The Red Rage Inside

December 10, 2017:

A dinner and meeting of minds in Jakarta




NPCs: None.

Mentions: Kyle Rayner, Hal Jordan, Red Lanterns, JLA

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

fter Kori had time to clean up and settle herself from waking up, J'onn met her at the Hanger of the Watchtower. "Koriand'r, I have only briefly heard of some of the delicacies of your People, I would very much like to hear more about yourself, and your people if you are willing to share. In return, I will tell you of the Martians, and what I have learned in my travels." He continues to check for any need of calming on her side, his mental touch made obvious to her, but non-intrusive.

"A tradition among my People is to have such conversations over a meal that displays our culture. Since Earth is my new home, I find a cultural meal of Earth is suitable if you are interested?" His eyes follow her, the impact of the Beam of Anger not bringing out the Hate in him, but making him more susceptible to a display of emotions, "There is a well known restaurant in Indonesia that serves various dishes from the surrounding Asian cultures. I think it is a good place for us to start."

As long as Kori has no objections, J'onn will lead the way for them to Jakarta, and as he approaches he sends a message to Kori, <I am comfortable with making our presence less obvious to the locals, so we do not need to worry about disguising ourselves in any way, but allow us privacy to talk freely as well as enjoy a bit of time to ourselves.> Throughout the short flight, for them at least, he explains he has visited many countries through his time on Earth and finds them all interesting in their similarities and differences.

Upon Landing, J'onn takes them to a small shopping district on the outskirts of the Main City, and to a medium sized restaurant. Inside they usher J'onn in, and greet him in Indonesian <It is wonderful to see you again, Amir. Please, let us show you to your normal table.> They offer a small nod in greeting to Starfire, <Hello, honored guest. Please come with us.> Soon enough they are seated at a table, and left with a menu to which J'onn asks, "May I order for us?"

Starfire's mind is normally a solid blockade, something stoic, trained, ingrained… Learned, but now a door has been kicked off the hinges and the groan of splintered remnants is a thing that nails scrape along to cling to, feline in their drawing drag. They either cling or seek to aid in leaving it to pieces…

Tawny skin went nearly ruby beneath the heated barrage of shower water, matching the fall of hair in roots hue that only amplified the environments heat. Every blink sought to keep emerald, even as the red vessels seek to be batted away beneath lashes.

"I… am ready." Starfire states towards J'onn, hungry indeed, but it is apparent every step is relearning something, an emotion she has not felt for years, as he is feeling his own plane of onslaught, perhaps? "I will change as needed." A lift of hand and the deep purple bracer along wrist, bearing the lava-huen gem of Tamaran suddenly re-materializes into bangles, and as they descend towards her forearm her shin shifts beneath…


Jakarta is watched with widened eyes, a mixture of culture, she has spent much time travelling with Kyle, sectors, countries… But this is different to her, the bustle around them absorbed, distraction until they enter the restaurant and she slowly nods towards the Host, the language causing her a slow blink, but fingers brush away the purple hair laced with Magenta around accented Asian features.

<"Amir?"> Her head tilts, still feline in mannerism despite the newly approached appearance. <"I will enjoy this tradition, do not worry for these people, or yourself…. Martians?"> A brow lifts and Star nods, following beside Amir and behind the host.

A language she does not yet know fully, only in part.

J'onn will keep some of their conversation to the mental space, you never know who may be listening to spy, «Amir is a name I have used in my travels in this part of the World. It is fairly normal..» As for the people in the area, they seem to leave them alone, the tables around them are left open despite how busy the outside appears, and when their waitress returns he smiles at her "<We will start with two sweet teas. I would also like the two Fried Tarantula, Wasp Crackers, and Sambal for the crackers. After that we will order our entrees.>"

The young lady bows, and heads back to the kitchen. J'onn turns his attention back to Kori, "<The Tarantulas are covered in garlic and deep fried. They have a gooey center that is unique in flavor. They are a Cambodian delicacy. The wasp crackers are like cookies with wasps baked in them. Something seen in China and Japan. Sambal is a local chili-based sauce that will add some heat to the food.>"

Leaning back in his chair, a smile present as he continues to send out a sense of Calm and Friendship, «Martians, my people, lost to this Universe thousands of years ago as far as I can tell. Mars, or as my people called it Ma'aleca'andra, is the Red Planet seen in this Solar System. We were a space faring Species, the Green of my People Peaceful and Longing to Discover the secrets of the Universe, the White of my Sister Species were more War-like.>

The waitress brings out the Tea with a carafe of Milk if they wish, and J'onn offers her another nod before turning to Kori, «If at any point you do not wish to talk of something please tell me, and we will find a different subject.»

<"So, are /you/ a prince, or a commander of your people…> But the final word has her tone lowering, she knows that phrasing, the meaning behind it, the Past, while the future is on without it…

Without them…

Nostrils flare and the Waitress is regarded with turquoise eyes, a mix of that emerald and a new bleed of aqua, lined in a pale liner sweeping just over sharper edges of dark that lift corners of her eyes, shaped the same, and yet a more almond accent to tilt.

< that why…?> The names of the dishes, what the contents inevitably are can be possibly parsed enough to draw a twitch of upper lip, but instead, she smiles, flashing teeth.

Teeth that do not even hesitate to clench through the crispy and reformed exoskeleton of the tarantula, pilfering the Sambal in a sweeping *dip*. <"Not bad."> Tea is sipped and wariness is seemingly oblivious to Kori reformed. But then she speaks.

<"My people do not even exist any more. I have had dreams…. So real… Tangible… Of otherwise, but I do not believe in them, not after years passed(past)."> Another bite.

<"Why White and Green? Why not just Rank?"> A query of silence as a tendril is plucked from between canine and molar with tongue and narrowed eye, the donned tank top of gypsy-esque flare falling from lightly tanned shoulder.

«To my knowledge, I am the last of my Species… Green or White… but the specifics are..» J'onn struggles to find the right word, his own sadness leaking through for a moment in his projection of Calm, «..unclear in my mind. I know there was a great calamity, a destruction of my people except for me..»

J'onn also enjoys the tarantula, and nods his head in agreement with the unique flavor and texture. «I am a Manhunter. The only one at this point. It is a, Ruler, of sorts of my People. Selected early in Life, spending a Lifetime of training, to Protect, Judge, Lead, and Educate all Martians. There are a Council, or was, of Manhunters that Led the Martian Peoples.»

J'onn sends to Kori his understanding of her feelings, his own People lost to him forever as well, he reaches across the table to put a friendly hand on hers, «No, they exist in you, Koriand'r, and your Memories and Heart will carry them for as long as you remember.» His red eyes take in her face, hair, and posture for a moment, «I know only very little of Tamaraneans from my People. We traveled Far, but I was still young when my Species was destroyed. I would be interested in learning of You, if you wish?»

He reaches over to eat a few of the Wasp Crackers with some Sambal on them, «When the gods created my People they decided to split us into two distinct Species. One Green, and One White. As you see me, my White brethren would be as White as the purest Snow on the mountains. We share everything but temperament. The Greens are far more in tune with our Telepathic Nature, and we had the Great Voice. It allowed us to share our joys, triumphs, sorrows, and frustrations with all. Within it we learned to balance ourselves, and share Who and What we were as a People.» Shaking his head as he takes a drink, he continues «The Whites were more War-like in nature, and valued the Strength and Shifting abilities. We fought amongst ourselves instead of finding a lasting Peace. In the end, it proved unimportant given the destruction of all Martians.»

What is projected in imagery and truth is based on perspective.

To J'onn, Kori is the same, even a her brow furrows, dips over the bridge of her nose and her hands clutching the tea-cup cause fissures in the surface, enough to tickle the milky tan substance between fingers, detraction!

Starfire drinks the contents down and slides the small mug away, glancing apart from J'onn as he speaks, the touch alone causing her to tense, to have muscles tremor beneath the friendly offering.

Recognized as such?

Starfire's gaze bled through with a oceanic blue darts to "Amir's" touch, and he can feel the rage, the ire, beneath the skin of confusion. "I was Putri, to my people…?" Unsure if her annunciation is correct - the word even…

The cracker is spun into the Sambal as if a mini-cauldron of 'Sight'. <"How young?"> J'onn hit a nerve, walked that wire, as the language between them is silent, aside from the exchange of looks, a mental allowance that is one teetering on an enflamed precipice.

A gesture. "Sambal..? Mohon…?" A light bow to their waitress, but not one that showed subservience. /Please/.

Slowly but surely that bowl of dip is being '/scooched'/ closer to Kori…

Enjoyed as much as their conversation.

J'onn pulls his hand back, taking another cracker or to ease the perceived tension of his touch?, and dips it in the Sambal before quickly devouring it. The waitress comes back, he tells her "<We would like Nasi Gila, surprise us with the meats..>" His mind sends out Acceptance of their shared past, Understanding of the mixed emotions, and a Calmness that he is there to be a source of stability as she needs.

«I was a new Manhunter, for the Martians I would be the equivalent of late Teens, when disaster befell me.» Maintaining that sense of Calm, there is an undercurrent of trepidation and disappointment in his inability to stop the inevitable. «There was an attempt at Martian Blood Magic to cause a Curse on my people. A number of Manhunter's were used as the Sacrifice, with myself as the Focus to represent the Martians…» He pauses now, his eyes looking to hers, his hesitance palpable before finishing with «My Twin was the one to perform the Blood Ritual. His Hate for Me and our People was strong.» J'onn bows his head, the memories strong, and he covers his discomfort with another drink from his tea.

Star looks up finally, when he withdraws from her - but not of the Red, but of the contact alone, perhaps?

He is, however, not allowed that motion unless he pushes it!
Starfire's own hand casts the cacophony of bangle'd cadence when he withdrawals and she seeks to capture and Cease! that motion.

For that moment, when his eyes meet hers there is a hesitation, a challenge, as if she asks for a -'Fire At Will'-.

"My Eldest, Blackfi-'" Star does not release his hand, instead he can feel the surmounting heat and see the flash of 'sunset' from the corners of her eyes when they fight from bleeding over.

But Hate?
Starfire knows it as a palpable, creating force

<"My sister did not hate our people,"> Star states, her eyes closing, thumb and pinky sealing lids down while the tears that sought to descend bled pink and her grip within J'onn's becomes harsher….

Needier… …hell…ppp"

In her other hand the tea cup is about to be cracked beneath the line of tensions wire!
<…'so you know what it is like to be sold out?'»

With every wash of calm he can see the hollow of her throat swallow it down, palatable?

But he can feel! her grip become deft.

"I can see why they fight in Red…"

J'onn pauses his motion, allowing his hand to be captured, and a he tilts his head slightly to the left while a small smile forms on his face. Through the shared look, his red orbs intense in their regard, gives her the notification that he is more than willing to listen and share in her story.

Through the touch, the shared feeling of betrayal that the Martian had not realized he would find in another, he allows a taste of what he remembers of the Great Voice. His own memories of shared Happiness and Caring among an entire Species of People. His own rock in the storm of emotions he deals with on a daily basis is having known (for a brief time for a Martian) that he was Cared For without Boundaries.

As her grip tightens, she can feel the warmth of J'onn's skin carry with it his own sense of Serenity. «I will share in your pain.» She can feel from him, «It is not a burden you need hold alone.»

His other hand gently reaches for the one holding the tea cup, with his touch asking her to loosen her grip in her hand and in her heart, «I am well aware of being used in another's game, bid for power, and the pain of it being one that you Love as Family.»

"The Red makes you believe there is no other option." J'onns deep voice calls across the table to Kori, attempting to bring her back to the 'here and now' "Anger is not to be Feared or Wallowed In…" an image of Mars will float on the table between them, beautiful in it's Red Glow "…it tells us what should Face and deal with."

I ask myself,
was I content,
with the world I once lived in?"

J'onn's wash of calming warmth and /empathy/ has Starfire not wanting to bleed out those tears that burned her cheeks like lava. Memories, broken ones, even a child, reveal themselves, but it is a dark haired 'innocent' in chains instead of Starfire, who rose up and…


Tawny knuckles -pale- around "Amir's" grip, his words making her at least set the tea cup aside and brush it away as if welcoming to the tray of food to be laid between them in time!

«I was next to be Queen, it is my burden,» stated to J'onn, her pale jade eyes veined in the capillaries of 'breaking' pink to bleed in and outward. «Was, my burden. How do you not? Feel this? Even if you know this is home…Now?»

Star is trying to derail her mind, to find joy in the path of Comet and Green across Sectors, circumference Earth, the Art drawn of her, and then Yellow… Like flames burning it away!(??)

Red skin.

Amir's tanned 'induced' complexion is clasped around a paler version of sunkissed that nearly 'ghosts' in the grip, the lowering of Starfire's head enough to cast a Raven Huen cascade of hair around her face.

A low nod of head, for the moment pressing her forehead to his knuckles and then slowly…. carefully… withdrawing, blinking it away with a /smear/ of palms over her cheeks and back, sweeping that hair from her face and tossing it off her shoulders.

"I…." A slow working of the hollow of her throat. "Know. I got this…"

But her look to him is feigning, wary. There's a fear there…

"You know you have the same, right?"

Following along the memories, J'onn closes his eyes, and sends her an image of two J'onn's… although one has a look that is never seen on J'onn's features, sardonic and mocking… despite that she can still sense the Love that J'onn held for his twin, even when the twin so very obviously held nothing but contempt for J'onn.

«It is a burden, but I believe your People saw the strength in you, and knew you could handle the responsibility.» His strong hands, the skin giving in her grip, but beneath they feel like bands of steel. «I was raised to be Who and What I am. This burden was carried for Mars…» there is a mental sigh, disappointment in himself, «..I failed there. I feel blessed for another chance with this new Home.» a quirk of his lips, a shadow of a smile «New People, Ones I care for, and find Hope in this new opportunity.»

As she lowers her head, she will feel one of J'onn's hands gently brush fingers through her hair, "I feel the lingering effects. The Anger wanting to bury me, but despite his intentions my Brother is my Anchor."

He shares another image, the Twin, railing at the confines of Law and Decency, and J'onn realizing that by stopping this Madness he is protecting the young and innocent. This feeling, this image, is what keeps the Red at bay in the Martian. His need to protect, to put himself before Danger for others, and not Judge in Hate but in Love and Peace.

As she looks back to him, J'onn keeps a small smile, but she has learned to see in his eyes the sadness of being the only Martian. He covers it well most times, but the mental touch he has used to help her works both ways in order to be effective.

"I believe you…" J'onn tells her, conviction clear from his mental touch, "…but you need not bear it alone. Your friends, and I will be here to shoulder the burdens." At that point, the food is brought out, and J'onn will lean back so that it can be placed on the table between them. The waitress give them both a large smile, "<Enjoy! If you need anything, please let us know.>"

"I know that you, and the others are there when I need." he answers stoically to her question, but the question is will he come to them when he needs. His eyes continue to watch her own, his gaze is intense, but there is a level of understanding… a shared tragedy that offers a deep bond…

«Martians had something called the Great Voice, it was our telepathic connection to each other, and as a society it meant we were never alone. When my People all died, I was forced to sever myself from it, and have felt great loneliness.» he places his hands on the table, palms up and flexing his fingers, «I have found that it need not be the case.»

Starfire slowly draws back, her eyes closing, nostrils flaring, memories flood her mind with his words, and she may as well have been seated upon a massive Bedouin pillow.

Let me show you the world in my eyes..

One leg crosses over the other, the veil of meshed fabric whispers between thighs, a shadowed substance with underlying black sating that has and incandescent whorl of purple/blue - akin to the depth of her hair…

The arrival of food draws the waves of raven's wing hue across the table, even as her eyes seek to meet and 'withdraw' from 'Amir' the J'onn.

His memories linger in her mind even as they part, a ghost-like reminder of a people no more, of the last that they are, the extinction due to…


… Lashes flicker over eyes, his Brother Mirror, her Sister, the time they spent… It meant…


"How can you be…" A slow formation while her hands seek to clasp upon themselves and find a harmonic clasp on one another.

"…./alone/?…/Okay/?" (…with that?)

Kori found and awakened to solace and promise upon a glacier, even as a child's laugh fades in the backdrop, poison had run through her veins, constricted by shackles.

The sight of Mars betwixt has her pausing in breath, lips sealing as the moment in blinked aside, the food placed between them something for flexing fingers to curl around.

… Then his hands lay out, palm up. Pale to the tanned underside in this world…

Un-induced, the splay is different…. but not to Starfire who contemplates and drops the seasoned and encrusted crustacean back upon the tray.

"I…," A look, those hazel eyes of Faux-Arabian heritage bleed to the rebirth of emerald from iris to sclera. "Understand."

Food is forgotten and her hands clasp his.

The JLA is family now, and J'onn knows

Starfire is similar, and her own care, her own passion, desire, and fortitude for this home…


Trustfall 'x' Galaxies!

J'onn feels the similarities, the emotions shared, and the mirror of their stories is something he had never expected. Despite the horrors they have seen, J'onn finds a kindred soul, and there is a closeness in that shared pain. His mind drifts down that path, not lingering on sadness, but on finding a shared existence that can lead to healing for them both.

"Alone? I had yet to find someone to share that same level of connection with that I had with my People…" Past tense? Perhaps, "Okay? Well, the situation leaves me little option but to learn to live. I am the Last, and my People deserve the best from me. Live, find Happiness, for them and their Loss."

The food between them is ignored by J'onn, thoughts floating through a myriad of possibilities, as Kori was chained and poisoned, so too was J'onn bound and 'sacrificed' in a Martian Blood Ritual with the maniacal cackle of a voice so much like his own. Perhaps a twin he has found, but not a Martian… interesting…

When Kori clasps his hands, he comes out of his own reverie, his eyes drawn to hers and he offers her a genuine smile. Again, his hands are warm, more so than normal for a Human at least, and he does know the feelings that Kori shares.

"I do understand, as well…" and to her mentally he adds «Koriand'r.» protecting her name as he would a secret of his own. "How are you feeling?" He asks, honestly, not delving into her emotions, his concern sincere on his face as well as the emotional sensations radiating from him. "I do not like to see you so troubled." whether it is the Red or Her Past, his ambiguity makes it hard to know.

The fall, is more than trust to Kori, it had descended in a burning path/ down her cheeks, the inward contour of cheeks, and razed an angry path along her jaw. Hate is a massacre, and Kori knows it well, it is a small //piece of her strength. But perhaps better worded (and unknown)as Justice and Triumph…

Which is why she remains with the 'Justice League', even if being a 'Titan' is something she is, since conception.
… after conception is what has her…

Hands rest open over J'onn's own, and the haunting voice in his memories, that echo - a brother to him.

To Kori - A sister, once holding in embrace, and then shoving into servitude, only to return to a demise of everyone and everything she ever knew.

But even as a child she remembers running from Yellow Fear, clutched in the Keepers grasp, flung from it in her fall.

A draw of breath is nearly *hiccupped*, and in a slow blink…
… blink.

"Did you ever get to set it right?" It is a question that bares a hand over heart, but her hands still rest over his.

"How long have you been alone?" The emotions she feels, she omits in return is a thing belonging on a boxing ring, because the lacking encasing of familiar arms around her and why, is an easy catalyst to fuel her fire.

…"I feel," a pause and Starfire looks down, at the dropped appetizer before her, Alien to Her, of all… people?

"Like we should not 'feel' alone, or 'be' alone anymore." A deep breath, and from the corner of her lips her tongue sweeps away the /acrid/ sting..

Starfire shudders at the sensations of confliction. If feeling is a spectrum, she is radiating the speedometer, from Perse, to Red - flickering between.


A million points of light..

"Share?" A feline tilt of head, those eyes seeking to focus oin him in the single lower of lids, up-tilted in an unseen smile. "I would gladly be a part.." Though the pause is long enough, even in heartbeats.

"I feel like shit.." The phrase accented, unsure even in its truth - was the wording even correct? Blame movies, or the Tri-Cities..

The lightly tanned figure goes a shade paler, a hand rising to her lips before beneath the cusp they bleed back to her 'natural' plum hue.

"Ladies Break Room..?"

The tumult of emotions that flow from Kori, across her features as well as through her memories, is something that is almost impossible for J'onn to miss. Again, he respects her privacy, but having been a telepath as long as he has there is a large amount of empathy and body language he has learned to understand.

Through his hands, touch being the easiest medium to transfer empathic feelings, he strengthens the positive feelings to push down the sense of negative feelings.

Fear, something J'onn understands well, forced to face the Flame as a Manhunter before he was raised to the title. Images of a Bonfire, J'onn standing before it, the inherent Fear in his People confronted.. not defeated… but accepted and faced so that inaction is never a possibility.

"Set it right?" His voice asks, the chasm of memory opening again, "In the worst of ways." A sigh, heavy with responsibility, and she sees the image of J'onn forced to fight his own Twin until only one of them was left in an Inferno on Mars.

Now there is sadness, as much as he tries to hold it back, but it is read in the eyes even in his shapeshifted form, "Too long. Years, more than the Humans here could comprehend…" He quirks an eyebrow, "…my memory is, fragmented, and I work on rebuilding it. Some from how I arrived here, some to protect myself, I believe."

When she asks him to share, the sadness dissipates like the fog before the rising Sun, not quickly, but eventually gone as if it never existed, "I would like that very much…" a quick squeeze of those hands, as strong his own, another sign to him of a mirror he didn't know he would meet, "…I would be honored to have you as a part of my story." Sincerity, unblemished by anything other than thankfulness in her offer.

"Only for now…" His tone more serious, confidence again shared with Kori that while the Red is temporary, the other aspects that are painful can be shared and the burden eased through time, "…/we/ will make it so that the /shit/ becomes a faint memory."

At her request, J'onn stands slowly as is polite in some parts of the world, "Around by the entrance to the kitchen. The sign will read like this" … and he provides an image of the Ladies Room sign for her … "I will have more tea brought for you." and he waits for her to leave before seating himself again.

Starfire's tremor in the withheld upheaval of a cough can be felt in the final grip of a single hand in J'onn's… 'Amir's', but where palms clasped hers is going tawny, the heat starting to emanate with every pulse of beating heart.

Growing faster. Hotter!

"But our memories," As broken as both of theirs are, chosen or -not-…"Are all we have." Only when she is shown direction does her hand fall away and she turns from him, her other hand drawing in a faint touch along his jaw.

The dress of a modernized 'galabeya' parts from hips to reveal the transition while the inducer upon her person is slowly succumbing to the temperature rapidly accelerating beneath the skin… A glitch undigitalized, but bleeding through. The wrap of scarves that bound back the layered lengths of onyx hair slowly fall from pleated placement, the edges singed and slowly burning inward until the hole left is ringed and blackened.

The door sweeps open, the sign he had directed her to a flickering visual, and if that empathy, that lingering tether still has remnants between them the slight heat suddenly ignites!

If there is no window, Starfire made one upon her exit, though the erratic path is trailed by the heated tail of a comet across the skyline until a warped pillow of backburning leaves smoke and a pressure that lifts dust and litter from the streets below into small spirals.

«It won't be right, unless we make it…They need to feel this…all..of them!»

Yep… shit may hit the fan, instead!

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