Shopping at Stark Industries (Team A)

October 10, 2018:

Fairchild, Starfire, and Misfit go after the parabolic mirror assembly in Stark Industries. Misfit runs into a serious problem.

Demon-infested Stark Industries tower


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

(Continued from

After dismembering the two panthers that attacked Misfit, the Titan Team agrees to split up. Cassie Sandsmark takes Superboy and Maxima to the storage facility, while Caitlin, Misfit and Starfire press on to the labs area.


Too casually, Cassie forms an X with her arms, and expands her forcefield around her and Misfit, sighing. "You know those days where you just hate to be in the office?"

Charlie's eyes go very wide behind her goggles and she just about bounces out of the way before both panthers land on her. The thing is Misfit doesn't seem to have to. They are quickly ripped apart by her superhero companions. Gore and horror everywhere. "Urr…"

When the guts settle, and thankfully ash, Misfit looks sidelong to Cassie. "Yes. Yes I do." of course she does, she just said no sign of danger when some demon kitties tries to tackle her a split second later. "I really want to know why these things act like I rubbed myself in demon steak…" that is an unhappy mutter. "At least the gore ashes away back to hell with them when they are blown up though." there is some dusting of ash off her costume.

"Okay. I will.. endeavor to not be ambushed again." especially since Cassie isn't going with Misfit, there is a look to Cassie and then to the space cases she was paired with and back to Caitlin.


Caitlin reaches out with her free hand and hugs Misfit. "It's okay," she reassures her friend. "I didn't see them, either. I don't think they show up on thermal scans," she says, frowning. "Which is disturbing, but…" She shakes her head, and turns on the tactical light mounted to her rifle. "Well, they're gonna see us coming no matter what, so we should even the odds. Okay Kori, go out the east door, and we're going down two floors to my lab," she says, following Starfire. "Remind me—" she pauses as a message flickers in her left eye, and she pauses for a second, then resumes speaking. "Remind me look in my locker, I think I left my favorite headband in my office," she says, trying for some levity.

Caitlin, Misfit, and Kori head down to the Research Labs, designated by a large sign. The entire floor consists of white floors, white walls, and glass panes. Lots of heavy equipment segregated by clean rooms and small office spaces. "Ugh, we're really exposed here," Catilin mutters. "Careful with the starbolts, okay Kori?" she tells her friend. Caitlin slings her gun behind her, ratcheting the strap tight so it won't bounce around. "I know there's some radioactive materials in here and lots of flammables. My office is on the other side of the building." She starts walking towards that direction, fists up in a pugilist's stance and looking warily for attackers.


Starfire's flight, at least, is very quiet, in that… well, she just does some gravity weirdness and floats. Since they're being stealthy, she stops flying halfway to the ceiling and just hovers with her feet a few inches from the ground. No footsteps is no footsteps!

"They are not…" she begins to say of the demons, when they come under discussion, "Properly of this part of space-time. I suppose this is because of 'the magic,' that people are always speaking of. But it does mean they interact strangely with proper physical laws. Even to my normal eyesight," which isn't exactly normal by human standards, kind of mixing up the traditional senses in wild ways suited to her more sensuous people, "they are somehow… wrong."

And in saying that, for once, she does sound a little disturbed.

Cautioned toward avoiding her blasts, Kori is actually happy to comply. As she hovers along, she draws a less typical backup weapon from her belt - a cylinder that quickly expands into some sort of combat staff. This is where she points out that she's also a kind of crazy space Amazon, with warrior training up the wazoo, right? Who isn't!?

Rather, in fact, she is very business-like about it, falling on that childhood martial education. "Yes of course. I will minimize damage to the environment unless absolutely necessary. Please guide us to the objective, I will watch for opponents."


Charlie accepts the one armed hug from Caitlin and then sets out again with a much smaller team of her friends. She adjusts some settings with one hand on her goggles, muttering until the infrared portion is deprioritized in the HUD. Motion and noise is reprioritized for the moment.

"Look in your locker." is the immediate reminder, not at all spaced out usefully, but at least that means Misfit must be feeling all right at this point with the snark. "Is there an iron man suit down here somewhere.. I could use one.. I could be IronGirl…" and back to the banter as she trucks along with her compatriots.


"Parts of the suits," Caitlin murmurs, the sub-vox link echoing in Misfit's ears as clearly as if she were speaking loudly. "We design everything in here. Production's across the city, we only keep prototyping equipment here for rapid development."

They do, in fact, reach Caitlin's office, with a handsome plaque that says 'C. Fairchild, Asst. Head R&D' on it. She lets herself in, gets into her locker, and pulls out a black hairband. "My *favorite* hairband," she explains, beaming happily. It gets tucked in her slingpack and they continue the prowl towards the other side of the room.

The attack happens when they're almost three-quarters through the facility. Spiders. Big ones, chittering loudly with a clack of over-hard chitin on limbs nearly as long as a person is tall. They scuttle along the floors, across the walls, and even overhead as if guided by some higher intelligence to converge on the group!

Caitlin throws herself in front of Misfit to intercept a leaping spider, grabbing at the mandibles with both hands and breaking one clear off. "Look out!" she cries, throwing the spider into the ranks of the incoming attackers.


Misfit does not mind being shielded by the more sturdy of her team mates. She pulls out some discs from her belt, and starts to fling them at the spiders "Ugh spiders… demons suck. Like suckity suck." very eloquent of her. When the discs hit, or rather almost hit their targets they explode in a PFFFT of holy water.

It looks like Charlie repurposed some of the bat aerosol dispersal discs into holy water grenades. Charlie may not be a scientist but she is devious. "Daaark vengeance!" she quips as she keeps flinging discs "There… are a lot of these spiders guys…" and a lot of fragile equipment. Misfit is going to run out .. .and has run out of discs. Bat-a-rangs come now. The explosives for the moment stay in her utility belt.


"It is good you were able to retrieve it," Starfire declares, with a warm smile. Even if she does not know the significance of the object, she understands that such tokens can bolster the spirit.

While it is being retrieved, she allows herself some curiosity, peering around the office and indeed other parts of the complex as they traverse them. While she's made clear that the technology is not as impressive to her as it is to the general populace of Earth, there is still a curious fascination with the scale of the place and all its experimental wonders. And indeed, Stark eventually gets his due: "Some humans have come much further than others. It is good to see this, because eventually, this planet will need to stand among threats fro many worlds."

Such ponderings are forgotten when SPIDERS! appear. There are many of them, and Kori's instinct is to divide the task logically. And since some of them are on the ceiling… up she goes!

Flying up, she charges into one, skewering it with her pole as the hard metal shatters chitin, revealing goopy bug-insides. Several more quickly lunge and leap from various angles, and she herself turns sideways and then upside-down as they battle, the staff twirled to keep several at bay, while she catches the forelimb of another just beneath its bladed tip and uses her strength to wrench the creature around and throw it against another wall.

And as she is doing this, she pushes forward, dropping down and then hovering back up to avoid a few more of the creatures. "Where is the device? Perhaps I can press ahead, while you secure an escape-route."


Caitlin's head whips back and forth, trying to keep track of everything happening at once. She tries to cover Misfit's front while Misfit watches her back. The two make a pretty good team, preventing themselves from getting flanked.

"Okay," she says, hesitating, and then nods at Starfire. "Far end of the room. My keycard will access it," she says, handing Kori the thin piece of white plastic. "It should be in, uh… cabinet #155," she says, checking her memory. "Just be /careful/. It's very fragile. If you can get clear, get clear and stay clear. I can't replace that if it breaks."

She beckons Misfit along and starts heading towards the far wall. "Misfit, this is an exterior wall," she explains. "Let's improvise some detcord and limpet mines, and we'll make an exit right here."


Charlie chimes in helpfully. "If you get cornered yell for help Star, I can teleport to you and then teleport the device back to the tower."

Oh hey, detcord and explosives "I got this, watch your back.. also my back!"


Well Misfit doesn't use detcord but she does teleport vanishing with a slash of pink and purple smoke. Pink-purple smoke and a mystical BANG of chaos magic echo when she teleports, at least audible to those sensitive to such things, like all the many demons in this part of the building. Moments later she appears by the wall and fishes in her utility belt and slaps little bat-explosives on the wall. Shaped charges. Of course she has bat-explosives.


In truth Starfire isn't exactly sure of the limits on Misfit's powers, so she's about half-ready to zoom down the hall, card in hand and all raring to go, when she pauses and turns back. "Oh! Yes, that will keep the device very safe. Very well! I will clear the enemies and remove the device from its housing. Then, if you would please do the thing you just said!"


She then turns and barrels ahead, turning horizontal to the floor and flying at, if not full speed, as fast as she dare inside a structure. This blitz zips ahead of many of the creatures, although, it seems where it concerns catching demon flies (and passing orange-skinned aliens) they have impressive enough reflexes. One leaps onto her as she passes, its hooked limbs raking bloody marks down her thigh. Unlike the Kryptonians and Almeracians, she's not invulnerable in any meaningful way, just… tough. Tough, but not one for practical armored costumes.

In flight, she rolls and twists, first kicking at the beast with her other foot to keep it from biting her on the first try, and then trying to dislodge it with her staff. When even this fails (she pops it half off, but the legs on the other side hold fast), she flips over again and flies down into the floor, crashing it into that surface and dragging it along. The creature is forced to skitter around as she rolls, until she suddenly sees the door ahead of her.

Cue abrupt stop, another anti-gravity twist, and the demon-arachnid getting splattered between her boots and the door.

Finally settling upright then, she opens the door and enters into the lab. For a few moments, she's out of contact, although there are some chittering sounds, warlike shouts, THUDS, splats, tears, and ONE flash of green light, before she finally comes back on the comms:

"Ahem. The room is secure and I have removed the device from the cabinet. Please retrieve it. I shall rejoin Caitlin!"

Charlie slaps another explosive on the wall humming happily to herself, trusting Caitlin to deal with the army of spiders likely descending on the chaos muppet. It is accurate that it is like she slathered demon steak all over herself in front of them.

"On it!" Misfit chimes happily and teleports with a cloud of pink/purple smoke (and the bang of chaos magic echoing through this section of the building). Her target is Starfire, and she appears moments later right by Kori. "Okay… gimme gimme!"

When Charlie accepts the device she eyes it. "I have absolutely no clue if that is the right device… let's ask Cait and then I can teleport it back to the tower." she figures it is safer if Starfire holds onto it for the moment instead and follows her back to Cait, post haste. Ready with her holy oil coated bat-a-rangs in case she ends up needing to defend Starfire. Which is funny.


Misfit definitely finds the room full of some very scary demon-looking creatures, spider and… well, other. There's also a very small smoking hole in one of the walls, that seems to match up with the smoking hole in a dead demon laying in the middle of things.. To Starfire's credit, though, she can actually be very precise with those beams and it doesn't seem like anything else blew up!

Starfire is standing there, and the device has been placed on a table just beside her, leaving her hands free to fight if anything else should come upon them. Her eyes widen slightly with the POOF appearance of the young woman beside her, but shape back toward a smiling appearance a moment later as Misfit teleports away.

She then sails out the door and back down the hallway back toward Caitlin. Her fellow Titan might notice a few demon-claw scratches and costume damage she didn't have before, but otherwise she's in good fighting condition!


Caitlin finishes setting the detcord and improvised explosives. She's been an engineer long enough to understand how to use them, and frankly it's not like they'll do anything more than sting badly if they go off right in her face. Low risk factor, there.

"Oh, great job!" she crows, as Misfit and Kori return, and accepts the reflector device from Misfit. "Golly. Would you believe this thing is worth a quarter million bucks?" she inquires, with a wry rhetoric tone. She hands it back to Misfit.


"That is very expensive, but if such a device is rare here, I suppose it is reasonable," Starfire considers, in her usual otherworldly way. How should she know what things cost? To her, mustard is an unbelievable delicacy! But the mission seems to be in good shape.


"Great. I'll pop it back." and Misfit takes it from Caitlin. There are two loud BANGs and pink/purple smoke clouds, and she returns with the device safely ensconced in Titan Tower. Before she can say anything, the floor explodes under them. That. That was totally unexpected. Over the comms there is a HURRRK noise from Misfit and admist the large amount of dust and smoke there is no pink and purple smoke of the young woman teleporting to safety.


With the protective lenscaps in place, the device in Caitlin's hands just looks like a high-tech tissue box. "Okay. Let's blow this and go home. Cassie," Caitlin says, speaking into her headset. "We've got the reflector and prepping exfil on the east side of the building. We'll meet you—"

Whatever Caitlin was about to say is cut off by a huge roar of noise. The floor beneath Caitlin and Misfit collapses as if a sinkhole formed beneath them, sending up a huge cloud of dust and smoke into Kori's face and obscuring everyone's vision. Something big, something big and /fast/ darts through the debris cloud. It looks serpentine, but easy four feet in diameter and with oily black scales.

"Misfit?! CHARLIE!" Caitlin screams from below. There's a short delay, fumbling silence, and then Caitlin's tactical light marks her location in a cloudy haze. "I can't— I've got no shot! MISFIT!!!"


Until things explode and collapse!

Of course, Starfire doesn't fall, remaining hovering above the hole that opens beneath them. Her instinct might be to grab her friends, but in the smoke she can't spot them immediately. She DOES see the serpentine shape moving, however. And since they have the device and it's already trashed that area?

Pssh, what property damage? Her hands come together, and fires off a blast in its direction!

"Where is everyone?!"


Caitlin coughs heavily from inside the cloud, becoming more apparent as the dust settles. "Kori, something -took Misfit-!" she calls up, sounding almost in tears. "It was huge! I felt it pass— oh cripes!" she gasps, and then the buzzsaw of that machine gun starts again. Muted orange pulses of light identify Caitlin more readily, and she backs up against the wall behind her.

On the floor below, it seems that the trio were themselves ambushed. Because there are a -lot- of demons. Imps with bone spears, spiders, the creeping panther types and the hulking bruisers. Far more than they can count, and with a sense of impending doom as to the remainder that are coming.

"Kori, help!" Caitlin cries out, her voice cracking with fear and uncertainty. They clearly cannot abandon Misfit, but… they also certainly can't fight back the army coming after them.


"I believe it is time for the strategic withdrawing," Starfire notes of the oncoming hordes. However, she herself does not fly off while the others seem in need.

The smoke and haze causes problems, still, as she descends into the hole opened up beneath her. Her own vision is not precisely enhanced so much as she simply sees a bit differently than humans (as one might expect of an alien!). In some cases this is useful, in some cases it's confusing. Debris clouds don't tend to help in any case!

But there are signs of her friends, those blinking orange lights illuminating Caitlin, or the noise that seems to emit from Misfit's last location. She approaches the latter, seeking any sign of her friend.

As for the demons, whether it's the army approaching or the other thing coiling and stalking them, she's now abandonned any hint of subtletly, firing off blasts at any target of opportunity to buy them some time. The vanguard edge of the horde gets bathed in a wide-angle green glow, searing away many demons at once. It's impressive, to be sure, but also decidedly the kind of thing she can't do forever, every such expulsion of energy draining her own reserves a little further.


It is worth noting, that Misfit's suit is lo-jacked. Like Batman doesn't build that stuff into it. Siren may even have been granted access by Misfit in the past as well. Red Robin certainly has access. The dot though is moving at a good clip deeper (literally down) in the building now. Dang where are the Amazons or Superboy when you need them.


Caitlin lays down impressive fire of her own, the consecrated bullets tearing demons apart with enviable efficiency. White flames burst from their ruptured hides, Caitlin's beliefs and the holy oil packing a lot of metaphysical mass behind military-grade ammunition.

But it's not enough. It can't be enough, not just with the two of them.

"Jesus, Lord, forgive me," Caitlin sobs, gritting away the teers clouding her eyes as she abases herserlf verbally. "Kori, we— we gotta go. We can come back for her later, but we gotta go /right now/ or they're gonna take us," she says, voice trembling. She hits the remote detonator and blows open their exit path on the floor above, admitting a cool flow of air as the pressure around them changes, and offers a hand to Kori to haul her out.

"Cassie, can you read? Evacuate, evacuate now! We're blown! Kori and I are falling back to the rally point!"


"Where is she? Caitlin! I do not see her! Where has Misfit gone?!"

It… may be best that Caitlin is the one who has a beeping lowjack dot to tell her where Misfit is going, and not Kori. Because Kori would battle a whole demon army to save a friend, reckless, sensible, or no. Cait can hear it in her voice, the wild panick and rising anger, all her alien passion seething from her.

But absent any idea where their friend has vanished AND watching the demon army encroach upon their position /despite/ the withering hail of holy chaingun fire and full-powered starbolts cutting swathes through their ranks (and possibly through a few of Tony's walls? Sorry Tony!)? This changes the equation.

It's not a matter of choosing between facing personal danger to rescue a friend and staying safe, a decision that would be no choice at all. Starfire would pick the danger every time. But when the choice is between a tactical withdrawal and facing that danger with… no hope of success, no ability to reach or rescue her friend? When it's a choice between pointless suicide and… well, anything else, she's willing to reconsider, even if remains bitter bill to swallow.

Still Caitlin is the one in charge, and Starfire has learned the value of following orders when on her team. Now, like it or not, it is time to go.

"Very well. Hold on!"

When the evacuation is called, she sails back toward Caitlin and clasps the offered hand, then begins to rise from the sinkhole, dragging the weight of the woman and her hefty gun skyward without difficulty. But that's not all. Denied the ability to help her friend, she takes out her rage on the only target present: the demon horde may be infinite, but that doesn't mean that she can't vent by obliterating them by the dozens, bathing the lower floor in destructive starlight even as they rise toward the hole in the wall above.

Tony's gonna have some repair bills.


The team reunites at the pre-designated rally point, the roof of a diner a few blocks away. Superboy, Maxima, and Wonder Girl are drained and reeling from the striga's psychic poison. Caitlin and Starfire are covered in dust and debris, and minus Misfit.

Tearfully, Caitlin explains what happened— ambushed, attacked from below, and an army of demons that nearly overran Starfire and Fairchild after some giant snake had taken Misfit from them after the requisite equipment had been safely located.

It's clear there was no way to stop the demons from taking Misfit prisoner, but all the same, Caitlin looks stricken with grief and self-chastisement.

Immediately, plans are discussed to retrieve their missing comrade from the clutches of the enemy who has her in their claws. Because they know two things from Misfit's emergency beacon: that she's still alive, and she's in the sub-basements of the tower itself.

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