Synopsis: Arthur Light meets with former colleague Alan Scott to discuss recent events involving Koriand’r and the attempt by Lobo the Bounty Hunter to complete the contract that has been placed on her. Comparing notes both come to the conclusion that it is time for the Earth’s new Green Lantern to intercede as the attempt on her life has potential far reaching consequences for Starfire, and more importantly the state of the Corps.
ALAN: Ordinarily any request made for a meeting with ‘Former Colleagues’ would be met with an automatic ‘No, Thanks.’ That has been the normal since the semi-quiet retirement that Alan Scott took from the life as a spook. Okay. Let’s be honest, Alan was less of a spook and more of an administrator with field clearance. He’d held the line since the 1940’s, but the Invasion of Earth had left many things in question. What came later had made formal retirement all but certainty. Hal Jordan. His fall from grace had been destructive to so many things, it seemed only fitting that it also destroy any chance Alan had of opposing the new regime too.
Even if the Alan’s Lantern was different than Hal’s, it would make little difference in the ‘Court of Public Opinion.’ Which in itself was a bit of joke, given that he runs one of the largest media conglomerates in the entire world. They knew that too, of course. Which is why Alan’s retirement was a peaceful one. He may not be in the office any more but his holdings were useful and his own meta-human abilities had proven difficult to replicate or even understand. Despite all of that though, it has never been Alan’s earthly connections that ever bought him any good will from the likes of Amanda Waller or Lex Luthor. It’s the unearthly ones that has always been of interest to them.
You can say many things about Alan Scott, but it would be a mistake to call him stupid. He’s all too aware that the powers that be don’t want him in any position of authority, but they also do not want to alienate a potential resource. Once again, this leads to an all too uneventful retirement to a Manor on the outskirts of Gotham City.
Which is where Doctor Arthur Light must come if he wishes a meeting. No, this is not some power play, but actually something of a necessity. It is here beneath the mostly invisible dome ( unless you have a particular affinity with seeing different spectrum of nearly invisible light ), that Alan has been instructing a specific student on the ways of using a Power Ring. Leaving would mean the dome lowers and Kyle would be unable to continue his lessons. Given what Alan knows to be the most basic reason for Arthur’s requested meeting? Kyle’s training may in fact be something that should not be interrupted.
“Arthur, come in,” answering the door gives a personal touch, “Are you feeling more like a library meeting or shall we have some lunch out by the ponds?”
There’s no butler on Alan’s estate. No staff of any sort in fact. At least not of the physical variety. When needed there are specters of the Green that are created to handle various chores. Such as the ones that are, even now, insuring that Kyle remains in his room an out of sight.
ARTHUR: Arthur did not detest Gotham however, he rather avoid visiting the places where he knew things were a little less under the thumb of NOWHERE for these kind of summits. Truth be told he avoided visiting it not because of Batman and his ilk, but because it is where Alan decided to retire to. He made it his home. On some level, Arthur believed that the man had earned his retirement and his secrets, whatever they may be. It may not be the popular opinion, but it was Arthur’s and that was the only one that mattered to the good doctor.
He was reluctant to say much to Koriand’r about the Alan, because the less he said the better for his sake, Kori’s and Alan’s. Sometimes too much information was a bad thing. It had to be controlled and released at critical points especially in the type of work they were involved in.
When he arrived he was actually surprised that Alan agreed to see him, but then again, he had a feeling that the original Green Lantern was already a few steps ahead. When his car arrived at the manor he looked up noting the dome. He was probably one of the few people that could detect it unaided. He decided against letting his mind wander as to why it had been erected instead he made his way towards the door when.
Alan wasn’t the only one that masked themselves. Arthur simply advised that he would be off grid for a day or so. He was only to be reached out to in emergencies. Other than that, it would be radio silence, which was not a difficult thing for him to do when he wanted.
Upon reaching the door he reached out for the door bell waiting for someone to answer. When Alan opened the door Arthur’s raised a curious brow, but offered a smile nonetheless. Old friends, they were not. Colleagues? Perhaps at best. They had a working relationship. That would probably be the best way to consider it.
“Alan. Thank you for agreeing to meet with me.” It was a genuine sentiment. One that Arthur saw no issue with offering. Stepping inside the manor he glanced around attempting to recall the last time the two of them stood in the same building let alone the same room.
“As enticing as lunch sounds I’m afraid it’s more of a library type of situation.” He could go for something to eat, but better to focus on business. Best not to get to comfortable. He could say or infer the wrong thing and things could take a turn for the worse.
ALAN: The Scott family is not nearly so robust as the Wayne’s. Though the fortune has grown steadily over the years, thanks in no small part to the steady news feed that the Batman has provided, the Scott mansion is still a tenth of what the Wayne’s have. The sweeping grounds sprawl out in all directions, most of it as untamed wild forest. The entire place is actually a monument not to the people of the Scott Family, but the Green that purveys all around them.
All in all it makes for a very short walk to the Library. Which is cluttered. This is not your average library. It has been pieced together with care over the last century. Most of which was done by hand, by the very man that Arthur has asked for a meeting with. Despite the fact that Alan looks not a day over fifty, those files that Arthur reads and keeps would suggest that Alan was among the very first who came to work for Nowhere. One of the original so-called Mystery Men. Thus he has had a very long life with which to gather the collection of oddities that even now Kyle Rayner devours on a nightly basis.
That also explains the relative clutter that is being tended to by the green hued servants that manifest themselves upon the pair’s entry. “Honestly, after the recent events in Gotham, I was surprised that someone hadn’t called sooner. The business at the Mariposa was horrific. I half expected someone in the company to call me to get my help in explaining the attack. I mean. Meteors, Arthur? Really. Come on has the Company lost all of it’s imagination?”
“It hurt my soul seeing those words put in to print,” gesturing to the veritable glut of places to seat, from single chairs to a large sofa, while heading to the small bar to fix a couple of drinks. “When you didn’t contact me to help with the information flow, I knew it was only going to be a matter of time before someone came calling for something else.”
“This Bialya business, must be taking up a lot of resources if they’ve sent you, Arthur.”
ARTHUR: Arthur had poured over all the files. All the files that he was given access to. There were no doubts in his mind that there were some that were sealed away from him. Some would only be provided in cases of emergencies, others would probably never see the light of day no matter how hard the good doctor attempted to access them. There would always be some measure of restriction. Additionally, Arthur was one of the ‘them’. it wasn’t always apparent, but it was there. No matter how well he towed the company line he was still one of them, he just happened to be one of the more “management” ones.
At least that is what they continued to tell themselves. Arthur Light knew that there was always a target on his back, whether it was from within the Company or outside of the company. It did not matter, he was a marked man. A traitor to some, a resource to others, but the moment he stepped too far out of line then he would find himself in a situation that was all too familiar.
He admired the manor and all its untamed green outside. He was familiar with a little more than the basics of Alan’s story, but there were some things that would always remain a mystery. There was no communion with sentient beings for Arthur. It was all science in his mind though there were times he did wonder and often pondered about how it was all connected. Still he as not here to wax metaphysical or metaphysics. He was here to address the items that Alan was ticking off.
This is why the library was preferably to lunch at the moment.
“M’gann was thinking on the fly. Not the best cover story, but it did get the job done. However, that bit of business is far from over, I’m afraid.” He considered the way Alan phrased everything, placed the events. Perhaps he was seeing how much Arthur would corroborate, even more how much he would share. The tugs at the corner of his mouth hinted a ghost of a smile, because old habits die hard or never died at all.
Walking over towards one of the high back chairs Arthur slid into it almost as if it were an old friend. Perhaps because he enjoyed the style. One never knew.
“Bialya will sort itself out soon enough, but yes, we’re stretched pretty thin at the moment given the direction the President has given. Our more seasoned agents are half a world away. That has left us vulnerable to events such as the one that took place at the Mariposa.” The wring was on the wall there. Why try to dress it up. “However, it was not the Company that sent me. I came of my own volition. I’m due back at headquarters to deal with an inquiry.” After he speaks with another agent to address their response or lack there of. “I am anticipating their direction.” He may even be circumventing by engaging Alan first.
“The events that occurred in Gotham were inevitable due to the intended target. The company will see events one way which if argued they would be correct, but result in me breaking a promise.” Promise to who? That was of no one’s concern. “These events fall under the purview of NOWHERE, but the solution would be one that I would rather avoid. I believe if I have my information in order this situation would under the purview of the officer assigned to Sector 2814.”
ALAN: Oddly enough Alan and Arthur were actually much more similar than you might think at first. Arthur is not one for Human connections, nor is Alan is easily seen by the empty house. Though those beautiful files of Nowhere, whether Arthur had access to them or not, would undoubtedly tell the tale of a man’s life in constant tragedy. From a wife lost to a brutal pregnancy, to life-style choices later in life that did not make him a friendly aspect to the politically correct crowd of the Day. It has long since been the time that Alan preferred the company of another person to that of the Green.
“Mm. It’s been my experience, Arthur, never to think that a poorly made story crafted by a three hundred year old, is ever anything but exactly what she intended,” it is a slight correction, but one with a straight forward truth to it as Alan offers Arthur the drink that has already been poured. “She went with Meteors because it’s something that could be readily accepted by the minds of those she needed to influence. Something that could then be verified by Theodore’s beautiful little satellites -or- pointed to as their being faulty. More over meteor showers that cause damage and loss of life aren’t common. They’re predictable most of the time.”
“It’s the times that they’re unpredictable that is a problem. March 14th, 1977, Smallville, Kansas. Culverton, Gotham, December 24th, 1936. Perhaps most importantly, Coast City, September 19th, 2005. Each of these meteor showers share two common threads, Arthur. The first is that they weren’t actual meteor showers, but essentially the landing of extraterrestrial life. The second is that each time it happened, the results would greatly impact this world and change the course of History.” The opposite glass is raised in something of a salute to the Doctor, as Alan settles across from him on a the sofa. “Never. Confuse M’Gann’s seemingly random, teenage, thinking on the fly. For anything but complete and total calculation. She’s smarter than we are. Accept it first, the spend the rest of your time devoted to wondering if she picked meteors because it’s simply poetic or she has some inkling of larger circumstances that she has chosen not to share with the rest of the class.”
As Alan finishes speaking on the previously innocent topic of the cover story, the glass in his hands seems to become very important. It has his utmost focus for a couple moments. Long enough for the silence to almost become uncomfortable. This isn’t the first time that the Company has come to this very home and put forth the idea that something was happening. Something that shouldn’t be dealt with by the Company, but by people of a larger calling. One by one they’ve each been politely told that Alan Scott is retired. Each one took that to mean that he’d left the Project and wouldn’t assist them any further. Like Arthur they’d each been respectful for whatever reason they chose, whether it be decades of service and a desire not to permanently burn bridges or the knowledge that Alan Scott still holds the very power that keeps him eternally young.
The silence is then broken by him clearing his throat and looking away from the drink, “He’s not ready. Not for this Arthur.”
“The Company and the President think they defeated the entity that destroyed Coast City. They believe they drove it away and that it gave them time to build and re-equip. They did the right thing reassuring the entire world that we won and you might think Luthor is strangely allowing these kids to come out of the closet as Heroes, because it simply benefits him to control them through Nowhere. I’ve stayed quiet, because the truth is…? Luthor is unintentionally doing good work, by taking away the Fear that would come with the truth of uncertainty.”
“Because out there. Beyond Theodore’s satellites. The entire universe is at War, and they don’t even know what they’re fighting. Did your Princess tell you of the Daemonites? The Civil War among her people? Do you even know who wants her back? Who sent the Hunter for her? It wasn’t her people Arthur. They don’t want her back. Not truly.”
“He’s just not ready, damnit. Not yet. Give this kid a chance,” Alan actually comes to a complete verbal halt, blinking and looking up sharply from the the swirling drink with a sigh that seems to make him actually look his age for once. “The truth is, Arthur. You were right to come here. This is bigger than the Company. And you’re right, it should be the Lantern of this Sector’s purview. I just don’t think he’s ready. However, I also don’t know that he… or any of us… ever will be ready for what’s out there.”
“They’ll need to meet. Can you bring her here? Kyle should be the one to decide if he’s ready or not.”
ARTHUR: Arthur found M’gann to be more astute than most. She was the one that eased Kori into the idea of working with NOWHERE by maintaining her association with her associate in Gotham. It was a coup, but it was not done by bending the girl to their will, just a simple conversation that’s all it took and a bit of reasoning. Once upon a time Arthur Light believed himself to be the smartest person in the room, that was a long time ago, but now, he knew better to do so. What he could do is offer assistance and guidance as best he could and work through the system to continue to help the machine keep going.
As Alan prattled on about one thing or another, Arthur took a moment to listen to truly listen what he was saying. As always there were plots within plots and plans within plans. It seemed that this was yet another winding road that they were meant to be on by one person’s doing or another. Not that Arthur fought it. There were times and places for such things, and through his experience he found it best to choose his battles. Not every battle meant dying upon the sword. Sometimes they were waged to test, to gather information, but this, this was different.
Considering the dates that were selected. Each of those moments were the precursor of great changes, shifts in the way that humans perceived their world. The idea that there truly was life beyond the one we knew. That there were words other than our own were no longer theories and random thoughts, but reality. It was a sobering thought, but one that humanity needed to be prepared for one way or another. Hope or fear. They were strong motivators. The loss of <i>him</i> made one difficult, but this younger generation there are a few that carry the banner of hope while others champion the banner of fear, yet Arthur found it was good to have a healthy dose of both.
“Whatever her reasons it’s done, though the insight provided makes me wonder if it was done to subconsciously remind us of the dangers that lies beyond our skies and how significant an impact it might be. Actually, reminds me of a Who episode about the original of the primal fear of the dark.” Perhaps it was a nudge, a reminder that not all of the dangers that everyone should be focused on are the terrestrial ones, and the fact that no matter how hard we try to protect themselves the danger will find its way to them.
As enlightening a conversation this was that they were having he did need to get back on point despite the fact it was all related.
Alan did not think he was ready. Were they ever ready? When he spoke of Kori it seemed that he had gathered more information than Kori was willing to share. “She told me enough to pull at the heart strings, while keeping me at bay. There were tears, but at the moment I am unconcerned with tears. I prefer facts and she kept then held close to her chest,” he said honestly.
“I let it play to see how far it would go. If I press her too hard then she runs making this, more difficult than I desire it to be. I don’t know who wants her. I am inclined to believe that she was given away to the Daemonites.” Civil War.
“I was told her parents were killed. Her planet conquered, and her sister was placed upon the throne. An armistice of some kind was brokered, and she was taken as hostage to keep Tamaran under control.” Arthur’s very tone said that he found it to be an unraveling story.
“After the events at the Mariposa I had her repeat her tale once more to offer the opportunity for truth, but I received more of the same and claim of ignorance.” If he was upset, it did not show. It was merely an administrator reciting what had been shared.
“However, I had thoughts and it appears there are elements of what you have shared that seem to craft portions of a picture I had sketched for myself. I found it very odd that a dying race would be capable of so much destruction. That they were searching for ways to extend their lives, yet she was the only one from her planet selected for their experiments. They had the planet where they wanted yet they pulled back. Her sister rises to the throne. Something didn’t feel quite right about it all.” Then there were the tears so best to take a step back and engage another Arthur thought. Let her take comfort in her story being intact.
“What the larger story was I was not sure, but I would be remiss in my duties if I took everything she said in face value, but…” A promise was a promise and Arthur had to believe since he made that promise.
“I cannot say whether or not your student is ready. Only he can decide that, but if what I have been told is to hold true. He would not possess that which he does if he were not capable, and if I may go a bit further. He had the sense enough to seek you out when your name was shared with him. He went out on a limb. He placed his trust not only in you, but the person who gave him your name. He saw the good in others. The world has gained a good amount of fear just in the past several days. I think it is only fair that an equal amount of hope is offered.”
ALAN: “Careful, if you keep this up I’m going to think you’re actually paying attention.”
That may sound like a joke, but it is only a half-truth. There is always a sort of duality to a discussion with Alan Scott, but in this particular instance it is even more pronounced then normal. A thin smile speaks to his hospitality, but the way he keeps being drawn to that cup says he isn’t all there in the room with Dr. Light. At least not when discussing the potential of Kyle Raynor being given this assignment. There seems to be more than one discussion going on about that and Arthur is only involved in half of it.
He makes a good argument. Hope. Oddly it is Alan that dislikes it most. Is it correct? Maybe, but the damning part is that it doesn’t matter. The circumstances around all of this are questionable. “As for your Princess’ story, did she ask you about the Lanterns? Did she mention the lack of their presence when all of this happened?”
“My power is connected to them. The same, but apart from it. A sort of symbiotic bond between what they call their central battery and what powers me. If a Lantern had been in the vicinity of the conflict, that information would be in the battery. Which means I would be able to find out. It isn’t. Which means that whatever Lantern was assigned to Tamaran, was pulled away.”
“For that reason alone, Arthur, I’m forced to agree with you. Bring this Princess here. We’ll introduce her to the new Lantern and let events run their course from there.”
ARTHUR: Arthur offered a hint of a smile and actually took of the drink that had been provided. “I listen to the important parts. The rest of white noise.” It was good nature teasing, but given all that has occurred recently he needed a bit of humor in his life. He was capable of enjoying moments like these no matter what people tended to believe.
The moment came and went and the smile faded away as certain questions were asked and Alan already knew the answer to the question before he asked Arthur suspected. He had read enough to know that there were reasons for the type of conversations one typically engaged in when meeting with Alan, but this was the first time it felt so front and center so to speak.
“None. Given the story I was provided I wondered why she did not return home.” That quite out of place. She escaped she should be able to return home, but still no information that explained one way or another beyond the horrible things the captors had done.
“Then that is what I shall do.” This turned out to be far more agreeable than he expected, but he was grateful on one hand. The other, well the other was being smothered by metaphorical pillow that Alan had dropped onto its face.
“I shall have here within the day if not sooner. I have one more bit of business to take care off before I depart.”
Synopsis: Dr. Light arrives in Metropolis to meet with Koriand’r for a debriefing regarding her encounter with Lobo.
LIGHT: Arthur Light was not where he wanted to be. He was not in his lab running the experiment that he spent weeks preparing for, nor was he sitting outside somewhere enjoying the rather agreeable weather that had descended into the area. Instead he was in the kitchen…toiling. Toiling over a few things as he attempted to compose his next masterpiece.
It was the most that he could do with the things that he had brought with him. He glanced out the window and could see the nearby waterfront in the distance and further the LexCorp tower dominating the New Troy skyline, but rather than meet there Arthur selected a different location. Far from being off the beaten path it was far from where he normally was when he was in the area. He was in a brownstone that had been recently restored the last five years. It still had its charmed, but it was all a part of a project in the Old City to restore several brownstones and other select buildings in the air.
It was well furnished and well stocked, but the food that Arthur worked with were items that he brought with him. He had stopped at a local farmer’s market to gather the items he wanted. He was going to be here for several days it seemed as there were a pair of debriefings that needed to occur before he could resume his normal activities.
Events had occurred the necessitated his arrival into fair Metropolis. Sadly, he wasn’t here to take M’gann, Conner and Raven out to dinner. He was here for a debriefing. Though he could have purchased something to eat he rather do something with his hands.
There were multiple events unfolding around them. Conner and M’gann were in Kahndaq along with Fairchild. M’gann made a brief appearance to Gotham to assist with the bit of business that occurred there. It reminded Arthur of the potential growing problem they could face. Losing Jones was indeed a blow. He could have been deployed in this situation to provide similar clean up assistance as M’gann, but there was no use crying over spilt milk over that no matter how hard they attempt to locate him. It was not Arthur’s concern.
No his concern should be arriving shortly to the neighborhood. It was true they were surrounded by families and local businesses in the area, but that was the idea. There were some areas of safety that were isolated and some that were right in the middle of things. Arthur opted to this after Conner made it clear that Koriand’r would not be allowed into his penthouse given what happened in Gotham. That bit of business was most concerning.
The amount of destruction that occurred was troubling. Though the public was unaware of the true events those that were knew this could hurt the status quo if this was not handled immediately. Light knew his part in this. He knew that something could have happened, but this? This brought back memories of a world that most believed was behind them.
Still he was looking forward to the debriefing. He was sure that Koriand’r would fill in the details. Regrettably, a cost benefit analysis was already in progress. In all things, Arthur had to put Earth first.
KORIAND’R: After some tweaking and reworking she had gotten the image device back online. It had taken a beating in the short and brief battle. The last thing she had wanted to do was make even of a worse impression with Nowhere by also breaking their expensive devices. It provided a little cover, a little anonymity on the travels to the meeting spot. Her report was lacking some details. She deemed it unnecessary for Nowhere to have a grip of information beyond what she had already provided.
She was concerned they would dig too deep, that they would get themselves in over their head. Even with all of the people and resources they had, it didn’t seem like a safe idea. She also felt like a lot of this was her problem, her burden. She had burdened them enough by begging for sanctuary, by insisting that she could be a model citizen if she were permitted to roam freely. Some of the damage that was created was her fault, she was responsible for it, even if she wasn’t responsible for the circumstances. She hadn’t anticipated that a hunter would have come this far after her. Maybe she had underestimated the weight of her worth to her enemies, even dead.
She had been chewing on her bottom lip as she approached the door. Her green eyes occasionally darting around. No explosions, no shots fired, nothing that would disturb the peace around the area. At least, yet.
She was quiet when she arrived, nervous. Bruises had healed but the pain of regret was still there. She had hours to think over the whole situation. There were things she should have done differently. There were actions she could have taken to minimize the damage and potential loss of life.
Even stepping out from the protection of M’Gann’s home was a risk. This put her out in the open and she had been easily found, disguise or not.
“Dr. Light…I’m sorry I took so long. I was attempting to avoid more populated areas that would be at risk. I am sure you found my report insufficient.”
There was probably a lot he wasn’t happy with and the princess from Tamaran could only guess at them.
LIGHT: The problem with their guest is that he had disappeared, but disappearing did not automatically mean that he had left, and even if he had left it did not mean that he would not return. The damage had been done. The entire situation needed to be re-evaluated. However, when Kori stepped into the brownstone she would not find Light fuming, he wasn’t even pacing. He was finishing what he had started doing. He finished making lunch.
“Hello, Koriand’r. Fine day we’re having wouldn’t you say. If you wouldn’t mind could you retrieve the medium bowl with the foil covering,” he asked while he took the bowl he had in his hand which was filled with dazzling and brilliant colors. He had made a home made fruit salad. He thought something refreshing would be nice. Inside the refrigerator was a shrimp and crab meat pasta salad. He went with something the leaned a bit Italian mostly because of the seasoning and dressing.
He set the bowl down in the next room on the table before returning to retrieve, plates and utensils and once again for glasses and a carafe of ie water. Setting it down on the table he looked around deciding that everything looked well enough. Walking over towards one of the chairs he pulled it out for Kori with warm smile.
“The care you took is appreciated. I’m sure you did your best.” When she took her seat he moved to retrieve a plate. “Which would you like pasta salad, fruit salad or both,” he asked.
“Your report? Oh, I haven’t read it yet. I thought it best to get the unabridged version from you directly.”
KORIAND’R: The mood she encountered was not one she had expected but she diligently followed orders, fetching the bowl. Was this lunch? Some kind of formal lunch meeting? She was confused, an auburn brow raising as she followed him into the room and finally got a good look at the dishes. Food on this planet was amazing, though anything was better than the protein packed gruel she had eaten for years while she was in the care of her captors.
“Oh…everything, please,” a hint of excitement escaped her lips but she quickly quieted herself.
She didn’t speak again until she was seated. Was this a trap? Was she in trouble? Maybe they’re going to drug her and lock her away. That would be dangerous too. They shouldn’t do that.
“The man that found me is a bounty hunter. I’ve somehow managed to gain a considerable price for my head back where I come from. He would not say who or why. He knew Tamaranian. He is not Tamaranian though. I suppose…maybe it would be easier if you asked me the questions. I am not sure I have a solution for this without causing more harm to this planet and its people.”
LIGHT: Light went to work gathering up some of the pasta salad and placing it into into the shallow dish. He retrieved a bowl to add some of the fruit salad to it. Looking over at her he offered a smile that gave away nothing but the warm that it was offered with. He moved around to set the items down before pouring a glass of water into one of the classes.
He poured another and proceeded to get some food for himself listening to each of the words she chose to share with him. “You are a princess. They usual fetch a nice price for someone that wants to be reunited with them. However, this seemed less like a reunion. There are a ways to subdue your target. Yes, you put up considerable resistance, but was he dispatched to retrieve or was this a kill order, Kori?”
He glanced over at her considering what he said. “I take it he doesn’t posses your ability to acquire languages as swiftly as you do? Then again how much do we know about this individual? How much do we know about anyone?” Only what their willing to share.
KORIAND’R: “It was a kill order. He may have been intrigued or distracted. He had many opportunities to follow the order through if he had really wanted to.”
She had a difficult time attempting to figure out the man’s motives. The times their skin had come into contact she had gotten quite a mess of mixed messages. He was persuadable though, but it may only go as far as extending her life just a little bit longer before he finished the job. She had already run several possible scenarios through her thoughts in the time between the attack and this meeting. Most did not end well and she had witnessed how difficult it may be to kill him with her own eyes.
“He said something about Czarnia…”
She paused for the moment while she was trying to collect her memories. She had not yet finished her full education when she was taken from Tamaran. She did have quite a bit of knowledge for diplomatic reasons but the tale of that planet was more of a scary story that was told to children to frighten them. Perhaps it was told to instill appreciation for what they had and how well they had it.
While she rolled through her thoughts she began poking at the food, taking a few small bites. There were times she was so voraciously hungry she could just shovel it all into her mouth but she was attempting to be polite and restrain herself.
“…which is impossible because that planet’s people have been wiped out. He kept referring to himself as ‘The Main Man’. I do not understand this title. There was some mention of clones. Not much of this makes sense to me. My people did not deal with Bounty Hunters so I am woefully unequipped with the education to assist with this. I only worry that there will be more. It was no small offering for my head, many may be persuaded by greed to collect.”
LIGHT: “Where there’s one kill order there may be another,” he said in a matter of fact tone. She had to be thinking if she wasn’t then she should. “I don’t believe our Czarnian friend has given up on his job. Additionally it seems that either has or has been given the means to find you. Anything is easy to locate when you know what you are looking for. There are no other Tamaranian’s on Earth, so you stand out from all other beings on the planet given your unique status.”
Pressing his fork into his food he Light glanced over at Kori waiting to see what she would say. “I deal with the impossible daily so I tend to believe anything is possible. It doesn’t matter if he is authentic or not the fact of the matter is that you are in his sights and no matter his behavior it sounds like we have a problem. A problem that we knew would make itself known one way or another. You escaped your captors. Perhaps you are far more valuable than you realize or perhaps there is some information that is missing.” Information that has yet to be disclosed.
“Let me ask you something, Kori.” He took another bite of his food before washing it down with some water.
“The experiments that were performed on you. What do you think they were for?” He looked over at Kori waiting for her answer. She herself told him that the Daem were horrible individuals. They took specimens to test their endurance and their skills as warriors. Those that survived then went through genetic modification. To what end? Curiosity? Perhaps, but surely it was not the end of it. There were other things to consider.
KORIAND’R: Kori was working a bit of logic while Dr. Light talked. If she kept her mouth full, she wouldn’t need to answer anything too quickly. She kept a steady pace on the meal in front of her. She had so few vices and indulging in Earth food had been one of the more enjoyable ones during her stay here.
She hadn’t gotten to those details before, she knew the answers but didn’t want to alarm the organization with a threat that was far off in space and well away from this planet.
She gulped down her mouth full of food before speaking, “The Daem…are dying. They are sick or they are weak. Each new generation weaker than the last. Good host bodies are difficult to find, those durable enough to survive the toll that it takes as they are psionically bonded.”
She frowned, “Or…attempting to breed in other species into the bloodline may produce stronger heirs. There are different school of thought on the solution to this, I may have only overheard some of them and may be recalling details inaccurately. Genetic manipulation is one of those angles. Testing those subjects against others and experiments ensures only the strongest will make it to the next levels. I did not make it that far. I don’t think I would be here right now if I did. I did retain some of the abilities, a result of the experiments. When I touch someone I can also feel what they feel and sometimes even see flashes of things. That man was not lying.”
She had decided she liked the red fruits the best at that moment, taking another bite before continuing on.
“He will come back, he will follow through with his bounty if he is able. He will also destroy anything in his path to complete it. Hiding me will only bring harm to those around me. Damien could have been in that room with me and he could have been dead. He could have a lock on me right at this very moment. This is not an acceptable risk to this planet, I am taking this very personally and I feel responsible for the damage done already.”
LIGHT: Light had all day, all night and the next. He would take all the time he needed to acquire the information that he was after. He was quite concerned about what it meant for the planet. If the “Main Man” took Damien’s head in exchange it would be a done deal. As much as he wanted to smile about the bit of information that was shared without even prompting the good doctor would, but instead he stayed on task. This wasn’t the time for him to lose focus instead he considered everything she said as he continued with the cost benefit analysis.
“They’re dying.” Isn’t that always how it is he thought. “Interesting.” He filed that away as something that could be utilized, but it also brought to mind reasons.
“So, tell me if I’m wrong in my statements or assumptions. The Czarnian was sent to kill you. There was no need to retrieve you. Only kill? Did he say that the Daem hired him or he chose not to disclose who his client was?” There were things that he wanted to be certain about. “I ask, because this could the Daem cleaning up their mess. Of course it makes a much larger mess given what’s occurred. Should it matter to them? A race that has conquered others? I’m not sure. If anything if they are responsible for his appearance here then it means that they don’t care what happens as long as is the job is done, but I can’t help but be perplexed by their reasoning. Who would they fear that they would send someone else to act on their behalf. Even more someone who is all about the bullhorn.”
Pressing his fork into his food once again he glanced over at Koriand’r tilting his head to the side. “Do you think the Daem are responsible for his presence here? Do you think it’s possible that they may come here themselves? There are individuals here that could prove enticing to them. M’gann. Conner. Wonder Woman. My others that they may want to take for their testing and genetic modifications. Many others. The Czarnian could share this information with them if he’s an enterprising individual.” That was a source of concern.
KORIAND’R: “I attempted to ask but he did not reveal who took out the contract. If my escape nulled the arrangement they had made with my planet…and that thought shakes me to my core. If it did, it could have been taken on by the monarchy. If it was the Daem, I’m unsure of what their motivations are. It could have been someone else as well, an escaped royal. My death would ultimately secure the throne in the event that something happened to my sister. There are many reasons and many possibilities. It’s larger than a simple cleaning up, there are many political ramifications as well.”
It was not something she liked to put her mind to a lot. She preferred not to think of home, to think of what it was like and what it could have been like. Every time she did, it made her heart ache. She had no place there anymore. She didn’t really feel like she had a place anywhere right now.
“If the Daem came here….you’re thinking too narrowly. My friends would not be targets. The entire planet would be one. I doubt the Hunter would share unless they offered him something in return. His greed is assured, as well as his other appetites.”
LIGHT: “Most of the individuals on our planet are quite unremarkable for the type of characteristics that the Daem are looking for. Honestly if they’re looking for someone who’s durable I would think they would turn their eye to our unwelcomed guest before they would look any normal human, but that aside.” Because there is something to what she said. They would come for the entire planet. The entire planet was never far from Light’s thoughts.
“From what you’ve said the others would be the resources to be mined. Most of the other beings on this planet would be in the way. Something of no consequence so, it makes me wonder why give up Tamaran? From what I gather you were able to survive the endurance tests. You were able to survive contests with other warriors. Would these not be common traits among all of your people? Yet a cease fire was negotiated, and you were given away not as a hostage, but a test subject? Surely, they could have taken more. They held all the cards unless your sister mombilized heavy resistance.”
KORIAND’R: “Resources. Tamaran is rich in other resources. Maintaining the planet in a peaceful state means that it is able to produce more resources for trade. Not all of my people are trained as warriors. Most are not. My sister is older than me, more mature and trained and sadly not quite capable of all of the abilities I have. Taking me as hostage ensured the obedience of my sister. I do not see the interchangeability between the two terms. They were free to do with me as they wished, as long as they did not kill me.”
She took a heavy breath before continuing, “My people could barely fight back. So many died. Perhaps the attacks revealed the weakness of the planet, it did not make the planet useless to them though.”
LIGHT: “Wouldn’t the death of your people ensure their obedience? Your sister. The older sister. The more mature sister. The one who perhaps being groomed to rule? When you’re parents were killed why did they stop there?” There was something there that did not track with Light. It seemed that the Daem had the advantage one not press it and do everything that they wanted. Perhaps they didn’t have the numbers.
“They were the superior force and you said it yourself. That my view was far to narrow. That the planet would be in jeopardy. Not just the individuals I named and ones like them. Trade and resources. Were they using your resources for trade? Are they still using your resources for trade?” He wanted to get a little more.
“Forgive me if this makes you uncomfortable Kori, but you have to understand. I need to know how much danger my world is in. I need to know what comes next. Invasion? And for you? Considering everything you escape. You broke the contract that existed between your sister and the the Daem? What does that mean for Tamaran? Will they return and finish what they started? They’re hostage has escaped. ” There was another important question that should be asked, but instead Light let that sink in for a moment.
“Two planets now hang in the balance. Should the Czarnian fail what next? Who will be sent to collect on your bounty? Tamaran is no longer safe or is it a case of, “You lost her. We did nothing wrong. It’s all on you?” I doubt the Daem will accept those terms.”
KORIAND’R: “I…I do not know. I have not been in contact with my people in almost an Earth decade…”
Dr. Light just had to put her own dark thoughts into reality by speaking them. Those were all possibilities she had considered but she had been so disconnected from Tamaran and the whole situation that she wasn’t really aware of what was going on beyond this planet. She did not know the motivations of The Daem, their reasoning for making that arrangement.
She carefully set the fork down against the plate before the force of strength in her hand bent it into an unusable state. She was upset, she was visibly suffering from it now and she was attempting to remain calm and collected.
“I can go with him. It would save billions if not maybe more….”
It seemed the most reasonable thing to do. Fighting would cause more damage and raise the risks. It would be pointless to keep going on with the resistance.
“Or…I can attempt to negotiate. I don’t know anymore. I don’t know what to do. All of this feels like it was my fault and it’s so terribly unfair. I was a child but I am no longer one now and I should be more responsible.”
The hot tears still bit at her cheeks, with a heavy sniff she attempted to wipe them away and pretend like her eyes didn’t start leaking on her from the intense emotion she was feeling.
“The Hunter is a considerable foe, redirected, he may be a powerful ally.”
LIGHT: It was not the tears that moved Light. Everyone cries. They always cry. There are always years, but he had to look beyond the tears to the reality that something that could be quite inevitable had been accelerated by Kori’s presence on the planet not to mention his decision not to have her taken in and handled through normal channels. There was no time for him to begin second guessing himself, but there was one thing certain this could not be washed away with tears or hope filled promises.
“Well, as someone once told me you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. What’d done is done. Negotiation with the “Main Man” involves him completing the contract or probably asking for something we are not willing to provide. At most it would only delay what is now a certainty.” He pressed his fork into his food. “Everything we did has repercussions. You made a decision. I made a decision and now those decisions will have to be dealt with.” Skepticism was Arthur’s bread and butter and while he knew how he would handle the inquiry and there was another individual he needed to speak with there was still information that he needed to acquire.
“Going with him guarantees nothing. It may serve to make matters worse. There are too many unknowns and I do not care for unknowns. Especially when it comes to the safety of people under my care. Whether it is the Daem their bounty hunter or another we are once again on the radar and this will need to be dealt with.” Either through official channels or unofficial channels. There is some concern as to why she would not seek to reunite with her people was a cause for concern, but Arthur would not push the matter.
There were things that she was either unwilling to share. Unwilling to consider or a bit of both and though he could push he may not achieve his desired goals instead he pressed his fork into his fruit before placing it into his mouth. Enjoying the flavor he closed his eyes considering all that has been shared.
“It’s quite difficult, because we don’t know how you were tracked. Perhaps there is something that can be crafted to mask your life signs. Then again depending on what Daem have done to you something could be in your blood. I’m afraid we will have to have you examined Kori, thoroughly to determine exactly what sets you apart.” Devoting resources to something that could be easily rectified as handing her over. That was probably going to cause a bit of trouble.
Light wondered M’gann was able to acquire any information from the assailant. “I want you to remain at M’ganns. I will need to decide how I want to proceed. I caution you not to do anything rash. All the things I said had to be said, because I wanted us to be clear about the situation, Kori. I wanted us to know what the stakes were. I know this is not an idea situation, but it’ s not ideal for anyone involved.” Again Earth comes first and this is definitely under the purview of another there for Light will need call in a favor.
Her eyes grew large, as if the unpleasant memories of other examinations had flooded her mind. At least it had stopped the tears but it had ignited something else instead.
“…If you want blood, I can give you blood. Please, I could not handle much more. I don’t care how many stickers and lollipops there are!”
There were few things that she reacted to in panic. Even the situation she was facing was something she could deal with, or at least attempt to deal with head-on. A visit to the Doctor? An examination? She wanted to flee at mere mention of it.
LIGHT: “Yes, but…” He considered it. “If and I do mean if I am able to get a former….” He considered it for a moment. “There’s a certain individual that may be able to assist us without there having to be anything invasive done.” He had to consider it. “It’s possible, but I have to see we’re on speaking terms. It depends.”
On the time of day. If Mercury is in retrograde. Among other items. “Like I said. Try not to do anything rash. I will reach out to him and we will take it from there.” If Alan’s agreeable then it will involve going into Gotham. That can easily be addressed by anyone that asks. Alan’s had impromptu visits all the time. Why should this be any different?
LIGHT: Not much time had passed between Koriand’r’s arrival when the D.E.O and N.O.W.H.E.R.E protocols being initiated. Of course, there were ways to handle things, official ways, but whatever the reason Superman decided that he would bring the alien to his apartment. Definitely against protocols, but given the satellite footage that had been reviewed it was there were more questions than answers that emerged. There were several individuals that wanted to know why such restraint was used.
The woman should have been brought to one of their secure facilities, after action reports filed and debriefing began while she was interviewed. Instead she was doing anything but that. That did not sit well with several individuals that knew of her arrival. Already the internet was being scrubbed to remove any images that popped. Discussions of the matter was shut down. The official story that was a weather satellite’s orbit unexpectedly began to decay.
Superman sighting in Gotham was normal. Saving the day is what he does. Why wouldn’t he intercept the satellite to prevent it from doing any damage? Besides, that was for the public relations department to deal with. That wasn’t the job that Arthur Light was dispatched to complete. His job was to ascertain what the presence of the newest visitor to earth meant for the country and the rest of the planet, among other things.
When the black SUV pulled in front of the apartment building Light stepped out holding his hand up. He didn’t want the entire team to head inside. That would-be overkill, besides he needed their eyes out here. The local office had already been notified, and their agents had already been put in to position. Why, because there was more than Superman and Wonder Woman on site to welcome the alien to Earth there was another individual.
Red Hood. He was on the radar for a number of reasons. There was little that the Company didn’t know about it especially with events in Gotham. Still, that wasn’t his concern as long as this Red Hood decided to follow the code of his colleagues. However, that was doubtful, because most of the time they rarely did so themselves when it came to traveling in and out of the city of others.
Better to plan for the worst. Hoping for the best got you killed.
Not that Dr. Light would be accompanied alone. Far from it. There was only so much that people liked to share. It was better M’gann was involved more so than Raven. Things usually took a turn for the worse when she was involved usually because of patience wore thin. There were always ‘better’ ways to make someone talk. That was the mentality and that’s how she operated.
M’gann could be reasoned with, and besides what did he have to fear? They were all allies here. They knew which side they were on? Of course, they did. He looked back towards the others offering offered the barest of smiles before waiting for his companion for the evening to join him.
“We have work to do. Items to collect. I’m sure Conner’s aware of our arrival, but be a dear and let him know that we’re on our way up and to make the woman presentable. If you wouldn’t mind.” He could call up, but there was no guarantee that the phone would be answered.
There was another reason why Light requested M’gann’s presence beyond her obvious talents. She was unique and best suited to aid with the interview. Opening the door, he motioned for M’gann to step through.
M’GANN: “Presentable to whose standards?”
I could call, too. I’ve got Conner Luthor on speed-dial, much to the chagrin of basically everyone at the Earth School I’ve been attending. I’m not sure how necessary it actually is anymore, with the cover blown but that’s not a point I’ve actually brought up. I happen to like going to school. It lets me practice. And show off. But mostly practice. Despite the fact that my cell phone is a pretty permanent fixture in hand, and my not actually looking up from it at nearly any point on the ride over here, or even now as I’m climbing out of the car, and then into the building that houses Conner’s pent-house apartment (which he never actually uses, ordinarily).
Celebrity gossip sites. Fashion. News. My thumb’s slowed down considerably on the scroll speed now that I’m in view of anyone beyond Dr. Light. Phoning? Very mundane. Especially when you’re used to working on a field team and operating with a link between the members. There’s probably only one mind I can find faster than ‘Superman’s.’
Dr. Light’s coming. He said to make ‘the woman’ ‘presentable.’ Have you been being a bad boy? I thought you weren’t into aliens anymore.
CONNER: The Penthouse.
That kind of undersells what it actually is. The entire uppermost floor of LexCorp is the reality. The entire floor, which wasn’t built originally to be some sort of luxury suite. This building was put together originally as an office building, a science laboratory and was meant to be the monument to my father’s legacy. A palace in the center of Metropolis. It’s shining beacon. At some point Lex himself had the upper floor retrofit in to living quarters, so that he would never have to venture away from his labs. At least until he made the requisite move to the White House. President for Life is a bit of a downgrade for the record.
When I was created, I lived in a laboratory. Ensconced in a tube where I was virtually raised over the course of two years. The virtual training was a simulator. One that gave me fifteen years of virtual life. Simulated memories from my genetic donors. The backwater town, I suppose came from the original Superman. While the ‘do whatever I want’ attitude was from Lex. Until finally, I could handle being toyed with no further and staged a break out. One that cost Nowhere an entire Lab and decades of research. A costly learning experience for both sides. As I was also forced to realize that the real world doesn’t just reset every time I do something wrong. Nowhere learned that I’m a bit more than just a sockpuppet soldier. Which made me valuable enough to become my Father’s son. A publicity stunt -and- a soldier at the same time.
Enter the Penthouse. Which has once more been remodeled. Because my trust fund spent the first year of my freedom being spent on every single thing a boy might want to indulge in for fun. It’s spent the last year mostly unused, as I’ve been staying a little closer to Cassandra. Now it’s a place of learning and safety for Koriand’r. Who, contrary to Damien Wayne’s warning, has had nothing to fear about this destination. Except for perhaps growing fat from all the Cheesecake, Icecream, Binge Watching and Video Games we’ve done the last twenty four hours. Most of which was spent with her in need of Human Clothing. Which only got remedied when I was able to super-speed out and get her some of Cassie’s things.
How was I supposed to know one-size doesn’t fit all? Pfft.
We’re in the middle of Stranger Things season two when the ‘Call Comes In.’ That’s no ice cream headache that has me grasping my forehead and wincing. It’s telepathy. [ I’m still working on learning how to be a good boy, bad is really my basic setting. She’s extremely presentable, if you ask me, but if you insist…” ]
“Hey, Princess. We’re about to have company. Would you like to put some of those clothes on that I brought or…?” Despite anything I may or may not have just communicated to M’Gann, I’m all too happy to let Starfire do what she wants. If for no other reason than because it’ll annoy someone else. “My friend M’Gann is coming up to meet you and she’s bringing pet, Arthur.”
KORIAND’R: The clothing was very uncomfortable. She had a great deal of difficulty understanding why it was more ‘acceptable’ to wear so many garments. It certainly wasn’t tailored to her form, the pants were tight and slid down her hips when she walked. The top was tight around her breasts and it rubbed against her skin uncomfortably. The only appealing thing she saw about human clothing was in a magazine she had found in the apartment. The pieces the women wore were much smaller and far more decorative. Imagine her disgust when she learned they were undergarments and they were typically covered by more layers of clothing. Were humans that squishy? Were they incapable of protecting themselves against the elements? It was almost sad.
It had been a nice time though. She was able to heal and charge up in the sun, she even had a proper bath and felt more like herself again…whatever it was she could scrape together after the ordeal she had been through. Things would never be the same, she was no longer a child or a teenager and she grew up during those years under very harsh conditions. A weaker mind may have broken within months, she always fought against it, she always had hope. It was probably the best that Superman behaved himself. An unwelcome touch may have sent a wall crumbling. Her rage was a terrifying thing capable of a lot of destruction. She had identified with the young girl in the television program they had watched, the girl’s rage was similarly destructive.
“I don’t like them…they itch. These ‘jeans’ are rubbing me in places that is very uncomfortable and it’s making it difficult for me to focus.”
She’d rather keep watching the program even though she had been watching most of it curled up and eyes wide and in a near constant mode of suspense wondering what was going to happen to the children.
“A pet? Like Dart? Does she bring him everywhere? What does he eat?”
LIGHT: “We shall find out won’t we?” He wanted to know exactly who and what he was dealing with. It didn’t matter what the woman wear. It was more of an inquiry than anything as they stepped into the elevator. He glanced towards the phone that the M’gann was focused on. Not that it mattered. It’s what people did these days get lost in their phones, their possessions. It’s the way of the world isn’t it?
“Curious. Was Cassandra in school today?” He was genuinely curious. Reviewing the images, she was there and then she was gone. He was certain that something took place, what he doubted anyone give him an accurate account of what happened, but this was the job. This is what he was paid to do.
Pressing the button for the penthouse he took a step back waiting for the doors to close. Protocols. Yes. They must be followed they had to be followed, because those were the rules. A decision would need to be made about to handle the matter. If he followed the protocol, then that would mean removing her from the building to take her to one of the facilities that she may or may not return from.
He had been here before in a sense. Before the incident. It wasn’t something anyone could have anticipated. Light knew that a certain point the woman would want to leave the apartment. That she would want to see the world that lie beyond the walls. They always did. He also knew that the Director would want her brought in to be processed. She was new, she was different.
It wasn’t that he felt conflicted, but Light knew things were changing. The world wasn’t the same as it was before. It was much different. “I would make a bet, but it would be a sucker’s bet. I’m sure he’s called me your pet or lap dog.” Same difference. He knew how this went. It wouldn’t be the first time. It didn’t matter the doors were opening and there was someone new to meet.
For a moment it almost seemed like he would have said something else, that there was a question on the tip of the tongue, but he switched it at the last moment. Company many through and through? Perhaps. One never knew when Light was involved. He did his job well. Asked his questions, made his assessments and shuffled off to his lab.
He could be cold. He could be distant. He also could be quite jovial when given the chance. Right now, he decided to smile, why not? It was a pleasant evening wasn’t it.
“Showtime I suppose.”
M’GANN: [ Excuses, excuses. I -don’t- insist, just passing along the message. Like. What am I? A glorified, unignorable , intercom? ]
The sarcasm and exasperation doesn’t entirely play out convincing though. It doesn’t actually offend me to be asked. It means I’ve got an excuse to use the power I get to practice with the least. Not to say I get to use any of them, except for rearranging my appearance on a daily basis. I’m wearing the face of Kelsey, former Queen Bee of St. Mary’s, who now has to share the title with some competition. It’s the easiest one to stick to for public outings, and is usually the way I look when I’m inside of NOWHERE’s facilities. It makes people a lot more uncomfortable if I look like myself, for one thing. I don’t actually like doing that. Making people uncomfortable. Sometimes I have to, though.
“Uh huh. History test today. She never misses history tests. Definitely less excited than usual about practice after school.”
Definitely looking like someone had done something to make her not super happy, too. But that’s actually not a total rarity lately. Talk about #FirstWorldProblems, right? As to his question about what Conner’s called him or not? I just shrug my shoulders. I either don’t know, or don’t care to know, or possibly don’t care to share, but it’s more likely the first two. Of the three of us, I’m actually the most prone to actually be helpful on our team.
I don’t knock, once we’ve ridden the elevator up. He knows we’re coming. I told him we’re coming. There’s also a million levels of security that would have kept Dr. Light at least out, if he didn’t want him in. That implies permission, to me. Showtime indeed.
“Knock, knock! Ooh, Conner you made a new friend. You can call me Kelsey. So nice to meet you.”
With the Kelsey face? Often comes the Kelsey manners. I’m looking Starfire up, and then down, and then up again, with a look on my face that says I don’t mean any part of this is actually nice.
[ Did you seriously put her in Cassie’s clothes? I’m pretty sure those are her favorite jeans, and I’m pretty sure she’s going to castrate you. Can I have your apartment when you’re gone? ]
CONNER: “Yeah. It was a pain to get used to real clothing at first. In the V.R. I didn’t have to worry about something fitting, it just did. Never had to worry about it chafing because it simply didn’t. I mean, I’m more or less invulnerable. So it sounds silly to me that I’m agreeing with you about clothing, but it’s more about comfort with me than anything. I think it’s the same with all Humans. Comfort. It’s comfortable to wear them, for most people. It’s also comfortable not to have to see each other. I don’t mean me, Princess, I mean that, that’s what I think it comes down to for the other Humans. One of the good things about my creation, was the gene-splicing. I’m as close as to genetically perfect as a Human or Kryptnonian can be.”
“Plus, I see through almost everything. So, my reality is a lot closer to what you’d consider normal. I see people are they really are,” a little smile says I’m being nice, but the truth is that normally it allows me to confirm people’s inferiority. Starfire is not inferior. Neither is M’Gann, who happens to be one of the only people on the planet who’s clothing I can’t see through. Since she’s not actually wearing any. At least, not normally. “A little like Dart, yes. Mostly? He eats Hopes and Dreams. He won’t bite unless you ask him too though.”
Inside of the ‘Penthouse,’ is much like you’d expect it to be. A bachelor pad. Except this bachelor happens to have a bottomless bank account. Yes, that’s a Pink Maserati parked in a corner of the penthouse, with no viable method of getting outside. Somewhere around here is six foot tall transformer model of Optimus Prime. There’s one of those ‘Almost Real Sex Dolls’ somewhere around here with a remote control in every orifice. The entire floor is mostly open floor plan, with only a handful of actual ‘rooms’ that afford any sort of privacy.
There’s a second story, but that’s mostly a bedroom. That I’ve been tempted to sue that movie Shades of Grey for ripping off and calling it a ‘Play Room.’ Throw a couple parties. Invite hack-writers over to worship you. Get your intellectual property stolen. Such is the life of a Luthor.
“Oh. They’re here,” I’m up off the couch at the speed of light, there’s probably still a fritos bag fluttering in the air as Kelsey makes her entrance. The living room area is conspicuously clean. All of a sudden. “Koriand’r allow me to introduce you to Kelsey Stevens and Doc Light.”
[ “Shhhh. She walked around naked for the first few hours. This was the only thing I could find! It was either than or I took the naked alien girl shopping… and then you’d have had to mind wipe half the city. No you can’t have my apartment. If she castrates me, you’re going to have to teach me how to be Supergirl.” ]
KORIAND’R: “I’ve been modified as well…but I was not created like you. My conditioning was…different.”
Kori avoided getting into the details as much as she could but she had dropped a few hints here and there. If this is what she thinks it is, she may have to reveal more than she might be comfortable with. They want to make sure she is not a threat to their humans, she understands that. She’s just worried that this may lead to a less than comfortable situation, trading one prison for another.
“Hello friend Kelsey, hello Pet Doc Light. As Superman has said, I am Koriand’r of Tamaran.”
She stood a little straighter and tried not to pick at the clothing. She was guarded, whereas maybe five minutes before she had been perfectly relaxed settling into the plans that Superman had made to help her acclimate to the culture.
“I apologize for any inconvenience my arrival may have caused. I had not expected a hostile greeting. I didn’t know what to expect when I set course here, I was under duress when I made the decision. As I told Superman and Wonder Woman, I come seeking sanctuary.”
LIGHT: Most would marvel at the apartment that they were walking into. An entire in one of the most well-known towers in the city. This was more than money this was what wealth could provide, but for Light the only thing he focused upon was the woman that was standing before him. He studied her carefully, with a smile that was both warm and pleasant.
Her response receives a nod and slight sound of acknowledgement. Light hadn’t actually met the young woman. He was informed that his involvement would not be necessary, but it didn’t mean that he didn’t keep tabs. Difficult not to, given the televised statement she gave.
He kept his distance for Koriand’r. Given the way things were going the fact that she didn’t seemed to want to escape while change that? His intentions weren’t to create an environment where she would feel unwelcomed. Far from it. Conner offered her a place to stay somewhere where she wouldn’t have to be afraid or feel as if she couldn’t trust anyone. To come and shattered that, to force the protocol would create far more problems than they needed at the moment.
There was another cancer that they had to focus their attention upon. One that was growing and threatened to spread. Of course, that was something that he shouldn’t trouble himself with. He should focus on activities that he was more suited for. At least that is what he was told when brought his concerns to the assistant director.
However, this was neither the time of place for such things. While ‘Kelsey’ sized Koriand’r up Light took a step forward offering her his hand. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Koriand’r of Tamaran. Superman has shared with us your plight. That’s why we’ve come to determine how we can help you.” Light’s features remained the same as they were when the door open, warm and open. There was no ogling. No looking her up and down like a mean girl. If, anything, Light was concerned about her comfort level given that everything she was wearing was probably a size or two too small.
“I see. Perhaps we should get you some clothing that’s a tad more comfortable. I’m sure that Conner and Kelsey will be more than happy to take care of that for you while we talk.” There’s some boutiques in her somewhere that they can get a few things from isn’t there? The building was big enough to hold more than one and the good doctor was sure they would open up for Luthor’s son. It would be stupid of them not to.
“Unless, you object, Koriand’r. I just want to ask you a few questions. If that is okay?” Despite what most would think it was completely genuine. “And prefer to be called Doc Light.” Not really, but it’s probably the best that he would get from Conner.
“I’m very interested in how you came to be here. The organization that I represent is very interested as well. They’ve dispatched me to determine how you came to seek refuge on our planet. It will go a long way in determining how we might be able to help you.”
M’GANN: [ “Because you couldn’t just go to the store solo in the amount of time it just took you to clean your place. So you put the sexy alien in your girlfriend’s clothes. Sometimes you are Superdumb.” ]
Kelsey’s bitchy tones would probably have gone right along with those words, like peanut butter and bananas, but my mental voice is a lot more cheerful and amused, rather than judgmental. Conner’s my friend. Usually. The Supergirl comment still gets a very clear moment of surprise translated across the link though.
[ “What, you don’t know? I guess you’ve been busy with Naked Alien Netflix and Chill. -That- position’s already filled. And probably the only reason you’re getting away with adding to your harem right now.” ]
Because last night? This one may have crash landed in spectacular fashion but it was the take-off of another ‘S’ that had a whole lot more attention. I’m a lot more interested in Koriand’r of Tamaran than I might actually let on. Mentally, and certainly physically where I’ve got on a face of semi-disdainful disinterest. The truth is we don’t get terribly many aliens here on Earth. Not that aren’t invading, hostile, and therefor put down in an appropriate fashion. It’s almost an aside that I form a secondary link, this time between the Doctor, Conner, and myself. Running in tandem with the one between myself and Superman, and not to be confused with the casual listening I’m doing to Kori’s mind which I keep separate from the others. While checking my twitter feed. Or. Kelsey’s, I should say.
[ “Sincere. On all counts. No deception registered.” ]
“Ugh. I mean. I can. I guess.”
KORIAND’R: Conner had filled her in on their organization, on their purpose. This was their protocol, measures that must be taken and she was understanding of the need to keep their people safe. Her people might have done the same thing if they had been able to avoid invasion. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way.
She did reach out to touch Doc Light’s hand, being gentle with her grip but she was curious as to what she may pick up from him. Her hands were always warm, like skin touched with the warm sun. What she felt coming from him was not hostile, nothing she needed to be terribly concerned about. She finally returned his introduction with a warm smile. He had passed her test and perhaps she may be comfortable enough now to share her story.
“I don’t really need more clothing. I prefer to go without,” they were words of a soft protest, she may not have a choice in this particular matter. Humans were just so….reserved.
“We may talk, Doc Light. Are you a good Doc? I don’t want to end up like the girl, though it would be highly improbable.”
She just assumed everyone knew what she was talking about, she had just seen the show with Conner and for all she knew, all Doctors were bad people that liked to experiment on others.
CONNER: [ “I don’t even buy my own clothes! How the hell would I even begin to know what to buy a … a… would you -look- at her? Cassie’d probably castrate me twice for anything -I- picked out for her to wear!” ]
Believe it or not, I’m not actually being rude to Arthur, when I put my hand up and give him a very stern shush signal. The look upon my face probably gives the intelligent man a signal of it’s own. The Martian before us, has just said something in to my head that brings everything about me to a complete and total halt. Was Kelsey teasing me? Was that her doing to me, what she used to do to Cassie at school? I’ve never had a tough time reading the Martian because her internal voice is one that always speaks more clearly of her moods.
I’ve got to actually lick my lips, because they’re dry, for the first time in my existence. A lot of things in this world I fail to understand, to grasp the nuance of. Emotions. Manners. Those are things I’ve been taught, but was also taught that ignoring them meant what? Someone was going to scowly face at me? Woe is me. But, M’Gann just said something I’ve caught on too quick. Now there’s only one important question and frankly it is far more important to me than Starfire -or- Doctor Light, in any way shape or form.
[ “Pretender, Kryptonian or New Clone?” ]
Three options. One means that I’ve got to have stern words with someone about the gimic I’ve infringed upon, being infringed upon. The other two? Those are far bigger, far more immediate issues. A true Kryptonian could mean that Nowhere, my Father and maybe even the world itself, is in great peril. If Nowhere has finally been able to replicate me? Then Cassie could be in trouble.
It’s almost an after-thought, that I answer one other thing even if I wasn’t asked. “She’s here because a vigilante in Gotham, wearing a red helmet. Tried to convince her that we were going to put her in a cage. Maybe even experiment on her. I saw his face, if you need to run facial recognition software.”
“I’ve assured the Princess that she will not be harmed, so long as she is here under the banner of peace. I even called my Father to make him aware of the diplomatic potential, that might be gained from such a scenario.” Head canting to the side, because I want to be very clear about what I’m explaining. Doctor Light, I’m certain, understands the principle of ‘Royal Hostage.’ “I was thinking of taking her and introducing her, personally. Publicly.”
KORIAND’R: “You said if I stayed with him I would bring harm to his family, that I would be hunted and his family may be hurt in the process. I do not wish to bring harm to him or his family. Why would you reveal his identity? That would most certainly bring harm to him. He was not hostile, he was trying to help,” her eyes narrowed at Conner. He wasn’t playing very fair. She knew that the masked man was a vigilante, she knew he may even be a criminal but he did seem to have his heart in the right place.
“He gave me his clothing so I would not be cold because he knew I was weakened…and damp.”
Kori was touched by the gesture and honored the kindness in her actions now, if she could even protect him. She didn’t have much ground to stand on at the moment.
LIGHT: Kelsey was wonderfully bitchy, but Arthur knew better. However, rather than push the matter he kept silent. The time wasn’t right, there were questions to be asked and hopefully answered. He needed to know what would happen as he discussed the situation. There were some things that couldn’t be avoided no matter how one may want him to.
Arthur had not uttered a word as the information flew between the two. There were several conversations taking place. He knew that M’gann and Conner were having a separate conversation while she included Light on a few pieces of information that she felt was relevant for him. The Supergirl that was something that he was not involved in, because he had been directed to Metropolis to speak with the second alien. Which came first didn’t matter, there was potentially a second alien, more than that a potential Kryptonian.
It was probably one of the reasons why the assistant director sent him here. Rather than discuss the matter he wanted Light out of his hair. No need to raise the alarm, it would be handled. In the only way N.O.W.H.E.R.E knew how to handle it.
He wasn’t at the point where he wanted to pinch the bridge of his nose, but he was getting there. There were some things that didn’t need to be shared openly. “I’m am the doctor that I need to be. Good. Bad. That depends on someone’s perspective. What I an offer you is truth, Koriand’r of Tamaran. I think that may better than Good or Bad.” Arthur could be many things, but right now he was being as diplomatic as his position would allow him. He did not have the luxury that others did. There was more to consider than himself.
“Your protector that attempted to aid you in Gotham also murdered someone earlier the same day. Took command of a cadre of warriors that have been terrorizing that city. He breaks our laws. Laws that have been established to protect the general population. He does not trust law enforcement to do the job it has been trained to do. He thinks himself above the law as judge, jury, and now executioner.”
That is her protector. “He is a threat to the people around. Does not concern himself with the overwhelming danger he places others or entire city in. His careless actions have consequences. Bystander, friend and family alike.” That is the way it is seen by the authorities.
“So, while you see him as a kind soul, I see someone that is quite selective who he shows his kindness to.”
“As for your well-being? Superman, Conner, is this world’s protector. He handles threats that most cannot. If he does not see you as a threat, then I do not see you as a threat. However, I am concerned.” Quite concerned.
“I believe you mean this world no harm, but it is your request for sanctuary that concerns me. It suggests that you need sanctuary from something or someone. That is why I wish to speak with you. I want to know how you came to be here and why you seek sanctuary.” He paused for a moment and decided to go a step further.
“Are you need of a place to stay or are you seeking safety from someone, Koriand’r? Should I be concerned for my world’s safety?” He needed to know what they were dealing with.
It was his turn to hold his hand up for a moment signaling Conner to let this play out. He heard what he said. He understood what Conner wanted to do. Would the others be pleased probably not, but at the same time he had to consider how this would be received by the public at large. That could place Koriand’r in danger. The world, this nation was still a bit gun shy when it came to aliens. If their new Tamaran friend was running from danger and that danger came here the public would quickly turn upon her.
Though there was a chance a possibility to remind people of their potential. Of how great they could be when given the chance.
[Let us here her story first.] He said to them both and for a moment there was almost a hint of a smile directed at Conner. Not malicious. Not threatening. Genuine pride.
He’s learning. He’s trying.
M’GANN: [ Oh, I’m looking. And she looks like six feet and more of ‘no win situation.’ Unless you dump Wondy, I guess. Then you could maybe -salvage- one with this one. ]
He isn’t really wrong. If he dressed Koriand’r in new things that fit her, that’d say he was looking close enough to know what would fit her. Putting her in his girlfriend’s clothes, which don’t fit at all, and probably without asking may still have been the slightly better option. It probably becomes more and more clear that we’re having a conversation no one else can hear, when my head cocks to the side about the same time Conner puts up the shushing finger. It’s one of the reasons the ever-present cell phone makes a good distraction. I might be finding that terribly interesting and not the boy in front of me.
[ “Not a clone. Or not one they knew about. Which means not one of -ours- or not one at all. No Kryptonian energy signature. But no meta signature either, despite clear possession of abilities.” ]
‘Business’ M’gann sounds a lot more formal, even in the mind’s voice, than anything else that comes from me. He’s not supposed to know about this, I think, or they probably would have pulled him out of his Alien Princess rescue. When clearly no one even made him aware of what went on last night while he was in Gotham. I probably shouldn’t be telling him. But I would want to know if another Martian appeared.
As for the rest? I really don’t have anything else to say. Aloof on the outside, or maybe just incredibly self-absorbed once I go back to my phone but I’m waiting. Doing the job that I’m actually here for. Doctor Light can ask all the questions he wants, the answers could always just be lies. I’m here to discover whether or not they are. They didn’t say that. But there’s really only two reasons that I’m sent out for something like this. Listening to thoughts? Or erasing them.
CONNER: “Kori, on your planet, do they let criminals run around freely doing as they please? Or are you intentionally being obtuse to the fact that he admitted to being a criminal.” The sigh I make is almost dramatic, because I feel that’s how she’s behaving and let me tell you… that’s a surefire sense of Irony. “He gave you his coat, because he was hoping to track some sort of bug that he planted on it. Out of some sort of misdirected sense of seeking intelligence for further terrorist-ish behavior.”
“To be both fair? I told you that if you went with him those things would happen, for sure. I did not say, at any time, that the Authorities would not pursue a Criminal. I neither stated, nor even implied, protection from prosecution of a criminal from this planet. You’re who I offered to protect.”
Ugh. I’m getting angry and it’s bleeding in to the discussion with Koriad’r. It isn’t even M’Gann’s fault, but she’s sure the messenger I want to punch in the face right now. Especially when she keeps right on going. Dump Wondy? Doctor Light might not be at the point of pinching the bridge of his nose, but I am. Because I can feel my eyes itching with that solar radiation that wants to be expelled. Except, I am learning. That won’t solve anything. Having a ‘temper tantrum’ as Doc Fairchild calls it, will serve no purpose at all. None. In fact it’ll just create more problems. Like having to replace ‘Original-Alien-Friend,’ who by very definition cannot be replaced as she was the original. That only happens once.
[ “You’re not wrong. Koriand’r is definitely a no win scenario for me. Apparently the Tamaranian people have some sort of tactile empathy. When she kissed me, in front of Cassie, she was able to empathically absorb our language.” ]
I’d been wanting to test a theory, but there hadn’t been any way of doing it. Could Kori pick up every language I knew from a single Kiss? If she could, then it’s safe to say she knows most Human Languages. Because that was part of my cultural training. If not, then it means I would need to kiss her repeatedly in order to teach them to her. If ever there was a job for Superman, let me tell you. That’s one I wouldn’t have turned down even six months ago.
Now? Now I’m finding myself a little jaded about the situation. Especially since there’s a whole different topic that has me more than a little worked up. [ “No signature. Yet she had powers. That’s starting to become a frequent occurrence. Tech that could do that would be expensive. -I- couldn’t afford it for Cassie. Any sort of Magic that could manage it would be Raven’s territory. Can you have her look in to it?
And, if there’s any connection to Gotham City. I need to know before the rest of them.” ]
With that? I find myself falling silent. Giving the ‘good Doctor’ what he’s asked for. For once in my life I’m happy to comply with shutting up. Casually motioning to the Doctor and Starfire for the two of them to make themselves at home on the sofa. “We’ll be right back. Proper clothing shall be attained…”
The words have barely even settled in their ears, before the wind kicks up in the pure speed with which I’ve grabbed M’Gann and darted away. Kelsey can pick out clothing. I’ll pay.
KORIAND’R: She had no words about the man in the red mask. She simply didn’t know the circumstances from before that event, didn’t know his past actions or deeds. That ignorance came back to bite her pride. She had been hoping for the best and her judgement was sorely wrong. The wind was blown out of her sails but there were more important matters to speak about. Adding to that, Conner made her feel quite horrible about it. It was enough to make her cheeks redden in embarrassment.
“I was not aware of the scope of his crimes. I am sorry, Conner. I should not have defended him.”
Kori took a deep breath and ran her fingers through her hair before she began. It was a long story, it wasn’t a pleasant one and she may be able to spare the details of some of the trials she went through.
“I am a Princess in my planet, second in line as heir to the throne….or was. Our planet was invaded by great warriors, my parents were killed. My sister was forced into the throne. She was able to negotiate some terms that allowed her to remain the figurehead of our people while the new masters were able to benefit from the resources of the planet. The terms were only achieved by exchanging me as a royal hostage…to ensure compliance. I was young, a…teenager at the time.”
Kori nodded firmly but her heart felt like it was sinking when she started getting to the next part.
“They collected aliens from many different worlds, putting them to test in various ways. They tortured me, to test my endurance. They put me to fight, to test my skills as a warrior. Those that could not fight or endure the experiments were simply allowed to perish. They only kept the strongest. Surviving all those tests, they moved on to genetic modifications. Not many survived those trials. So….simply put, it was awful. Ten years of this with my captors. I was finally able to formulate a plan to take one of their ships, I set the course as far away as I could get. The Daem are cruel masters, strong warriors and masterful scientists. I can not return home or they will surely destroy my people. I have endured their trials and may be considered valuable, much of what I can do is shaped by their skill. If they capture me, I would be put back to the labs, to the pits and maybe worse as punishment for my disobedience.”
She didn’t know all of the answers, she didn’t know if they could have tracked her or if they would consider her valuable enough to retrieve her from this planet. It wasn’t likely but she was not aware of what future plans they may have had for their Starfire. She crossed her arms across her body. She hated feeling vulnerable, weak and ignorant of the information that they may need to protect this planet.
“I am sorry. I wish I knew more to help you. I don’t know where else to go. I have no home and no place.”
LIGHT: The entire exchange has probably been a bit much for Koriand’r. Light’s eyes flicker between the Conner and M’gann. Something’s shifted and Light could guess what that was about. He could give three good guesses, but probably only needed one. He said nothing. He didn’t even intrude to project his thoughts.
‘He’ll know if you don’t trust him. He’ll know if you begin withholding information. You’re still trying to control him instead of helping to guide him. There are some things he has to figure out for himself. He needs support not a manager.’
Those were things that got Light sent back to his lab to work. To continue working for the betterment of humankind.
However, as whisks M’gann away Arthur turned his attention back to Koriand’r. “It’s alright, Koriand’r. You’re new to our world and our ways. It will take time to understand, to navigate our customs. Conner, just wants to do right by you. He in his own way is concerned. If you allowed you remain in Gotham you would have been in danger and he’s right. He’s sworn to uphold the laws of his nation to protect people. Now one of those people includes you.” It’s a simple as that.
Walking over towards one of the chairs in the room Arthur took a seat as Koriand’r began to explain how she came to be on Earth. Upon hearing her tale, he considered it for a moment. Though M’gann was out of the room she was probably near enough to let him know whether or not she was telling the truth. Yet, there was something about the sincerity in her voice. Either way he would have it confirmed. He could not and would not let logic slip away. It helped inform him of the choices that he should make.
He remained silent while she continued to recount what happened to her family and her people.
“No, you’ve said enough. You have nothing to be sorry for. I’m sorry for all that you’ve endured. I can’t imagine what it must have been like.” Except Light knew all too well what it sounded like. It was like looking into a bit of a mirror. He could understand why she would not want to be subjected to any tests or examinations. There would be concerns over potential contamination, but that would be handled.
“There is a potential that your enslavers may come looking for you.” That possibility is what concerned, Light. How could he square this? They were going to want his assessment and he knew all too well what could happen. This was more than your typical asylum case.
“Alright. This is what we’re going to do. You are going to remain here for the time being. However, no matter what Conner says wear clothing. Conner and Kelsey will return with clothing that is less ill-fitting that then the clothing you have on now. Clothing is very much a custom on our planet.” They could start there.
“Two, we will need to talk about these slavers. Any information you can provide would be beneficial. It will help you and it will help us.”
“Three, Conner, wants to introduce you to the world, but he will need to do so as Superman. Which means that he will probably introduce you as friend, who is an alien. A refugee who has found refuge on Earth. There is someone else I would like you to meet, but it is not for me to initiate that contact on their behalf. Someone who can probably help you acclimate to life on earth. I will contact them and hopefully they will be available. They are quite busy, but I think it would be mutually beneficial for you to meet one another.” Officially.
“Let’s start with one and two. Work towards three and see if I can get that introduction made.”
[That is if you’re up for it M’gann?]
M’GANN: Sympathy actually manages to crack the uberbitch exterior of the face I’m wearing, as we’re related this alien woman’s story of how she came to be here.
[ “Her story is truth. She did not mean any harm to this planet. She did not have anywhere else to go. She went as far away from her captors as she could possibly get.” ]
Relayed to both Conner and Doctor Light, though I would assume Conner’s already formed his own opinions. Probably judged Koriand’r’s truth for himself with his own abilities. Heart rate. Things like that. Though the stress of a crash landing on a strange planet could have tampered with those sort of reactions. He also might not have really cared. I don’t know that I entirely understand Conner lately, or the things he’s doing. And that’s not something I get to say very often.
[ “In -front- of Cassie? And then you spent the whole day with her after? Hmm… perhaps you’re very lucky that your girlfriend seemed very pre-occupied today. Yes. I will ask Raven what she thinks. The only sighting so far was in Metropolis, though.” ]
“Wait. What? We are?”
Speaking out loud again, though I’ve already been carted out the doorway before the other two likely get a chance to hear them. It’s not exactly as jarring an experience as it would be for most other people. But my senses and reaction times are so far advanced beyond ‘normal’ human ones. I’m also letting him do it at all, rather than simply shifting my form into intangibility.
[ “Would it help her to understand why we have to do this, and the good that we’re doing, if I showed her she’s not the only refugee? She is so….sad…” ]
An earnest question, fed again into Conner’s mind, though the link that I maintain between the rest of us brings me Doc Light’s words as well, even with distance.
[ “If you think that’s best, Doc. I do not mind.’ ]
KORIAND’R: She was internally panicking a little. Murder was bad here, they didn’t like murder. How many did she kill with her own hand? By her own power? She had lost count, it was such a necessity for survival, so many that were like her, ended by her own hands. She had even thought for a time that maybe, maybe she was doing them a favor. They wouldn’t have to endure the torture if she ended them. She wasn’t speaking about it but the tears were welling in her eyes.
“Th-they’re reptilian in nature. They’re genetic sciences are very advanced, they’ve been using aliens to improve their own species for a very long time. They used that skill to enhance my own natural abilities. They have almost a…hive mind state. A tiny portion of that was passed to me, I am able to absorb some information from touch, language mostly…that is a Tamaranian gift, however I can also feel what that person is feeling. I am able to harness the ultra-violet radiation from the stars, that was further improved by turning that energy into a weapon. My Starbolts. Uhm….they’ve adapted to take host bodies. Highest ranking taking the most powerful specimens. They enjoy war, they enjoy destruction, better resources help them be stronger. I do not know what they had intended for me. I’ve heard things but I do not care to share that unpleasantness.”
Clothing may be a small price to pay, she did not object to that. Perhaps they would allow her to enjoy her freedom from their cloth while in a private area away from the public.
“I am attempting to assimilate what I can from the culture here, Doc Light. Conner has been most helpful.”
LIGHT: [I think it would help. I think it would be good for both of you.] He shares. [All of you.]
M’gann’s telepathic confirmation absolves Light of any doubts that he had, but there were few and far between, but it’s almost troubling how it relates to the darker aspects of the organization that he’s involved with. In steels himself focused on the matter at hand. Light had to wonder how many times Conner will be allowed to play this card.
As she spoke he considered the species wondering if anyone had come across them before. He couldn’t say that he was familiar with them, but it wasn’t like Arthur was privy to everything. There were archives to consult, but at the same time given their warlike nature he knew that would not set well with the Director. Light would have to determine how best to address the matter with the assistant director. Perhaps it will get him a meeting with the Director. This may not be the last time that this happens. They all knew it happened before. It would continue to happen. They couldn’t let fear be the deciding factor nor could they slide everyone into a lab to take what they want.
That wasn’t the mandate. They needed to ensure that they were prepared.
“I understand. It doesn’t happen in a day, Koriand’r. You will need to give it time, but you’ve already made one friend.” Two if you counted the Gothamite. He did want facial recognition and the jacket.
“Let us help you and I assure you that you will make more and I believe we will be able to work out an agreement that will be mutually beneficial to everyone.”
CONNER: We’re not gone long. Apple Pay and an iPhone make shopping one of the few things that I can do at full speed. More precisely, I can do it at whatever speed that M’gann can process the sight of the whatever it is she’s picking out. Then we’re through the register before anyone even notices us. Other than seeing the transaction pulling through on the tiller tapes a few heart-beats after their hair rustles. Most of our time isn’t spent shopping for Yoga Pants and half-tees. It’s spent pausing in the elevator that carries us up and down the LexCorp building. During which time we’ve got a few moments to converse without my worrying over someone catching even a facial expression.
[ “If it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any at all, Meggy. The thing is? You know better than anyone that I mask a lot of insecurity by imposing confidence, even when it’s not there. Because shit, I’m Superman or I’m a Luthor. It’s different with Cass, I -know- she’ll understand.That I was saving this girl, giving her a chance, that she probably wouldn’t have gotten a year ago. Especially, when she finds out that the girl was naked most of the time she’s been here and I haven’t touched her. Not like that, at least.” ]
Once the elevator dings? This is once again someone else’s show. Because M’Gann has agreed to Doctor Light’s plan. While I actually don’t like this particular plan, I can’t really say I see any fault in it. Giving Koriand’r a potential friend, a real friend, could be beneficial. Especially if it frees me to get out of here and make deal with the newly presented problem. A literal Supergirl? Ugh. On top of my super girl being pissy. M’Gann’s description of Cassie being distracted makes me think, not for the first time, that I should ask a serious question that’s fraught with danger. I’ve held off before but now…
[ “Uhm. So. I’ve heard, that girls have girl-problems sometimes. And so. Well. If Cassie’s a demigod… does that make her girl problems worse? Less frequent? Could I be dealing with a case of Godly Girl-Problems? Is that even a thing? Hey, Doc.You’re a Doctor right? Is this something you’ve studied? A friend of mine said the Gods couldn’t allow Demigods to exist, because… of bad things. Was it Demigoddess Girl-Problems? Is that what broke the Olympians?” ]
KORIAND’R: “I don’t want to be a freeloader. If I can help, I wish to. I am strong and gifted and I do not wish for my abilities to go to waste. It would be a shameful thing for a warrior to do.”
Her attention shifted when Kelsey and Conner came back, she greeted them with a warm smile.
“Doc Light, you are an honorable man. I have faith we can reach an agreement that will suit our needs.”
Starfire just hoped it allowed her to retain the liberties she had been enjoying since arriving. She did want to get out and explore but it may take time and small steps to get to that point. There was a plan formulated though and she was satisfied with that plan. There was only so much she could hope for as a guest on this planet.
M’GANN: I suppose that surprises me a little bit. It’s not as if the world knows there’s another alien on the planet. One that’s been here longer, unknown, than the one they think they know that patrols the skies. And Conner isn’t even completely foreign. He was born here. He’s half Kryptonian by nature, not nurture or culture. Much like Koriand’r, I was born on another planet. Raised there. Learned a different set of customs and traits and setbacks. That empathy alone has me picking out things that should be comfortable for the other girl. If we were shopping for say…Cassie… I would have gone the other route. I make my own ‘clothes,’ almost all of the time, so I know very well how uncomfortable wearing manufactured ones can be. Yoga pants are basically the best invention humans have had. Soft leggings… so stretchy. So comfy. So good at showing off a nice figure…
[ “She probably will. Though. Maybe leave out the naked part. At least until you’re sure she’s over the -kissing- part.” ]
I wasn’t exactly happy about Conner and his girlfriend. At first. But I spend a lot of time in this boy’s head, and it’s impossible not to notice that he’s as close to happy as he’d ever been the whole time I’ve known him. And I’ve known him his entire conscious, cognizant lifetime. That doesn’t mean I’m nice to her though. That’s not the part I’m supposed to be playing. Shifting my ‘clothes’ and appearance? Takes less time than it does for the elevator door to open. Reverting to my ‘natural’ form doesn’t take thought. It’s a subconscious default. Green skin, red hair and a different face entirely than the one I’d been wearing when we left. I just happen to wait to do it until Koriand’r can see me do it. A secret identity isn’t exactly the same thing to me, as it is to everyone else. I can make a new face anytime I want. Take over someone else’s. Know their minds so well that imitation is nearly perfect.
The demeanor is so altered that the rest might almost be secondary. Most people notice the skin before anything else though. Maybe she’ll kiss me, too, and then I can have a conversation in my native tongue for the first time in…a very long time.
[ “Maybe you should just ask her. But please. Show me the memory of her face after you do. It is possible your girlfriend is just having a bad week too, though. No…hormones or reproductive cycle issues to blame.” ]
“I am a refugee, too, Koriand’r. I would be lost if it weren’t for these people. I felt like you do. I wanted to help when I first came to Earth. And prevent the same mistakes here that befell my own world.”
ARTHUR: When the elevator opens and M’gann and Conner return Light is about to speak, but he finds himself presented with an interesting question.
[Not my area of expertise. Dr. Sandsmark would probably know better than I would. However, I suspect this is more of a girlfriend problem. Your girlfriend just happens to be a demigoddess. When, you have these situations that occur with Cassie reverse your roles. Whatever you did, ask yourself, ‘If Cassie did X how would I feel?’ and go from there.”]
That was as far as Light was willing to venture into Conner’s Creek.
“Alright then. It’s agreed. I think for the moment you should see what Conner and Kelsey have got for you and I will start to put in a few calls.” Which meant that he would make use of the den that probably never sees any use.
Nodding as M’Gann reveals her true nature to Koriand’r, Light takes this moment to excuse himself. He would be near if needed. “Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.”
There was work to be done on multiple fronts. Either way Light knew that he had to work quickly to avoid things getting escalated internally. The fact that Koriand’r was already willing to use her skills was promising.
— During Koriand’r and M’gann’s get to know you session —
While Light had adjurned to the den to make his initial and Conner had taken the moment to consider the possibility of another clone, Kryptonian or false Kryptonian, M’gaan and Koriand’r were given a chance to bond over being aliens in a strange world. Both could bond over their differences, similarities and provide M’gann and Koriand’r something that they desperately needed at this time, a friend that could relate to them.
Despite being aliens from different words, that was not the only thing that set them apart. M’gann was a far more familiar with the inner workings of N.O.W.H.E.R.E whereas Korand’r was not. That said there were some individuals that were more familiar with those experiences than most. One such individual was about to walk back into M’gann’s life…all their lives.
Light considered them to be one big happy something. That was always the thing, they never knew what quite to classify themselves ass. There was always a question mark as to what they were to one another. Colleagues? Teammates. An unfortunate group of people that circumstance and current legislation bound together in an unholy union? There was at least one person that would consider that to be the most accurate description.
[Ring. Ring. Can anyone join in, operator? Don’t worry this is a secure line just for me and you. Hello, M’gann. Shh. That’s right I’m shushing you, because I know your first instinct.] The voice was familiar. Too familiar.
[I’m somewhere. Doesn’t really matter wear. Perhaps passing through. Perhaps using a relay of some kind. Wouldn’t that be quite fascinating. Either way, I thought it would be nice if we caught up sometime. I’m working a project. You know how I love my projects. You know how ‘they’ loved my projects.]
There was the sound of clapping in her mind for a moment, like a happy child that found their favorite toy.
[Yes help that’s what I need and you’re just…oh what was he said. You’re the right Ma’aleca’andran, to help me. However, I need to be going before you start to be a bad Ma’aleca’andran and try and find me. We’ll be in touch. Promise also because I know how much you love your phone I’ll leave you with another clue. Professor Yana. Google it.]