Months of construction had finally resulted in a fully furnished, superpower proof Mount Justice filled with all of the latest equipment and technology that the Justice League could afford, and considering that this was their retirement plan, they'd poured a ton of money into it. It was camouflaged enough within the mountain that Jade would have completely missed it if she hadn't been looking for it. She'd grown up in a base quite similar, though much less technologically advanced and not directly on the ocean. It had a beautiful view, and Jade wondered if she could hide out in the vast forest if she managed to escape the fortress that was the new HQ.
For once in her life, Jade was nervous. The former assassin had never doubted herself until very recently. She'd failed a mission for the first time and it had almost landed her in prison, not that being a tool to do the Justice League's dirty work was any better than jail. Every day had been a fight for her life before, but it was basic survival. Now she had to navigate the Superhero terms and conditions and live with a bunch of spandex wearing freaks.
The assassin had mostly ignored the Bat as he'd explained the Heroes of Tomorrow initiative to her, but she figured she didn't quite fit in with the rest of the young heroes; she didn't exactly fit the hero description. Heroes were supposed to be good at heart, selfless, and protectors of the innocent. Heroes were supposed to be kind and peaceful, and Jade was raised to be quite the opposite of those things.
It wasn't exactly a secret that some members of the League didn't approve of her being here, their distaste for her was barely hidden behind a tight smile. She wasn't exactly sure what Batman had seen in her, but he hadn't sent her straight to jail and she was grateful for that at least. It didn't mean she wasn't going to complain the entire time. There was likely already a bounty on her head from her father because she knew too much and she'd seemingly turned her back on them, even if it was against her will.
It seemed that they were the first to arrive, considering she'd been staying at the Watch Tower under Batman and the rest of the League's supervision with the rest of the "reformed" villains she didn't have far to go. Even if this was basically Justice League daycare at least she'd only have one League member watching her every move. If she had to suffer one more day of Batman silently staring at her she was going to go full psycho. The Bat reminded her of her father in the worst way, though he was slightly less homicidal.
The two black-clad figures stood silently staring one another down in the main foyer, both too stubborn to look away until a crash could be heard down the hall, both keen sets of eyes darting to where the sound came from. A striking woman came around the corner with a taller boy walking behind her looking ashamed. "Welcome to Mount Justice! Sorry about that, Jinx here dropped one of his boxes down the stairs." The woman greeted them, easing up the tension between Jade and the Bat's staring contest.
"Jade." The girl introduced herself, not hostile towards the other woman but not exactly enthusiastic either. She recognized the boy as one of the other kids who'd been staying at the Watch Tower, though he'd arrived after her. At least she wasn't the only one being held against her will.
"Right. Well you two are the first ones here, everyone else should be arriving shortly and we can begin the orientation so you can all get unpacked." The Black Canary smiled, though the younger woman didn't return the gesture. There wasn't much for her to unpack, the Bat hadn't exactly let her go home and pack before he'd taken her prisoner and sentenced her to the cruel sentence of being brainwashed by the Justice League. She had the necessities, but she'd need to actually go shopping eventually.
Without a word, Jade grabbed the small suitcase she had and wheeled it down the hallway, she'd find her own room eventually if she just kept walking. "She's charming isn't she?" Batman huffed, bidding his fairwell to Dinah before returning to the Batjet, knowing that he didn't want to be around to see Dinah start yelling at the motley crew of kids they'd assembled.
Joining the Justice League was something that had never crossed Xander's mind until a few weeks ago. As a mutant, you had three options. Become a hero, become a villain, or try your hardest to live a normal life and blend into society. Xander had tried the third, but his powers made it almost impossible. Even after years of trying to understand his powers he couldn't quite control all of the bad things that seemed to happen around him. For years, he'd tried to ignore his powers and isolate himself from the rest of the world so that he wouldn't cause any more problems, but no matter how hard he tried he couldn't stop the constant disaster around him.
So, when he'd been caught for petty theft by the Black Canary, she'd taken pity on him and offered him a second chance and the opportunity to learn to control his powers. It was a no brainer, he'd been wasting his life trying to hide from his powers and now he finally had a chance to make them useful and turn his life around.
Being to the Watch Tower, even as a technical prisoner, sealed the deal for Xander. The Justice League had tech beyond his wildest dreams and getting to see his childhood heroes in person was beyond exciting, even if they had technically arrested him. Being handcuffed by Black Canary was many people's dream.
Thankfully, the walking bad luck charm had managed not to break any of the Justice League's fancy tech. At least until he got to Mt. Justice. As it turned out, Black Canary was going to be their full-time babysitter and she'd been nice enough to let him come with her early to help prepare for the rest of the recruits to arrive. He'd almost managed to carry all of his meager belongings to his room before he'd dropped a box down the stairs, resulting in a loud crash as his things tumbled out of the box and onto the floor.
He cursed under his breath as he headed back down the stairs to pick up his things, tossing them into the box with annoyance. "Don't worry, it happens to all of us." Dinah appeared beside him, helping him place the last of his things into the box before setting it to the side. "Some of the others just got here, we'll deal with that later." She smiled warmly, patting him on the back before walking off around the corner. It was beyond frustrating, but that was why Xander was here in the first place. Hopefully this program would be able to help him do something positive with his powers instead of breaking everything he touched.
Xander quickly followed after the Canary, heading towards the main entrance behind her to see two very intimidating people staring directly at him-and holy shit was that Batman!?! Xander had seen quite a few League members while at the Watch Tower, but it still shocked him every time he casually saw a hero hanging around.
Before he could even try to introduce himself, the girl was stomping off towards where their living quarters were and Batman was gone with a swoop of his black cape. He hoped the others weren't all going to be like this.
By the time he'd taken his last box upstairs and come back to the foyer, the rude girl from earlier had reappeared and was sitting in a chair at the kitchen counter cutting an apple rather viciously with a knife.
"So....do you play fruit ninja?" He asked, regretting the words immediately as her eyes snapped up to look at him. Luckily, before she could do to him what she'd done to the poor apple, the sound of someone else arriving called them both back towards the front room.
proverbial mount o' justice. interactions?
jade and xander - killer.queen mood?
c-catwoman milf booty...
NATALIO • ZAPATERO
Here's the thing about Gotham City: there's no getting too attached to its grime and seedy characters... but damn if there isn't a wealth of opportunity to be had there for someone like him. It wasn't meant to be anything more than a pitstop; he'd stay there for a few months, try his hand at general mercenary work or thievery and see if he struck gold somewhere down the line. It sure as Hell couldn't've been any worse than his time in Metropolis. As it turns out, the threat of the Superprick that lives there does enough to scare off more than he can handle and extraplanetary beings are only slightly out of his league when it comes to his personal skillset. Nah, Gotham was more Natalio's speed. As big of a vigilante Batman is, he's still just that - a vigilante. There's tons of cash to be made there with how widespread the dirty underground is and he just couldn't wait to revel in it.
As it turns out, he'd found himself quite the moneymaker in that aspect. Sure, he was always the guy working for the other guy working for the other guy - but he was dependable, unquestioning - and above all, he was powered. That's enough to put him just a slight step above ol' Battyboy, yeah? Besides, guy's been in operation for years, and age has a tendency to slow the best of 'em down. Natalio was always just quick enough to slip away from the crime scene before the GCPD managed to sniff about for evidence. Eh, maybe if he managed to catch the Bat in action he'd stick around for a bit longer just to taunt, but as fate would have it - he'd end up chancing upon someone just as notable.
He'd been working contract for the Black Mask himself, a strange man who no doubt had absolutely no grasp left of his sanity - but it's a tale as old as time in a place like this. And hey, takes one to know one. There was never any questions asked. He'd do the dirty work, no coercion or mind-altering substances necessary. Natalio was the first of Dr. Arkham's cronies after his second escape from Arkham Asylum - having no more access to his usuals, well. He needed someone else to carry out his terroristic tactics, and Natalio was all-too-willing to do it for the right price. Taking hostages, blowing up a few buildings. It was all very chaotic. But what did he care? Maybe someday he'd make as big a name for himself as the Clown Prince of Crime. Who needs Killer Croc or Poison Ivy when you've got somebody who's got something to prove?
Sowing a bit more chaos in the already-chaotic East End was no biggie. There was nobody there that his boss found worthy enough to kill, nobody important enough there that would draw enough attention - so all it took was a little destruction of property in the form of detonating a few strategically-placed bombs. It's just oh-so-unfortunate that the East End tends to be routinely prowled by a certain cat - one that'd since taken up arms as it's protector. This was her domain, and she was certainly still flexible enough to subdue the somewhat star-struck mercenary where he stood. As it turned out, it wasn't Batty that'd been hot on his trail. Catwoman had been intrigued by this particularly agile henchman for months, the man who'd managed to just barely slip her grasp every time. He can't say he wasn't completely unphased by the way her red lips curled up into a sly, triumphant grin when she'd finally had him quite literally tied up, a foot perched up on the arm of the chair he'd been trapped to... looming over him in deliberation, words falling from her lips with a sensual purr...
❝ So you're the one that's been throwing my lovely little corner of Gotham up into a tizzy? And here I thought it'd have been a whole army of you for what you've managed to accomplish... ❞
As it turned out, she may have seen more in him than just another thug to have put away. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of it all was that it didn't even take threats of prison time to get Natalio to go with her to the Watch Tower. It was always just another opportunity, you see, another stepping stone on the path for him to make a bigger name for himself - and so he went rather eagerly. Of course, he couldn't be trusted just yet to have free roam of the place, and so he's all shit-eating grins and jokes as he attempts to flirt with the very unreceptive CatMILF who'd cuffed him. Meeting the Justice League ended up being more of a footnote than it would be to most people... after all, he wasn't exactly on the hero's side all this time. Well, not until now.
Mount Justice was a spacious, beautiful place to be sure - but he didn't come to admire the scenery. He didn't have boxes of random crap to bring with him and so settling in was a particularly easy venture. As long as he had his Catalina and the clothes on his back, he could replenish his supply of whatever else. Unfortunately, he'd only caught the slightest glimpse of Batty's cape as it disappeared somewhere within the depths of the structure. Some big event, huh? Couldn't see all of him under the mask and suit, but he could probably give Superprick a run for his money in the looks department. First day on the job and they couldn't even be fucked to welcome their new successors? Yeah, that sounds like the Justice League type.
Natalio swept into the foyer as easy as you please, almost as if he'd always been living there, making immediately for the inconvenienced-looking woman and the somewhat startled-looking man. On his way he reaches for a chair of his own, dragging it behind him casually as if it were a rolling suitcase up to the counter before whipping the chair backwards and settling in as if the tension in the room wasn't stifling, crossing his arms over the back panel. Maintaining his cocky grin, he speaks up in a general "greeting";
❝ Sorry for interrupting this beautiful scene, you two, but could either one of you point me in the direction of the big guys? Need to make sure there won't be any schedule conflicts right off the bat... ❞
The Watch Tower had been an unexpected surprise that truly set Jude off, and the redhead took a moment to ponder how she had gotten to this moment.
New York City had been treating her so damn well for the past few years. Ever since her dad kicked the bucket (that in itself was an alleyway of dark thoughts that she refused to think about ever again), she figured staying in the big city would be a fun new challenge. Arizona was no longer her home; she loved the dry weather of the empty, sun bleached deserts, but it held too many memories. It was way too damn painful. Living in Chile was another option that they seriously considered as well, but returning home carried another type of parental baggage that she had stuffed deep down inside a long, long time ago. Living where her mother had died? Or, living in fear with the rest of her kind? That was simply out of the question. Plus, the modern world had so many new comforts that Jude couldn't help but indulge in. Plenty of food, a comfortable bed to sleep in, T.V. shows to watch. You couldn't get a Wi-Fi connection in a damn volcano. Still though, her home country beckoned her. It was always at the back of her mind, and she longed for the familiarity of the lava pools with the rest of her kind. It was a simpler life. But Jude was not destined for simple things.
The girl had nestled into a shitty apartment in the Bronx; there was a feeling of belonging there, amongst the other folks who lived on the edges of society. In so many other places, she toed the line of human and creature daily, she had no sense of home aside from her father. Here, people had seen everything, and then some. Maybe Gotham City would have been a better choice, but there was a certain bat that she felt could probably sniff out her bullshit from miles away. No thank you.
Amidst the bodegas and apartment buildings, a name popped up in people's mouths. The Firebrand.
If you asked her, the nickname was kind of badass. The news considered her a villain, but the people considered her their own little neighborhood ne'er-do-well. Jude didn't rob the poor, didn't put her own neighbors at risk. The one percent of the Big Apple were the ones who needed correcting, in her eyes. When she arrived to the city, she robbed a bodega, and regretted it ever since. Jude had been desperate for cash, but stealing from mom-'n-pop shops made her feel like scum of the earth. So, she "ethically" focused her sights on big chain stores, banks, corporate offices. Being a thief wasn't an honorable profession either, but the girl wanted to live comfortably. Soon, the local news networks showed footage of a girl with her hair on fire, hands glowing with pure heat, melting holes into ATMs and taking what she wanted with little regard for other people's safety.
What did her in was the the last bank robbery. Jude got cocky, and when she let her ego take over, she got messy. The world knew of mutants and aliens and otherworldly powers, of course it was coming up with ways to protect itself. Jude slipped on her favorite fur coat and stepped into Dellinger Federal Bank with no weapons but her own two hands. Pushing past the line of patrons waiting, her hand melted through the teller's window to grab the older woman by the shirt collar. "Put the money in the bag, and nobody's gotta get hurt. Y'heard me?" Jude walked out the front doors only minutes later with a bag full of thousands of dollars, and walked home without a worry in the world. Halfway down the back alley, and a certain glowing lasso wrapped around her torso. Fuck.
"Somehow, I thought you'd be easier to catch, cherufe." Spoke Wonder Woman in all her glory, the lasso of truth held tightly in two hands. She tugged the rope, and the knot tightened around Jude's middle with an oddly burning sensation. "The gods breathed life into you, and this is what you do with it? You are capable of so much more."
That first interaction opened up a door of opportunities for Jude. The lasso made her tell her truth, but she'd say it even if the heroine hadn't tied it around her: she didn't think she was capable of good, and she didn't understand why Diana had so much faith in her. But, the woman was a renowned hero, they doubted that she'd lie about these kinds of things. And the initiative for Heroes of Tomorrow seemed...hopeful.
Until they forced her to stay at the Watch Tower. If they had asked her to stay there, sure, Jude would have complied. But being forced to stay there like a damn prisoner with little explanation was a surefire way to piss her off to no end, and after a small incendiary incident and a melted hole in the metal wall, and maybe a little nip of her scarily sharp teeth, Jude was sedated. Much to the distaste of Diana Prince, she was tied to a flame-proof plank on a dolly and fucking muzzled. They rolled her in as soon as she began to wake up, and much of her preliminary tour was done with her restrained. "This here is going to be the main area of your living situations," Diana explained as the lackey rolled Jude along, a trail of smoke leaving the cherufe's nose. Already, there were three other folks there, probably feeling even more awkward with her untimely arrival. "Ah, here are some of the other members of the initiative. Like I said, this is meant to be a change for the better. Please behave, I cannot afford you another chance at this. Understood?""...Yes, ma'am.""Very good. I will talk to you soon. Please, get settled in."
The redhead was unstrapped and unmuzzled with shaky hands from the lackey, likely some employee that kept the inner mechanisms of Mt. Justice working, and Jude stepped off the dolly with a roll of the shoulders and a huff of smoke. Well, at least she made one hell of an entrance.
"...What's up. I, uh, I'm Jude." She raised a hand in a half-hearted greeting, and internally winced. She was already regretting it so damn much.
The sky streaked around him, the clouds parting a moment after they passed through them – time and space seemed to struggle to keep up – as it always did when he went as fast as he could. His eyes, darker and brown peered over at the man flying aside him – always a few feet ahead of him, the larger man frustratingly clenching his hands, one ahead and one at his side as always – clearly unhappy with having to slow up. Jordan closed his eyes, drawing deep – before pushing harder for only a second, when he heard the voice of Clark – cutting through the sharp wind and the buffeting of fabric. “Don’t bother. Pace yourself. You won’t be able to keep it up. You will just be tired when we get there.” The man had not even looked back, his eyes having shot open at the words, nodding at the back of Superman’s head – remaining silent.
Instead of looking forward, Jordan looked down, watching the water as it passed below. So fast and so high up – the wide expanse seemed to melt together in an endless canvas of light-bending blues, their movements imperceptible in the streaking space passing between him and that which he perceived. He peered closer, eyes dilating, taking in more light and more detail - finding the foam on the surface to mix together and marble it as if some strange and alien blue stone…
It was a strange thing to imagine – that he could leave now – fly up and away from all this, and into the great unknown – and there was an absolute certainty that there was a planet like this. Rare and not in what it was, covered in blue liquid stone… It was stranger still that he would never find it. Always expanding, every wrong choice would compound until the potential future where that meeting might have taken place had grown too distant that it might as well not have been mentioned – and he would find himself with an eternity spent chasing that which would never have come to be. Racing against probability – hoping against hope…
His eyes returned to the man flying at his side. The red, blue… All those ideas people had about him. So many rights for the wrong reasons… and so many wrong for the right. An infinite amount of guessing – inevitably correct… Hero. Enemy. Savior. Doom. King. God… Son. Husband… Father… Sire? Was that closer to the truth? Was the blue planet of stone he was flying towards so naively and eagerly any of those? Or none of them? Would he ever find out?
Jordan bit down, his teeth gnashing for a second, before he saw Superman’s ear twitch – prompting him to stop the annoying sound. They flew in silence then.
Jordan closed his eyes once more, rolling his shoulders – feeling the sun on his back. His clothing was simple, neutral. Some dress pants and a red jersey to fit his colouring. He would not be wearing his glasses like he normally did – he would arrive as Paragon – not Jordan. That is how they would come to know him. His allies. His unit. His squad. His… friends? Comrades? His eyes still closed; he felt a smirk on his lips. Perhaps the last one was a bit too Eastern for the likes of the JL.
Outside the mountain base, there was the sounds of two flying objects exiting supersonic speeds – the soft booms in the distance echoing for a second before silence. Two beings were hovering a few hundred feet above there target location. Jordan gripped his bag tighter, the action pointless as it had been strapped around his back and chest. They hung there for a second, before he nodded, and started to descend. He had barely made it a few feet when suddenly there was a hand on his shoulder, turning him. He looked at those blue eyes digging into his – and suddenly all the awkwardness that hung over them for all their lives now spread between them – the pressure from it smothering on their unbreathing chests.
Goodbye. Thank you. See you… Jordan was not sure what to say so he remained quiet. Superman did as well. They lingered for a second, before Clark put a hand on Jordan’s shoulder – and the faintest smile the younger man had ever seen appeared on his father’s lips. “You look good. Handsome. Your grandparents… would be proud.” The words were practiced but earnest, and while he spoke, he fixed Jordan’s tie, patting out any of the wrinkles from the flight. As earnest as the other could be, it would seem. Would they have been? Both of them there knew that answer was beyond the minds of the two flying there, alone above the world. “Thank you… Clark.” His voice was quiet, but the other would hear him easily enough. He saw the bigger man flinch with the word – but he could not get himself to use the other word. It felt wrong. Strange. Foreign.
“Make it work.” Superman nodded down towards the mountain, before turning and flying off – the boom ruffling Jordan’s clothing again. Jordan looked down, before beginning a slow decent towards his new home. He stopped just ahead of the entrance, hovering just above the floor, quickly fixing his clothing and hair again, undoing the clasp of his bag – only one on his person, small – with a few sets of clothing. Lois would be sending care package and Lana was going to try and outdo her – so he would be cared for. At least. He floated inwards, placing a soft smile on his face – hearing the voices of a group in the distance.
He neared them, hovering just inside of the door, not saying much – prompting for a polite wave.
His eyes taking in the lot of them – the four – he narrowed them for a second. He knew the files. His father had prepped him. Had told him who would be there. Who would be the problem ones. The ones that would need a firmer hand. Criminal. Criminal. Criminal. Criminal. Murderers… They just seemed like children – the images of them having cast the lot in a light far more intense. He closed his eyes, a deeper needless breath taking over. He hovered closer – clearing his throat. “Paragon. It is a pleasure to meet you all. I believe we are but a fraction of our full roster, but perhaps we can spend some time with informal relaxation.” He tried a smile, and found it came rather easily. The tension from his flight slowly fading, he set his bag down. “Perhaps I can secure us a drink or two?”
Her bedroom was pristine; a stark contrast to its usual state of half-tidy and half-disaster zone, with boxes stacked in the corner and an empty mattress flipped against the wall. Mara let her hand linger on the lavender painted walls, her nail absently scratching at the chipped paint. Her heart hung, squeezed like lemon, looking at her childhood room gutted and packed away. She'd be taking none of it with her to Mount Justice, her new home for the forseeable future, but her mother had insisted on keeping the space empty and capable of being turned into a study room should she feel so inclined. Mara couldn't tell if that meant her mother was glad to be rid of her, or simply trying to encourage the twenty-two year old to finally stay out of the home.
It wasn't like Mara didn't want to move out, start her life, do something with herself-- but it was far more easier and manageable to slink into the darkness of her bed and forget about every living stressful thing. She wanted to do more, maybe go to school for her photography, but there was a weight on her mind; a fear, perhaps. She'd only had her newfound powers for a few years now, being able to properly go into someone's mind and disrupt the flow within, and it was overwhelming to deal with. She could control it at a baseline, but when she looked at someone she just wanted to know what was going on in there. Having the ability to truly know a person, at their most vulnerable, was an addiction she fought to abstain from.
Pressing her head against the doorframe, she felt a gentle hand touch her shoulder. "You ready to head out there, kid? No superpowers here, we take the highway like the rest of the population." Helena's voice rang out, and Mara turned her head to smile a bit back at her mother. She was still youthful, though age threatened to persist the woman. No longer a vigilante, but a purveyor of truth in the school sphere, Helena still managed to maintain the spark and calculated edge that made her who she was. Mara had managed to absorb some of that as well, but when faced with stress she clammed up. This whole change was one big stressful movement for her.
"Not like there's much choice, is there?" Mara said, raising a brow at her mother. Helena opened her mouth to say something, then quickly shut it. A frown formed on the other woman's face.
"Not like you're doing much else these days-- at least here you'll do something with your powers. It's better than pretending you don't have them, Mar."
"I'm sure you would like that." She hadn't meant to say it, she wouldn't have normally said it-- but the snark just spilled right out. It definitely caught both of them off-guard, a stunned look shared between the two. Silence. Helena was fuming with a cold charm, Mara knew. Yet she continued to push, for some odd reason. She knew that it was a belief of hers, that her mother would have elected to have a normal daughter if she could. Her life, her acquaintances, they were not super powered. Tension had always existed; unspoken glares, frustration with the blossoming powers of Mara's, and a general unknowing of what on earth to do with a super powered kid. For a while, Mara figured that her mother had regretted having her in the first place. But with everything that Helena had done, it was evident she didn't.
This bit into Mara, and she sighed, screwing her face up. "Mom I'm sor--"
"Don't attack me for this-- alright? I've been here for you this whole time, Mara, I'm not your enemy here. I'm your mother. You're twenty-two. Shape up." Helena moved away quickly, giving her daughter a solid look before disappearing down the hall. Mara sighed, rubbing her face in her hands, and trying to compose herself again. Pulling her turtleneck sweater closer up to her chin, she pondered for a moment, eyes darting as she tried to still her quickly beating heart.
The ride was presumably normal, with both women chatting intermittently over the hum of the radio. Guilt presided over Mara's gut, throwing her into lapses of silence and gazes out the window. She wasn't looking forward to feeling like an outcast, again. It was one thing having inexplicable powers and being surrounded by those who could provide and help you understand, but it was another thing to grow up with any of that. Coupled on to it, she wasn't any kind of fancy super's kid either. She knew of her mother's crime-fighting reputation, and how that managed to persist time, but it was nothing like Wonder Woman. Nothing like Superman. Would they ignore her for being nobody special?
She barely noticed them arriving, and the ensuing scuffle of juggling bags and belongings up to the main floor and up to the rooms. Mara wasn't sure really of what to do, but her mother seemed to have the plans and whatnot in her mind. She'd miss that.
No time to unpack, Mara and Helena made their way back down, where Mara could see some of the other members-- her attention most distraught at the sight of a girl being rolled in on a dolly, masked and cuffed and everything. She gave her mother a worried, wide-eyed glance.
"Uh-- I forgot something back home. We should probably--"
"No, Mara. This is where I leave you. You've got this, okay?" Helena uttered harshly, making Mara blink. She huffed, Helena pulling the girl into a tight hug. Her daughter tensed up, her hands trembling a bit. "This is for the best. You'll do great, alright? I have faith in you." Helena pulled back, pulling something from her pocket and clasping it tightly into Mara's hand. She gave a light kiss to her daughter's hands, and then waved before disappearing-- and preferably, before she'd have to talk to any of the Justice League members.
Mara looked down at her closed fist, opening it and seeing her mother's cross necklace.
Looking up, stomaching her nerves, she moved one foot in front of the other to join where the others were congregating. She caught the tail end of some of the greetings, and looking at some of the people she could swear she recognized the floaty one at least.
Opting to keep to herself for the moment, she kept her mouth closed and silently fidgeted to slide the necklace over her head. Holding it tightly with one hand, she maneuvered to somewhere that she could sit.
To think that all of her hard work had finally paid off in such an amazing way. From the very beginning she had carefully planned her way into the hearts of many citizens. It had taken time and patience, both of which she had in abundance. Mirage had become a beacon of light for the lowly members of society, someone who protected them and gave them hope when they needed it. Lisette was proud of her work, smug even, it’s what she deserved after all. It was only a matter of time before she was noticed, before she managed to catch the attention of a big league hero. And oh, did she ever. There was no bigger league in the city than the Justice League and to be associated with them meant that Lisette’s hard work had paid off.
Her run in with Hawkgirl hadn’t even been planned but it had been a welcome change of plans. How could she be upset when a member of the league had actually known her known, was aware of her reputation and accomplishments. The pride in her chest had swelled and threatened to burst in that moment. She had even forgotten about the criminal she had hunted down with the intentions of silencing forever. His words had been offensive and Lisette planned on teaching him a lesson he’d never forget. Luckily for him he was spared and taken to jail.
Lisette was visibly excited as they traveled to her home in order to inform her parents. She had imagined the look of pride on their faces, the affection that had long left their eyes to return when they were told of all the good she had done. She had been a fool to get his hopes up again after so long. Her parents were polite and welcoming to Hawkgirl, that old southern hospitality was still a core part of their being despite moving. They played the part of the curious and accepting parents, proud of their child and eager to learn of her deeds. But she realized quickly that it was an act. And her hopes were crushed in a flash. The house had been tense enough to silence the crickets even.
“A lot on your mind?”
Lisette blinked a few times, the sound of another’s voice pulling her from her thoughts. Her face had been a little dazed, clearly she’d been somewhere else mentally. “Oh...I’m sorry. Yes I’m just havin’ a little trouble believin’ that this is real.” Her tone was one of embarrassment. Lisette’s accent had grown faint over the years but it was still noticeable when she spoke. “This place is beautiful. I can’t wait to meet everyone.”
Lisette spoke as if she hadn’t done her research already. Upon entering she was led into the living room area, where the others were gathered. She’s arrived just in time to see a dolly being taken away and others introducing themselves. She took her luggage up to her room and when she came back down, introduced herself. “Hello everyone, I’m Lisette...oh um, are we using our real names?” She pretended to be flustered, looking away for a moment as if to collect herself. “I’m Mirage, it's lovely to meet y'all. I’d love to chat but I should really put these away.” Lisette had arrived with her luggage, two white and pink suitcases that rolled and a carrier bag on her shoulder of the same color.
The reign of King Arthur had not been without its own problems. A half-breed born of Atlantis’ sworn enemies, Arthur had been forced to prove time and time again that his loyalties lied with those beneath the tides. He had been brought into question when he joined the surface world’s Justice League, crusading in his royal garment like a mascot for the sea. Another time, much older then, Arthur’s enthusiasm in reconciling with the surface only caused questions and rumors to erupt between the seas people.
Arthur was a bright-eyed king that chose to defy the norms for the greater good; whether or not his fellow Atlanteans could comprehend. Now, the Aquaman is hailed as one of the most successful at the throne. One who created new employment, and opportunities for his people by reconciling with a nation those beneath the sea would never have trusted.
“You too can sway the minds of the people, Tobias.” The raspy voice of Ander’ham sounded. Basically pleading him not to leave Atlantis, and to instead offer another chance to a kingdom that’d resented him as one of them. Tobias was unlike his dad, the King. His biological father was a terrorist, a man who’d committed heinous crimes to those both above and beneath the tides. It would take a blessing from Poseidon to remove the curse that followed him below sea level- to erase the memories of people whispering and fleeing each time he took to Atlantis’ streets.
His master had been less than secretive about his distaste in Tobias ascending to the surface to join a younger rendition of the Justice League. He’d been telling tales of his father throughout his training for weeks now. “The future king belongs with the peoples he will lead.”
“It should be a crime, singling me out amongst my peers, Andur’ham-”
The scowl of thick white brows was enough for Tobias to straighten up where he floated, tucking his staff to his side and lowering his head to the old man.
“I apologize, Master.” Tobias sighed, bubbles escaping his lips. “With Garth, Kaldur, and Tula at my side I do not believe this an appropriate subject. If that is all the training you choose to offer me this morning, so be it. The chariot leaves at midday if you wish to join me in my travels.”
The massive door to Atlantis’ royal hall of training slammed shut behind Tobias. Though Ander’ham had practically raised him, he would never understand Tobias’ inability to adequately lead Atlantis.
Before his father, there had been no half-breed king. None that relegated so much with the surface, and had the courage to withstand the praises and curses that came from both relations. Not only was Tobias a half-breed, but he also managed to be the son of Atlantis’ most wanted, next only to his uncle, the Ocean Master. There were too many wrongs to be made right, and too little familiarity with the people to even attempt to erase any of the wrongs.
Tobias would not focus on the hate in his decision when every one of his actions bore the same result from the Atlanteans. He cracked a hearty smile at the thought of returning to the surface. Tobias imagined the surface dwellers waving as they walked past him, their hello’s masked only by the barks of their fur-clad companions. He was a half-breed and had an easier time with the sun-- though it stung initially, Toby anticipated the rays of golden light licking against his skin. Perhaps with Jordan at his side, he’d learned from his father that Clark adored the beach for that very reason. Once the day was done, he would cozy himself in a blanket with KJ Apa taking to the screen, protecting the small town of Riverdale as Toby stared fascinated at how red his red hair was.
As an oncoming pod of dolphins skipped past, Toby grinned happily, bounding forwards. An explosion of water blasted at his feet as he joined them, swimming up all the way to the surface and skipping above the water with them. They were hungry; and yet in their desperate search for bird, they radiated a contagious joy that only amplified Toby’s satisfaction with his decision.
He would be a member of the Heroes of Tomorrow today.
Toby was not very enthusiastic about the idea of Atlantis’ soldiers accompanying him on the journey to the beach of Mount Justice. He forced himself further into the cushion of the oyster seat, forcing his eyes to stay inside in shame of the soldiers pulling his shark-drawn carriage, and those around it stationed to protect him. How blasphemous of a prince.
“Surely all of this protection is for you, Master.”
“I have bent the seas to my liking since the reign of King Orion, my son. How do the surface dwellers say it? You are the odd one out here.” Ander’ham teased back. His master’s presence only put him at ease.
As much as he might have been against Tobias’ decision, Ander’ham was the closest thing Tobias had to a true father. Arthur and Mera had hardly been around during his childhood and adolescence. Ruling Atlantis, protecting the surface, and all what came between. Apparently that excluded Toby. Much recently he’d begun following his father to the surface on occasion but their relationship was tense with Arthur and Mera gone for so long. He was only a glorified bodyguard.
The space between them only proved the fact that Toby was only kept around as a pity case. A debt to Black Manta, a powered villain that the Aquaman had involuntarily created.
“You are thinking about him. He would be proud. He simply cannot be here because he is tasked with uniting a nation as technologically, and magically advanced as ours with the pitiful miscreants you wish the fornicate with…”
“Master.” Toby snapped.
“I am simply calling it as I see it.” Ander’ham let out a hefty laugh, one of which Toby dryly reciprocated.
The light bouncing into the sea began to grow as they neared shore. Toby was floating up in his seat now, looking past the helmet of the soldiers to properly bask in the little light that now shone through.
“We are here.” Toby whispered in the tone of a fascinated toddler.
The sharks at the head of the chariot could only swim so close to the surface before choking on the sand. They stopped several feet ahead of the beach. Toby swam out, before digging his feet into the muddy sand when the land began to connect. It had been months since he’d last been out of the sea and it tickled the soles of his feet to walk again. Pressure took to as Toby breached the water, tumbling down onto the sand and erupting into a joyful laugh. The sun kissed his skin sweeter than he remembered it, his lungs took to breathing quicker than the last time, and the feeling of sand particles on his body instead of the constant flow of water amazed him.
“Woohoo! I am here Happy Harbour! I am here heroes! I am here world-”
A cannon of water came down against Toby’s face. He spant, and wacked at the pressurized flow of water, panting heavily when it finally subsided. Ander’ham stood over him with his two bags. The golden brown scales of his bag reflected in the sun and Toby bound up from the sand to grab the seaweed straps from his master.
He kissed Ander’ham’s cheeks for a million times in his adrenaline. "I cannot last long on the surface but I bid you good tidings, son." His master wished. Far too focused on associating with the new team, Toby turned to the mountain in a sprint, his kisses enough to show his admiration for the man.
“You are still soaked!” Ander’ham called out in the distance. Without a word the ground beneath him filled with water as Toby forced each and every drop of liquid on his skin to descend past his feet.
“May Poseidon be with you…” Ander’ham whispered as he watched the young boy he’d raised run frantically under the sun.
It had taken only a moment for Toby to toss the Atlantean luggage onto the bed designated for him. He pondered for a second just who might be filling the vacant bed opposite the one he’d selected, somebody who enjoyed romantic dramas he hoped. The television fixed between the two of them would not be wasted.
Mount Justice was a technological wonder that Toby suffered the brunt of in his arrival. Slipping and sliding in the trunks he’d journeyed in, Tobias found himself lost, and undoubtedly awe eyed. The tower was dull in aesthetics but it was truly the variety of activities in each sector that caused Tobias to marvel.
He’d spent a solid twenty minutes playing with the voice commands in the swim room when something he’d said had triggered a sudden spike in the room’s heat. The lights dimmed red and Toby winced as he called out a number of possible override commands. Nothing worked. He would fix it later, Toby promised himself to do, before leaving that final destination.
That was a good enough sign than any to join the others in the front foyer..? Where was the team to assemble?
Some more time passed and the similarly coloured white walls still did nothing to help him locate the others (or himself for that matter). It was the sweet strawberry fragrance that caught Tobias’ enhanced sense of smell. He followed the subtle cues in the air, tracing it to the kitchen where the others gathered.
The smell had been coming from the woman outfitted entirely in pink. It was a bright opposite to the darkness of the deep blue sea, and in impulse he offered to help put it away.
“I am Tobias.” He’d put it simply but Tobias was trying desperately not to explode at his first surface-world interaction. He turned to the rest of the group and repeated himself, bright blue eyes meeting those of each and everyone of his new comrades. It might have been off-putting for them, but it was a show of respect where Tobias hailed.
“As with all new beginnings it is only right that I profess,” Tobias started, “that by the trident of Poseidon this group be a vessel of much good in the world!” His right arm thrusted into the air triumphantly, his voice booming and unrestrained by the latent soundwaves carried below the sea. There was something European in the accent in which he spoke, silky smooth like a flow of water escaping his lips rather than a vibration of cords in his throat. The wheels of Lisette’s pink and white luggage rolled only inches away from Jade al-Ghul’s nose.
The group was obviously timid, as new relations usually started out as, but Tobias was eager to meld his new friends into a cohesive mixture of strong allies. He hoped that his prophecy would aid in assuring confidence in themselves and each other.
Sebastian always loved the sea, going into it and letting the salty water all over his body was his favorite activity when he was at the beach. Hearing that Mt. Justice would be close to the sea and made him crack an actual smile while in the middle of the conversation. After this, Sebastian was informed that for security measurements, he would be transferred while using special handcuffs that covered his hands and part of his arm, this one will keep his molecules from shifting and the molecules of other things to not shift, then he will be travel first via airplane, then once he reached the ground a terrestrial transport will be waiting for him at the airport, the government wouldn’t let Sebastian out in the streets in the arms of an alien form for the nature of his abilities.
Sebastian didn’t quite enjoy the trip on an airplane, not because of fear of height or anything like that, it was mostly because he couldn’t move his hands at all, his arms were stuck in the same position, and he could feel how they were starting to get numbed. On the plain he and Martian Manhunter had another conversation, this one was going over the reason behind the creation of this initiative, also some questions about the mar’s life forms, mostly what their diet was and how exactly their powers work, he got most of the information he asked for, except for the powers of Martians since, well MM was dumb enough to tell that important information to a still convict. For the rest of the flight, Seb fell asleep with his mouth open and his head against the iron bars of his cell.
Once on land, he was awakened and move towards the truck’s back, the truck was empty behind it, besides it being covered completely in carbon aerogel, enough to make the cabin extremely soft but not bouncy, once inside Sebastian sat to the left side of the truck, which was the only place in which he could hear what was going outside, also the only part where the natural light was entering through a small window. Sebastian rested his head on the wall, being able to hear the soft seawater waves hitting on the beach sand over the sound of the motor. He couldn’t believe he was gonna work with the boomer league, but he was alright if he was chosen from Martian Manhunter, after all, he was the only alien in there that still holds respect from Seb. But what was exactly the truck gonna drop him? Home? Nah more like his new fancier and bigger jail, the difference is that he was gonna be able to see other inmates for the first time in a while. Sebastian stood up and jumped a little bit as he took a small glance at Mt. Justice from the little window, then noticed how Martian Manhunter was flying alongside the truck. MM also noticed Seb looking at him and decided that it was time to go over what exactly what going to happen in here, but Sebastian’s mind was already going over something else, a memory.
He remembers himself and his mother on the beach, Sebastian was no more than 6 years old, playing on the sand close to the waves. He remembers the smile on his mama’s face, just as it was yesterday. The memory goes on until he hears his mom calling on his name, right as he gets hit by a wave, he could only remember the violent movement of his body as the water dragged him like a ragdoll until he closed his eyes. What comes next is a completely different memory, him re-opening them on the rooftop of a random abandon building in Central city at 12:30 am, holding into a laptop which had a lot of weird stickers, one of them was the name of: “El Diablo”, a martian sticker, a piece of paper which was completely in Spanish but in the header was the question: ¿Quien es el Wekufe? (Who is the Wekufe?), between other stickers such as dragons, a tamal, and some others. He finished hearing the coms he was able to track back into this exact building, talking about an old rat from his gang being spotted in the zone, and leadings towards the building.
Once the suspicions turn into confirmations, Sebastian put his computer into a backpack and puts it on the floor of the rooftop, then, slide his head into a mask before absorbing part of the building’s rooftop (Red Granite) and replicate it on his whole body and clothes, once ready Sebastian modified a spot of the roof the making it super malleable and moving it aside and creating an opening. Sebastian could only think about the amount of time he spent tracing this guy, Bastardo escurridizo, he always knew when to erase his steps and when to make them visible, always a step ahead of him. But tonight his luck ran out, he was gonna make him pay for what he did to mi padre, he was gonna make sure to look into his eyes as his life slowly drained away from his eyes, that was his mission.
Once inside Sebastian took a look around searching for the guy, he checked the rooms around the building, the place was empty. This didn’t surprise Seb, who would try to protect a rat-like Peréz, a death sentence to mess with “Los 18”. Sebastian finally appeared from the shadows, slowly walking towards Peréz, he turns his arm into spikes once close enough to him he grabbed into his shoulder and said: “Te llego la hora perro malagradecido!” but before he could stab him he felt how something hit on him, something extremely hard, sending him flying through the roof but before he could do anything he noticed how his skin turned back to normal, then someone grabbed into his leg, he would recognize the green skin anywhere, but before he could say anything, he was punched in the face and fall unconscious.
The next thing he knew, he was in a white room with some weird vibrations, Seb laughed as he approached the door, putting a hand on it, and trying to absorb, but it was rather useless. The smile on Sebastian turned into fear, rather quickly, he tried pushing the door, over and over again. But it was useless, he got outsmarted, by an alien, but he was thankful it was the only alien he still had respect for. Then Seb closed his eyes once more. He was at the truck, but he couldn’t hear the motor over the sea, he couldn’t hear nor see the sear anymore, only an entrance? Sebastian was abruptly interrupted from his action, as the light of the open doors shined upon his eyes.
Putting both his hands above his eyes as he walked outside, he was received by the two armed guards outside who helped him down he noticed he was already inside the garage, MM was floating slightly above ground as he saw the young man staring at him. Then Sebastian thought of the next Hell of a right hook. MM Didn’t react to the comment, he simply looked back at the stairs as he said:“Looks like almost everyone is here, we should hurry.”
Sebastian nod before one of the security guards grabbed into his handcuffs and put another set of handcuffs on him, before taking away the big ones, the small ones separated from each one, the controller of these was given to MM as Seb’s backpack was handle to him, before the group of security guards got back into the truck and drive off. MM Looked at Seb as he fixed his backpack, he took a look at his new pair of accessories, they were so tight it looked like they were a part of his arm at this point. MM walked upstairs, Sebastian followed behind him, as he took a good look at the place before going up the stairs, he still had a glance at the entrance opening before it was out of his range of view. Once on the stairs, MM spoke:
“Those handcuffs that you have right now were made specifically for your powers, right now they are active, they won't let you absorb more than a safe level of material while you are here, also keep in mind that with the press of a button your powers can also be deactivated. But worry not, as the percentage can always be modified with the same controller, but it will only be permitted when you are on a mission, or when a justice league member is keeping an eye on you.”
Sebastian tried to protest but before a sound could leave his mouth MM stopped him. “Remember I can read your thoughts and your mind, I know your intentions are not fully staying here to be a protector of earth. So don’t even try it.” Sebastian’s mouth closed before letting a sound out. It was obvious that he didn’t have much of an option now, he felt like a perro con correa, he could only go so far before they pull the leash. Suddenly a hallway came into his visuals, MM walked through the corner. Sebastian blinked before taking the first door to the right where he vanished. It was a dorm? With two beds? he was able to see that one of them was already select by a stranger. He just let his bag into the one which wasn't already selected.
Meanwhile with Dinah
Martian Manhunter trespassed through the walls of the Mountain until he found Dinah, he properly announces his approach by simply calling on her name: “Dina.” Putting her attention into him. “My chosen for the new initiative has already arrived and will be here shortly. I commend you to give this remote control to whoever is gonna be staying with Sebastian. Preferable if it’s someone in which the league can trust, ill leave it in your hands.”. After handling the remote and explaining how it worked MM left back to the room where he left Sebastian.
Sebastian was feeling the walls of his room with his hand, learning what they were made of was some kind of alloy, but before he could absorb some of it. He turned around just to find Martian Manhunter standing behind him. He jumped, scared to see the massive green man standing in front of him. “This is our farewell Sebastian Gómez Riggs, may fortune look on your way. Everyone is waiting in the kitchen, Good luck.” Said MM Before disappearing.
Seb made his way into the kitchen, but once in there, Sebastian’s eyes look around not only he noticed a big number of new materials he had never seen, but also looked at the people he never heard about. He took notice of the girl (Jade) eating an apple, you could see from a mile away she wasn’t friendly at all. On the other side, a guy (Xander) who, honestly could be an intern in this place at most, but judging at how the girl was looking at him he messed up badly. A guy whose odor he could notice from far away, tho it was not a familiar one, the only familiar about him was probably both of them having a similar tone of the skin. then he took notice of the girl with the flammant hair (Jude) who looked like she was an extrovert, yet he wasn’t sure. Then his eye took notice of the floating kid, he looked full of energy, somehow something about him made him uneasy. Next on the list was a girl who to his surprise was sitting, grabbing into something, not being able to see it correctly he didn’t give it too much thought. Next on the list was a girl who looked like was about to start glowing like a damn star, Seb could feel the positive vibes coming from her he could even feel he wanted to find world peace. And the last guy who was only wearing... shorts? Why was this guy almost naked? That was a mystery he didn’t want to uncover. Sebastian walked towards the rather... The interesting group of people. He didn't say a word, he simply incorporated himself. Taking a seat at the counter of the kitchen as he raised his hand saluting everyone and then let it rest on his leg. Then gave a short smile towards everyone before it disappeared and seriousness would come back to his face.
LILITH mount justice kitchen - mildly enthused - Everyone
Lilith was going to be late for orientation. She didn't mind. In fact, she was happy with it. She’d be fashionably late. And there was no way she wanted to deal with the high expectations that would come with being the first to show up. At least, that's what she was telling herself.
Standing in her room in Shadowcrest, packing her things into an extradimensional purse, Lilith paused between every step and every item shoved into her bag for something like a full minute of deliberation. Onyx, her pet black mamba, lay on the bed, catching her gaze, tilting his head as if to ask what was the matter.
"Oh, I just don't know if I should," she sighed. Plenty could go wrong. She could arrive to find out that she'd be licking Superman's toes the whole time. She could have some tracking device put on her that would stop her from ever having a normal life. She could end up finding someone who knows about the prophecy and decides that capping her is the best option.
Onyx craned his head toward the wall on Lilith's right. She followed, and her gaze met an old photo of herself with her parents at age ten. "Oh, yeah, forgot about that," she said. She picked up the photo and put it into her purse. This is what they'd want, wherever they are: to follow in their footsteps. Sure, her dad was no Boy Scout either, but that just meant that it'd be even more embarrassing to not try to live up to his moral fiber.
"Come on, Onyx," she said as the snake wrapped around her right arm. "How about we take another trip? Command: take us to Mount Justice." A sonic boom and a dizzying array of light surrounded Lilith as she warped through space, arriving just outside a huge metallic structure. She entered the front door and headed to her room to drop off her things. The shiny, chrome-covered interior was quite the change in scenery from the old stone of Shadowcrest, and most of the places she'd stayed in around the world. She was down for it, though, until she found out where all the cameras were hidden. Her roommate hadn't arrived yet, so she supposed she couldn't have arrived too late. Still, it was time to find out where the other freaks were. After a little poking around, she found out that the rest of the new bloods were gathering in the kitchen. But she didn't want to just walk right in. She cast a spell to make herself invisible, then sat on a stool in the corner of the room.
It was a motley crew in there, but it looked like one she could tolerate, at least for the first thirty seconds she was there. There wasn't a bad-looking guy or girl in the bunch, and Lilith was sure she'd be able to make up a snarky nickname for everyone when the time came for it. The Black boy in the middle seemed to be catching her attention the most, what with his voice and demeanor sounding like the world's most gloriously over-the-top Shakespearean actor.
Lilith became visible in a wave of purple light. "Yeah, sounds pretty alright," she said in response to his speech, tossing a silver ring of hers into the air.
MT JUSTICE || INTERACTION: EVERYONE, TOBIAS, LISETTE and MARA (specifically)
Jordan’s head turned to the side, watching as the people gathered around him – the sheer scale of the personalities – their problems hanging off their sneers and their casual distrust… His face remaining impassive as he listened to them all, nodding politely at what they said – their greetings – their quips. The pageantry of it all had him already tired with trying to figure out whether they were emotionally dismissive or purely disgruntled at the state of duress surrounding their presence at the facility.
He lowered himself to the floor, his shoes making a soft and inoffensive tapping sound once as they came to a rest on the hard surface. He smiled at Mara, sensing what he could not place as either distress or disinterest – pale as it was – his brown eyes softening in empathy when assuming the former, wanting very much to be alone again – but knowing that was not for now. He has to perform his duties – assumed and consuming as they were. “Greetings, Mindhuntress.” He nodded once, before noting Mirage, nodding at her as well in welcome.“I am sure you could place it down anywhere within the vicinity, there will be time a-plenty to allocate rooms once we have a better understanding of the situation and all contexts come into focus to inform our decision making.”
He was about to speak again, continuing, when another arrived – Jordan’s eyes lighting up a few shades, quickly making his way over and grasping the forearm of Tobias, his smile widening – “Welcome – I should have known you would appear disheveled and drenched in ocean spray.” He chuckled, letting go of the other’s arm. Turning to introduce the other to the group – having long since become used to the tone of the Atlantean and not finding his words or dialect strange at all – he suddenly picked up movement, the sound of footsteps – drawing his attention away – spotting immediately Sebastian and his cuffs – eyes narrowing, wondering what they were. He had not been briefed on them. He opened his mouth to greet the newcomer but found that another pair of footsteps – soft and unobtrusive neared, yet there was none there to supply them.
He smelled the air, but the scents of the multiple newcomers made it hard to learn anything more – and he was about to call for investigation when suddenly Lilith made herself appear, Jordan’s eyes widening. “Ah…” The word escaped his lips as he smiled, taking pleasure in that at least one had been enthused – even in her low energy – with his friend’s proclamation. He turned to the now gathered group – and noted that they were still not entirely filed in the roster.
Moving, perhaps a bit faster than he normally would – he was stood next to the refrigeration unit – pulling out a selection of stock drinks – placing them along the work surface, grabbing an ice bucket to start filling it – His back to the group – he closed his eyes. Relax. Casual. Charming. Try – for their sakes. He had allies. Now. He was still outnumbered if this went bad… but… it would not. He had to hope. He had to have faith. Faith in the league. Faith in… everything. As the ice poured from the icemaker into the metallic bucket he spoke, his voice a bit louder so that all might hear. “I fear what the league had provided us seems a shade tame. Then again – the early hour might dissuade some of us from getting sauced.” He turned and placed the ice down, securing a selection of glasses and stacking them with a swift and confident hand. “Then again – judging by the general demeanor – perhaps that is exactly the inverse of at least some of the thinking going on at this moment.”
He chuckled loudly, his smile still there. He pushed his sleeves up, undoing the links around his wrist and remaking them around his upper arms. “I confess I am not much of a barista – but I will do my utmost should you trust me with securing you a drink. If not – refreshments are at your leisure – and freely augmented by whatever I am sure has been snuck in. Our number is almost complete.”He turned towards Tobias. “The usual then? Or perhaps something a bit more adventurous today?” He looked at them all, focusing on each of them at least for a second - trying to convey, whether successfully or no - that they were now where. And he would put the effort in to make it as comfortable a stay he could... he just hoped that some of them might reciprocate. He began to pour himself something non-alcoholic already questioning even that decision.
Life is always flowing, changing, springing up with unknowns when least expected. Arlo knows this, and yet he let himself get comfortable, content even, with how life was going. He built up a small clientele on the underside of a city, working in the shadows and only known by alias. Although caution was needed for every job and interaction, conducting work in the way he did was rather discrete and out of the public eye. Such as his parents had done.
He should’ve known something was going to happen, everything was getting too settled, too stable. Really, he shouldn’t have been so surprised when he opened the door to a loaded bow aimed at him by the Green Arrow. ”Rather rude don’t you think? At least take me to dinner first.” were the words that came out of Arlo’s mouth. Whether Green Arrow had been amused or not, he didn’t know, but the Justice League member wasted no time in pleasantries. ”The way you do things isn’t exactly…favored.” Apparently the League had been keeping tabs on him, which he took in an unnerved manner. The more Green Arrow explained, the less choices Arlo had. Essentially it came down to him getting locked up for life, as the tabs on him had proof of him committing crimes, or he join the new initiative being formed. Naturally, Arlo took the only real option there was.
They were now entering the building inhabiting Mount Justice, a week after meeting, worn duffle bag at Arlo's side and a suitcase trailing behind him. Arlo looked around in awe as Green Arrow led him through the place. Everything was high-tech and sleek looking, the most expensive place he ever laid eyes upon. His ‘eat the rich’ mentality was blaring and taking everything in made him nauseous. He wanted to flee, turn around and say fuck it, but he knew the consequences of doing so. Biting the inside of his cheek didn’t help curb the bubbling irritation as they walked into a room filled with people. Some were socializing, others were just standing around the room as him and his recruiter stood at the doorway. Light clanging of metal sounded from his pocket as he fiddled with the dice occupying it.
“Well Goldie Locks, looks like we’re late to the party.” Arlo commented, annoyance laced in the words. Looking around the room he vaguely recognized a few of the other initiative members, either from research or by reputation; what an amazing little infestation the Justice League sprouted.
Slightly rocking back and forth on his feet, Arlo introduced himself with a sarcastic smile, ”Collision, here for my community service.”
Location : Mount Justice
Interacting : Everyone, specifically TheTypestitute
Heroes of Tomorrow it was called. Not a bad name, all things considered, catchy as all hell. Certainly better than Justice League Jr. would have been. Though, that would have been more accurate to what it was to be. Elias had gotten the impression the moment he had been introduced to the whole affair that the League itself was somewhat uneasy. Because it was stocked full of murderers and villains? Maybe. Because it would take the attention off of them? Perhaps. Because they didn’t want to have power taken away from them? Certainly.
In truth, it didn’t matter much to him. Though it would be very cool to work with others with actual powers, something he rarely got to do. Powers he himself didn’t have.
Unlike many others on the team, he had volunteered his services willingly, at the prodding of the Lantern Corps. He was not beholden to it, however, merely a... helper. Something along those lines anyway. It hadn’t taken much to convince him. It was within his duty to protect Earth, after all. Though the more people he heard about joining the more he became...worried about the moral fiber of the whole affair.
A challenge was the point though, wasn’t it?
His life had taken him through many twists and turns in recent months, he had only started getting used to the ring of ungodly power on his finger by the time this came up. What was another twist in the long saga that was to be his? Risks were fun.
And he was hopeful.
He had met with Hal Jordan to go over the plans, of course. The man was getting on in years, but he still kept soldiering on. He had been a mentor to the man this past half a year, not many Blue Lanterns were about to spend their time training others, but Green was good enough. Every time they were around each other he could feel himself...how would he describe it? Ascend? Something like that. It was this basis of trust that had convinced him of the Leagues good intentions with this and in general. Being a nobody from East London the only stories you heard of these people were big battles, battles were bad for business but good for glory. Only now could he understand how hard the job was.
And how regulated they all should be.
Which is yet another reason he supported the initiative. Rehabilitation was always better than punishment. Norway had proven that. At least that's what Wikipedia said.
The morning of the meeting was...err...eclectic? An unexpected something or other on a planet with some funky alien name had taken his attention. Some dispute between two groups of bug people? A rebellion? A trade war? He...didn’t have a clue. Yet, he solved it, hope’d up the place and then skedaddled. It was lucky he was fast or he would have missed the entire damn day, let alone the original meet and greet.
Streaming through the sky, his ring perking up occasionally with the sound of some FAA administrator shouting about air space violations. He tended to ignore them. Low level bureaucrats were always so angry.
He was meant to go to some mountain that had an extremely creative name. It was lucky he had a swiss army ring to do it for him.
Reaching what he assumed to be the location, he slowly lowered himself onto the platform reserved for planes and other aerial vehicles. Looking around he saw nothing, but heard faint noises coming from inside the mountain itself. The ring guiding him forward. Scanning the place to see the amount of people who were already there, which was to say pretty much everyone.
He took a moment to read up on their files, their names, their personalities, their crimes. Useful stuff. Could even make him seem cool if he acted like he knew everything about them. Wait, that was weird, not cool. Nothing could make him cool.
Stepping inside the complex he eventually found himself in a kitchen. Waving at them all with a cheesy smile. Just about catching Paragon was it? Mentioning beverages. Looking over himself quickly he immediately dropped the uniform that covered him, the one that made him look like a complete dork.
“Alright everyone. I’m Guardian. You can call me Eli, suppose.”
He didn’t want to interrupt the flow, simply making his way over to the gang around the coffee machine. Flashing a smile at the guy who offered to make him some.
“I prefer tea. Milk, two sugars yeah?”
He patted him on the shoulder, leaning back against the counter. Ring flashing as it gleamed biological information about everyone in the room.
The influx of people put an already irritated Jade even more on edge, though she was quite interested in the girl who had been brought in tied down and muzzled and the boy who announced he was here for his 'community service'. Perhaps if they stuck together they could manage to escape before they were forced to pull their first Justice League publicity stunt.
As the Atlantean picked up the suspiciously perky girl's luggage, it came much too close to her face for her liking. "Watch it, fish filet." She snapped, standing up from her chair at the island and walking towards the door. With a practiced hand, she reached to casually graze the floating boy, barely noticeable but enough to copy his powers just for the few minutes she would need them to bust out of here.
"Hands to ourselves, Ms. al-Ghul." Black Canary's voice rang out over the kitchen before she could make contact with him, hazel eyes turning to glare at the older woman as she retracted her hand back to her side.
"Now that we're all here, let's begin, shall we?" Dinah smiled, gesturing for the kids to follow after her as she walked briskly down the hallway. "Some of you may know me as the Black Canary, but while we're here I'll be your mentor and personal trainer." She introduced herself, turning back to look at the group of ragtag mutants behind her. She knew which ones to expect trouble from, but for now she'd be keeping her eyes on all of them until they proved themselves trustworthy.
They came to a stop inside one of the many spacious rooms within the base, filled with expensive equipment and room for 14 potential heroes. "This is the mission room. You will be prepped on all missions here, by me or another League member. You won't be going on an outing just yet, but we plan to put you all out in the field as soon as we think you're ready. If you prove to me during training that you are responsible and practiced enough, you'll be allowed to go out on group missions. From there, you can advance to pair missions and eventually solo missions. If you make it through solo missions and don't backslide, you will become an official member of the League. Or, be free of community service. Some may have a harder time gaining clearance than others." Dinah explained, looking pointedly towards Mr. Community Service and the knife girl.
"The next stop on the tour is where you'll be spending most of your time. The training room." Dinah once again lead the young heroes down the never-ending hallway, looking like a mother duck leading her ducklings, if those ducklings were man-eating and ran at the speed of light. Two flights of stairs later, they had arrived in the massive lower floor designed specifically for all kinds of combat.
"There are multiple training rooms down here, your standard gym, an olympic sized pool, a weapons range, and a simulation room. For now, we'll be starting with the gym." It had taken months to build the state of the art base, and even then Dinah wasn't sure that it would withstand this group. "Today we'll be working in partners. Take it a little easy on each other, you'll be sharing a dorm with one another after all." She smirked before reading off the roommate pairings. "Mara and Lilith, Sebastian and Jude, Zak and Mikey, Elias and Jordan, Nat and Xander, Arlo and Jade, Lisette and Toby. Find an area for yourselves and learn your partners powers."
MT JUSTICE || PRACTICE HALL || Bradchon
- mention the group and fin
Jordan looked across the room towards everyone, his tongue running along his teeth lightly as he wondered at the group with casual oversight, his mind contrasting with his calmer outside appearance - rattling around his head that felt at both measures both entirely too full of thoughts and empty. He would not deny that he was… excited? Was that how he wanted to frame this? Apprehensive seemed equally as fitting a word – but at the moment his positivity lingered enough to warrant excited.
There were so many of them, and they all seemed so different. Unique. Special. Their rampant individuality had him feeling less of an… alien… than most all his life, and he wondered at how they all seemed so comfortable in the strangeness that was a group of super-powered delinquents. They had been… pliant enough for there to be no sense of violent refusal or lingering problems as of yet – so to his mind there was perhaps, with the guidance of the firm handed Canary, a chance that this all might turn out to be not as bad as he had thought it might be in the upcoming weeks prior to this meeting.
He might even be able to “make it work” as Clark expected of him.
He stopped for a second as they all followed Canary, wondering why it felt as though he was smiling and frowning in equal measure. He lightly placed his fingers against his cheeks, finding them raised, lines along his mouth – and he felt his brow contract further. He sighed, intentionally calming his face, before continuing to walk near the back of the group – letting Canary take the lead – keeping an eye out for stragglers.
He smiled again.
Perhaps all this was because he did not feel as isolated anymore now that he had some allies or peers with him – the ever-dramatic and supportive Tobias and even a Blue Lantern. His eyes fixed on the other. They were powerful. They were amazingly powerful. Competent. Versatile. And the other had even taken the initiative to aid Jordan in making the drinks for the group – and had his tea almost like Jordan did… save the scale and extra sugar Jordan took of course. They were… hope? Was it? His father had spoken of them at points – not to him, but in general – and had said that the blue ones were particularly influential. And good.
He looked down. His heart beating he wondered at himself. Every word he had said so far. Had he made a good first impression? He was not sure. His nerdy clothing seeming somewhat off putting in context compared to the informal and comfortable dress of most of these people. Even Tobias was in … was it booty shorts? Was that what they were called? – Jordan let hands ran down his stomach, fingers pressing against the surface - the woolen fabric of his red jersey soft against his skin. He had always dressed much like Lois did – or rather her colleagues and… his father did. And when they complained about young people looking like hooligans…
It made him think about his grandmother, who had gently stroked his hair along the fireplace and read to him stories of Arthur and his knights… The blanket across her lap had been red. Soft. Wool. It was a simple time. When his thoughts had felt easier in their naivety. Everything felt innocent enough that they would never have her disapprove enough to aband-
His feet came to a standstill again, the group a little bit ahead of him. He took a breath.
Jordan looked up at the group as they got further away from him, his light brown eyes lingering on the faint social symbols reflecting their personalities framed across their bodies and their forms. Rings and charms and marks and tears and colours and all those little things.
It was different. So different than he was.
Hooligans? Maybe. Interesting? Definitely.
His eyes quickly flicked down, looking at his hands, seeing them shaking a bit and he had to focus to keep them still. It was a strange feeling – it seemed to radiate from him, from them – from the moment. It made him want to jump up through the roof or just lay down in tall grass after a first morning dew… What exactly it was – he struggled to say, but he imagined for a second he was back north where the wind blew harshly, and he had built his own little fortress… with his own friend. He looked towards Tobias.
The damn smile was back. He quickly followed them.
Once they settled in the practice room, the group having been separated into their little duos – he stood across from the blue lantern, rolling his shoulders – and undoing the tie around his neck. He tried to keep his smile a bit lower energy than the mania he had experienced in the hallways, looking the other up and down. He started pulling his jumper over his head, fumbling with his other hand so that the fabric below would not be pulled off as well – showing only skin here and there – nothing he would have to be embarrassed about. Quickly folding up the red fabric, he placed it down on the ground next to their area – placing his phone and watch there as well. Not looking at the other, pulled the tie off – “You might wanna put anything down you don’t want hurt. I won’t go too crazy, but I don’t wanna break something you might wanna keep, yeah?”
He stood up, rolling the shirt sleeves up after undoing the ties, revealing his forearms. Every muscle in his body twitched and he felt the excitement rise, keeping himself on the ground by sheer will – his feet wishing to push off and begin. Undoing the top two buttons of his shirt, flatting the collar, he again stretched his arms and his shoulders, before doing a few light kicks – feeling the stretch of the fabric across his legs and hips. He frowned – but noted the limits. He did not wanna end up in his underwear – so better to keep the acrobatics to a minimum. He peered down at the buttons on the shirt that already seemed to struggle across his chest.
Lois would kill him. She loved this shirt on him. He looked up at the bl- Guardian again. He raised a hand and hit his stomach with a few pats – the sound of a sledgehammer lightly meeting concrete could perhaps be a good comparison, his smile widening at the other. “You don’t have to worry too much about me. I should be able to keep my own. But, perhaps we start it off slow? Make sure you can keep up?” Jordan’s brown eyes glinted and with a wink, he gently lifted up, rising first onto his toes, before they too left the floor, raising his knee slightly like his father always did when hovering. “What do you want to work on first?”
The reactions of his groupmates were diverse; a mixture of pleasant and annoyance. Albeit those annoyed outweighed those pleased by Toby’s enthusiasm, he simply made mental note of who needed more cheering to unwind.
He smiled at Jordan to his side, the familiar face helped put him at ease. He’d been anticipating a reunion with the Superboy- man, for some time. They didn’t have much of that with age, time. The Heroes of Tomorrow initiative offered a chance for him and his old friend to rekindle their childhood light, and from the looks of it, that light was more than lit. Jordan was more than fitting into the leader role as he shifted from Toby’s side and returned to welcome the others.
His smile was faint, watching his old friend when a rather piercing voice cut through the air.
Fishfilet. The words escaped Jade’s mouth like icy daggers. He hadn’t noticed his right arm still erected. From Tobias’ experience, fish filet was a small, but meaty piece of fish. Often served boneless and spiced with a variety of flavours. An odd thing to call him, Toby thought, as he reclined his hand and suitcase back down. His eyes followed the dark aura that surrounded the girl.
Fortunately, another set of new figures joined in the small kitchen. Unfortunately, they’d missed his welcoming speech. He’d have to repeat it another time.
As Tobias readied himself to describe the sort of drink he wished Jordan to make him, a woman came in. Too old to be considered a part of the Justice League’s succession plan. It was the Black Canary. Tobias had only heard stories of the Canary, but seeing her in person was even greater than the tales he’d heard. It was evident that Dinah had seen plenty in her life, though she sported a fitted outfit, you could tell she was rougher around the edges. His blue eyes twinkled, anticipating a time where he could pick at her brain and study the hero.
The tour was rather boring for Tobias who’d already got himself lost upon arrival, and saw the latter of rooms and sectors provided for them. He trudged along at Lisette’s side, still holding her luggage up until they arrived at the sparring area. Past their tour guide, multiple well-illuminated platforms had been set up, and against the walls sat an array of dummy weapons. Wooden swords, blunted arrows, boxing gloves and more. Though a tad limited for a soldier, Tobias enjoyed the idea that the League would be easing them into training with one another.
His enthusiasm quickly faded though once his pairing had been called out. The girl who’s things he’d been holding, whipped in the face of Jade al-Ghul, and had been taken away from him by her because of how roughly he’d been handling them. Stepping onto the mat, Tobias stopped to analyze just how heated she was. He was surprised at how… cool she was being about it, still sweet in spite of his light scolding from earlier.