The streets of Manhattan rustled, busily as always. When it wasn't being attacked by aliens seeking to rule the universe, or robbed by criminals with otherworldly abilities, Manhattan was the Big Apple. Home to innovation, fame, politics, and everything that came in-between. Some would say today was a day of celebration, and enjoyment, especially for the children.
But for a select few individuals, today marked something completely different. Whether they'd wished for it or not, loved the idea or were completely against it, the series of events leading up till today were cards dealt by a hand that would not easily refuse. The idea of the Titans Initiative was one that stemmed from the mind of playboy extraordinaire, Bruce Wayne, less commonly known as the Arkham Night... the Bat that preys the criminal underworld of Gotham. Batman was, and always have been an expert planner and innovator. Since deciphering Darkseid's warning all those years ago, leading the Justice League since their assembling, and as Bruce Wayne, revitalizing the Gotham and American economy, the Titans were just another one of Bruce's contingency plans... till they weren't.
With the threats of evil only growing and adapting, a target constantly on the backs of the Justice League, and a world growing far too quickly for their team to keep up with, the Justice League was in need of a B-Squad, another team that could operate and even out the work for the league. One that could usurp the Justice League one day, and become the protectors of the Earth. The Titans were comprised of those that Batman, and the Justice League saw as the most capable, most proficient, teen and young adult threats in the world. They'd be able to mold them into heroes of good work, as well as keep tabs on these beings of mass potential, even if they were unaware. A raw task-force of powered beings.
About 4-6 weeks earlier from today, said individuals had each been delivered an email, or letter, depending on their situation. The letter read out the credentials and information of the recipient, and the Justice League's awareness of their existence. That they would be a cog in the machine that was a team, assembled for the greater good of mankind. Recipients are asked to pack adequate clothing to last the entire summer, with coming in any tactile battle suit listed as optional. A location was also included, and oddly specific too. By the East River railing in Manhattan, the Titan is to enter into the middle photo booth and hold up the allocated identi-card... One that lists the recipients alias, suited image, and the standard J.L. bar code, signed off with the iconic Justice League emblem. The letter was purposefully left vague, in hopes that the recipient would peak their curiosity... or fear, even. Either way, one didn't deny the Justice League, and so whatever tactic they'd aimed to utilize, it wasn't like it mattered.
Today is the day.
Upon raising their identi-card to the middle photo booth scanner, each Titan is teleported via zeta beam, to the Titans Tower island. As described in the letter, they're directed to the giant T-shaped building to unite with their team on the eighth, and highest floor of the tower.
18:00. east river, manhattan, new york. titans tower.
Clark hovered softly over the steel floors of the Watchtower. He was still getting used to relocating from the Hall of Justice, and it stung him that he'd gone through with this white lie. The people of Earth still believed the league was down at the Hall in Washington, amongst them and protecting them. But they had to be up here, for justifiable reasons too. In the past several years, the government, and the league had been made aware of more and more species of alien past their solar systems. Ones capable of mass destruction, and that seemed to only see Earth as their stomping grounds and a small step to universal domination. But for pa, ma, Lois, and baby Jon on the way, Clark refused to allow it. Once Bruce and Victor had come together with the idea for a new base that orbited Earth as it's first line of defense, Clark couldn't help but jump at the idea. Still, with the glass allowing him to see outside into space, and the small ball-sized Earth, Clark had to consciously remind himself that he was still just that kid from Kansas.
At Victor's voice in the background, Clark snapped out of his trance. He felt the cold of the steel floors flow into him through his red boots, and his eyes softly turned to Victor Stone-- now commonly known as Cyborg, at the command panel of the tower. "I'm here early, aren't I? He's the one who asked me to come some time before the kids' arrival, and he hasn't even beamed here yet." Clark responded to Victor's nagging. The Cyborg rolled his eyes, and Clark quickly understood what he'd meant. Batman was a master planner, a man with reason for everything... Yet somehow, some way, he was almost always late to meetings and gatherings. "You're right. It is Bruce." A faint smile crossed his face at that. "Just boot up the hologram. I'll be a face to any one of the kids who's a little early before Bruce shows. And tell him he owes me a Beef Bourguignon for being so tardy." His smile widened at that, even more so when Victor laughed, and Clark made his way into the command panel.
It had mostly been used for meetings with the president, united nations, and various other high-class groups of men and women. Clark believed this was just as important. These kids were the future, the ones who'd lead in a world where his child would grow up in. They had to start out, and continue to have good terms. He stepped forward in front of the Justice League's assembly desk, and stood upright before it. Beneath his feet was a light-gray pad that scanned whoever stood over it, and manifested their hologram in another location. In this case, it was in the living quarters of Titans Tower.
Bruce would join him at his side soon enough. For now, he hoped to just look nice and friendly for whomever stumbled into the tower first.
Batmam had been planning this moment for years. Ever since the Darkseid Invasion, he saw the weakness of having only one line of defense against Earth's enemies. He was always one to have a backup plan, for the worst case scenario. Because usually, it always ended up in a worst case scenario. Superman was strong, yes, but what would happen if he was gone? What if he died, or, worse, turned against the world? That's what the Justice League was for, and that's why he created the Titan's Initiative. Plain and simple.
Batman had provided most of the funding for the Watchtower, even if it was done under the guise of Bryce Wayne wanting to help Earth be prepared for another invasion. A space station made the most sense. If a threat originated planetside, they'd be the first to know, and the same could be said if it was a intergalactic threat. They weren't prepared last time. Darkseid caught them off guard, and two million people paid the price for it. Even if just one person died, it would have been too high a cost. The world was too confident, thinking it was untouchable. This time...
It might just be.
Bruce had good reason to be late. He had a meeting with Wayne Industries executives an hour before the scheduled call, it took about fifteen minutes to get home, five to change into the Batsuit, and ten more to prepare the zeta tube. All in all, Bruce was exactly five minutes and fifty five seconds late, an absolutely lethargic time for him. He strode through the metal halls of the Watchtower, his eyes scanning the room for any threats. Just because this was Justice League HQ didn't mean it was safe. After all, there was a ten percent chance of someone making it last the many, many security systems installed, and that meant that one out of every ten attempts succeeded, odds that were far too high for his tastes. Even as he looked for threats, his mind drifted to this new team. They were the future. The fate of the world rested with them. The world...needed them. If Bruce knew one thing about himself, it was that he was a broken, damaged person, desperately fighting a war he can't win. That's why he made the team, to stop them from making the same mistakes as him.
It's why he adopted Dick in the first place.
The Dark Knight finally made it, striding inside, his arms insured under his cape as he simply said, "Victor, Clark." He made no attempt to excuse his lateness. It frankly looked bad, and he didn't care what they thought. He stood beside the Man of Tomorrow, making the final preparations for the call in utter silence. It was obvious he wanted to say something, but... didn't. Bruce...respected Clark. He was everything Batman was supposed to be, but wasn't. A symbol of hope, a beacon of light in a sea of darkness. That didn't mean Batman was blind to Superman's flaws. Clark was naive, trusting. He valued people more than the mission, and Batman would be lying if he said they'd never butted heads. But in the end, there was nothing but respect between them. So it was no real surprise when Batman asked in his familiar, baritone voice, "How's Lois, Clark? I trust she's in good hands." There was almost a smile on Batman's face when he asked this. Almost. Not completely. He didn't want the Titan's to see him smiling. Not yet, anyways. Speaking of which, it was almost time. "Ready? It's time." Batman almost felt...nervous? No, not nervous. He had no reason to be. More...uneasy. He wasn't used to handling teenagers, the situation with Dick being a testament to that. Batman didn't regret what happened. Dick needed to learn how to handle himself, and he was too careless that night. But still...he sometimes wondered if he was too harsh, if what he said that night cut a bit too deep...
Regardless, that had no bearing on the current situation. He needed to be a role model, same as Clark, but a... different kind. He needed to be strict, stoic, almost distant. The Initiative needed to learn how to take orders, and go through with them without hesitation. This line of work was dangerous, and he couldn't have anyone putting in a half-hearted effort, himself included. With this, the Dark Knight steeled himself, looking over at Superman as he nodded, giving his go for the meeting.
After this meeting, the Titan Initiative would officially begin.
Location: Outside of Titans Tower Interaction: Open Mentioned: N/A
Four weeks didn't seem to truly be enough time to process what that letter meant. Supposedly, it meant a new start. A brand new beginning for little miss Violet Harper. The girl was unsure if she actually believed what Marcus had told her or not. She couldn't read what the letter had said, but Violet could read people. At least to a degree. His face had twisted oddly, brows furrowed showing the crease of a man who had worried most of his life. He muttered softly under his breath, or maybe just reading it silently. His house smelled like it normally did, pine and warmth coming off the walls. The couch was soft, and he had offered it to her for the night again. Violet refused. He already had a full house, and what he did for her already was more than enough.
Even now he was helping her. The Darkseid invasion, something she now knew a little about despite her lack of knowledge elsewhere, had been rough on him just like so many other people. He and his wife lost a child, their house, their financial stability. But he wouldn't just drop her off at the Tower without something. An old backpack now hung from her shoulders, worn and weathered, but apparently a fairly nice brand. Inside, a brand new pack of underwear and socks, neither of which she had opened yet. A hand-me-down pajama set his daughter, a woman who clearly didn't like her but was never outright mean, had given her. They were soft, a t-shirt style material for both the pants and the tank top. And it was that color she loved now. Turns out, after asking, it was pink.
Her new toothbrush was pink too. A trip to the drugstore with the three big red letters was required this morning when Marcus learned she had lost her old one. Or it was stolen. So she had some toothpaste too, a small tube of it she hadn't opened yet either, and a small hairbrush that might not even work all that well for her. That morning had been a little overwhelming actually, none of this she expected just yet. Marcus pulling up beside the usual spot she sat when begging for money, telling her to get in had caused a little drama. The older people in that area, ones that looked out for her, almost didn't let her go without a fight.
Then, the had a fight about trying to go with her. Marcus said that "Today was the day short stuff, we need to make sure you're ready." Violet wouldn't call what she had now "being ready". In fact, if she could, Violet would have just stayed where she was. Or at the very least, used what little money she had to buy some clothes. Marcus said that if she ended up staying, he would try helping get her more stuff. Even mentioned something about getting her on his phone plan. Then mumbled something under his breath that might have been too rude to say directly to Violet.
So here she stood, hesitating outside of the phone booth that supposedly took her and whoever got picked to their new home. Marcus kept telling her it was fine. There was nothing to worry about. That this was good for her. Violet couldn't exactly argue. He seemed to know more about this than she did, but that familiar anxious paranoia had set into even her bones. The card in her hand felt like the weight of the world, and Violet couldn't read a single thing on it. But she did know her face when she saw it. Unfortunately, it was a photo from one of her fights, bloody nose and sweat-drenched brow...someone obviously broke the rules during one of those meetings. But to her knowledge, there wasn't any other picture of her. "Just hold it up." Marcus's voice broke through the silence, causing the girl to stiffen momentarily. Glancing over her should to the kind face, Marcus gave her a smile. She wanted to return it...but found herself turning back around and stepping into the phone booth.
This was stupid. Phone booths didn't just...wait what exactly was he expecting it to do? It was a phone booth, did he expect her to make a long-distance call. Just as she had realized how stupid this was, Violet felt her body start doing something weird. There was no way to describe how it felt. And she must have blacked out or maybe just closed her eyes really hard, because the next thing she knew, she was in another phone booth. That was weird right? All that fan fare for another booth? Violet shoot her head a bit, and turned around to step out when...oh. All of a sudden there was a giant T in front of her
The windows and steel glistened in the sun, causing the girl to squint a little. The smell of fresh grass hit her nose as she inhaled, gray eyes starting up at the building in awe. How did she not notice this as Marcus drive by a few minutes ago? How had anyone not noticed it? From where she was, Violet could see the small figures of people on either side of the river, none of which seemed very interested in what was going on over here. Maybe she was just being an idiot, and never paid enough attention to the river before. Or maybe that wasn't what was truly going on. Either way, she suddenly felt very underdressed. Her clothes were filthy. Her shirt, a white t-shirt was stained to hell with dirt and hints of blood, a few holes worn into the fabric here and there. On top of that, a threadbare red flannel shirt that was missing all but one button on the left sleeve. Her jeans were worn down and probably going to disintegrate any day now, but it went well with the vibe. And her shoes really finished the look. Old canvas sneakers that were literally pulling away from the soles.
Violet was embarrassed, it being very clear they hadn't been washed for a while. Same with the rest of her. Greasy hair tied back in a loose bun, dirt-caked under her nails, her face covered in it too. Not to mention the remnants of a good sock in the nose from her last fight a week or two ago. She hadn't been lucky lately in terms of getting to shower, but Marcus had sprayed her down with some nice smelling spray. And on top of everything, she had no clue where to go. Was someone supposed to come down and greet her? Was Violet supposed to go in and take a look around? Marcus hadn't actually given her much information about what to do. Slowly moving from the place she had come out from thanks to that weird phone booth, her eyes remained on the building, staring up at it. A part of her wanted to go inside. A bigger part of her wanted to leave. But Violet did neither.
Instead, the girl stayed put, hoping the universe would help her out a little.
This was NOT how Virgil had wanted to show up. He'd thought about taking a flight. He could scrape enough together for that, but you couldn't exactly check a manhole cover and a superhero outfit these days. He'd tried in vain to think of a better way, but in the end, he'd ended up flying himself. It had been a miserable flight. There hadn't been any pressurized cabin. No in-flight meal. No cushy chairs to take a nap in. The only in-flight entertainment was the storm that had set in halfway through his flight. He had felt it building an hour into his flight. His skin had begun to prickle, and his teeth itched as the air ionized. The dark clouds told him this would not be a good day for flying, but it was his only chance. Buried deep down there was a spark of something, and it drove him on through the pounding rain and the howling winds. Dodging through lightning attracted to a flying manhole cover in the sky. That part had actually been fun, if he admitted it to himself. They weren't too many people who got more powerful from being struck by lightning. Not that he'd actually been hit, he'd simply absorbed some of the raw power as he brushed the bolts past him. He knew he had to look pretty terrible as he finally arrived in Manhattan. Voltaic for once had been smart, coming down in a surprisingly secluded area. Securing the cover to his back by pretending to bind it using the ties of an old gym backpack, Voltaic caused it to cling to his back as he traveled, keeping most of the weight off using electromagnetic repulsion. Knowing his dreads were a lost cause, he flipped the hood up on his hoodie, gasping as a fresh batch of water spilled down his back. He could smell it now. The almost wet dog scent that came from his soaking dreads, and grimaced. Taking a moment for cleanup, he ionized the water in his clothes, instantly drying them, and ozone scent filling the air. Voltaic wasn't sure which scent was worse. Turning the corner, he spotted his prize: the phone booth.
Voltaic thought about what it would mean to do this. He hadn't wanted to go. Dakota had gone to hell since Ebon's breakout. It seemed like the worst time to leave. He felt like he had abandoned his city. His Pops had been the one that convinced him. He had said that the longer Voltaic stayed in Dakota, the worse he would feel. That he needed to go somewhere away from this toxic place. Find a fresh perspective, and maybe even learn a thing or two. Pops, as always, had been right. There were other heroes in Dakota, ones who still believed, even if Voltaic had come to think of it as his city. But every day, Ebon committed another crime. And every day, Voltaic blamed himself for it. So perhaps it was time for a change. Not sure what to expect, Voltaic approached the pay phone and held up his card. He figured one of the Leaguers would show up and escort him to wherever this meeting was going to be. He figured wrong. The Zeta beam that transported him felt alien. He felt strange energies on his body, and it felt as though he had been scattered apart, only to reform... In front of a giant T. Of all the things Voltaic had expected, this was not it. He sucked in a breath, licking the back of his teeth and checking to see if all his limbs were where they were supposed to be.
"Well, that wasn't great." He muttered to himself. He looked around, noticing the other side of the river and wondered why no one noticed this giant letter in the middle of the city, then shrugged. People saw what they wanted to see. Glancing to his left, he noticed a girl wearing tattered clothes and he gave her a shy smile. Nice to know he wasn't the only one who couldn't manage an immaculate appearance. He also noticed there was something very odd about her. She seemed to be filled with metal. Not wanting to be rude, and keep staring, Voltaic widened his smile.
"Hey, I'm Voltaic. Guess you're here for the same thing I am, yeah..?"
“Are you going to pout this much in front of The League? Maybe this is a bad idea after all, I don’t understand this obstinance Kitten you seemed resigned to going all this week? You bought all new Chanel luggage and everything. I watched you sharpen your Khukuri with a wet stone, you never do that you’re too lazy to do it yourself.” Selena sighed, turning the overhead music off as they neared the tower.
“I’m not too lazy to sharpen my khukuri myself!” He was. “And I’m not pouting Cat… I’m just thinking…” He was aware he was pouting.
“Well you should stop thinking so hard, you’ll want to make a good first impression, first impressions are everything.” She shrugged, bringing the batplane to a hover and punching in Batman’s access code, the Tower materializing beneath them to the naked eye, a sight which should have impressed. It certainly impressed her. But her Kitten was still too busy pouting to give much of a reaction.
“Why do you suddenly care what the League thinks?” He asked, suspicious.
“I wasn’t referring to the League my love.” She reached over and tweaked his chin, unbuckling herself as he silently glared. Technically you couldn’t see either of their eyes through the lenses of their headgear but she knew Kitten inside and out by now.
Sascha rolled out the hotel caddy holding all of his luggage he’d brought along in silence, still tense as he exited the batplane and climbed up to hug his mentor and mother goodbye.
“Loosen up! I trained you better.” She shook him by his shoulders a little.
He gave an exaggerated sigh and rolled his shoulders and head around, bringing an easy smile to his face. The tension seemingly gone.
“That’s my Kitten. Have fun dear.” He gave him a peck on the cheek and backed away, watching him use the caddy like a skateboard over to the elevator and chuckling as Sascha left her view.
She tapped the communicator in her ear, “He’s planning something. I don’t know what. Just a heads up my love…” Selena slipped away into the plane.
The elevator gave a soft ding as it opened up to the eighth floor, it had smelled new, and upon entering the tower itself, the whole place smelled very new too.
Sascha rolled in with his luggage as though he owned the place, judging the decorative choices harshly but silently as he blatantly ignored the hologram supers standing in the room.
He took a sip of his iced coffee and sauntered over to the couch, leaving his caddy behind it to plot down and cross one leg languidly over the other.
“Am I the first here? Damn, I thought I’d show up fashionably late but the joke’s on me. Maybe I’m just not as hip as the kids these days. But since you’re all here I guess I do have a few questions and concerns that you might not want the others to hear actually. First of all, is this a good faith attempt to assemble and train a team of next generation heroes - or is this an attempt to control various powered individuals so we don’t do anything the League disagrees with, hoping that our grateful natures and newfound loyalty will make sure that we kowtow to the League’s will in the future whatever that will may be?” Sascha spoke evenly and calmly, but loud and firm.
He took a breath, but did not give time to respond, “And if you are gathering us in good faith then do you think that good faith was best expressed by flexing your knowledge of our whereabouts and secret identities? Which I think I speak for everyone when I say was both invasive and rude, not to mention dangerous. How are we supposed to trust that information that you’ve gathered about us remains protected? Selena and I know how to break into the Hall of Justice, if it’s possible for us then surely it’s possible for others. Potentially getting that information wouldn't even require setting foot in there merely someone savvy enough to hack into your servers would fuck over every person here. And frankly your flexing of that knowledge suspiciously sounded like a threat...” Sascha very carefully kept his tone even till the end, not breaking eye contact.
“Perhaps I should even that playing field and tell everyone your secret identities. What does everyone think? Would that be fair?” Sascha narrowed his eyes behind his goggles, titling his head.
He was partially bluffing, he wouldn’t oust Guanoman, despite the lack of respect he showed the man he wouldn’t betray Selena’s confidence like that. Spilling the beans on the other supers she could forgive, but spilling the beans on her man was… less sure. That fact both stung and made him deeply uneasy.
Then there was Dick to think about, he wasn’t sure he wanted to oust him either. Even if he was a birdbrain.
"Now remember what I've taught you, don't do anything I wouldn't...or somethings I would...but definitely don't do anything Zachary would do." It was an odd sight to see Zatanna the mistress of magic being a dotting motherly figure. Or at least trying her best to be. She was dressed down in casual clothing so she wouldn't be spotted as easily while walking Amethyst to the meeting spot. Being rich and famous had it's drawbacks at time.
"I know, I know come on I don't want to be late and miss all the fun." Amy urged her to move faster as she was pulling her suitcases behind her. Purple and silver her favorite colors. She also was dressed down as to not be noticed. She wasn't as noticeable as Zee would be, but her normal casual wear would stand out a bit, and even though they were told to be in their suits if they had one it seemed like it would draw unwanted attention if she was showing off her magicians outfit. Instead she had a stylish red overcoat and black leggings to cover herself.
Arriving at the phone booth Zatanna stopped and turned the girl to face her placing her hands on her shoulders so she had her full attention,"This is serious getting involved with the league like this is a big deal. It's not just us doing what we feel and getting involved only when we want. They are training you to be a part of them. It's an honor sure, but it's also a huge responsibility that isn't always easy to walk away from if you change your mind."
Amy could tell how worried Zatanna was and she knew for good reason. Amy had heard countless stories about Zatanna's time with the league. The good, the bad, and everything exciting or mundane in between. Zatanna's 'parenting' style flipped between the 'friend mom' and slightly 'strict mom' Though strictness usually only came to magic because everyone knew magic getting out of control could be a catastrophe. "Don't worry no matter what I'll never just be a cog in a machine. After all I've been living with you far too long to ever let things get boring." she winked trying to keep the mood light even though that phrase was exactly what Zatanna was worried about. She knew Bruce and wild cards weren't his thing, and definitely not always appreciated. To Amy the saddest part about all this was that she would be away from Zatanna. She'd miss her dearly, but she was still very excited about this new experience and chance to show herself and the world what she's made of. With a final hug Amy enter the booth and scanned the letter like the instructions told her too and before she knew it she appeared in another booth on the island looking at the enormous T shaped building. "On the nose much?" she snickered to herself.
She looked at her card briefly wondering if it was science or magic that made her teleportation possible, and made a mental note to ask someone later. Right now she needed to get to the top floor of the building to join the rest of her future team. The though sent chills down her spin. She'd never been part of a team before. Back in her homeland it was just her most of the time if not with her parents, and since arriving on earth it's just been her and Zatanna with the occasional team-ups. But even that was more recent since Zatanna wasn't big on having her join in the crime fighting world right off the bat. It was clear that Zee would've preferred if Amy decided to go the route of being a state magician like her, but Amy has always known that wasn't her destiny. That was a Zatara family thing, and while she definitely considered them family...heck she adopted their last name and was currently wearing her signature magicians clothing as her crime fighting persona. She wasn't one. Same race as they may be she looked in the mirror every day and she couldn't ever deny the fact she was still different, she was still from someplace else. She didn't view this as a bad thing, just a matter of fact. She never wanted to forget her home or her original family even if she had little desire to rejoin them.
She shakes her head of the deeper thoughts and rolls the two suitcases out of the phone-booth and take a deep breathe looking out at the view. She could get used to this, and that water was begging for her to take a dip. She turned to her luggage and pulled her wand from her sleeve waving it lightly over the baggage, "Em wollof sesactius (Suitcases follow me)." A very light blue aura swirled around her baggage and as she moved it moved along right behind her, " Perfect." She chimed before sliding her wand back in her sleeve and headed into her temporary home. she figured she could reveal her clothes once inside. Before she made it inside her notice two others already outside as well and a bright smile curled onto her lips as she waved in the air at the two, " Hello!" without hesitation she walked up to them letting her luggage follow her, "Glad I'm not the first to show. Should we wait for the others here and head up together or just check out the inside already?"She asked curiously.
A river of red and green hair passes by the boy without a word, stopping for a moment to turn her head slightly towards one meticulously placed flower in the room potted and living. There is a few moments of silence as she is looking at it, before she continues to lay down on one of the seating sofas across the room in the sun without turning to face him, before they could reply a free hand comes higher and starts to gesture as a sultry voice begins to count off in a bored tone"One. No, only the first in this room, I've been giving myself a tour and I could hear your aggrandizing speech from the hallway, Two. Bats is known for many things, Manners and Respecting Privacy are not on that list. Three. The paranoid man-child doesn't let anyone play with his toys or information leak. Four. If you think he doesn't have two dozen different contingencies and defenses, at least? then you must have been living under a rock. Five. Thinking its threatening is laughable when Bats threatens you? it doesn't sound like anything, it is.....I would keep counting off but one hand is all you get, for now, Please proceed with your sarcastic and catty response" the limb beckoning before vanishing back from the sight with a sigh. Shortly after beside the couch could also be seen several barrel-like wooden pods of sorts atop loose green leaves scurrying over.
She had come here out of curiosity and had asked the Supers to hold the introductions until more were present, repeating themselves would be a waste of time and the big announcement looses its punch if its the second time giving it. She shakes her head slightly, already there was someone trying a little posturing game, even if he did know the secret identities a slip of the tongue would most assuredly be dealt with before it became an issue, not that it would affect her in any sense given a secret identity wasn't much use when the disguise was the civilian face. The fact she had arrived almost twenty minutes earlier was betraying her keen interest, not that she would let it be known. So far now she simply tapped away on her phone, a feed of environmental stories and activism been organized, sent out as needed, and more.
Clark's eyes shifted over to the door, and softened at the sight of the cowl-bearing hero, the Batman. He really should've been able to hear Bruce's footsteps nearing him and Victor as they clanked against the steel floors, but Bruce had mastered the art of stealth and silence to the extent of fooling a Kryptonian. "I almost thought you wouldn't show." Clark beamed, and let out a hearty laugh in the Bat's direction. So contagious that he could hear Cyborg letting out a chuckle of his own in the distance. His eyes followed Bruce all the way until he was at his side at the hologram pad, before turning his sights forward at the camera rendition of Titan Towers' living quarters.
"It's Lois, Bruce. She could definitely hold her own without my being there." He said in a half-serious tone. He needed to fix his expression for the recruits, show some seriousness and importance. Still, he'd be the good cop to Bruce's bad.
Clark heard the elevator's chime in the distance, wheels rolling on the ground. The steps of whoever it was, was almost as quiet as Bruce, but not enough to go unnoticed. A lean... almost Cheshire figure strolled into view. Clark could recognize those fluid motions from a mile away, and broke his stern gaze to glance over at Bruce. In a whisper he asked, "Selena?," but he was quickly interrupted by the man's voice. He watched him situate himself on the couch, a coffee in hand, and Clark couldn't help but smile at the sight. This kid was bold, and that'd struck him already.
As soon as the boy Clark recalled as "Stray" had began talking, it didn't seem like he'd ever stop. Multiple times had he opened his mouth to speak, just to be cut off by another sentence from the young man. It didn't intimidate him, or hurt him in the slightest. He enjoyed the idea of having strong-minded individuals on this time, people who could lead the others. That had been Clark's impression of him. The words he spoke though, cut deep, and in spite of his trying not to believe it, there was truth to what Stray had been saying. At the final piece, the threat, Clark's eyes thinned down at the boy. Perhaps a little too strong-minded.
"Young man, I understa-..." He couldn't believe it. He'd been cut off once again by yet another sly, but calculated individual. He recognized her all too quickly, the offspring-- no, seedling of Pamela Isley. Clark looked down at the red-head with calculative eyes, and smiled slightly at her words. Some way, some how, she seemed to break down Bruce's tendencies in a matter of seconds, all evident in her response. He shook his head slightly though, he'd clear the air once the others had arrived. Explaining himself hadn't been the purpose of his arriving early.
"Welcome, Sascha and Rosary." He started, and took one deep breath before his next words. "This task force wasn't put together to threaten, or hold expose anybody. The letters just consisted of... persuasion to bring you all here. It seems it worked." He glanced between the two once more. "Everything this initiative hopes to reap is in good faith, if that's what you're wondering." With each word, Clark's confidence only seemed to grow and assert itself. With that set aside, Clark decided to push the subject along with something far less angering, and opted to appeal at the softer sides of Rosary and Stray.
"I'm sure it was a hard decision packing up, and moving here. Location's pretty peculiar, huh? How are you both feeling?"
"Mom! I told you, I've packed it all. Can I go now?" Wally whined in the back seat of the faded-green van. Instead, his mother had turned her sights towards his father, and the two exchanged a series of whispers in the usual private parent conversation that ticked him off. He clasped his arms over his chest, annoyance written all over his face. He purposefully positioned himself in the middle seat of the back just so his look of disappointment reflected into the front mirrors and into the eyes of his parents. "You're gonna make me late." He said once more, and with a sigh, it seemed both parents' attention had finally turned to him.
"Sorry, boy. It's not all the time top secret super hero stuff includes giving up your son for two months." His father said. Wally pouted, were they going to hurry up and get on with all the sappy stuff? "Do you know the number of times Barry has been sent to the ER because of this?"
Wally shook his head. "No, and it doesn't matter to me. Barry's still up and running now, and so will I. He says this is supposed to train me, and he's been at this for a real long time, he would know."
His parents let out a sigh in unison. It was evident, that as usual, their hollow-headed son had his mind made up on this goal and it wouldn't be changing any time soon. "You've packed your bags right? I hope you didn't forget your tooth brush-"
"Oh yeah, bath supplies! One sec." The whole van shook, and wobbled from side to side. A bright yellow flash appeared where Wally had been seated, with him no longer there. "How could you forget the bath supplies, Wally? Tooth brush, tooth paste... oh, soap!" He thought to himself as he raced back to his Keystone city home. The streak of lightning pushed through the door, up the stairs, and into the washroom, before it returned to the streets and into the West van. The old car shook just as violently as the first time, with Wally beaming with a smile. He patted the all-black duffel bag at his side with a nod, and quickly wiped away a streak of sweat on his cheek. "Check."
"Underwear?" There was a flash. "Socks?" Another one. "Hair supplies?" Surprise, surprise, he'd sped back to Keystone city to retrieve that too.
"If you didn't pack any of these things, well what the hell did 'ya pack, son?" His father asked, and Wally chuckled dryly at the man's irritation. "My new suit." It had been all Wally could think about ever since Cisco had gifted it to him around the same time the letter had come. His old yellow suit had run its race, and was now worn and old. A relic pinned up to the walls of his bedroom. Instead, Wally would now be sporting a red and silver ensemble much closer to the Flash's colour scheme. One that came with lots more protection, mobility, and room for technology and upgrades. Plus it was oh, so shiny. At the childish response though, it seemed the chief of C.C.P.D. had grown sick of his boy. Wally waved off at the green van as he stood in front of the middle photo booth, duffel bag strapped over his shoulder.
"Now what does this do?" Wally asked himself as he brought out the Titans identi-card. He hadn't recalled much of what the instructions had been for its use. He just stepped into the booth and waved it around a couple times, and out of pure luck, it'd came across a scanner and boom tubed him into another booth on the Titans island he could exit. One he, for some odd reason, hadn't been able to see on the mainland. He was well aware of his forgetfulness and tendency to overlook things, but a giant T? No, that definitely hadn't been there before. Before he could get thrown into millions of trillions of thoughts concerning a giant T, powered by his hyperactive mind, Wally's eyes shifted to the three figures on the island.
"Hey guys! I'm Wally. Or, uh, Kid Flash I get. What are you waiting for?" In a flicker of lightning, he appeared at the main doors of Titans Tower, pausing in his tracks to look back at the trio. "Big steel door. This is definitely the entrance. The league loves the extra pa-zazz." He chuckled at that, and peeked into the foyer. At the sight of the elevator, he groaned softly. He'd expected another teleporting phone booth, something that'd take him to the upmost floor and fast. Sadly, it seemed like that was just any regular elevator. "Bummer..."
"Welp, there's an elevator in there that goes up, I think, so you guys should use that. See 'ya!" Wally advised to those he'd just come across, before disappearing in another flicker of light, and heading towards the tower's staircase. Surely he'd beat a measly elevator to the top. Pfft.
The weeks leading up to his departure from his tiny studio apartment in Manhattan passed by quicker than Hal could fathom.
A couple weeks earlier he had woken up to a letter in the mailbox, that had collected dust for as long as he had lived there. It perplexed him; an invitation from the Justice League. He would never have imagined someone noticing him. Sure enough, there were a few people who recognized his crime fighting persona, but they were mostly the thugs in the neighborhood who did their best to avoid him. How the world's finest had noticed him was a big mystery to him, and the request he had gotten was an even bigger one.
At first he had planned to ignore the invitation, to just leave it behind and continue his life as a part-time crime fighter, but the voice in his head didn't seem to like that idea very much. It was probably a sign of weakness to just give in to the voices whispering thoughts that weren't his own, but Hal was too exhausted to constantly fight it. Besides, the amount of information the league had on him was probably there as a threat.
In preparation for being gone most of the summer, he took an extended leave from his job as a boxing instructor. It was a good job, he really enjoyed it. Sure enough it didn't give him nearly enough work hours and the pay was really crap, but he enjoyed it overall. Every day was a day spent doing something he enjoyed and actually mastered, not to mention the kids he trained. They were all great, they didn't see the him that lashed out at everything and heard his dead sister's voice in his head. To them he was just their instructor, a man who showed them what to do and occasionally played pranks on them, and they gladly returned the favor. It had shocked him how much he actually enjoyed his work. He was certain the kids would piss him off and he would lash out on them and get fired, but instead it became the highlight of his days.
When he had had his last session at the gym, his students had made him a card. They had wished him the best of luck with his new “summer job,” and signed their names. One of them had even drawn a little bee in one of the corners, probably from having seen his tattoo, and Hal only then realized that leaving his job would be harder than he had originally expected.
The last days before departure were spent doing next to nothing. Hal still went out at night and patrolled the streets, but nothing much happened other than a couple drunken fights. So naturally he ended up spending most of the time inside his old, tiny apartment, just waiting for time to pass while feeling his nervousness steadily increase.
When the day finally arrived, Hal made sure he had packet everything he needed, which wasn’t much. His low pay and the distance from home had forced him to live on the bare minimums of life. He had shoved all his clothes into a suitcase, along with his boxing gloves, a wireless speaker, toiletries, a photo album and his gloves. The letter had said to arrive in their Alias’ outfit, but he honestly had none. When scurrying the streets as Hush, Hal normally just wore normal clothes in dark colors. He had no super protective super suit with super gadgets and other super stuff. Not that he had really needed it. Most of the missions he took on were done stealthily and he took out the enemy quickly and normally before they had noticed him. Sure enough he had his fair share of battle scars, but it was never anything too bad.
The only thing he regretted not bringing was his bike. The bike he had spent two summers working almost every day in order to buy when he was 16. It would still be there when he returned, but it would be weird to not have the chance to use it whenever.
His alarm buzzed from his phone as he had absentmindedly stared at the boxing sack hanging in one of the corners in his apartment, occupying the spot where normal people would put a couch or a couple of comforters. Hal gave the sack a small push, for no significant reason other than just doing it. Then he grabbed his things and left the apartment. The door was locked behind him, and he hoped no one would realize his absence and break into the place.
It took him less than a quarter to locate one of the red phone boxes that was supposed to be his way to the meeting spot. He entered it, awkwardly dragging his suitcase in with him, struggling to close the door behind him. It took him some fumbling moments to find which pocket he had left his identification card in. It took another couple of minutes of him waving it around before it was scanned and he reappeared somewhere else. He didn’t know what he had expected by entering a phone booth, but it was not being teleported to what appeared to be an island in the middle of the East River. The whole idea that there was an island in, New York that no one saw was strange, but Hal decided not to dwell on it as much as the voice in his head did.
To his displeasure he noticed a group of others standing not far away, all appearing to have arrived there just like him. Socializing wasn’t a thing Hal did well, and he moved a couple of steps towards the T- shaped building, with no plans of greeting them. His earphones were blasting music as loud as they could without destroying his ear drums, but Hal could still sense the voice urging him, wanting him to go towards them instead. So he did, he walked over towards the strangers and greeted them with a simple “Hey.”
Location: Outside of Titans Tower Interaction: @Veil Walker (Virgil) @Kitsune2202 (Amy) Mentioned: @finessekid.23 (Wally) @EddieTeddie (Hal)
It had only been a few minutes when a voice broke the silence. Well, not silence, she could still hear the hustle and bustle of the city from where she, now they, stood on the island. The newcomer was a boy, that fact alone already causing her shoulders to stiffen. Men caused problems. Problems that Violet hated, but she couldn't do anything about. They were rude and said disgusting things, and some of them even went so far as to try stuff. Violet always managed to get away...other girls she knew weren't so lucky. So him being the first person she met immediately sent up red flags, whether they needed to be red flags or not.
As he introduced himself as Voltaic, Violet looked away from him, just nodding silently to show she had heard him. That was an odd name, but maybe he was using his made-up name? Marcus said that this was a place for people like her, special powers meant to help the world. Or...something along those lines. Which got her thinking that maybe she should use a made up name for herself, a slightly hard decision seeing as she had two. In the back alley fighting circles, she had started off as Goliath. It was a joke of course, one someone had to explain, about her lack of height. Since Goliath was apparently really tall.
The other name came later after she had established herself. Sentinel. She had been put in the ring with a man who was vicious, someone a lot of people feared. And when she beat him, her new name took place of Goliath. So in this moment, after a few moments of silent thinking, she looked back at Voltaic. "Sentinel." Her voice was quiet, and she didn't focus on him for much more than a few seconds before looking away again. Being in a position like hers often made sure she couldn't talk to people, much less actually keep her attention on them. So here she stood, unsure of what to do, what to say, or even if she should ask him to help her out a bit...someone else appeared.
She looked up at the second voice to see another girl. Immediately, the tenseness in her shoulders lessened a small bit. While being around strangers never made her comfortable, they both seemed to be here for the same reason. Looking down to the card in her hand, she slipped it into her back pocket, first making sure it was the side without the giant hole in it. The other girl was better dressed than she was, but given not everyone was homeless or poor, Violet just decided to ignore the...very large difference in quality.
"I...I think either way works, " Violet mumbled quietly. It wasn't like she knew where to go, her letter had been left with Marcus. And nothing on it made sense to her anyway. She would just end up following one of them around (most likely the girl that had just showed up) so she could learn where everything was. "I like your outfit." In the case she did end up following the girl around, it would probably be a good idea to at least come off as nice. Though it wasn't like Violet was lying.
Though before the other girl would be able to respond, another boy had appeared but he...well, Violet couldn't truly react to him. Though she had met a fair amount of speedster kids...not many made it to the age that boy seemed to be, but the hyperactivity made a little more sense once she saw him race off. It almost got a chuckle from her. But she still wasn't hugely comfortable with that just yet, and so she focused on the others again.
Or tried to. Violet was more staring at the ground over in their general area, hoping she didn't have to say much else to either of them. For now at least, if she would be working with them, then she would have to talk eventually. But what if they ended up hating her? She wasn't a nice person, she didn't deserve to be treated as such so what if she accidentally tricked them into thinking she was a nice person? Maybe she shouldn't have come here, maybe she should have just stayed in Hells Kitchen. Things weren't so bad. In any case, Violet was so lost in panicky thought, that she didn't even notice the next newcomer.
Amy smiled at the girl's response. She could tell she was nervous by her body language. It wasn't surprising when you think about it. They were in a new place, being approached by strangers, who wouldn't be? To Amy however that was even more of a reason to stay upbeat and welcoming. As they say first impressions are everything, "Well I vote we go on up. I mean I don't mind waiting, but I'd rather wait in the AC and hopefully a couch." She giggled a warm smile radiating off of her as she scratched the back of her head. She knew she couldn't take away all the unease, but every little thing helped, and with time she hoped the others would come to relax and grow to trust her. They were to be her team after all. Speaking of team she was curious to find out just how many of them would be on this team? would it be 5? 10? 20? Ok maybe that was a bit much, but this was like a summer camp thing right, so you never know.
Amy looked down at her clothes once it was complimented,"Thank you! I love your eyes." She looked at the girl's clothes with a smile. "Do you want to try it on? Don't worry I've still got clothes on under here." She giggled a bit at her own joke, though honestly she was thinking how cute it'd look on her."If you tell me your favorite color I can make you an outfit like it. It doesn't have to be right now, just let me know when you're ready." she offered. She wasn't judging the girls clothes, that wasn't her style, especially considering the type of clothes she normally likes to wear and did wear when she first came to earth surface. Sure Zee had told her she shouldn't use magic to conjure things that should be bought, but this had to be a special exception. There wasn't a store near by unless there was a mall inside that giant building. Then again who knows what was in there, they'd never find out if they stuck around out here. Not to mention a little magic show might just put a smile on the girls face, and the boy beside her as well for that matter.
In the blink of an eye another boy had approached, but as quickly as he arrived he was gone again. Now he had the right idea. He seemed like a fun guy to get to know that's for sure. Like clockwork another boy came up to join them. She supposed it would make sense for them all to arrive basically at the same time unless their letters said different things. She smiled softly at the newcomer with a wave, "Hey there! I'm Amethyst!" she didn't even think about using her alias...it was something rather new to her anyways, but it honestly didn't matter to her if they knew her real name. It was her understanding that people kept their identities a secret to protect loved ones. All her family outside of the Zatara's were still in her homeland dimension so they were safe, and Zatanna was considered one of the most powerful magical beings on earth...so she felt sorry for whoever would even try to take her on. Anyone Amy cared about was plenty strong enough to take care of themselves. Her job wasn't even a factor because Zatanna was her boss. Outside of that she couldn't imagine the need. The only reason she even came up with one was because she thought it sounded cool.
"I think speedy had the right idea, lets go up and see if there are any early birds already up there." She chimed clasping her hands together. "Not to mention the big guys are probably waiting for us." remembering that the letter did say to meet on the eighth floor, not the lawn. With that she started walking towards the doors, but of course checked back to make sure the others and her luggage were coming along too.
It was taking everything in her not to be bouncing off the walls with excitement. However she knew she needed to heed Zatanna's words. This was still serious, and she was representing not only herself, but Zee's training and guidance the past 9 years. They'd trusted Zee to take care of and raise her properly, so she had to show them they'd made the right decision. She didn't really know what the alternative was, but she also was slightly afraid to find out. She wasn't a danger and she wanted to prove that so that maybe they'd stop feeling the need to keep tabs on her, and let her truly explore and live her life. First things first....find an elevator because she was NOT about to take 8 flights of stairs.
Cisco Ramon woke to the sound of the TARDIS materialising in his bedroom (not the real TARDIS, but merely his alarm tone- although if the real TARDIS was to materialise he would be beyond delighted). Most people would set their favourite song as their wake up alarm, but Cisco Ramon wasn't 'most people'. The thirty-one year old was a self-proclaimed 'King of nerdiness', MIT engineering graduate and one of a select group of scientists who had taken over the running of STAR Labs after the death of Harrison Wells. And if the cuff of dark metal around his left ankle was anything to go by, he was also a meta-human (a closeted one at that).
Cisco still didn't understand why his meta abilities were choosing to manifest now. He'd run the tests at STAR Labs and found that not only was he a meta-gene bearer, but his body was flooded by dark matter from the particle accelerator, unusually high levels at that, but he had been almost right at the centre when SLAPA exploded. It had begun about four months ago with headaches that never seemed to go away. That was followed by weird dreams. He'd chalked those down to overactive imagination and that horror movie marathon with Winn, but then when the events if his dreams started happening in real life, he realised there was far more at play. The sleep teleporting had been the final straw. After waking up for the third consecutive night on the roof of STAR Labs Cisco had decided that enough was enough and modified a meta-human hand-cuff into a sort of ankle bracelet that would dampen his powers while he slept. And it worked too.
There were currently only two people on the entire planet who knew about Cisco's 'awakening' (neither of whom were Barry Allen). One of them just so happened to be the first guy he bumped into when he walked through the door of STAR Labs that day. "Cisco! Please tell me you're coming with me to that funding meeting later today. I know you got that thing, but if we want to refurbish and get all that exciting equipment, then we gotta grovel for it." Winn yelled at him from behind his monitor in the cortex. Winslow Scott Jr (or Winn as he prefered to be known was one of Cisco's closest, most trusted friends and another scientist from the coalition who ran STAR Labs. "I'll be there. There's no chance of the League giving us that funding Barry kept promising us, and somebody's gotta keep this place suitably supplied with cash."
Close to the appointed time Winn and Cisco were pouring over the biodata, trying to understand just what exactly was going on with Cisco (and having little success). "You've got to tell Barry, you know." Cisco let out a sigh, Winn was right he should tell Barry, they were friends and colleagues and had gone through all sorts together, both having saved the others life numerous time. Yet despite all that history he hadn't. "I know, I know, I should, should've done so months ago. It's not that I don't trust him. It just......ugggh." Cisco let out a sigh, leaning as close to vertical as the office chair would let him. "I don't know. He's off with the League defending the Earth and all, but he's got the protégé now. Me and this whole meta thing? It's not a big deal compared to everything else." "Eloquently argued as usual. I'd best shove off, you've got that thing. Try not to act like a massive fan boy this time."
"As if I'd do such a thing." Cisco snorted (knowing full well he probably would). With Winn gone Cisco locked himself in his workshop (people had an unfortunate habit of just barging in when he was in there). He booted up the hologram projector. It was a sleek and beautiful device, considering that it was based only off his memories of seeing the real things during trips to the Watchtower and the Hall of Justice. Cisco typed in the pre-arranged code and waited. Barry had been sketchy on the details as to why exactly he was needed for this initiative. He certainly wasn't a teenager anymore and Batman had more than sufficient access to tech. But the proposal intrigued him, so he'd agreed to meet and let the big wigs themselves explain everything.
Cisco had long ago figured out that holo meetings could involve a stupidly large amount of standing around, so it wasn't just a hologram of him that appeared in the upper floor of the Titan building. What blinked into existance was Cisco sitting comfortably on his office chair, feet propped comfortably under his desk. On the desk was his laptop (covered in retro stickers) and a mug of Jitters coffee (he'd considered Big Belly Burger, but decided that might get him vaporised by a disapproving Kyrptonian). He wasn't the only one there- one male (with a pair of kick ass goggles) and a red headed girl. Representing the League were Batman, Superman and Cyborg. As soon as there was a suitable gap in the conversation Cisco butted in. "I know you guys spend so much time saving the Earth from everything, which we all really appreciate by the way. I'm a big fan of continuing my existance. But if this is going to be a regular thing would it be too much to ask that you finally install that teleporter you've been talking about for the past nine months to STAR Labs? Would make all our lives a hell of a lot easier."
Location: Titan's Tower 8th Floor | Interacting with: Superman & Batman & Kid Flash & Miss Magi
Stray had to admit, shocking the amicable and friendly face off of Superman had been a sweet victory; and he was reveling in it. Easily his favorite part of this was cutting him off every time he thought he had room to speak. It was giddily amusing. A lot of people thought of this super man as intimidating, but imagine his surprise to find that Selena was entirely right. The guy was a well mannered boy scout. Was he really from Kansas?
Was that annoyance radiating off of Guanoman he sensed? Stray sure hoped so, he deserved it for more than one reason, and not all of them petty and personal.
That wasn’t to suggest that Stray wasn’t taking this interaction seriously however, he really did want answers to his questions, and although he had thought he really wouldn’t need to mention the elder’s names it was clear with the interruption that followed they weren’t affording him the same gravitas. Using the opportunity that Poison Ivy’s daughter substitute gave them to shrug him off.
He wondered vaguely if Batman was aware he had a fangirl over there, but otherwise the corner of Stray’s smile twitched in annoyance as Superman called him by his civilian name. Keeping focus on the super as he listened to his answer, no doubt thinking he sounded diplomatic. That burning tic that went off in his mind whenever someone lied caused Stray to tilt his head this way and that. He took a sip of his coffee to disguise his growing impatience with the situation.
He glanced over at Batman. He supposed that both things could be true, just because it was a lie that the letters were mere persuasion and that they were here only in good faith didn’t mean that Superman himself didn’t want them here in good faith. But the inclusion of more than one person in the decision and setup denoted the possibility of more than one motive.
And frankly Stray wasn’t sure he’d respect the League at all if they acted like goody two shoes instead of strategists.
He’d made up his mind about what to retort to Superman when a couple of things happened. First, a speedster appeared in the room.
“Oh god you?” He laughed, tension leaving his shoulders.
He and Selena had one or two run-ins with speedsters one and two, and two was pretty easy to tease.
Second, the elevator behind them dinged. And upon observing who was arriving it no longer mattered what anyone else was saying. He popped up from the couch, a genuine and easy smile gracing his face for the first time that morning.
“Excuse me Clark, a Lady of great style just arrived and needs my attention.” Stray waved off Superman, letting slip his name on accidental purpose, and stepped over the couch. He ignored the newest seated addition (that less arrived and more appeared) in favor of waltzing over to his friendly acquaintance and personal favorite magician.
“Miss Magi out dresses us all again, of course she does.” He held out an arm for a side hug.
The one advantage of being stuck in an alternate dimension cut off from all your friends, loved ones and everything you own is, that if you ever have to move, packing becomes so much easier.
For the last few months since he had appeared in Metropolis, Willie had been staying with Clark Kent. Willie had found Mr. Kent to be a really nice guy if a little odd, what with his frequent and sudden disappearances, often for the strangest of reasons but Willie didn't let that colour his judgement.
Mr. Kent had even been nice enough to purchase him any of the essentials he needed (tooth brush, underwear, clothes, shoes etc.) as well as giving Willie his old suitcase in anticipation for the big move to Titans Tower. The suitcase itself was a battered old thing that had definitely seen better days but Willie didn't mind. It was just nice to know that he had someone looking out for him who had his best interests at heart.
When Mr. Kent had passed on the invitation to join the Titans, on behalf of his friend Superman, to Willie, it had come as a bit of shock. Considering the first time they met, Willie, as Captain Thunder, had been assisting a group of criminals in robbing an armoured truck. He had even gone on to subsequently help participate in a jailbreak from Stryker's Island. Not that Willie remembered doing any of those things, he only learnt afterwards from Superman and Mr. Kent what Captain Thunder had done.
As it turned out, it was all part of his old foes the Monster League of Evil's scheme. After fighting them across 1,953 dimensions of time and space, Captain Thunder had finally managed to trap them in barren and lifeless dimension but not before they somehow affected his mind and turned him evil. It was only with Superman's intervention that Cap had finally manged to overcome the League's control.
However, Willie was now stuck in a dimension not his own. Whether this was all part of the League's scheme, Willie couldn't be sure. Superman's promise to help him find a way to return him to his dimension had put Willie's mind at ease for the time being so, for now, he decided to treat the whole thing as another adventure.
Having flown to Manhattan from Metropolis as Captain Thunder, Willie stood in front of the phone booth mentioned in the letter. Doing as instructed, he raised his card up to a camera on the ceiling of the booth.
"Access Granted: Captain Thunder."
"Creepies!" Willie exclaimed as he was suddenly teleported from the booth to the other booth on the island.
Stepping out of the booth, he was taken aback by the large T-shaped building in front of him. "Creepies! I've never seen a building like that before!"
Willie started to make his way towards the main entrance, suitcase in tow when he noticed a group of people standing outside.
"Er-- 'scuse me, did you all get invitations too?"
"Ah feels so good to be out of the nut house!" Elizabeth called out in relieved joy as the car she was driven through the metal creaky gate that marked the entry and exit of Arkham Asylum. It was almost a year in the Asylum among the mental patients and criminals, some of the latter she herself had a hand in putting in here. Though Elizabeth was here as a patient rather than a prisoner so was kept separate from the criminal scum, word of her presence here leaked and more than once has one criminal managed to slip in to try to kill her. She sent two of them to the infirmary while one she almost killed. It was said the brutality of her defence was the reason she was stuck here as long as she did. Bruce was not pleased when he heard of the news.
She had to admit she took think a little too far, however she contested that she needed to insure she made examples. In truth, she didnt mind these intruders or scared, life in the insane asylum were extremely dull sadly. The attacks broke the monotony and there was no better feeling to than knocking some criminal heads. The rush of having power over her opponent, an opponent who once might have murdered woman and children or some gangsta tough guy who with plenty of combat experience. Feeling the bones of such bastards snap limb by limb as he tried to clumsily attack, the screams of pain, the tough guy act flowing away to a child like fear and terror as she held the shank he had brought so close to his.... So satisfying, so funny. She smiled at the thought, closing her eyes and founding herself drift of to a memory. Her eyes snapped back open in horror. She was slipping again, falling into the bloodlust... Becoming like him. She thought she had put it pass her but there it was, like many times before. They had tried everything, psychotherapy to even electro shock. It will always come back, years latter she can still remember those nights and more the once she would swear he could hear his laughter leaving her wonder if he was nearby. That man really needed to pay, Bruce was too lenient... Something she hoped she could correct in her new role whether it was allowed or no.
"I am glad you were given a clean bill of health, Miss Kane. It is pity our reunion would be so brief." Alfred called behind him from the driver seat, in his usual dry droll manner. She had a feeling he was not being exactly being honest with it. "I have brought the outfit your requested, Miss Kane.... Though I also brought your batsuit as well, i believe that would be more appropriate considering your current destination." He said indicating the suit carrier hanging from the handhold.
"You are too kind, Alfred. And a big fat liar. I am sure you think i should have been roasting in the oven a bit longer."She said with a chuckle not appearing offended but more amused. She reached for the suit carrier and unzipped looking at it like an excited child. "I dont disagree but old father bat trained as well. We dont let a little thing like mental health stop us from doing some good.... My, my, Alfred you undid yourself. You can keep the batsuit."
"Miss Kane. I will admi..." Alfred went to say before the divider between the front of the car and the back began to close.
"Sorry, Alfred. Got to change. See you on the other side." She managed to say just as the divide closed completely. It was not long that she was changed and maked up in her Jester gear and she was dropped of at the phone box. She followed the instructions as given and soon she was at Titan Tower. One arrival she laughed hardily and called out. "Ladies and Gentleman! Do not fear! Jester is here to help save the day!"
“…and I ended up sleeping behind that dingy pub on a pile of garbage. You can imagine the smell!!! Hahaha!!!” A laughter filled a classic New York yellow cab and Ruby rolled her eyes so much it hurt her. She has been in this car for twenty minutes now and catching migraine. The driver was talking this whole time, sharing cheap stories from his college days (which, by the way were long gone) and laughed at them as if they were the best jokes ever.
“How about we just drive in silence?” she asked and her fingers touched the golden zippo in the pocket of her black leather jacket. The day was stressful enough already even without this blabbermouth.
“Oh, fiery, aren’t you?” he chuckled, thinking how funny and witty he was.
“You have no idea.” Ruby chirped and put her white JBLs on just to stop hearing…everything. She was on her way to practically change her life. A few days ago, she was just a girl from New York, selling her pastries, trying to keep her little shop alive and kicking. And for some reason, she found an envelope in her mailbox, telling her she was invited to join this initiative. No need to say that her eyebrows wiggled like crazy. It had to be a joke, right? Except it wasn’t. That night, and a few more nights after that, she spent sitting with a glass of bourbon in one hand and the invitation in the other, pondering whether she really should.
Her life was simple. She sold sweets during the day and kicked ass at night. No one knew that the mysterious vigilante, shooting fireballs from out of nowhere was actually that sweet baker girl Ruby Spark. And no one needed to know. And yet, she was somehow noticed. And so she was now sitting in the cab, bags packed, nerves strung and migraine almost upon her. On the scale from 1 to 10, how happy was she to finally hit her destination? 11!!!
“But are you sure this is where…”
“Yes! Thank you!” she cut the cab driver in the middle of his sentence, paid him, leaving a generous tip just so he would finally get going and sighed heavily. She was standing in front of the phone booth. “What kind of Dr. Who bullshit is this?” she muttered, never having watched the show. She just knew there was some booth and it did something and basically whatever. Suitcase in her right hand and duffel bag on her left shoulder were not exactly helping when she was trying to get inside and was only praying no one saw these desperate attempts.
The whole thing seemed surreal. She held the invitation up and almost laughed. Was she really doing…this? Her words froze in her throat when she found herself on some island in a matter of seconds. She left the booth, pulling the black suitcase after her. Her eyes befell on the T in front of her. “What the…?” she whispered. Sure, she has heard it all about the Justice League and its members and all that jazz but she was always simply too far to somehow be a part of it. That world seemed to be only on TV and newspapers. And yet, now she was standing in front of the Titans Tower, about to join it.
There was a group of people with bags as well so Ruby, very smart girl she was, assumed those were the others who were about to join. Ruby wasn’t big on friends. Not that she was some meanie or loner or what, but after her parents died, she closed herself in a shell and in the recent year or so, she was busy with her bakery and trying to find the asshole who was behind the tragedy. And mostly, she believed that no one was there to stay for her. They all always left. So to spare herself some more disappointment, he rarely let anyone come closer. But this was different. By coming here, she basically agreed to be a part of the team. So she needed to be exactly that.
“Hello, guys.” she said softly as she joined them. “So this is what we’re doing? Standing here until…?” she asked with a half-smirk, typical for her, and she actually meant the question.
Virgil understood the look on her face the moment he saw it. He had seen others with that expression around men. The wariness. He took a step back, his smile softening to avoid suggesting anything.
"Sentinel, huh? That's a cool name." He turned to the newcomer, and was astounded by her outfit. He suddenly felt out of place, though he barely had time to think about it, as his body began to tingle.
"Do y'all feel that?" He muttered. The approach of the speedster coated in lightning explained the mystery, though he was gone before anyone could respond. Virgil nodded. It was typical speedster behavior. Less rudeness more simply being in a constant hurry. Voltaic had never understood that. If you were a speedster, didn't that mean you had more time to stand around talking? Maybe all speedsters had RLS or something. Another newcomer showed up, and he looked about as happy to be here as Virgil felt. He had started towards the building as though he had no intention of talking to anyone, but suddenly veered and came up to the group.
"Hey man. I'm Voltaic." He doubted the man would even care, but his grandma would have whooped him for not at least introducing himself. Amethyst's bubbliness was starting to wear off on him, he felt. He already felt like a renewed person. He still doubted the future, but being around someone like that was refreshing, though he groaned at the mention of AC. His cheap unit had broken, and no amount of Voltaic powers had been able to repair it, so he had spent the last two months in misery. Michigan humidity was nothing to joke about.
"Yeah, let's head in," Virgil said, giving Amethyst a surprisingly genuine smile. All of which was cut off by another new arrival. This one was a tiny kid who looked like he would struggle moving a toy, let alone facing off against a villain. Still, Virgil knew appearances could be deceiving. So he gave the kid a nod.
"Yeah, we got invites too. How's it going? I'm Voltaic. Come on, guys. Let's get inside al-" Virgil froze mid-sentence as ANOTHER new arrival appeared. This one truly startled him. He had seen news footage of the Joker. He knew what he looked like. Surely even the Clown Prince of Crime couldn't have found them so quickly?
"Is that-?" His fears were (somewhat) dispelled as a female voice called out boisterously, proclaiming themselves as Jester. For a moment, Virgil was relieved. Bad enough the League knew his identity. If the Joker had shown up, who knew what might happen to Virgil's family and friends? The brief relief was replaced with anxiety. That wasn't the Joker, but that didn't mean they didn't look like the Joker. He silently prayed he wouldn't be staying with a Joker fangirl. He had dealt with enough madness the past six months without adding that. Virgil thought about responding, then thought better of it. Let someone else draw the attention of that nut job. It wasn't his job to greet everyone anyway. As if on cue, a sacrificial lamb appeared, introducing herself to the group. He laughed at the question. He liked the humor there.
"Well, every time we try to make an entrance, someone else seems to show up. Seems kinda rude to just walk away from our potential teammates, y'know?" Virgil knew they had been standing out there for too long, though. Even if someone ELSE magically appeared, the group should probably head indoors before they were marked as late. He had a feeling being late to something like this would be a bad idea.
"All right, y'all. Let's ACTUALLY go inside," Virgil said, making sure he didn't stare at anyone. He had a strange notion that the people in this motley group wouldn't appreciate being stared at.
She rolls her eyes at the request for a teleporter, with how often something either blows up, breaks in or gets loose from Star Labs its no wonder why the League was hesitant to add a direct link to there secret clubhouse. Tilting her head slightly towards the holograms she regards them for a few moments, allowing Stray to have there say before voicing in her own reply.
"Currently? The Towers too clinical and artificial for my tastes, Id say function over form but given the shape of this place I have a suspicion that there was some positive influence there. It needs a bit more of a personal touch but that will be arranged" waving her hand slightly, as she speaks. From the sound of her tone it was succinct and to the point but there was again hints of something else floating around "Though perhaps a correction, You hope to reap good faith as your main focus, others have ulterior motives, but not malicious ones at the very least" her eye turns towards Batman for a second before there is a distraction in the arrival of several more newcomers, watching their interactions for a moment before raising a finger to the hologram "One moment" raising slightly she leans over the side of the couch and looks directly towards the current interaction "As much as the obvious might be entertaining, You may want to tone it down from the current 11 to a high six at most" throwing an idle wave to the other arrivals before her gaze turns serious back at stray "And try to keep the loose tongue to down as well, many take exception to that."
Looking back to the Holograms she goes back to what she had been saying "And, Unpause, So overall? better than could be expected and any concerns are still all falling in what was to be expected, Needs more green but its not a tarmacked parking lot by any means."
Seemingly noticing something from the window, she stands up and slowly walks over to the glass, putting a hand on the surface before staring downwards at the gathered group. She was curious how this was going to work and if she could hurry it along she might as well. Flipping a latch she opens the surface and leans outwards to shout "Meetings up here! You can talk later but id rather not find out how long a man can brood for on-camera if necessary!"
Location: Outside of Titans Tower Interaction: @Kitsune2202 (Amy) @Scatterbrain (Willie) Mentioned: @EddieTeddie (Hal) @ThatGuyWithSouvlaki (Liz) @_amaranth_ (Ruby) @The Witch Son (Sascha) @Veil Walker (Virgil)
The corners of her mouth twitched slightly almost like she was going to smile, but she didn't. Not quite anyway. You see, Violet was used to getting compliments after her fights. And most of them were obviously in order to try and keep her on their good side rather and genuine compliments. So, the girl saying she liked Violet's eyes was...something new. Not something bad, something that made Violet feel a little fuzzy inside. Violet still didn't quiet look at her, but mouthed a thank you. Because that's what you did right? But she was surprised when the girl offered to make an outfit, or perhaps just the overcoat, for Violet. Immediately a few more red flags started going up. People who were overly nice often had something else they wanted. Violet had been warned against these types of people, you'd end up stabbed and robbed. Violet learned that the hard way.
But this girl...seemed genuine. There didn't seem to be any malice in her voice or some hidden intent behind her eyes. So Violet nodded, the ghost of a smile curling her lips. Maybe she would be able to relax around here...at least a little. She didn't answer what her favorite color was just yet since Amy had told her it didn't have to be right now. Which, was more of a comfort than anyone might have realized. Even Violet didn't exactly know why it had put some of her worries to bed...but it did. Maybe the lack of commitment. Or maybe it was just the kind aura this girl had. Either way, Violet actually saw herself talking to the other girl again.
But her attention shifted when a number of more newcomers showed up. Violet was pretty over-whlemed, there were too many strangers too quickly. She suddenly wrapped her arms tighter around herself, shifting a bit in her spot as she felt the sudden urge to run but...a kid who was a lot younger than she and the others were had caught her attention. Violet liked younger kids. In her experience, they were never too bad. A lot kinder than adults anyhow. So, swallowing the uncomfortable, anxious lump in her throat, she nodded to him. "W-we're heading up now," She answered with a quiet mumble, before she quickly moved to catch up with Amy.
Once she has reached the elevator, Violet squeezed into the back corner, arms still wrapped around herself tightly in an attempt to make the worry go away. There was no point for it right? These people seemed nice...the clown girl made her a little uneasy, but still. There hadn't been anything to make her believe that any of them were going to cause problems. But at the same time, she also couldn't prove that none of them wouldn't cause problems. Maybe her anxiety was there for good reason.
But her thoughts quickly shifted as the elevator door opened. This was...the nicest room Violet had ever been in. Silently slipping out of the elevator as a boy who had either gotten there before everyone else or had a different entrance began to talk to the nice girl. For now, she seemed to ignore the hologram images of Superman and Batman, her eyes wondering as she tried to take in the scene in front of her. Were they actually going to let Violet live here? It seemed...too good to be true.
Wally hadn't meant to be rude in ditching the members of his team at the tower's exit, but he'd just been itching for this moment far too long to be stuck outside of the big ass doors. Inside was where all the good stuff was, and with a mind that generated hundreds of ideas of what the T-shaped building held, it was all starting to overwhelm him. Before heading to the eighth floor, Wally had chosen to take a second (literally) to check out each of the other seven floors. He'd been forced to stop at the much more fortified sub-levels, and figured that'd be a journey for another day. Plus, he could already hear talking at the seventh floor. People were hear, and that only made him giddy. Drawing his duffel bag closer to him, Wally enveloped himself in more lightning, and in a flicker was finally standing in front of the staircase and inside of the Titans Tower living quarters. As far as first impressions go, the whole thing seemed so similar to the Avengers movies. He was going to enjoy living in a house with other powered teens, hell, perhaps there'd be another speedster.
"Why is something burning-..." Fuck, he wasn't in his suit whilst doing all that running. Small wisps of smoke radiated from his shoes, Gucci low tops nonetheless. As far as his sneaker collection went, this had definitely been one of his favourites, now with pancake-flattened soles, and gray track marks from his running. "All that damn excitement," He thought to himself as he patted it off. Once the smoke disappeared, he finally set his sights on those in the room. He easily recalled the supers in the hologram, Cisco comfortably seated in his own, and then Stray and Isley. His eyes furrowed down on both of them, what were the proteges of super villains doing at a super hero team-up. It definitely ruined the vibe, especially with the first words that came out of Stray's sly lips.
All Wally could muster up was a weak, "What's that supposed to mean?" He just rolled his eyes, disappointment evident on his face as he looked back at the heroes. "Cisco, Batman, Supes. If I told you I was miffed right now, that'd be an understatement." He let out a childish huff, before disappearing in another flicker of lightning. Wally was seated on one of the couches that faced the hologram, but from time to time would glare over at Stray and Rosary.
Most of the strangers gathered outside of the Titans building paid little notice to Hal, which he appreciated. People who were too outgoing from the get go either annoyed him or reminded him too much of his sister. There was one boy however who directly addressed him. He introduced himself as Voltaic. Hal struggled a little, unsure about how he would introduce himself. Was it a custom to introduce yourself with your alias in this kind of environment? Voltaic certainly had done it, or at least Hal hoped the boy’s parents weren’t big enough sadists to actually name their child that.
“Hal,” He answered with a short nod. He looked around at the others that had been there when he arrived. There was Voltaic, a person who seemed too energized. Then there was a short looking girl in scabby clothes. The fact that she seemed so fragile scared Hal. He preferred an opponent who looked as strong as they were, but considering the fact that she stood there meant that she had something going for her. There was another girl there as well. She looked more flashy, more like a rich kid, but she seemed friendly enough.
Assuming they would all go inside soon, Hal decided to go ahead. He had spotted another person arriving and he didn’t want to get stuck outside in an awkward limbo. Instead of taking the elevator from the nicely decorated lobby, as he assumed most others would, he went for the staircase. He wasn’t sure what the day would bring, but never missed out on the chance to be a little bit more active. It would at least make up for the donuts he had had before leaving home.
Taking the elevator would have probably taken less than half the time it took him to climb the stairs. He eventually made it to the designated floor. His suitcase had been carried with him. It wasn’t at all heavy and the weight didn’t make it difficult for him, but the shape of it made it more awkward to carry than he would have liked.
With a deep sigh he entered the room, not really announcing his arrival, instead just putting his suitcase down next to a wall and looking around in the room. To his surprise there wasn’t only one, but two familiar figures already there. The first one was the face of someone he had seen at school. Hal spent a few seconds putting a name to the face. The surname was West, he was sure of that, but he struggled more with the birth name. Was it Will? No. Willy? No. Wally! Wally West was the name, Hal recognized him from high school, he had been two years his junior. His sister was also a name he knew. Iris West, some years older than Hal again, but her name frequently appeared in the Central City newspapers. Hal gave Wally a short nod as a greeting, unsure if he would actually be recognized and ignoring the smoke coming from his underclassman.
The second one was more problematic. It was the sly thief he had encountered while out one night as Hush. Some low-lifes had decided to rob a jewelry store. They were easy to deal with, but then the person Hal assumed was the mind behind it had appeared. Not only that, but he even had the nerve to steal Hal’s bike after calling him rude. He had had to walk home in the pouring rain, with a dead phone battery, for over two hours. The next day was spent sick in bed. It was only luck that the person who found the bike had been nice enough to search up the licence plate and call him, instead of just stealing it.
Despite feeling a little agitated that he would potentially end up on the same team as him. He said nothing, just scanning the rest of the room and the people in it. With his best effort, he tried not to freak out at the sight of Batman and Superman as holograms. It had been expected, and Hal was honestly not really one who followed the superheroes of the world, he was aware of them sure, but tended to focus on the smaller things in life. While they saved the world, he remained a friendly neighborhood… something.
The kids he trained however were the opposite. Many of them had started boxing because they wanted to be strong like superman or batman. Hal doubted the chances they had, but nevertheless he admired their motivation.
Two of the group nodded in response to Willie's question, a guy with dreadlocks and a dark haired girl.
The guy introduced himself as Voltiac. Willie was fairly sure that was his superhero name but considering this was an alternate dimension it could very well of been his actual name. He seemed nice but was obviously in a rush to get inside.
The girl's appearance and demeanour reminded him of some of the other kids at the orphanage. The unfortunate ones that had had their hopes dashed too may times, always seeming to end up back at the orphanage for one reason or another and winding up as shells of their former selves in the process. Willie would try his best to keep an eye on her and make sure she was doing okay.
Willie could hear a shout from behind, turning he could see a female clown approaching. Creepies! A superhero clown!?! Willie thought to himself. He had never heard of one of those before.
There was suddenly more shouting this time from the Tower. He could see someone leaning out of the window and from her tone she was growing impatient. Considering that Willie didn't want to get in trouble and the guy and the girl had already gone on a head, Willie made a bee line for the Tower entrance. Charging into the elevator, he made his way to the top floor as instructed before hastily finding himself somewhere to sit.
Now that he was actually there in the meeting room and had given his spiel (which would more than likely have no effect whatsoever) Cisco leaned back in his chair to watch the drama unfolding in front of him and actually take stock of what was going on. His earpiece was recording and his laptop was open on a new document (the scrambler engaged so those on the other end of the holo call couldn't see what he was looking at or typing, for all they know he could be doing his grocery shopping on it). He taking notes of the conversation for reference use later, if he was going to get involved with..... with whatever the hell this was, then he needed more information.
The holo-heroes were staying silent and stoic, Batsy's broodiness could be felt through the holo but that was hardly surprising. The Asian-esque male with the cool goggles was proving quite the handful, and clearly getting right under Superman's skin. And the way he just sauntered off, casually dropping Superman's real name was brilliantly ballsy. This guy had style, in more ways than one. Cisco recognised the suit of course, he'd made it his business to find as much footage and images of the suits of every super hero, villian, vigilante and person of indescriminate alignment that decided to run around the States in costume. And the suit, the suit of Catwman's partner crime and the suit of the woman herself were beauts. Cisco had an instant respect for whoever made this suit and the guys sass was making him quite the character.
The next to speak was the red-headed woman. He didn't recognise her, more of her ability. The big give away was talking about 'the green'. She seemed to have little time for Catwoman's sidekick, nor for any of the other heroes holo projecting themselves. He but back an amused grin at her remark on not wanting to find out how long Batman could brood for on camera. "The answer to that is years."
Cisco let out a sigh at the arrival of Wally, pinching the bridge of his nose, then throwing both arms in the air at the state of his shoes. He knew Wally well, and Barry. Hell, he'd even made Wallys suits and assisted Barry in training the guy. But sometimes his feet went faster than his brain and disintegrating shoes were a regular sight.
Cisco's expression turned to one of indignation when Wally voiced a complaint about the whole set up (and having the protégés of not so morally straight people around). Normally he'd be pretty damn honoured to be addressed in the same breath as Superman and Batman, or in this case mentioned first. He wasn't anywhere near their levels of awesomeness. He was the tech guy for heavens sake he wasn't the hero of the story. But Wally clearly had the wrong end of the stick and Cisco wasn't going to take that lying down. "Woah, woah woah, slow down there. I ain't one of the people organising this thing.... whatever exactly it is, your mentor wasn't exactly forthcoming on details. I've been summoned like the rest of you. And secondly you better better not destroy my suit like you destroyed those shoes. They aren't cheap y'know and I won't be making you another for quite a while."
That was a bluff, Cisco loved designing super suits. It was challenging and he was a perfectionist. He'd design a suit for almost anybody willing to wear it. "If you're gonna run around in regular shoes for no good reason other than having super speed, then at least ask me to make a proper pair that won't disintegrate all over the carpet of this place. I could totally make a pair of kick ass shoes." If Cisco had a pen in his hands he'd be gesturing with that to illustrate his point, but he didn't, so he made use of the random screw driver that just so happened to be lying on the nearby desk.