The Grandkids Aren't Alright

March 21, 2018:

Atli investigates a potential infestation of demon spiders at the recently damaged Titans Tower. Impulse makes a new friend.


NPCs: Toothbender

Mentions: Red Robin, Rocket Raccoon, Silk, Sloane Albright, Spider-Man, Steve Rogers, Tony Stark


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…



"Sing me no more words from the song of your people, silly goat. You are punished! Stare nowhere but the corner in which fair Rocket keeps his bomb parts, and whine no further."

And yet there was much goat whining, for how could it be said that a goat could tell one person's underwear from a ham sandwich? This is not a thing goats care to notice, not when they are hungry. Especially not when they are from Asgard.


"Fine, fine. Still your unseemly eyes and that constant expression they help form, the one that makes me take pity on you. Let us go for a ride about the city, perhaps see our old roost atop Stark Citadel, land of robotic demons and black books filled with many many names."

And so it was, Atli and Toothbender set off on a glorious journey, one that would have simply been a quick trip around the city skies if not for the peculiar oddity along the side of one building. A peculiar building at that. There, she sees the great hole in the building known as Titan Tower. Well, known to some as that. For Atli, it is now just Hole Building. Or, really, the building in which someone has tried to patch a hole… with webbing. To this her eyes widen, and her spear comes to full form, growing from a sword to point in the direction.

"Toothbender, the poor souls in that building need us! They have been beset by demon spiders of some sort, all of which are likely disgusting." The goat seems less than enthusiastic. "And also tasty." There is a roar from the goat then, a bellow of a creature starved, and it dives towards the webbing, which grows Atli's eyes wide and her hair wild.


If not for the leading spear and both Atli and Toothbender's raw strength, it is likely they both would have simply rebounded off of the webbing and found themselves tumbling from the sky. Instead they cleave through, hoofs skidding along the broken floor of a lab that has since seen better days. Broken glass, burnt.. everything. Yep, something sure did explode here. The sudden stop is enough to send Atli flying from Toothgnasher to slam into a wall…

…and leave what's left of it to tumble on top of her.

"Verily goat, I hate you."

Toothbender does not seem to mind, chewing noisily on one of many 'DO NOT TOUCH' signs that little the room.

Bart Allen has not been totally slacking off. He'd missed the events of the previous week, and as the way things go, one always starts to wonder if things might have been any different if he'd been present during the emergency or not. It's like a continual game of mental tennis played by himself, although physically only a Speedster would manage to do the same. But what if—? But things have already run their course. And yet…

It's like that, it's been like that for the week to follow, and every time he comes back to the Tower the lingering damage serves as a consistent prompt for that record of a mental repeat to be played again. He's worn that record out well, and while it seems to him a while before he breaks himself out of that cycle, in reality it only lasts for not even a minute, if even that. Focus on the positive. No one got hurt, well, no one got super hurt but things all in all could have been a lot worse. Having ventilation in the Tower isn't too bad a thing, really. And look at the view!!

….wait, what the heck is that?

Amber eyes wide, Bart yanks up his goggles over his face and darts over towards the hole and its makeshift covering. Webbing probably really isn't all that ideal to fill a hole in a building, but Silk had given her best effort at least. But something's coming all right. Something's still coming and at a fair speed, although it's still enough for Bart to process with time to spare before he zips out of the way as a woman and her goat come careening through the hole, slashing through the webs. "Goat lady!" he blurts. Unfortunately forward momentum is very much a thing and while the goat applies the brakes, Atli doesn't have a goat seatbelt. Bart cringes as she goes flying into a wall, shoulders hunching up again as part of said wall crumbles atop her. Maybe Red Rob won't notice…?

"…er, you okay there?" There's nothing to be done for a goat intent on chewing scraps. Well, they probably need to replace that anyway. Impulse stands there by Atli, making some effort to pull away the chunks that have landed on her. She's still talking, so she's probably fine.

A few of the bits of drywall that Bart pulls away soon reveal her face, and then, her spear. Leaping to her feet, she whirls this way and that, somehow not cleaving Bart in two with her wild gesticulation. Finally, she turns her spear blade side down and stabs it into the lab floor, hands smacking together to clear the dust from them, and then she begins furiously shaking out her head.

"I am quite fine young man who seems most familiar to me. Have we met on some field of battle or perhaps after, in the throes of revelry? It is not is not just any face that I almost remember! But many faces I do forget as a matter of drinking in a most prodigious fashion." Then, there is a squint at Bart, and she scratches her head, her hair entirely a poofed mess. "In any case, it appears my presence alone has driven the spider demons from this place. But thank you very much for your concern."

Then, a smile, one that could light up the heavens, and a heavy clap on Bart's shoulder, to give him a welcoming shake. "I am Atli, Goddess of… wind, fire. All that kind of thing."

Here she looks around, her expression turning into more of a polite smile than one filled with excitement at meeting someone, a thin line that shows her teeth. Finally, she's just grimacing. "Hel's Bells, it smells of burnt people in here."

Spears are dangerous. So are people who can be back on their feet even after colliding with a wall at speed from being dislodged from their goat mount. Atli's wild swiping of her weapon actually goes through Impulse, who vibrates sort of out of reflex to avoid it. It seems to him more reasonable to do than to move out of range. He scratches his head as the Asgardian speaks then. Wow, she talks just like in some of his weird video games.

"Yeah! We kinda met on a battlefield. You were with Sloane, weren't you? When we were fighting evil robots?" Because there aren't very many people who ride atop the backs of mighty goats in New York. He's pretty sure he would have remembered if she'd come by Luke's bar when it was non-exploded, or the pub he worked in now.

Almost falling over at the hand she rests on his shoulder doesn't seem to startle him in the least. The teenaged Speedster grins at her, eyes alight behind the yellow lens of his goggles. "A real goddess? Cool." Aaand only Bart would say such things in stride. "Nice to meet you, Atli. I'm Impulse." He's sure if he slipped with his 'secret identity' in here that Red Robin would drop down from what was left of the the ceiling or something like a ba— Er.

Atli's observation does have Bart's mouth quirking. "Well…you could say that. I think someone exploded in here." Or something to that effect. "-and what was that about spider demons?"

This puts a look of long consideration on Atli's face, one can almost see the variables flying as her mind churns through possibility and back through errant memory. A tap of a finger against her cheek. A squint and a tilt of her head as she stares into Bart's goggles. It does not look promising. BUT THEN.

"AH! Yes, I do remember some sort of smear along the air, burning bright, with all the enthusiasm in the nine realms! Or, almost remember. But if you are a friend of Sloane, Child of Wehrsweir of the realm of Boston, then we are already allies." Bart speaks of spiders, and Atli turns to face the webbing that, while appropriately colored to match the wall, is still, you know. Webbing.

"The last I heard of an infestation to spin webs such as these, the entire asteroid had to be crashed into a sun. If it comes to that it is of great fortune that your sun is but a stone's throw away." Of course, throwing the tower into the sun because of spider demons that do not exist might not be everyone's first priority.

"Ah. Well. Exploding people. Yes I have heard of this. It nearly happened to Toothbender after Taco Bell introduced it's Grande Stuft Burrito. A most absurd culinary invention, even by Asgardian standards." After this, she begins wandering around the room, pulling sheets from burnt equipment and generally being nosy and obtuse to the 'DO NOT TOUCH' signs. Toothbender manages to turn his horrifying, goatly eyes to Bart and belch before going to work on eating what's left of a chair. "Yes it appears that some of this was certainly once a person and is now burned into all of your many things. You have my sympathy, Impulse of the Amber Eyes."

Better an ally than an enemy? Impulse doesn't seem to have a problem with this logic, anyway. And hey, Sloane is cool. And this person just flew in on a goat. …this is why Bart is not in charge of recruitment.

Following Atli's look towards the remnants of Silk's webbing on the walls, his mouth opens in an 'o' even as the Asgardian begins to explain. "Oh that! Um. Yeah, that's not… -whoa, really?" Easily distracted. It doesn't take much for Bart to start imagining a web encrusted asteroid being flung into the sun, where it goes up in a mighty plume of flames. Right, what were they talking about? Their sun, and …oh. "-yeah, no. I don't think Red Robin would appreciate having the Tower thrown into the sun, so just as well we don't have an infestation. Actually, there aren't any spider demons here? Much as they might be cool to see. But we have spider…like? allies, and they tried to make a temporary fix for the hole from the explosion but…"

He gestures helplessly at the hole in question, and then watches as Atli starts to poke about at things. His eyes cross the goat's and for a moment he has to wonder if it's healthy for a goat to be eating something that potentially had a dash of human seared into it.

"Yeah, I…wasn't here when it happened. Wish I was, although I dunno if it would have helped or changed anything. It's a mess all right, but everyone's okay, and the Tower can be fixed. Stuff can be replaced." People can't, he doesn't say.

"Hmm. Spider allies? That doesn't sound right. They are repulsive creatures, and this news scroll called the Daily Bugle often speaks of a masked Spider Menace. And what is this? You have an ally that is a specially colored robin, and not simply black and orange, as seen on your Discovery channel?" Truly perplexing, all of it.

As is everything else here, which Atli makes clear as she reveals a… is that a treadmill? As yes, the kind used for medical stress tests. Or for testing super-speed. Atli steps onto it, thinking it some kind of chariot, and just as her hand touches the rail she steps through it, and snaps said rail. Furiously trying to piece the rail back together she settles for setting the bit of it she broke off on top of it and stepping away from it as if she'd done absolutely nothing wrong.

This done she once again dusts her hands free of human ash and other burninated things, smiling all the way back to Bart. "Ah, do not worry yourself about a battle missed, dear Impulse of the Amber Eyes. There is always another fight around the corner, and if not it is easy enough to create one by drinking too much. Speaking of which, tell your Bird Friend that this place of his is a most interesting domain. I have never been to a home that had a room specifically for exploding people. Are the other rooms in this place of equally obscure function? What is it that a warrior like you is doing in such a place?"

Really, she can only imagine Spider People and Bird People and this strange eyed Fellow all doing very unseemly things in this place, and if this were not a friend of a Child of Wehrsweir, she might imagine it a stronghold of villainy!

"I…. Wait, what?" Impulse blinks, then laughs at the thought of an actual red robin with the signature domino mask and cape of his teammate and leader. "I dunno, that's what he decided to be called," he shrugs. "And don't worry, that news Bugle thing always says stuff like that. I don't think they like Spider-Man very much. But he's all right. Sometimes he terrorizes kids? But I think that's on accident." Bart. Totally helping.

He winces as Atli stomps through their equipment, accidentally, it seems, although watching her try futilely to put it back together is kind of funny. Well, he'll be the last person to tell Robin what happened with that.

It's Atli's following question that throws him off, and he gives her a bit of an odd look as though to make sure he's processed that right. "Whoa, um. We didn't- this isn't, wasn't a room specifically for exploding people. It just sorta happened." He scratches his head, trying to figure out how to reword Red Robin's wordy report with equally confusing jargon. "Sciency stuff. Someone modified someone, or something, and I guess they also ended up making them explode because they found out we'd brought him to the Tower after they stopped him from rampaging in the city."

He shakes his head, wondering if that made any sense. As for what he's doing in this place… "This is our team headquarters. The Titans? Have you heard of us?"

"Ah, terrorizing children. If he is a man with the proportional repulsiveness of a spider, then I can understand. That must be why he wears a mask so often. Verily, I will take pity on this man and seek him out, so that we might speak about his challenges in trying to find a place in this world, filled mostly with people who are not repulsive spiders." You see, Atli wants to be his friend now too, if only to show others they need not fear his probably horrible visage.

Wait, what's that? It was some sort of accidental exploding. "Ah yes, much like the Taco Bell incident. This does explain some things. Hmm. I do not recall hearing of your Tiny Titans. All of the Titans my sister spun tales of were massive creatures, and often mad. I do hope none of you are like those awful fools. But it sounds like not, since I do not remember any Titans being animal themed. Speaking of which, I am unfamiliar with the Impulse animal. Tell me of it's powers. Tell me of your power. And also of your teams purpose. For instance, I am a Guardian of the Galaxy. It is easy to remember what we do because it is right there in the name."

At this she leans forward, as if being conspiratorial. "I am certain Fair Rocket, who is as smart as he is beautiful, came up with this name. It is unlikely you will ever meet him because he enjoys detonating places that are not already in shambles, but perhaps that will change. And perhaps, too, there is merit in joining forces. Fate itself brought me to your.. hole.. in your wall… so that I might help you redeem yourself for missing this battle by finding out why this man exploded in your room, not meant for exploding."

Or maybe just a dumb goat brought her here. Either way, Bart is in trouble, because Atli Wodendottir is about to become his friend. A most dangerous prospect indeed.

There's a…weird sort of grin that tugs at his face as Atli makes her own assumptions about Spider-Man. "Oh, you totally should. Talk to him, that is. He loves talking." And hey, more friends, the better, right?

"Ah…it's just a…name? I'm not really sure why they called themselves the Titans but we're not like um…those stories." Bart pauses to think about that. Sounds about right. He vaguely remembers covering something like that in literature. "And we're not all animal-themed, not really. But didn't you see m- oh wait, probably not." He laughs. "I'm super fast. Like my grampa. That's probably why you didn't see me much when we were fighting the robots," he says, smiling crookedly. "A Guardian of the Galaxy sounds really cool though. I bet you have a super cool thing to shout too, when you get together and go to battle, right? Because all we say is 'Titan's Together' and that's kinda lame sounding. Or maybe that's just me that thinks so."

Blinking behind his goggles, Bart looks curiously at the Asgardian then. "Detonating…um, blowing up places isn't exactly a good thing though…" A bit of a sore point for him given his first job got blown up and now this. "But… really? You want to help?"

Who is he to argue with fate or a goat? And one can never have too many friends!!

….somewhere Red Robin is having another migraine.

It is not until Impulse proclaims his power that Atli's eyes light up, but not because of his power, but it's source. "I, too, inherited my gifts from my grandfather. And none of his weaknesses of being first a fool and second, a big damned fool. It.. I miss him very much. But, no, I do not have something I shout before I go into battle."

She laughs then, a big, over-exaggerated laugh that is totally not a fake laugh and this is totally not a bad habit she picked up from someone else. Nope. "Really? Titans Together? Who does that." And then more laughing. So much laughing. The goat makes another sound that might be a laugh, or indigestion. That alone seems to shake Atli of her giggles. Finally she moves closer to Bart, throws an arm around him, and waves her other arm before her as if revealing hidden words from the air.

"Indeed, I will help you on your quest. Imagine it now. Impulse, the Titan Who Stopped The Exploding Men. It.. is not the snappiest title but I have heard worse! Come now, show me around this place so that I might find a place to sleep when I am nearby and tired. And food! And drink! Surely, you must have those things here as well, Impulse, Grandson of Also Very Fast Person. We will dine, and drink, and devise our plan. Then perhaps you will let me speak to your bird person in charge, and explain how fate brought us together. Oh, and the Child of Wehrsweir. She should help as well. I am certain squirting water at things stops them from exploding."

Atli Wodendottir.

Asgardian Princess.

Red Robin's worst nightmare.

It's nice to have some sort of common ground, and for all the things Atli says about her grandfather, there's an obvious fondness there. "I haven't gotten to meet my grampa." Yet, seems to be implied although he doesn't voice it. There's…a lot of strange complications in this world, and when you threw in time travel it just made things all sorts of confusing.

Bart laughs a bit with Atli as she bursts out laughing about the strange team declaration, although it starts to get awkward very fast, leaving him to stare at her, probably wondering if she's broken. Just as abruptly she's thrown an arm over him, nearly bowling him over in the process. As unsure as he is as to how sincere Atli had been with that laughter, she seems…pretty sincere about her offer to help.

Not so sure about the titles though. "Mmm…yeah, let's…skip the titles for now," he says. "Besides, I won't be the only one stopping exploding people." Straightening up under her arm, Bart grins at their unusual guest. Homewrecker? Friend. Yes. That's it. "I guess it can't hurt. I mean, you helped us out back in the other fight. You're not with SHIELD, are you? Red Robin's kind of 'eeeeh' about them…." He'll lead her towards the door, throwing a glance back at the goat. "Um, he going to be okay there?" Not that there's much more damage that Toothbender can possibly do in this room.

The very nature of the goat means that she must scowl when he's brought up, but Impulse is right. A goat left to his own devices is a goat up to no good. She casts a glare over her shoulder. "Toothbender, come along. There is better food on our path than these leavings of an exploded man."

That seems to get the Goat moving, and Atli's face scrunches a bit. "No, though I have met the Shieldmaiden of Midgard, Steven Rogers. He is a most honorable fellow. If your bird man does not like him, then we may find ourselves at odds. He is an honorable man, who once helped us slaughter a dead turkey. Or.. something of that nature."

"But do not worry, Impulse. Even if your bird friend has reservations about me knowing a man with a shield, this does not mean our friendship or quest is in jeopardy. I have many allies in this world now, including Lord Stark. His resources are vast, and he has a tower that sometimes speaks to me when I sleep atop it. Assuredly he will help us. Now tell me, friend Impulse."

She stops then, stepping in front of him. Eyes level with his. A dire bent crosses her gaze. Toothbender joins in, staring up with his head tilted back in a goatly stare.

"Do you have what all those who might set themselves on the path of adventure need for preparation? Do you have…."

Her eyes go wild, and even her head tilts back, just a little. "Rocky Road?"

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