Executions, Introductions

February 01, 2017:

Green Lantern tasked with seeking out Inhumans to aid in the Nuhuman struggle finds one. Doctor Strange and Starfire included.

Bakupo, South Africa

A ravaged Terrigen Mist plagued village in South Africa

Characters

NPCs: Lash

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Miles east of Johannesburg South Africa a small village lays in ruins. Fire and ash swirling in the temperate air waves, drifting higher and higher until it vanishes in to the floating murky green clouds that have permeated this region since Apocalypse's attack months ago. Johannesburg was a direct target of the immortal mutant and it has shown throughout this region.

Floating safely away from the soot, T-Gen gas and smell Hal Jordan Earth's very own defender of sector 2814 has an arm extended, fist curled and a green light sweeps the wreckage below; cocoons, burst open with corpses around them. The entire village is either dead or evacuated.

The trip to South Africa is silent between the two near-strangers, Starfire who is in the strips and straps of purple armor stares dead ahead while intel feeds through to them about the status of the area of the country itself.

Warnings, wariness. But she had been seeing the need for more rises in Queensland already and her aid and accord with Wonder Woman put her here. A hand rises and releases her of the headset that sits nearly invisible along the side of her head. Tucking it along the duet of criss cross straps over hips to save for later.

No words are needed between the two JLA'ers, once they drop into the skyline above Johannesburg and Green Lantern begins his work, Starfire slowly descends. No mask can be seen but it means nothing as she barely hovers above the Earthen ground and uses Perse Bolts to start blasting small divots (graves) beside corpses.

Her face remains calm, but there is something in the silence between them and he motions that tells all as the digitalized armor of white coats over tawny skin between the gaps of nary-there violet armor.

"Kind of you to consider the fallen Starfire but we'll be here for the next week if you plan on burying everyone here. " Hal remarks to Kori as he studies the area, "Our League contact is likely dead or gone." A frown etches itself across the Green Lanterns brow, visible even beyond the domino mask he wears. Further examination of the bodies reveals some of them have been shot, others injured or killed in other ways, broken, burned, stabbed or blaster fire.

"I suppose I can at least disperse this… " The light being projected from his power ring alters it's shape becoming a large set of double fans, fans that begin to assault the collected Terrigen gas in dispersing gales.

It is about then when Strange appears through a door of light a few yards from the other heroes. His suit seems as strange in the small African village as the colorful attires of his companions. "Greetings, I heard…" his voice trails off in the face of the massacre. Grim, he murmurs a spell to look for survivors. "Have you found any clue about the perpetrators of this atrocity?" He asks quietly. "Are the local authorities incoming?"

"Then I will be here for a week." Starfire states.

This was a war unknown to her, but it looked like war and will be treated as such. None of those laying dead bore the essence of enemy. Just fallen.

So as she blasts pock-marks across the terrain and sweeps like a living comet to and fro, she dodges the Mists while Hal lays down his Lantern fans and clears a path, in turn the six-foot burrows appear like a rapid fire from a machine gun, pulling from the residual light of heavy African sunlight to do so even through the fog, but perspiration shows on her brow despite.

"In my week here, if I find the JLA contact I will bring him home." So literal, but such is the way of things right now, as Star sees them.

Strange's appearance only brings a moment of brakes applied, her look attempting neutral but failing as it shifts from him to Lantern. "I do not think anyone will come…"

"No, it doesn't appear anyone is coming. This isn't the only village like this, if it's not militants executing the Nuhumans emerging from cocoons it is someone else… " A solid tone from the Lantern, this isn't the first time in his career he has seen something like this. "The attacks are different here if you look, not just guns or explosives or burning… maybe the Nuhumans fought back."

Doctor Strange's incantation to seek out life signs does register two not far off. Beyond that anything else is small and animal.

"To sound on the side of cold, we have more pressing concerns then one of our number spending a week here digging graves. There are relief crews for that, we can get a hold of those volunteers in the Hall."

His only acknowledgement of Strange is a brief look. They're the League, teleporters, flying, speedsters… moment's notice usually is all they get.

The Doctor nods. "There is no one alive in the area," he states, disappointed, "we came too late, but we should endeavor to prevent this to happen again. The killers need to be found and judged by this crime. I was told someone sent a warning to the Watchtower." He kneels and checks one of the corpses, trying to figure out how long has been since the attack.

"But do they…" They being the relief crews..

Starfire pauses in words but not in her manner in which she expends bolts of energy to create graves, pausing as one kicks small bits of Earth over Strage's shoes while he checks for signs of life or death. Another look to the man and Starfire is done for now, lifting into the air to over-look the landscape.

"Do they even know how to properly bury them?" A slow taper of words as Starfire looks down and away to the horizon.

"They are like children. They're execution is a war-crime, is it not?" A tilt of her head and Starfire looks between the two men sent with her to this place of desolation. "Let's deal with pressing, then. Shall we?" In saying as much Starfire waits, the dimming glow spent on graves slowly building back. Readying.

The Doctor nods. "We came too late, but we should endeavor to prevent this to happen again. The killers need to be found and judged by this crime. I was told someone sent a warning to the Watchtower." He kneels and checks one of the corpses, trying to figure out how long has been since the attack.

But then he looks up startled, "wait, I think I have found survivors. Perhaps two of them." He stands, hurrying to follow the esoteric signals of his divination spell.

Hal considers, "Calling this a war crime makes this a war… let's not go that far yet. Right now it's a pandemic and the world doesn't exactly know how to respond, they're afraid." Starfire is right though, this is an execution and something about it feels off, different.
The attacks were not long ago, rigor mortis has not yet set in, no pooling of the blood underneath the skin but eyes are sunken, fingernails and toenails are pale, feet and hands have become blue-ish, skin is headed towards purple and waxy, no this is somewhere in that window between thirty minutes and four hours. The Doctor can conclude it has been just shy of an hour maybe an hour and a half.

"Where!? Nevermind. Scan now!" Hal shouts.

"That will not be necessary Justice League." A deep rumbling voice states, the owner of it striding forward, Starfire is first to see him, walking through the brush towards them. An unnaturally tall man (about 7 feet tall), spiked black hair, broad shouldered and bare chested with red eyes. He is flanked by a shorter woman with dark skin, her head downcast as she remains behind him. Not the stoic and confident wall the creature beside her is.

Strange assumes Starfire means 'crimes against humankind' and not war crimes. Easy to confuse both if one is unfamiliar with legal terms. Genocide and genetic cleansing are definitely crimes against humankind.

"It is not a disease, Lantern. Meta-human genes activation can't be considered pandemic," that is the doctor speaking, not the sorcerer. But he goes silent for a few seconds when the two survivors appear. "Greetings," he says, "are you injured? We came to help. Alas, not swiftly enough."

"Okay, Doc." Hal responds-, "What would you call it then?" The Green Lantern cuts himself off or anything further he would say as the man steps forward, making himself known, "They don't exactly look like they need help, maybe a shirt. We're here to help. Who are you?"

"There is no one left here to be helped save perhaps yourselves, you may be ignorant to what is transpiring with the world." The large man folds his arms across his chest, "I am Lash. I speak to you now only out of some mild respect I have for your vainglorious coterie; it is an honorable path if not misguided. Leave here and speak to none of what you have seen, this is not your business, this is a family ordeal, these… " A hand waves over one of the empty cocoons and he caresses his thumb across it almost lovingly, "These are no longer your people, they are ours and we are beyond your laws. Be wise in this and let us handle what transpires with the newborns, what is it your media is calling them… the Nuhumans."

"Was that a threat?" Hal's tone goes harsh and he locks eyes on Lash.

"That is simply not true," replies Strange calmly, studying the tall man and his quiet companion. "A minor genetic difference does not make these people less human, no matter what strange labels give them in the media. But even if they were aliens from the other side of the galaxy, they would still under the protection of the Justice League, the Supreme Sorcerer and the Green Lanterns. And as they are being persecuted and attacked, we will act to defend them."

As the monolithic man comes forward, Starfire rights, her jaw only setting as she looks to the woman behind, paying her more focus then him after a moment and words pass.

There's something there as pupiless emerald gaze reflects the woman in a serviceable posture of lesser behind 'Lash', and then as she shifts that gaze to watch his hand stroke in adoration over the cocoon's shell. In that moment Starfire realized she missed a lot in this, but…

… does not have to agree with it all. Again to the other woman behind 'The Lash'.

"I am not from this planet either, but have come to adapt to it, and love it for what it is and harbors." A glance back to her fellow JLA'ers and then to Lash, her righted posture showing now the regality she held somewhere deep.

"I see there is only amusement to be gained from this." Lash's stance shifts and he looks about to depart, half turning to pause. "It was a warning not a threat, Green Lantern."
Composed and powerful the giant man grins at Doctor Strange and Starfire in turn, "No not at all less. Much more now, elevated, evolved… and I and my Tribe are the only ones capable of truly liberating and protecting them. You only interfere, so, I implore you politely and with an extended respect, stand aside and let us deal with our own family issues from here on. As noble as you believe you are in this venture, it is simply a folly one that will not end well." Consider my words, should we meet again, there will most definitely be bloodshed because that means you insist on interfering." His back to the Justice League now he strides away the young woman with him raises her hands like a dance, purple streamers flicker off of her fingers only to wrap around the duo, blinking them out of reality.

Strange scowls at the tall man, shaking his head. "It sounded too much like a threat. I wonder if the Inhumans are not also forming factions and raising armies… no, in truth there is no doubt they are. After all, it is human nature."

He looks around at the devastation, considering the spells to see in the past and to find the killers, and to ease the way of any restless soul lingering behind. No doubt there will be some. And finally he adds. "Even in America the DEO is taking cocoons for their own experiments. I suppose we need to act, and decisively, very soon."

Starfire's eyes narrow as they disappear in such a manner, but one that refracts back in a way of art long ago drawn, bent and curved, based on a 'looking glass' perspective.

"They know their ways. They need a diplomatic intervention. Not force. They need a show of…" A pause and Starfire's own hand rests on the same cracked cocoon, smoothing fingertips over it. "Understanding."

A sharp withdrawal of her hand comes and that cocoon is shoved into one of the graves she had made as well as the corpse beside it. A look towards Strange and Hal, focusing on them and leaving them to their decisions while she made her own, a handful of dirt gathered and scattered over the first 'grave'.

"I am acting, and will continue to."

"Isn't that what we're doing now?" Hal inquires of Strange before shaking his head at the departure of Lash and his companion.
"Starfire, that man wants nothing but trouble. He had a look in his eyes that said he wants to fight, my opinion is he's spinning some bullshit and wants to bait us, I could be wrong but… going with my gut, that's one bad dude.' A sigh escapes Green Lantern as Kori continues to dig graves, "I suppose since you are going to be stubborn about this you could use some help. No point in breaking a nail." A teasing grin and green scoops begin to shovel dirt about as he carefully assists the Tamaranean in laying these unfortunate people to rest. (end)

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