Return To Space

December 15, 2016:

A small reunion party for the Justice League, as the Watchtower reopens.

Watchtower

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Hawkgirl

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The Watchtower.

More than just a mobile base— more than a convenient location to rest and train. It's a symbol of the Justice League. A sentinel station at the edge of Earth orbit, a place where the lonely, dignified heros of Earth will make a stand against any threat to their planet. Away from Earth, yes, but always seeming to face it, to remind anyone striding those hallowed halls of the people in their charge— the blue marble below, so reliant upon their aid and protection. It's a sobering thought for some.

Caitlin Fairchild, riding shotgun in a Javelin coming up from the Hall of Justice, is almost beside herself with glee. Nose pressed to the glass, she keeps drumming a foot on the ground rapidly, to the point of annoying the vehicle's pilot. Docking seems to take an eternity, and almost before the landing locks are engaged, she's unbuckled and hurling herself at the offramp.

The bay is full of milling activity— people loading and unloading goods, personnel finishing the handoff back to the League, and superheros coming and going. Someone's set up a little reception in one of the viewing rooms, clearly visible from the docks, where lights and holiday decorations offer a sense of the homey and familiar.

"Aaaaaaaugh I'm on the Watchtower," Caitlin whispers in a high, weak voice, looking like she /almost/ might faint from sheer excitement. She starts making a trepidatious path towards the reception room, where it looks like the majority of the League members not on duty are currently assembled.

Carol Danvers stays in the javelin long enough to complete her post-flight checklist, get all of the locks in place, and finally shut the thing down before she disembarks. It's natural to her, though, to be this methodical: she's a pilot to her core, after all. The blonde heroine disembarks without nearly the awe the tall redhead displays, but she has been here before, back in the day. And space? Well, let's just say the woman has experience in spades. It's why she has pushed so hard for the day the League would reclaim this place, this foothold to secure the future of Earth and secure its high orbitals against outside incursions.

But enough about those dark and dire portents. There's holiday lights! The blonde pilot makes her way down the corridor from the landing bay, watching Caitlin's reaction with gentle, well-meaning amusement. "Do I need to get you an oxygen mask, Red? Or are you going to soldier through?"

With people coming and going, Diana has been remarkably busy, lately. Indeed, it's taken her away from New York for some time, now. But, she's hardly New York's only protector and there's a whole world still in crisis. Nevertheless, she can take the time to meet with friends over these holiday moments.

She strides down the hallway from the main observation deck towards the reception hall, an easy smile on her lips despite the concerns on her shoulders. She's learned to compartmentalize such things, after all. As she enters the room, she lifts her hand in greeting to the others. "Welcome back," she tells them.

Caitlin turns and flashes a giddy grin at Carol, shaking her head. "I'll live. …maybe. Hold me a little," she says, leaning heavily on Carol's shoulder for comedic effect. Spotting a certain Amazon moving into the lobby, Caitlin beckons Carol and trots up the ramp into the reception room, beaming fit to burst.

"Diana! Hi!" Caitlin says, waving enthusiastically at the warrior woman. She dashes up to Diana, but at the last moment remembers her manners and pauses to issue a greeting appropriate to the customs of Themyscira— but then she laughs and offers Diana a hug.

"I'm so glad you're here! I've never been up here before!" she exclaims, chattering rapid-fire. "When Carol told me that the Tower was open again, I knew I had to get up here pronto, so Carol jumped in the Javelin and flew me up, and it's WOW, this is— WOW," she exclaims, a little breathlessly. She staggers once— maybe she /does/ need a little oxygen. Caitlin's getting a bit overworked with her delight.

Carol just chuckles amusedly and watches indulgently as Caitlin explodes with glee. When there's some breathing room, she walks up the ramp and extends her hand, clasping Diana's forearm in a proper Amazon 'handshake' when there's an opening. "Good to see you again, Diana. Looks like you and the crew have done an excellent job so far geting the systems up and running again. I'm still a little surprised how easily we were able to get this back after how things went down."

Diana laughs lightly and returns Caitlin's hug. She's not always formal, after all. "Hello, Caitlin. Carol. Good to see you both, here." She takes a step back and nods lightly, brows rising briefly. "I guess you haven't been here before, have you, Caitlin? Well, welcome to the Watchtower. Our home away from home… away from home." Or something like that. "I imagine season's greetings are in order."

Nevertheless, she adds a second nod to Carol. "The transition has been smooth, but Magus was very good at keeping things in order while we were gone." And keeping unwanted meddlers at… no matter how hard they tried. "We'll be up at full capacity before the week is out."

"No, I wanted to, but when I first came on, I was a reserve member and there were rules about reservists going to the Tower except on official business. I never really had a good reason to come up here," Caitlin admits, the 'aside from it being my entire lifelong dream' going unsaid.

"How's Themyscira?" Caitlin says, remembering her manners. "How's Queen Hippolyta? How's Desirae?" she inquires, making mention of a particular friend on that island. "Is the jet flying okay? The knock in the thrust vector didn't come back, did it?" the garrulous redhead says, barely stopping to breathe between words.

Carol steps back and just grins at Caitlin's back as the redhead's enthusiasm gets the better of her, almost if not quite fast enough to make her trip over her own tongue. It's so adorable, bless her heart. "If you need any EVA work, let me know while I'm around." Carol mentions, because she doesn't need a suit, or thrusters, or anything else. She can just step out the airlock, which is mighty handy. "How are the deep orbital scanning arrays? I hope they're still operational?"

"Themyscira is well," Diana assures Caitlin, laying a hand on her shoulder and giving a light squeeze. "As are my mother and, as far as I know, Desirae." She hasn't actually been back in a while, but she does keep in touch. She drops her hand and moves towards a table where refreshments have been setup. There, she pours herself a glass of something fruity. "The jet is working quite well, too. Thank you. No problems at all. What have you been doing, lately?"

Her glance returns to Carol and she nods. "I will," she promises. "You're welcome to make a visual inspection whenever you'd like; we've mostly done internal diagnostics, so far. However, I do trust Doctor Magnus to have kept things in working order. Including the scanning arrays." And, yes, she agrees they're important, given everything that's happened lately. "Although, to be honest, a lot of my attention has been on isolating the pockets of remaining Terrigen mists on Earth." Because that's where a lot of the current trouble is arising, of course.

"Uh, Po— Karen Starr hired me to work full-time at Starr Labs," Caitlin explains, catching herself, barely. "So, that's kind of awesome. Don't get me wrong, the Baxter Institute was great, but Karen's, like, totally on board with the whole moonlighting hero thing. And it'll look good on my CV," she explains. They're drifting towards the snack bar, so Caitlin grabs a tray and starts loading up with candies and chocolate, along with a tall drink of punch to balance in her free hand. The mention of the Terrigen mists gets a lifted brow from her, features piqued with interest.

Carol nods. "Well, I'll be happy to do a physical inspect of the exterior, and then a sweep of the scanner arrays and satellites before I head back down. But I figured that was precisely why we needed to get the Watchtower back into action: as a means of proper coordination on a worldwide front against threats like the mists?" Not to mention zeta tubes for the distribution of response teams. Right?

They've got a active tube down to Metropolis, still. But the others have either been shutdown or, unfortunately, appropriated by the government of the country in which they were located. (France, of course.) So, Diana nods to Carol's conclusion. "We needed the Watchtower back for that and to remind the world that we stand for more than just America," she says, a smile still on her lips regardless of the seriousness of her conviction about this. "The mists are still creating cocoons and there's word of certain organizations sneaking into the affected zones to 'liberate' cocoons that haven't yet opened. I'm not certain that's good for anyone, including the people enveloped within the cocoons."

She nods to Caitlin, grinning a little as the girl loads up. The redhead has never been shy about such things. Taking a swallow of her punch, Diana tells her, "Karen Starr entirely understands, I'm sure. That sounds like an excellent opportunity for you." Power Girl is, after all, a member of the League, the princess knows.

"Right?" Caitlin beams at Diana. Her needs are simple— food for now, maybe punch the heck out of something later. Caitlin's a bit elemental sometimes. "Uh, so no one's seen Shayera recently, right?" Caitlin asks, suddenly a bit nervous and checking over her shoulder— as if expecting the furious little winged woman to suddenly be looming right behind her. "I don't know who all is coming back on the active roster yet, I haven't seen the team breakdowns."

"Well, we can't very well let anyone have free reign to kidnap people trapped helpless in those cocoons." Carol offers. She's willing to go down there - anywhere - and start punching on people until they stop acting like arsehats. "So, if you want me to take time off from getting the station up and running and checked out" Clearly, they need to do whatever they can. "I haven't seen the bird girl in a while." But Carol likes Shayera. Definitely her kind of heroine.

Diana gives a mild shrug. "The team is in flux," she tells her. "Working out the administrative details with Sadie about the Network has delayed a full roll call, but that will come." She knows it will; even if it ends up on the battlefield. "So, I can't say I've seen Shayera lately, no. In the meantime, though, as a public relations effort, we're going to host a charity ball and auction next Wednesday evening. You'll both come, I hope?"

Even so, she nods to Carol. "That would be excellent," she agrees. "I'm hoping to make some forays down there, myself. Perhaps we can make a patrol of it. I've set the alert system to notify me of any significant incursions."

"A charity… ball?" Caitlin scratches behind one ear, then pushes her wealth of ginger locks behind her shoulder. "I'm game for a patrol, you know me— anything for the team," she says, with a two-fignered salute that almost dangeorusly upends her snack tray. "But um… what would we do at a charity ball? Security? Is it gonna be like, for the President or something?"

She looks a lot more relaxed knowing Shayera's not going to pop up behind her, it seems. The avian warrior clearly makes Caitlin more than a little jumpy.

Ozymandias comes in humming an ancient Phoenician celebration son as he lightly strums the air with his finger as if he playing an imaginary as he walks into the room. "I should be able to make it to the charity ball if everything goes all goes according to plan, and if not…." Ozymandias stops playing his imaginary lyre as he mind wonders to the possible outcomes of future events, "I can only assume you if ask about me the next day, you shall find me a grave man.

After looking at the trio, he lets out a small laugh and stands up his tippy toes for a moment, "You know I really was considered tall back in my youth. I digress it is good to see so many Leaguers in the Tower. Ozymandias dips his head to all of them.

"We show up, Red. Show up, fly the flag, meet and greet the folks who pay to be there and see us." And sometimes dance with them. Carol has been to a ball or two with that caveat. They were not her favorites, but she's a good 'soldier' and will follow orders. "Just look at it as an excuse to talk to Janet and get a gorgeous new dress, so you can look awesome and show off." Carol glances at Ozy and nods, smirking at the humor.

Diana laughs lightly at Caitlin's comment. It's a kindly, sympathetic sound, not a mocking one. "Yes," she says, agreeing entirely with Carol. All you need to do is come and enjoy. Find a pretty dress and mingle. I doubt the President will be there." Yes, she knows it's a challenge for the fiesty redhead. "If you choose to simply hold up a wall, that's your choice, but there will be donated items from several very wealthy foundations and supporters, so you could look at the mingling as a sort of security exercise. One in which you're not to look like a security guard."

Her head turns as Ozymandias makes his presence know. "Ozymandias," she greets him warmly, blue eyes twinkling at the height joke, though perhaps not the grave one. "It's good to see you again. I take it your struggle with Chaos and Order continues? How can we help?"

Caitlin blinks when Ozymandius steps out, adopting a slightly more respectful expression, nodding her head in a little gesture of greeting. Carol and Diana are friends, of course, but Ozymandius occupies a peculiar mystical altitude among the League— a man who is privy to many strange secrets.

"Well, can't blame me for that one," Caitlin tells Ozy, cheerily. "I was short until I kersploded." She sips some of her juice, cocking a brow at Diana— then both brows rise and she goes 'ooohhh'. Leave it to Wonder Woman to neatly defuse Caitlin's social anxiety well ahead of it even beginning to percolate. "I can do that. Security, that's /not/ security. Blend. I can blend," Caitlin says, nodding slowly.

"Wait, where can I get a dress?"

Caitlin, blend? Yeah, not so much. But Carol won't burst her big friend's bubble. "I told you. Call Janet. If you don't have her number, I'll give it to you later." Because there can be no better outfit for a gorgeous superhuman than a van Dyne original. Even Carol knows that, and for the most part she likes dresses like she likes holes bored into her own skull.

"Well, I plan on upsetting Anath-Na Mut more than descendant of the Dreamer with the speech impediment? Ozymandias smirks behind his mask as the thought, "In layman terms, I am going to try to stop The Sphinx from gaining the Ka Stone. If he gains the Ka stone, I could use some muscle. He is a lot more powerful with the stone and lot more cockier. He might let something slipped.

Ozymandias tilts his head from side to side. "I can handle him without muscle, but there will probably be some negative consequences that will occur. Once he and his minions are finished, Strange should be able to open up a portal and I just need to get Ma'at to focus on destroying Apep away from this world, while trapping Apep in battle with her.

Ozymandias smirk again behind his mask, but his voice reveals a faltering confidence. "I thinking the outcome will work out in my favor. Seriously, I have a charity ball to attend. Do you know when the last time I have been to a ball? I wouldn't miss that for the world."

Diana's smile twists wryly at Ozymandias' usual cryptic speech. Fortunately, she's used to such things from gods and prophets, herself. "Well, let me know when you intend to launch your offensive. If the Fates allow and I am not engaged in a similar world-shattering crisis, I shall endeavor to join you." Yeah. She totally understands the whole War of the Gods thing he's dealing with. "I should look forward to seeing you at the ball, afterward." Confidence helps, in this job. But she understands how easily it can falter.

She turns her smile on Caitlin, eyes twinkling slightly as she glances to Carol with a subtle look that suggests she has thoughts along the same lines, for all that neither has voiced them. Still, forewarned is forearmed. "Janet is a very good choice," she agrees. "Failing that, I have a seamstress who can outfit you in something exotic." Read: Themysciran. Not exotic to her, but the Americans always seem blown away by it.

"You have a" Caitlin looks like she might actually swoon, and rests a palm on Diana's shoulder for a moment to steady herself. "Diana, please don't joke with me. I'm young and terribly impressionable, and if I go to a swanky gala in a Themysciran dress after seeing the Watchtower, I'm pretty sure well, that's about it," she says, looking to Carol, quizzically. "Right? I mean, after that, I guess as far as life goals, that'd about be the end for me. Game over. I'll just sit at home forever and go, 'Remember that ball? Best night of my life'."

She presses her palm to her chest and takes a steadying breath. Sure, it's a bit melodramatic, but it's hard to deny that Caitlin looks /inordinately/ pleased at that whole idea.

Ozymandius' issue of clashing gods and demons leaves Caitlin unable to offer Ozymandius a companionable touch on the shoulder and a reassuring nod. She'll be there for an ally, that's for sure, though Caitlin's obviously not following one whit of things.

Carol chuckles and shakes her head at Caitlin's melodrama. "I'm sure we could think of a thing or two more for you to accomplish with your life, Caitlin. But I agree, that's two pretty good ones right there." The blonde smiles. "If there's anything any of us can do to help, I'm sure you only have to ask." she mentions to Ozy. "Well, let's try out some of these delicious treats and celebrate the season. Soon enough we'll all have plenty of work to get to."

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