So, About This Phone

October 17, 2015:

Captain Marvel and Hawkeye get in touch with one another regarding current goings-on relating to the JLA, Apokolips, and Caitlin Fairchild.

Hall of Justice - Metropolis

Built in the same architectural Art Deco style of buildings such as the Empire State Building and Union Terminal in Cincinnati, it harkens back to a simpler time. With its wide open rotunda as the lobby and carpeting gracing the marble and granite floors, the Hall of Justice seems to embrace the concepts of Liberty, Freedom and the Rights of all Humanity.

It is a practical building; a front desk is manned 24/7 with a less-tha-obvious security force, ready and able to help any who may seek aid from those within. Beyond, down massive lines of corridors, lies the inner workings of the JL:A. High tech labs that mix both alien and earth technologies can be found there, conference rooms, and even some living areas.


NPCs: Various unnamed JLA staffers


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Kate Bishop recently came to the terrifying realization that she's currently the only member of the council of the JLA who isn't missing. Also, there's the part where the rest are missing. These are problems. It means the league is decidedly short-handed, and what they know of the reason they're missing suggests that more heroes will be needed.

So Kate's started putting out feelers to her contacts, the first of which was to Captain Marvel. The Hall of Justice itself bustles as usual, at least in the public areas. But the more private areas are eerily quiet…and full of evidence that there's a worried Hawkeye in residence in the form of multiple abandoned coffee cups and the ever-present smell of a fresh pot. Kate's sitting on the center of a conference table in one of the conference rooms, flipping through holographic rosters.

Carol got the call while flying towards League headquarters, a certain extra cellphone tucked away in a pouch at the small of her back. She taps her ear, and her own comm unit routes the call. "You called Captain Marvel. Caller ID says this call is coming from League HQ. Give me a name, please." The sound of the wind whipping past is muffled by some very excellent noise-canceling technology, because that's life for a flying superheroine; without it, no one could hear her at all.

"Hey, Cap, it's Kate," Kate answers, flipping past a profile on the hologram. "Remember that time when you said you were sort of interested in hearing about the Justice League? Would you maybe be interested in coming down to the Hall of Justice and hearing a few things?" A pause, as she listens to the rest of the background noise. "If you're not busy, that is. Can totally wait if you've got something going on."

If Kate's systems are tracking Carol through the call, they'd note that Captain Marvel is flying at a rather high rate of speed on a straight line towards League headquarters, and she is dropping in altitude precipitously.

"Funny thing, that. Yes, I would be very interested, Kate. Perhaps you could meet me out front in … seventy seconds? If that would be convenient? I have some things I think you need to see, and we should definitely talk."

That Captain Marvel, paragon of efficiency. Isn't that convenient?

"I'll let the front desk know to show you through, if that's okay," Kate replies, glancing down at herself. Maybe the all-nighter in pajamas wasn't the most leaderly thing she could have done. "Coffee's fresh, though," she adds with forced cheer, sliding off the table and rummaging in her pocket for a hair tie. Try to look like this is actually your job.

"Front desk. Got it. Call quick." Carol offers, and then hangs up as she comes in for a landing in front of the Hall of Justice. She strides purposefully for the front doors, nodding to those who stand guard. She doesn't slow, but pushes right through and strides towards the front desk. "Hawkeye just called. Captain Marvel, I'm here to see her. Point, please."

Carol doesn't wait around, debate, discuss or delay. Instead, she takes off at a steady parade ground marching stride in the direction pointed. She's capable of just lifting off and flying this course at breakneck speed with near-zero clearance, but she won't do that, out of respect. But she's not slowing down until she hits the doors to the conference room.

Carol comes through the doors to that conference room, and one hand goes behind the small of her back, coming out with a nowhere-near top of the line smartphone. "Pair this up and drop every iota of data on it, quick. You need to see the last video clip and message." Yep. Real slow and subtle, that Captain Marvel. Waits around for introductions like a champ, doesn't she?

The phone, a little scuffed but protected thanks to the carry shell it is mounted in, proves to be the phone of one Caitlin Fairchild, a brilliant grad student turned intern for Howard Stark's THINK, who also happens to be a massive redheaded powerhouse who has been moon- and sun-lighting as a superheroine in the New York area for several months. The last video clip is only about ten seconds long, and shows Caitlin being snatched into a swirling vortex of a portal. An Apokolips portal. A boomtube, complete with that rushing sound. The message: Carol, trouble. Need you. Going after Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman.

Kate takes the phone, pulling a cord out of the table and plugging it in to let Oracle's software do the hard work. Even if she didn't trust Carol, she trusts that Oracle can keep anything malicious on a cell phone out of the League's programming. Barefoot in an oversized SHIELD t-shirt and purple cotton pajama pants with her hair pulled into a messy ponytail, she looks like anything but the current leader of the Justice League as she watches the video.

"Yeah," she sighs after, looking back to Carol with a sympathetic grimace. "That's pretty much what I was calling you about, actually. We've got a little bit of information on what may have happened, and we're trying to pull together a rescue mission."

"Fine. Count me in. I'm probably one of your best available navigators and pilots for an interstellar op. But I can't just carry everyone in a bubble. I'm not one of those. We need a ship, preferably something hot, fast, and with enough armor to survive a hot exfil." Carol responds promptly. Oh. Did we mention Captain Marvel has a rather substantial military background? That did come up in the background data search, right?

"How many of your heavy hitters can you bring in, and how fast?" Carol questions. Interestingly enough, she doesn't seem the least bit thrown by Hawkeye's youth, her attire, her lack of grooming. She's used to intel analysts looking however and whatever, and used to not caring. Also, journalists chasing the Big Story. LEOs tracking the Big Case. And so forth.

"I was looking for teleporters, actually," Kate replies blandly. "We've got a space station, but we're a little short on the travel side of things. Wait, do you have a spaceship in your garage or something? Is Area 51 real?" That gets a little bit more excited as she turns back to Carol, then cuts herself off with a wave of her hand. "Sorry. Moot point. We're a little low on heavy hitters right now. Cam's got flight, strength, and healing. Strange has the magic angle. Oracle's got tech. Ozymandias has combat. And…me. Also why I was calling you."

Captain Marvel eyes Hawkeye for several long moments at that particular teen slip. Not that she can blame the girl; Hell, she'd once been that eager and more for any hint of interstellar tech and operations. But it's a tad grating in these particular circumstances. "No. I don't. That's why I said we need a ship." Carol grimaces, but takes in stride the fact that they're coming up short. This is not boding well.

"Are you telling me Strange can manage to blip us all the way to Apokolips, which he's never been to, and get us back?" Carol is a tad astounded. He may be a boss of a magician, but she always figured big crap like that took more time. Time they don't have. Wouldn't Lyla be ideal for this? "If you don't have access to a ship, or the heavy hitters we need, then I need access to your comm array. I can send a coded trasmission, and maybe, just maybe, get us a ship. If I'm really lucky." And they ought to at least try, right?

"Wow. So we are nasty light. This is going to have to be a very fast, very focused strike. If we can free your people, they can try to help us punch our way out. But it sounds like we're going in rather light on intel, as well as firepower. That's a recipe for a mess, Hawkeye." Captain Marvel. Just don't call her Captain Obvious. She won't take it well.

"I have no idea if Strange can work something like that, but given the little bit I know about magic, I've got a feeling that even if he could, it'd be more expensive than we'd really want to risk," Kate shakes her head to that suggestion. "Aspect's got some connections to someone with a ship, but he called on them to get us information about this Apokolips in the first place. I'm not sure if they're friendly enough to give a bunch of us a ride. And there are other considerations."

She throws her own footage up into the hologram, along with some data. "We're sending drones to the last places we found some of these boom tubes, and tracking for atmospheric changes that match the readings from the previous attacks. Here's the thing. From what we can tell, there's actually small-scale terraforming going on at these locations. Whoever's taking our people? It might be because they want to leave us defenseless for something bigger. So while we're light, I can't even conscientiously advise we send our heaviest hitters out there to investigate."

Kate turns back to the other woman, and while she might be barely old enough to drink and look younger than that, there's no doubt there's a reason the young woman is still here to keep the league running. "We're all putting in calls. Sam - that's the Falcon - is putting in a call with Stark. I've got to talk to Steve, too. This is all hands on deck, basically."

"OK. But I need dish time, pointed heavenwards. So, who do I talk to, to make that happen? Preferably exoatmospheric, for obvious reasons." Carol answers. She's not taking this lightly, and she agrees with everything the other woman is saying. She may not like it, but she's not going to argue the point. But she /is/ going after her friend. So either she does that with these people, or not. And she's betting they all have a better chance of success if they work together rather than separately. "Dealing with, and stopping, alien crap is basically my wheelhouse. So let's get started."

"That, I can make happen," Kate nods at the talk of dish time, gesturing to the hologram and bringing up an image of a SHIELD tech in front of what must be a space station. "Hey, Jim," she smiles wearily back at the tech. "This is Hawkeye. We've got a problem that needs an eye looking out. I'm going to give you to Captain Marvel here. Do me a favor and follow her instructions, yeah? For the purpose of this mission, she needs clearance for something, you use my code."

"Uhm … yes, Ma'am." Agent Jim answers, after a few moments' consideration. Sure, he could question it. But he knows just enough to know this is important, so he doesn't balk. He'll bring up questions later, when it's not getting in the way.

"Hi, Jim. You can just call me Carol, OK? Now, I need your strongest transmitter, exo-atmospheric, pointed at the right galactic coordinates. I need a vector pointing fifteen degrees galactic south, twenty-four degrees galactic west of the Crab Nebula. I need a burst transmitter. Give me an address, so I can route the signal to you, and I'll send it from my unit here." Captain Marvel orders, all business and right away.

Once Jim gives her the address, Carol routes her message to him. It's basically the galactic equivalent of encrypted Morse Code, being sent to a relay station that should - she's hoping - be relayed to her friends, especially the Starjammers. She's not shy, and there are others who could answer. But her request is simple: friends in trouble, need a fast ship, need it right away, pick me up on the big blue marble.

Once Carol is done, she thanks Jim. "Put that on a loop, keep blasting it out there for as long as you can, or until Kate tells you to stop. And thanks again."

That done, Carol looks back to the teen in charge. "OK. Now. What else can I do to help?"

"Thanks, Jim," Kate waves to the image before disconnecting the transmission and looking back to Carol with a weary smile. "Keep that phone on you," she says ruefully. "We're doing our best to keep this quiet. Last thing we need is for the wrong people to realize that the heroes of the world are getting a little short-handed. Which means if something goes sideways, we need help to make sure it gets covered."

"You can reach me anytime, Kate. I'll do the best I can to help. Hopefully, something can come through on the ship. We need to move fast. Caitlin is a smart cookie, but she's inexperienced. Getting shoved in-country on an alien world with little or no backup is not going to be easy for her, and she's going to need backup ASAP." All statements of the obvious, but they need to be said anyway. Carol takes Caitlin's phone back, now that the intel on it has been shared, and tucks it back into the pouch at the back of her belt. "Now, unless you have something you need me on right away, I'm going to go see Stark Senior. I need them to cut Caitlin some slack. And a few other little things." There /will/ be a uniform upgrade for that girl after this is over. Enough is enough.

"Sounds like a plan," Kate nods to Carol. "Once we figure out how to get our drones out there to get a look, I'll let you know what we find. Hopefully we can get an idea about what we're getting into before we get out there. I say we. I might not be part of that team," she admits, frowning to herself. "Someone's going to have to stay behind to keep things together here. And for all I know, I won't even be able to survive there…" She trails off, then shakes her head. "I'll be in touch."

"When Sam talks to Stark, make sure to ask about enviro suits. He should have those on hand by the gross." Carol advises, with a nod. "Good luck. Talk to you soon." That said, Captain Marvel turns and marches out of the conference room just as efficiently and briskly as she marched in. Step one of the mission: accomplished. Sadly, she's looking at a delay on step two. Not a happy thing. But that's life.

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