Terror, Tacos, and Tactile Telekinesis

September 25, 2018:

Troubled Titans talk tiredly on terror, towers, and TITANTRON.

Titans Tower

too lazy to look up the room description, but it's very T-oriented

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's been all hands on deck for a few days for the Titans. The demonic incursion is still in full swing and there are monsters aplenty swarming through the city streets. Fortunately, between Titan Tower's remote location and built-in defenses, most of the foot soldiers in the demonic legions are giving the place a wide berth. This makes it unsuitable for refugees, but a great location to store sensitive or dangerous items while the city's in chaos. Also, just to sit and relax and recharge batteries a little, in relative comfort and safety.

Caitlin Fairchild's sitting at one of the large rec room tables in the common/dining area. She wears matte grey leggings, low athletic shoes, and a well-loved pink hoodie. Comfort clothing. Her hair's pulled back in a fighting braid, to keep it out of her eyes in a fight.

The Lounge smells strongly of fresh-made food, too. Taco salad, in fact, in actual taco shell bowls. Store-fresh beef, fresh veggies, and plenty of fixings. The food's all laid out on the counter in the kitchen, a proverbial dinner bell for the Titans. Caitlin's a big believe in an army marching on their stomach, after all.

She's working on something technological in nature while at the workbench, surrounded by piles of disassembled machine parts and specialized tools. An augmented-reality holodisplay flickers blue light near her fingers, painting a picture of a prototype design that she's clearly trying to take from concept to reality.

"SIRIN, run that phase discrimination parameter again," Cait says, slurping down some coffee and eating more of the taco salad. "What does the amplitude shift to with the modularity discriminator calibrated?"

There's a flickering of light, and the AR display flashes something very technical in the air in front of Caitlin. "Gaaah… okay. Adjust parameters by five, seven, seven, and… six percent, and compile new operators."

Cait leans back in her seat, rubbing the bridge of her nose. She scratches a silvery line of metal that seems glued to her temple and runs to the corner of her eye and briefly along the line of her jaw, then yawns mightily and gets to her feet to move to the kitchen and refill her bowl full of homemade taco fixings.


Splash. Splash. Splash.

Splash. Splash. Splash.

Something wet comes this way, and it is the form of the glorious Wonder Girl. Beautiful, golden and red, her body clad in a tight-fitting, starry pattern and golden armor, Cassie would be her usual sunny and heroic self, if not for the layers of goo on her, as well as scratches and bite marks, as she walks into frame, looking like her armor weighs a ton.

She looks at Caitlin chilling, t he food, hears about modulating discriminators of inversed molecular polarity, and she just can't handle it.

Quite without reservation she dives face-first on the couch, wetting it with what she really hopes is just demon saliva, before muttering, her face buried in the cushions.

"Wow. Fuck this day."

Demon hunting: always the graceless endeavour.


BEFORE

"OH MY GOD I'M GONNA DIE"

This is Spider-Man's mighty battlecry as he sweeps perilously low to the ground with a very slightly comatose Tony Stark in hand. He just barely manages to cast his webline before they become delicious pancakes for demonic consumption, yanking into the air on a spiraling path towards the safest place he can find.

"Ha ha! I'm alive! Holy crap! TAKE THAT, HELL!"

A demonic ogre scratches his head as he looks up at the fleeing Spider-Man. He looks to his companion.

"What was that guy's problem?"

And so Spider-Man, having helped relocate Tony Stark's slightly comatose but not quite pancaked body somewhere debatably safer, immediately sprang back into the fight. His day goes similarly to most of his days on patrol, except now burglars puke hellfire instead of hateful rhetoric.

"YOU DRESS LIKE THE WORLD'S WORST ICE SKATER, YOU TINY TWERP!!"

Okay, and also the hateful rhetoric.

Thus it is that Peter's days become a montage of thwarting demon invasions from mundane to potentially catastrophic, basking in the glow and warmth of a caring city's praise for his efforts.

DAY ONE

Spider-Man thwarts a robbery at a bank. The demons spit some sort of acid that briefly turns his uniform technicolor.

The security guard, believing Spider-Man to be possessed now, shoots at him a few times as he leaps off with a cry of, "Stop it! I'm not evil, this is not a Saruman situation!!"

DAY TWO

Spider-Man knocks out a couple of imps trying to raid a Cheesecake Factory.

He and the manager proceed to have a spirited debate about why, according to a recent podcast by J. Jonah Jameson, this demon invasion is all a conspiracy invented by Spider-Man to up his public image and also steal free cheesecake, and no, Spider-Man, you're not getting free cheesecake.

Spider-Man insists he wasn't going to try to angle for free cheesecake.

But he kind of was.

DAY THREE

Spider-Man saves an old lady from an evil goat. The old lady is very nice to him. It's a good day.

Immediately afterwards, the old lady reveals herself to be another demon running a double con, and in the ensuing confrontation Spider-Man loses his most precious tool of all: his Spider-Signal.

Also, she kicks him like halfway across Queens.

Which leads us all to —

NOW

The sound of snoring can be heard from above the goo-slaked Cassie Sandsmark as she makes her way inside the commons of Titans Tower. Anyone need only look up to find Spider-Man, stuck to the ceiling, parts of his color still a psychedelic tie-dye of mind-bending colors, other parts torn and bloodied, other parts missing vital Spider-Signals, just sort of… napping.

On the ceiling.

Look. You don't know what comfortable means for a spider-person if you weren't bitten by a radioactive spider. Don't judge.

It's intended to be a little cat nap (ha, animal wordplay); it has now stretched for close to two hours before the snoring stops, white lenses expanding almost blearily open with the dawning scent of —

"whu — hey. It's not Tuesday." Tacos.

"… oh god, is it Tuesday??"

How long has he been asleep?!


The Titans have been without their iconic Superboy for a while. Too long by any -rational- being's measure, obviously. He's been on a globe-spanning adventure, saving people, drinking mojitos, looking good on the local news in like, UNCOUNTABLE buroughs and distant states. /Someone/ heartless, selfish, and probably bird-themed rang his Teen Titan Trouble Talisman up with the alert, though, and Kon was on his way back to New York.

Only to find New York: Doom 2 Edition. Great. Fuuuucking great. Look, it's not a Superman Sin if the bad language is inner monologue. The Boy of Steel careens headlong into the chaos, as he is wont to do, and his trek back to the Tower takes hours, even coming in from over the ocean. By the time he gets inside the secure perimeter, things are a little bleak.

Torn by talons, his simple denim and black Superman t-shirt travelling ensemble has seen better days, the bloody cuts beneath far from life-threatening, but nasty nonetheless. His hair is extra double-time slicked back courtesy of that forementioned HellGoo that he's not thinking about, and the only thing really 'intact' in his ensemble is the simple, small pack that he drops off his back as he wanders into the rec room, drawn by the smell of tacos.

"What. the. Hell?" Pun unintended. He kicks his sneakers off on the way to the food, a little haphazardly, and perhaps with some minor shock involved. One of them lops over, seperated from its sole. Deep, man.


Clang. Clank. A combination of both.

Enter the Cyborg.

He doesn't particularly look tired or anything like that. Both versions of his body and face, the metal and the flesh, are littered with various pieces of demon, blood (demonic and human) and other various styles of 'This Mother Effer Has Been Putting In Work'.

"No." Cyborg responds upon scanning everyone in the room without actually looking at them. He's picking up on everything and making sure that nobody has been tainted by demonic possession or something. He's not in the mood.

"Fuck these demons."

Cyborg just keeps on walking to make sure that he can get over to his corner of the rec room and he sits himself down to open up a few hundred holo-screens. Almost immediately the footage of everything he's done in the past few days, scanned, recorded and what not about the demons gets uploaded into the Tower Servers. Just so that Tim can have ample information on how to deal with all this crap. It never hurts to be prepared.

From there, he just stays where he is and does more recon style work. While also there seem to be a few holoscreens of… suits or something? Whatever. He's working on something over there.

"Please tell me there's orange soda left."


"Golly, guys, language," Caitlin scolds, as everyone walks in and drops F-bombs and flops on things. She gives the area a critical eye. "And I know we're all tired, but let's not get effluvia over everything okay? It might be a while until we can get cleaners in."

She makes a small bowl for Cassie and moves to the sofa. She kneels carefully to set the bowl down next to Wonder Girl, on the floor near the sofa where she can smell it without needing to look around.

"It's Monday, Spidey," Caitlin tells Spider-Man. She starts dishing up taco salad for each person in turn, moving with a tidy sort of efficiency. "I was hungry, and figured everyone else could probably stand a hot meal," she explains. "There's sour cream, and spicy and mild taco sauce, and extra cheese for anyone who wants it," she remarks, pointing at the little bowls set up in sort of a self-service arrangement. "I don't know if we've got soda, Vic, but I can make you some lemonade if you want," she offers to Cyborg.

Then she spots Conner showing up, and beams a pleased smile. "Oh my gosh!" she marvels. "Welcome back, Superboy!" she tells the fellow. Caitlin exits the kitchen area and moves to offer Conner a hug in welcome. "I'm glad to see you're in one piece. How's it feel to be back in New York?"


Cassie mumbles something into the cushion and air high-fives the nothing when Cyborg gives his emphatic opinion of demons. She would stay in her relaxed, dead pose if not for Peter going, well, full Peter. How can one guy forget the day of the week so frequently!?

"RELAX, NERD!" A pillow is thrown. "You are not late again! There is nothing going on in the city other than those things. Can you keep yo- Yum! food!" Cassandra is about to start eating, now sitting down, when Superboy shows up.

"OOoooohmygoooods!"

She flies towards the man and quickly hugs the man, Dino-style, her prodigious strength never in check when dealing with their resident Kryptonian. She smiles brighly, and then PUNCHES Kon in the arm, frowning as if she momentarily forgot that her job is to give Kon a hard time.

"WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN!? There are demons in the sky and we were -worried- and you come back like you didn't vanish now all cool and stuff!? I don't think so! No, man! No!"

Cassie folds her arms, eyeing Kon, as if she is expecting Cyborg, Caitlin and Peter to back her up there. Eyeing Caitlin, Cassie translates, teasing her friend, "I mean. Golly gee, wowzers, all this time and not a phone call? Uncool! Not a-okay, mister!"


"'m not possessed" is Spider-Man's groggy slur of an insistence. It's like he can tell Cyborg's scanning him through some obscure spider-power. Or maybe he's flashing back.

Either way.

Gradually, the spider-vigilante drags himself up (down) into a seated position on the ceiling. Cross-legged, those lenses squint down at everyone gathered, his arms stretching out to either side of him as he suppresses a yawn. It's Monday, says Caitlin.

"Oh, thank god," mumbles the webbed vigilante, and despite himself, legitimate relief filters in through the cracks of that groggy joke. It was a concern. He can't afford to lose a single hour, let alone a whole day, to a situation like this.

Which is probably why he begins this new conversation with an attempt to end it by way of, "Those smell, like, super good, but I think I'm ought to head out again-" when suddenly, rogue pillow!! It's a testament to how fatigued the webslinger is that he is struck square in the face, rocking backwards in his ceiling perch as he sputters around a mouthful of comfortable cushioning.

"H-heh, whuff duh hegg?!" he muffles against the pillow, before yanking it down. One could just imagine the frown on his face. Just imagine. "How do you know? I'm a very important man, maybe I've got, like, an appointment with my agent — yeah, I've got an agent, his name is, uh," Spider-Man looks around for a very clever way to Keyser Soze this situation. Think Spidey, think!!

"… Coffee… Maker?"

He doesn't need sleep. Shut up.

Eventually, he drops down, and that is when he notices Cassie's demon goo situation. Lenses squint. He pauses there, still as a statue. "Uh. Hey. You're looking really… …" say something nice, say something nice, say something "uhhhhhhhhhhh"

And then, Superboy.

"Oh! Hey! Tactile telekinesis dude! What's up??"

Saved.


Half-glazed eyes take just a moment to focus on Caitlin with a decidedly dubious narrowing of brows. He's about to say something less than complimentary about this stupid, stupid city. How good is it to be back!!?! … even when Cassie impacts him like a charging bull, it's improved. Sure he hurts, but his impregnability is intact versus such forces! Plus, he hugs a Wonder Girl and a Fairchild in mere moments and it's hard to bitch about New York.

"…. it's getting better. What the hell is going on?!?" He reiterates, even as super-bearhugs both the Lady-Titans. "Pretty sure I was safer before!!" Kon rebutts Cassie without missing a beat, "Even, you know. Doing hero stuff." Which totally explains his sojourn, in exhaustive detail.

"It's not my fault if -someone- bogarts every post card." Conspiratorial eyes dart from one person to the next around the room, but it's not really clear if even Superboy knows who he's talking about. "Eat, dude." It's deceptively nonchalant but tersely insistent; uncharacteristically serious for Superboy. Even as he's accusing Parker with his /eyes/.

"Only way to keep the fight going is Tacos, everyone knows that." He reverts immediately to flippant— but it lends some motivation to his own focus shifting so quickly back to piling up a plate with all the goodies and all the spicies despite the enthusiastic ladies and video games they're all behind on.

"Everybody in one piece?" Among the Titans, that is— the city is obviously bad. Maybe as bad as Kon has seen it. For a moment, with the inquiry, the look in his eyes, the set of his jaw, it looks a lot more like someone else.


"Welcome back, Superboy."

That's about as much of a 'happy to see anyone' that Cyborg gives. He's in serious mode right now because the city's on the brink of being destroyed by demons of all kinds and shapes and evil and this is no time to be happy to see anyone.

"I got it. Thanks." is tossed to Caitlin as he heads for the kitchen area to make sure that he can whip up some kind of frozen lemonade deal with some of extendable appliances he's got built into his body. It's a process he doesn't need his hands for so on his way towards the kitchen he makes sure to offer a fist for dapping towards the Superest of Boys.

See? He cares. Kind of.

"If anybody needs more rest, I got a few days of reserve battery that I can double up on shifts." Cyborg really should start leaning into the more human side and not this Cyborg side of himself. He's going to end up lost in the machine at this rate.

"I think I've got enough time to upgrade the Tower's automated defenses too." Cyborg swipes at one of his holo screens. "They could be outputting at a higher percentage if I rebuild the energy conversion system from scratch." All Work.


Caitlin reaches over and tweaks Cassie's ear fondly as the blonde girl starts teasing her. "Everyone needs some time off," she reminds Cassie. "Let's just be glad Conner's back, okay?" she suggests. "It's nice to see everyone around the tower again, though."

She helps Cyborg out, fetching out a tall pitcher and locating the lemonade mix for him so he doesn't have to unpack the entire contents of the kitchen cabinets and larder. She fixes Peter in place with a pointed finger, wiggling in his direction. "Hey. You. Food. Eat," she tells him, in blunt and no-nonsense tones. "You can't fight demons on an empty stomach, and there's no telling how things are going to go in the next few days. Can't fight demons on cold rations, believe me." She huffs.

"Golly, you /boys/. It's all cold bacon and cereal without milk," she mutters, irritated. "Sit and have a hot meal, okay?"

Caitlin starts frying up some more ground beef, gauging appetites with an expert eye and talking easily with the other Titans as she does so. A few months as a galley chef for a throng of Asgardians seems to have given her a little more ease working in a kitchen. "Vic, actually, I had an idea about that," she tells Cyborg. "I was thinking about demon fighting. We keep trying to, like, punch them or shoot them. There's got to be a way to force them back home, right?" she inquires of him. "Like— forcing them to return to their homeworld, or banishing them, or destablizing their physical forms?"


Cassandra doublechecks Peter after she actually hits him with the pillow. He should have done his spiderthing! At least he isn't hurt. It would -suck- to for his forgiveness. He would milk that so bad. Cassandra looks back at Conner, chuckling at Peter, that rascal.

"He doesn't have an agent called Coffee Maker." … "Or an agent. Period." Maybe she doesn't need to sleep either! "It is nice to have you back, Kon. Missed y-" Bearhug. "OH MY GODS LET ME GOOO! GRRR!"

Caitlin's treacherous move has Wonder Girl frowning, batting the redhead's hand away as she looks at the rest of them. "Not everyone is here. Bart is still missing. We need to find him." Cassie isn't overly worried. If things were really dire, Raven would have materialized from thin air by now, screaming her frightening prophecies of blood and the Black Goat of the Woods.

Raven needs a psychiatrist, or MLP. Either or.

She approaches Cyborg, however, sitting by his side. She gently elbows the manchine on the arm. "Hey. No burning through batteries, okay? We all can overwork a little and get through this. But we need to find El Barto. Can you focus on that?"

Wonder Girl is still gooed when she smiles, "After we get him back, we can work on outputting energy levels and whatever. And also talk about those trackers." One day they will talk about that tracker idea that for sure hasn't been implemented yet!


Eat, dude.

In an instant, Peter Parker comes up with at least half a dozen ways to excuse himself out of eating in favor of wading back into the chaos of the city, and some part of him realizes it's sad that this has become so rote for him that he can manage it at the drop of a hat. The would-be webbed menace rubs at the back of his neck, looking back kitchen-wards with a dawning squint as Caitlin joins the chorus of insistence. Plenty of excuses…

"Okay, alright, maybe one or something." The sigh that escapes his lips is so soft it might as well be inaudible.

"Even though it's not even Tuesday. I just pray to the taco gods for forgiveness…!"

And here, he does a sacred hand gesture.

It might just be 'taco' in ASL.

With that, he makes his way over, eying the technicolor portions of his costume with a muttering of, "Man, this doesn't look half bad…" as he swipes himself up a taco shell bowl.

"Mm," comes the thoughtful exhale from Spider-Man as they immediately get down to business. This, at least, he can find his stride in. "I don't know if it's that simple. However they got here, it doesn't feel… I dunno, 'normal,' I guess? Is there such a thing as 'normal' for a demon invasion? There's gotta be, like, some kind of standardized rules or something. 'You must arrive with an ominous speech about eating souls and your leader must have an appropriately ominous name like Lord Blacksun, the Duke of Darquenyss,'" one could just feel the edgy butchering of that title, "or… you know, whatever. These guys feel like they just kind of… flopped down into our existence or something."

The arachnid vigilante pauses in the perilous piling of foodstuffs on his taco bowl. Lenses squint. Narrow. Seriously. "More importantly… after what happened to the Tower recently, and with demons around, we're probably just working on borrowed time until something bad happens. I think it's time…" Dramatic pause goes here…!

"… we discuss turning the tower into a giant robot."

"Again."

"I'm totally serious, there was like, this, oh my god, GIANT DRAGON like straight out of The Hobbit but not the funny one where you laugh because you're imagining Benedict Cumberbatch wiggling around with a bunch of balls plastered all over him making scary faces, this was a legit dragon. With tentacles. Maybe pervert tentacles. Not sure. Caitlin was there, she knows!"

And with this, he rolls up his mask halfway, to dive in to his meal.

"And Wonder Girl's right, you should rest up a bit, Cyborg," says Spider-Man, not the God of Hypocrites. It's different for him. Shh. "We need to find Impulse, like, ASAP. Because, y'know."

Mild gesture here.

"Tentacle dragons."


CLANK. Fistbump offered, fistbump accepted, fistbump soundly executed. Kon's serious face shifts to a lopsided, easy grin, and he shoots a single finger-gun at Cyborg, "Cyborg. The Borginator. Borgarino. Borgeoisie." They're not all strung right together. He gives Cyborg enough time to talk in between.

Kind of. "Cheeseborger in paradise. Cyyyycutious of Borg. The Borgermeister." Sure Cyborg, be nice and offer to take on extra weight so others don't have to. The only proper response to that is relentless, utterly facepalm-worthy mockery.

His amazing pile of taco goodness assembled, and a nod of thanks to the cookin' Caitlin given, Kon migrates with the others to lounge on a couch near Cassie and Cyborg, digging in before offering any more of his /sparkling/ repartee.

By the time he soaks in all the information on offer, he's gone from a serious, slightly solemn and concerned study of Wonder Girl as she recounts the missing misfit, to a gaping stare at Spider-Man that might as well have audible ellipses. Kon shakes his head, scarfs more chow, and takes a minute to process it all.

Superboy settles on, "Just tell me where, and tell me when." He may not be invulnerable to mythical hellspawn, but when he hits them, it's like with the berserk power-up. "You know.. besides 'everywhere' and 'all the time'." The addendum is mumbled— different coping mechanism or no, he faces much the same dilemma as the others.


"…"

That's Cyborg's response to Caitlin. "You're smart. I dig it." The compliment is given and Cyborg immediately pulls up a fresh holo-screen and does some parameter typing without having to actually type on a keyboard. Something about cross-referencing data with localization and triangulation coordinates. "If we can find the portals they are coming through, there might be a way to close 'em. Maybe just plug 'em up until somebody magical can do that voodoo that they do so well."

Cyborg looks over to Cassie when she sits and she gets a nod. "I'm on it." He swipes holo-screens again and shows one that's scrolling through cameras and satellite footage the world over. Probably looking for Impulse. "When it pings, I'll grab him. Promise." That's the plan anyway. Not many things go according to plan for the Titans.

Spidey's words actually manage to get a grin from Cyborg as he looks up. "Finally. The loophole we needed." Cyborg produces a mini-box from one of his sections and tosses towards the middle of the room. From there, the cube opens up to extrapolate on: Project - TITANTRON. Various schematics, designs, brainstorming, upgrades and what not are included in this holofile that's now available for everyone to swipe through and look at. Yup, Cyborg's been working on this for a while and now everyone has a chance to check things out, offer input and squeal with delight. Whatever they want to do.

"Webs and I've been working on that for a while. I'll get to work on the mods as soon as I can. If there's a dragon around, we're going to need some really, really big guns."

Cyborg narrows an eye (he only has one okay) at Superboy and that mockery. "I can handle the mods, the energy conversion, the search for Impulse and a few other things without totally depleting my power cells. It'll be fine." It won't be but he won't tell them that.
was R"… But if there were two of me." Uh oh. Cyborg's got the thinking glint in the one human eye of his again. Hmmmmmm. Project: Grid is still a possible option.


Caitlin piles food in front of Peter the second he sits down. Extra beef. Extra sour cream. Extra salad. More cheese. "You are looking a little skiinner than usual," Caitlin chides Peter. "We've got a lot of work to do! Can't do that on an empty stomach," she scolds.

Anyone else who looks more than 50% done with their meal gets an extra giant ladelling of meat, salad, and toppings. Whether they want some or not!!!

She brings up SIRIN with a gesture, and the AR layout project provides an interface with Cyborg's projection system. "I've got some ideas about incorporating Asgardian magical theory into our tech," Caitlin tells Cyborg. "But the energy sources and the materials are giving me trouble. If we can /locate/ these hel— heckportals, and then collapse their dimensional singularity with an inverted waveform, I bet we can shut them down early and often. Only the biggest of 'em would get by."

She glances at TITANTRON, and rolls her eyes at the boys. "You've been watching /way/ too much Gundam Wing," Caitlin tells them both. "Where would you even get actuator servos and bearings big enough to support this kind of shearing mass?" Caitlin inquires, flicking a fingernail at the design parameters. "Or the power systems alone—! We're talking the same kind of power output as a SHIELD helicarrier."

She pauses. "Though, come to think of it, if we found some salvaged impeller motors, and maybe used one of the Arc reactor coils to…" she trails off, 'hmm'ing thoughtfully at Cyborg's prototype design sketches.


''Caitlin was there, she knows!''

Cassandra slooowly eyes Caitlin, a grin on her lips. "Were they pervert tentacles, Cait?"

''Cyborg. The Borginator. Borgarino. Borgeoisie.''

Wonder Girl just… eyes Kon. This is getting… borderline experimental, and while Cassandra is pretty sharp, she is just lacking the information to process whether Conner is joking or if he bugged.

''Cheeseborger in paradise. Cyyyycutious of Borg. The Borgermeister.''

"KON! GODS." She stares at the man, then, raising her hands and looking as confused as she feels. "You done?" There is a hint of a smile on Cassie as she asks. Yeah, that certainly elevated her mood.

What FURTHER elevates her mood? Titantron. Cassandra tries hard not go 'Hell yes' at the mention of the fabled project, but there is a grin on her lips. She is no nerd, but… Titantron is legit. Legit as F! "Caitlin, stop badmouthing Titantron, gods be damned! We need this! THE WORLD needs it ! Believe in something!"

"Whatever works against dragons and to find Impulse, I am in! As soon as he pings in, these people will feel…" she looks around, nodding, "The Wrath of the Titans." Cassie thinks she just dropped the mic right now, and it shows.

"I am going to present an alternative to this whole… portal talk. Why don't we find who is opening these portals, and pummel their faces until they regret it, and then they close the portal, or else? I am just saying. My plan requires way less interdimensional desfibrilators or what have you. Kon is with me, I'm sure."


"I'm not skinny! I'm stylishly svelte. There's a difference. Probably."

This is Spider-Man's firm(ish) insistence (sort of). He can't actually remember the last time he just sat down and enjoyed food. The past few days have just been a blur of fending off demon activity and trying to find any trace of Bart.

The fact that this makes him feel antsy more than anything probably speaks to the spider's mindset right now.

So for now, he distracts himself, finding a wall he can stick his back to (seriously, you'd understand if you could do it) and work his way down his meal as the others talk. "Voltron, thank you," he says, with a most intentionally exaggerated snort, for Caitlin's words. "I've got some ideas for all of those, but I mean, the idea is, like… we got attacked by a grammarsaurus rex the other week," he is not repeating that, "and now all this, we gotta have, like… I dunno. Something."

His fork gestures, pointedly, Caitlin's way. "See? That's what I was thinking! Anyway — if there's portals, we can do something about them, but like…" The masked vigilante's exposed lips twist up in thought. Those lenses narrow into pensive slits as the gaze behind it tilts towards the windows, towards the city beyond. Where a literal dragon makes its roost on the tower that once belonged to his mentor.

"… Do we even know why they're here? Something about all this really doesn't sit right with me. It's all just…" Bizarre. Chaotic. Off. Hell on Earth, but not expanding out past New York City?

"… dunno. It's bad juju all the way down."

He presses a hand to his chest, warding off that unease with a hopeful declaration:

"Thank goodness TITANTRON will soon be there to save us…!"


"…" It's all a little over Kon's head. Or at least, it's easy to assume it all is. Maybe he's just deferring to the experts. Though he does interject intrigued musings at one point, "I could totally augment a team voltron with TACTILE TELEKINESIS, I bet. Better than any armor, rock 'em, sock 'em robot action."

Superboy mimes just this motion with his fists, and when Caitlin forcibly heaps more taco salad on his plate, he nods emphatic thanks once again, mouthing the same once said mouth is not full.

"…. Maybe, /Cassandra/." He could start in again at any moment. It hangs in the air, threatening and oppressive, a product of his threat and not the demonic incursion. He looks from technobabble to technobabble, nods here, nods there, frowns a little; eats tons of taco salad.

Then Wonder Girl starts speaking his language. Smartest people in the room. "Damn right." He holds out a fist to Cassie, and nods firmly. "Open some portals of our own." He grumbles grimly, with some measure of false bravado… but sincerity in the sentiment that someone deserves to be ripped apart at least a little.

Standing with the last of his plate, TACTILE TELEKINESIS helpfully shielding the couch from his bleedingness, Kon starts off for a nearby doorway. "I… am in dire need of a shower. Then I'll get back out there, do what I can. We'll figure this out. It'll be okay." By which he doesn't mean everything will be fine; he means they'll make it through. Beat. "Awesome to see you nerds again."


Cyborg is paying attention to everything Caitlin is saying. Kind of. He's doing a bunch of different things at once. His processes are all over the place but he's making sure to listen intently to what she's saying. "Oh hell yes. Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout." Everything she's saying gets fed into various programs inside him and he's already trying to work out the various issues that'll come up during this process. "I mean, I'm a man of science and Asgardian magic is kind of loco but if it helps, it helps." Cyborg shrugs it off but is already manipulating some of the previous plans of his and making them better. Fairchild is cited on those additions and modifications as well.

Credit matters, people.

"Hey. I'm all for punching people in the face. But if we can close the portals, that'd help keep more innocent people alive. It might even draw out the Portal Maker… Person?" Even Cyborg doesn't know why this is happening and he's been studying info for freaking days.

"We're going to need a theme song." A pad and a pen get launched from one of Cyborg's many launching mechanisms and in the general direction of the Amazing Spider-Man. "I got dibs on the rap verse."

There. Cyborg has initiated a /little/ fun.

"You too, Superboy." Cyborg finally sips his lemonade and gets back to work. Muttering something about 'once again, tactile telekinesis is not a thing. it just isn't. and if he has to he'll prove it by'…

It's a lot of muttering. Just fade out. Or something.


Caitlin turns an almost iridescent pink at Cassie. "Ewww! Gosh, NO!" she tells the blonde woman, throwing a wadded up napkin at her. It unfolds in flight, impacting with all the force of a gentle breeze.

Caitlin starts tidying up the kitchen. Her motions are automatic, reflexive, and done while she's thinking about other stuff. "There's no reason we can't take a multi-pronged approach to this," she remarks. "We do need to figure out the source of these portals. But if we can disrupt them, or even increase the workload required to make them, I'm sure we can diminish the invasion pretty significantly," Caitlin explains.

"Cy— let's you and me and SIRIN sit down and do some algorithm crunching," she tells the mechanized man, chewing the inside of her cheek in thought. "Maybe we can establish a pattern here. Spidey, can you do some recon for us?" she inquires of the lean Spider-Feller. "Try to get us a sense of where the portals are, where they've been, their shelf life, that kind of thing. Any data at all would be useful. And Cassie, if you can consult with some of the mystics," she remarks, "that'd be really swell. We just don't have enough -data- and we can't get anything done galloping in all directions," Caitlin says.

She gets out the Tupperware and seals up the food. "Leftovers, if anyone wants them," she says, with a midwestern sort of maternalism. "And I'll try to cook up a hot meal tomorrow, too. Better than rations and cold cereal, right?"


Cassandra laughs when Caitlin has her outburst, "Oh my! Sorry, sorry! I mean, I wouldn't judge you for digging some tentacle action! To each their own!" Cassandra HUGS Caitlin. She is too easy to tease.

Kon offers his fist for Cassandra to bump, and the blonde does so, muttering a 'Hell yeah' after the deed is done. This is a pact sealed in unscientific badassery that shall be honored in the years to come!

She adds to the conversation with Cyborg, "Asgardian -anything- can kiss my ass. We don't need that. Their king or prince sucks!" She eyes Caitlin, "Thor is like their Diana, right? But… lame?" Just making sure. Don't want to insult people wrong!

She waves Connor goodbye, and notices goo flying everywhere when she does so. "I should take a shower too." … "By myself." Just in case SOMEONE (PETER) decides to be smart about it.

At Caitlin's suggestion, Cassandra frowns, and nods. "I will ask the oracles for some guidance." She eyes the rest, "Yes, they are a thing. They are the best Google on Earth. Believe me. If Google returned searches in the form of riddles."

And at that she stands, ready to take a shower, and fly to Themyscira, the dopest place on Earth.


Pad and pen go soaring through the air. And the response time within which that red gloved hand snatches them out of the air is a bit sluggish — a bit, relative to the speed at which its owner typically moves. Subtle enough to be barely noticeable save by the observant.

"Right, got it," proclaims the Spectacular Spider-Man, and in this much, he hardly even misses a beat: "I just need to find something that rhymes with 'My name is Cyborg and I'm hear to say'…."

And thus did Spider-Man gingerly tap the tip of his pen against his chin as he waited for the muse of old school 90s rap to speak to him.

Whatever ominous notes he's scribbling, however, eventually come to a pause. He considers the rest of his food, piled up high, as he listens to Superboy and Cyborg's competing assessments, and Caitlin's own suggestions. The be-tattered vigilante looks out towards that window again…

… and then, perhaps most surprisingly of all, tugs down that mask and delivers his only half-finished meal onto the countertop without a single word.

"Yeah," he assures, the warmth in his voice indicative of a smile just as much as the faint tiredness is of something else. "I'll get some intel. Thanks for the food, Caitlin. It was just what I needed."

No jokes about showers (you can't just softball 'em in like that), no jokes about tentacles or the inevitability that is TITANTRON. He just stretches with the protest of sore, beleaguered muscles and tendons, suppressing a singular wince before opening the nearest window with the softest hiss.

He should get some rest, he realizes. But he's worried. About Bart. About the people at the Bugle. About Mister Stark.

About Aunt May.

So there really is no other choice, is there?

"… so like, okay, this tactile telekinesis thing, I still sort of don't really get it — is he like, really good at mentally psyching himself up to push things with his hands, or does he like, telekinetically grope people with mind fingers, or…..? Okay gonna go food for thought bye—"

And with that, jumps back into the fray.

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