We Still Stand

November 14, 2015:

The last and final victim of Apokolips awakens, everyone comes together and much is spoken of.


NPCs: Sparring partners



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Sleep. Endless sleep. The last she remembers is being swallowed whole by the grogg, and holding hands with one of her belly mates and making him promise to tell those who came to her rescue that she was grateful, grateful for everything. She's lost her rightful place among the Thangarian guard due to betrayal, she had no home.. she had nothing until she met them. In which she had a family of all colors and creed.. her cup had runneth over..

'But there was screaming, screaming that no one should ever hear within their lives..
The sounds of explosions..
The rapid beating of her heart..
The pain.
The Nth taking over and seeking out those battles in Necropolis as a need to feed the awakening hunger that turns her into a woman possessed and thirsty for blood that coats the gold..
It didn't turn out the way she wanted it to. Not in this life..

"COME AT ME." She hollars at the men who gather with their sticks in the holodeck bay med for training and fighting. Her blood.. and the blood of the others who scampered off into the medrooms littered at her feet, her chest heaving, body covered in sweat as her back remains hunched and wings pointed into the air in agitation. Shayera, for all intent and purpose, recovered fine. "COME AT ME NOW YOU SWIVELING SWINE! YOU CUNTS!" Words dripping with bile, for there she did not see the men that she trained with. She saw the parademons. The lowlies. Every crawling filth that had a piece, got some and came back for more.

And one by one.. they started to back off, the crazed look in the womans eyes was enough to give them pause. PTSD.

The stuff fruity pebbles was made of.

Ozymandias was just about to head back to Earth, when he hears Shayera Hol's screaming in the holodeck bay. Ozymandias walks into the bay with his hands up and his palms facing outward towards Shayera. He speaks in calm voice, "Hawkgirl, I need you to close your eyes and focus on my voice. You are at the WatchTower, and not on Apokolips.

Doctor Strange is making friends among the medical personal of the Watchtower. It is a professional thing. Also, they got cool medical machines he never had when he was a surgeon (about 50 years ago). So when Hawkgirl goes nuts, one of them called him.

Strange missed the whole 'got eaten by an undead monster' part, but he heard about it. The first time that happens one has nightmares for a year or three. Apparently Shayera is human enough to have the usual reaction. "Alright, everyone back down, give her space and no fast moves," he suggest.

The call came in and in her search Diana found Hawkgirl in the only way each of them has been found after this incident.

A hot mess, and leaving people broken for it.

Diana is finally eating after the techno-organic worms were extracted, but that did not negate the time that had sunken her features and left eyes almost hallow in their dark circles. Just behind Ozy, Wonder Woman steps within but does not take the approach that he does. The screams and the spatter of blood as well as warriors cry has her meeting it in reaction. Not her usual diplomatic approach.

Lunging forward those booted footfalls of the black and silver barely make a sound, but the blur of motion brings a meaty impact of Diana into Shayera if she does not move quick, a loop of arms seeking to catch Shayera in a hook around her neck and bring her to the ground with a resounding SLAM that echoes off the walls and crascendos their words.

"Pay attention, sister! Know thy enemy as none resides here save you, and me!" The harsh truth rungs forth from the Amazon where dark hair hangs around her face, pushed back by diadem, and yet those patches where she had ripped parts free are growing back, leaving it a haphazard mess.

Strange and Ozy's approach allows the sparring partners to filter out, slowly.. quickly, their hands raised and weapons dropped. One even claps Ozy upon the shoulder, then quickly runs out there after as they hear the approach of Diana on the horizon. Not Shayera.

She begins to pace, fingers white knuckling the sticks that she holds, her eyes intent and apparent upon Ozy, her addled mind attempting to calm and find a bit of peace in his words.

Her lips peel back to reveal gold capped teeth, razor sharp with the need to maim, who knows how she used the Nth while she was out there on Apokolips but that reveal was anyones guess. "Don't approach if you do not wish to fight.." She hisses to the immortal, but it was a lot better than calling him some name she saw in Django Unchained..

The quick wit and lunch did not take Shayera off guard, but it was enough for those weapons to drop hard to the ground to brace herself in wanting to catch the Amazonian Princess in a grasp, yet the manuver of bodies sends her crashing down upon her belly, fingers grasping the mat to claw and tug as she lets out a ferocious scream to fight back the need to draw on the Nth to create a row of jagged spine across her back. Diana was her friend, she wasn't going to go that route.

"Get off of me you hard broiled bitch!" She didn't mean it! "GET OFF GET OFF GET OFF!" It almost sounded as a plea, fitted with the action of her pressing her face into the mat of the floor to scream out her frustration; for a true Thanagarian militant does not shed tears. Only blood and sweat.

Strange blinks when Diana charges forward instead of trying to calm down the other woman. Something unexpected… and definitely revealing about the Amazon's mental state. Not good.

"Let her go, please," suggests Strange, crouching close to Shayera. "It might have been too soon to return to training, hmm? Perhaps you should try this Earthling tradition called vacations and take a week off duty."

Ozymandias takes a step back in surprise when Hawkeye's reveal gold capped, razor sharp teeth. Ozymandias is about to respond when Wonder Woman takes the more direct approached. Wonder Woman's actions surprise him too, and he looks at Strange's face to see his blinking. Ozymandias fear that this would happened when they got and frustrating sigh escapes his face.
Ozymandias continues speaking in a calming voice. "Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl, violence is not really going to stop either of your torments. It is lead to greater festering wound. Wonder Woman, please let her stand up. Hawkgirl, she is right. There is no enemy here.

Diana does not release, not fully, just enough to loosen for a swing that brings her kneeling in front of Shayera. A motion that has them almost pressed crown to crown, Diana's arms are still ahold of Shayera but what seemed like a warrior's embrace of force is now just an embrace of hold. A huddle that has them both almost looking prostrated upon the ground in a worship. But the only prayers being said here are likely by those who do not want this getting even worse. Answered: By the presence of Ozy and Strange.

"Listen to me, Shayera of Thangar. We have seen our Hades and burned in it together but apart. Never again. If I let you go it is of trust, but if I keep hold it is for the very same reason." Diana knows very well that Shayera is capable of impaling her with the Nth and did that leap (of faith) anyway. Despite both of their turmoil they failed to defeath them both and make them monsters or part of their monsters.

No matter in the end, because this sort of posture could turn very rapidly into a battle that would bring ends unless stopped. Strange's words as well as that of Ozy's draw a tension along shoulders that are exposed along Diana's spine, the muscles there shuddering with tension and that eternal debate while hands still clotch Shayera's own head and shoulders.

"She fell with me, she will rise with me." Those words muffled into the mat, but not only meant as a response, as a comfort to the other woman and to the team present. That is how Diana sees it. All of them. Together.

Their words were but a whirl and swirl to the mind gripped with madness. Fingers curling into a fist to stamp down upon the ground admist the shock of Ozy and the cool tenor of Strange. Diana's words ring true, mingled in with the sounds of the screaming, the witness of death and the fire. The heat already marking her belly as if her skin was ready to bubble up and boil yet again from the exploding suiciders who took her out of the fight for mere minutes, long enough for them to get close and do harm.

But still, she rises, even though the arms clutch her shoulder, tiara to bare forehead, one blood-shot eye and other normal to gaze off to those who still remain and gathered. This was her home..

Among the stars and among the people that fill it, the electronics that give birth to the quiet ring in her ears and the hum buzzing, the heat of the showers.. this was her home. Her head twists and turns, her hand lifting to clasp upon a vambrace to try to tug the woman away. She was not one to express hugs, thanks, givings or other.. but that clasp of the vambrace was her hug and a tug of a let me free.. I am fine.

"I don't want a vacation. I don't need it." She tries to cool her hiss, her eyes flitting up towards the ceiling, and f she was let go she would draw herself upright into a stand.. a shaky stand.. but a stand none the less. And a hand outstretched if she was free.

Having heard a commotion from nearby, Captain Britain arrives, on standby in case things got too heated. However, since it seems that all is well and quiet, the young hero stands down, the power from his forcefields flickering as he settles upon his feet. He remains quiet for now, he's in the presence of bigger hitters than himself, and it's more than a little intimidating. Remaining in the back of the room, he takes to the sidelines, the Union Jack decorated hero quiet for now.

"The gentlemen you knocked out might hold a different opinion," suggests Strange, folding his arms. "Travels to the dark realms are unhealthy for the mortal mind, Shayera Hol. And Apokolips was not just another planet. It is a place of spiritual desolation akin to the Hellish domains of the Demon Lords. It is not shame to need a time to recover, not all injures are physical, nor are all the scars." That is his doctor voice.

Wonder Woman let's her up. There is no need for force or even a writhe to wrench loose. When Shayera's breathing hitches remotely enough Diana knows she got through to her it is the trust that guides the rest. Hands fall once she rocks back to rest upon knees, resting them in her lap just before she, too, rolls to feet and lightly tilts her gaze towards Strange, Ozy, and Britain. She knew their looks but she did not glance away, she had no shame in it at all. She lived, but how she keeps on living will be different due to those unseen scars Strange speaks of.

What they witnessed now was only a beginning for a lot of changes. Not just here and now but all of them in the past months.

"What do we have to vacation to, Stephen? Even if we did when eyes close the monsters are still there." And with the way things on Earth are right now, there is no peace and she seeks to fix these issues as soon as possible, but sometimes…

"Although a night of colorful shows and some sweets might help among friends?" Wait.


Yep. Watching Dora the Explorer and having a good ole cry might fix /something/?

Likely not, but Diana cannot help but feel unsettled at he looks she had made come over her teammates faces. Britain getting a slow and solemn nod with a gesture of hand for him to join them.

A slight and tired bend allows Shayera to snatch up the escrima sticks to move them out of the way, a shocking toss to the side which sends them shattering upon impact causes a slight jump to steele nerves. Her hand reaches up to rub slightly at her face, allowing Diana the moment to do the talking for.. points were made where she could not.

She'd only anger them with her thoughts.

The sight of Britain causes those brows to lower, teeth nearly bared as a foot was taken forward, a slightly angered step upon the ground but is immediately halted. He.. must be here for a reason. People unauthorized barely had the chance to spy what goes on in the Watchtower. Fine. Fine.. fine..

"I don't need a vacation and there is no shame in these bones. I am not broken." Just mad as hell. And there is when she remains quiet, focusing upon cleaning herself up, unwrapping the bandages that hug her forearm and wrists.. quietly seething.

Britain rubs the back of his head. He feels completly out of place here, but he finally speaks up, hand scratching the back of his helmet nervously as he does so. "When I was murdered by the Fury on that other Earth.. I felt it. All the way down into my soul. I knew I had been taken. When Merlyn and Roma brought me back - using the Star Scepter and Amulet of Right.." his hand leaves his helm to touch his heart, where the amulet is within him now, and he continues, "..I still have visions of that shattered Earth - where heroes and villains alike failed, and all were murdered equally."

As Shayera takes a step towards him, Britain's own forcefield flares for a moment as he holds up a hand. "Whoa whoa, friendly.." he offers quickly, side-tracked from his thought, as he clears his throat. "Uh. I'm Captain Britain. I.. sorta helped?" he asks, looking between the others as he downplays his place in the rescue mission.

"And yet staying here is not going to help you either, my lady," points out Strange, sighing. "Surely, the Amazons have methods to deal with combat fatigue and psychic injuries." They might not involve children cartoons, but stranger things have happened in Paradise Island, he is sure. "Ignoring the problem is not the wisest course of action."

"Vacations will not help, but talking about your experiences with someone will help." Ozymandia says while finally putting his hands down. "You can also keep your pain to yourself, but it will harden your relationships, and it might visit you at night. I have seen the symptoms on countless of allies and enemies throughout the centuries. How the deal with your trauma is your choice.

Ozymandias turns to Strange, "People have ignored these pains in the past, but it has strain their relationship with others, and they are others that have just found alternative means to fight through the stress.

Ozymandias clasps his hands together and unclasps them quickly as he looks between Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl, "This is all I will speak about the matter, unless either of you wish to speak to me about the matter.

Where Diana can word some things better, Shayera can handle the others. The two woman stand there, looking as they do and acting as they only know how. Diana even tried to toss a suggestion out that would be unseemly of her and got no reaction. The diplomatic approach is more often the failure as of late and this makes her think twice, for a moment her gaze dropping to her vambraces and the fists that curl inward and then unfurl to relax although the crescent stamp of nails bit their way into palms.

"They do, Doctor. It is called getting up and dusting off if you can. We can stand, it is all we know how to do when everything else makes us want to kneel," That workd makes Diana pause and close her eyes, jaw rippling with the firmness of its set that even audibly grinds teeth together.

When Britain speaks as well as Ozy she looks to the three of them and then Hawkgirl. "You each have seen, you were there." Beat as she settles her gaze on Britain. "Strange and the others would not have succeeded if not for your aid. Do not once make your own trials lesser, the effect is still the same and I know I stand here today with honor debt to you all."

"You are right Strange. The outside will heal visibly while the inside still suffers. And Ozy, we do need to speak of it and express it." A glance to Shay there as she too has been battling her desire to simply wake and fight until she cannot stand any longer.

"That will come. But for now, can we move forward and having trusted you with our lives - trust you with our actions?" Namely, knowing when to stop them if they must, even by force.

Brian's words give Shayera pause. Pause enough to show in action as she stops with a bit of cloth clutched within her fingers, her hand shaking just at the very thought of drawing her last breath in the body of the beast, which has her dark eyes looking towards him with sincerety. A quiet thank you shared between warriors. They all were not alone in this. The cloth was snatched and tossed to the side, a turn sharp even as he draws his hands up and proclaim his name and friendliness, her shoulders hunched and stiff as a hand strikes out to offer in a shake where others would think that she'd be ready to slap.

"Many thanks. Brother." And.. that's all she'll give him. Cause it was a lot.

"My methodology of 'getting over it'.." She air quotes, got that from a movie.. ".. is getting on with it. I am sorry, Ozymandias. I do not wish to talk. Only work. And I am sorry to the rest of you as well." She nods hear head faintly, then gives it a brief shake to bite back the memories that try to claw themselves to the surface.

Is this what Brian has to deal with? Trying to keep it all at bay? He is a better man than she realizes.

"But I would like for you all to spar with me, to keep us.. or me.. here." She gestures around. This place. Sparring is going to be her therapy and all anger will remain trapped within this room. "Though if there is fear I will find another cunt to fell." Shayera loves to joke.

"I was just assisting where I could, ma'm." Britain doesn't want to get a swollen ego from the whole idea of surviving Apokolipis. He has other issues that need to be deal with before she makes her declaration of what she plans to do and the Captain's cheeks actually flare to a bright red color. "Do you kiss your mum with that mouth?" he sputters before he actually realizes what he said outloud, and.. that doesn't make things much better.

"Sure, if I have the time I will gladly spar with you, Hawkgirl." Ozymandias turns to Wonder Woman and says, "If you wished to talk to someone, then I will gladly be there to listen." Ozymandias furrows his brow slightly, "There has been some issues that have come up when you were gone that need to be address too. The main one is the lack of Shield support and the Avengers Initiative. It does change a lot of things, especially when it comes to manning some the WatchTower and other JLA facilities."

Ozymandias says, "I might be able to help, but I am going to need a little bit of help and a lot of trust from some of the members of the Council.

A tilt of her head and a gesture towards Shayera sums up anything she had to say from there on out, though just as Britain sputters Diana's hand meets her face and just remains there, palming over to just… Be.

A deep breath has it coming down and a moment of rapid blinking before the focus comes back upon Ozy and Britain. "I have already read over the issues that have arisen. The Watchtower and the Justice League was here before Fury, and will be from SHIELD departure on. What we lack with their involvement pulled is not enough to keep us doing what we have always done." A pause then as she tilts her head with a light nod and gestures for the door where those gathered and picking themselves up still part like a wave under power.

"I think that has to go both ways then, Ozymandias." The way she says his name is pointed enough. Where diplomacy has failed and it seems blunt force is the way to go Diana is teetering precariously on a middle ground… In most things. "I want to hear you out. Let's eat and discuss these matters."

Hans was delighted when he came into his kitchen an hour ago and found Diana in the large fridge raiding the fruits and cheeses, though insisted she need more nutrients to keep fighting and shoved her out muttering in German just as he slammed the door. "Hans promised a meal fit for warriors before battle and I do not wish to insult him more, as well."

"Do you really need to know the mask I wear on the outside world to trust me? What you see before you is the truth. I am Ozymandias." He says quite proudly. "I will weigh the pros and cons on revealing my secret identity to the Council, but I do think that my deeds should speak for themselves."

Shayera was quiet after all. She's heard about the missive and the approach of the DEO. Who wouldn't? It was all abuzz in the medical bay, most wondering if they'd still retain the job. But many had forgotten that they were vetted by the elusive who didn't dare approach the Watchtower himself.

She deadpans towards Brian. "My mother is dead." Joke out the way, moving on.

"You earned.. both of you earned the trust of the council by past and present actions alone." She manages to speak up, pulling the cloth from her other arm, someone mentioned Hans, and it has her near running. "I don't think there is a need for you to reveal yourself as most others have, but your ideas and thoughts are welcomed and a very high probability of being implemented." As it stands, they needed everything they could get. At least that's what she thinks.

She didn't spare a glance to the others. Hans was on the brain. And a feast fit for the warriors is what she'll immediately cave to. And then more sparring.

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