out as well. She had only caught a brief whiff of the gas, but it was enough to make standing difficult. Chris found himself wishing she had found a way to keep her cape after all, since that could have better kept out any gas particles aside from what she would have inhaled from the moment of impact.
While she waited for the hallway to stop spinning, she clasped the pouch she had retrieved the pellet from shut, and started to move to retrieve her spear. The floor threatened to not be of any assistance in the matter, and her heels were not helping matters any, and even drawing on any assistance from the voice in her head was not being of any assistance after the knockout gas.
Chris fell to her knees, and rested her palms against the carpet, and crawled across the floor to her spear, ignoring the cape that she went over as well to reach it. The doctor was out like a light once she had reached her spear, and Chris used it to help steady herself back onto her feet.
By the time she had clambored back into a standing position with the help of the spear and the nearest wall, the effects of the gas she had breathed in were almost gone, and she made a few tenative steps, using the Predator weapon as only a last resort crutch in case any further feelings of light-headedness washed over her.
She walked with a slight wobble to her gait back to the magician, and leaned over, feeling a wave of nausea do so as she bent close to him, and the blood rushed to her head.
Grabbing the round, golden amulet clasping the cape around Sebastian's neck, as well as some of the collar of his blue shirt, Chris thanked whomever was watching over her that Batgirl worked out and stayed fit, making it easier, though not without difficulty, to drag the prone body of the man back over to Ashley's hotel room.
Once back inside, and with the door closed and sealing them off from the world outside, Chris propped Sebastian up against a bed, and removed the same medallion, the Eye of Agamotto, from where it was. She also stripped him of his cape, and several other small artifacts he had secreted on his person. He would still be able to wave his hands around, but Chris hoped that without his trinkets, he would be less of a problem, should he wake up.