Tears from the Aeythr, Part 2

August 18, 2014:

Pezzini and Manning catch up with Superman to give him the news about a new villain on the streets. The officers call in SHIELD as they begin to make plans.

Metropolis Skyline


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

"I am not jumping off of this building."

That's the most important part. Sara stands at the edge of the roof of one of the taller buildings in Metropolis, arms crossed loosely over her chest. It's just past dark, and she's fully armored with the Witchblade, including what seems to be some sort of filigree mask across her eyes and nose. The other day, she showed Paul a video from the murder at the Chinese restaurant she caught on his day off. The one with a woman who shot laser beams out of her eyes right into a waiter's head, and flung another waiter across the restaurant before making off at super speed. Including the pause that showed some sort of crest on her outfit. Not exactly like Superman, but not entirely different, either. And today, it was time for a field trip.

"Superman!" she calls out to the night, doing her best not to look like she realizes how stupid she looks. "You've got some out of town visitors stopping through New York. We need to talk."

"Why do you look like some weird cross between King Arthur and Hannibal Lecter?" Paul asks curiously. "If you're not jumping off the building, you don't need the armor. And it's not like he's going to attack us. This is Superman we're talking about." He walks over to sit on the ledge and look down onto the street. "Anyway, with those bat wings of yours, he might mistake you for one of the bad guys if they come out."

"Not completely a bad guy," Superman says as he arrives in a whoosh of air behind them. "At least not yet. Good to see you again, I think." The Man of Steel tilts his head towards Manning, "Who's your friend?"

From up here, Superman looks surprisingly different than in papers. The darkness and artificial light creates an odd contrast, giving everyone's favorite Boy Scout a slightly sinister look. The concern in his eyes seems to understand that if Pezzini is here, it must be important.

"Thank you, Paul, you are so helpful with the-" Sara's sarcastic response gets cut short when Superman shows up, and she pauses. "Uh. I didn't think that was going to work," she admits, stepping back from the edge of the roof. "My partner," she answers, pulling out her cell phone and offering it over. "Ran into a case in Chinatown a couple days ago. Seemed like the sort of thing that would go better if you dealt with it than if the NYPD did."

"I do have a name." Paul points out when Sara fails to mention it. "Detective Paul Manning. NYPD. Nice to meet you, Superman." Standing, he steps over to offer a hand. "Thank you for showing up. Sara thanks you too for being willing to let her dump this into your lap."

"Detective Manning," Superman grasps the hand gives it a firm shake while giving the former military man a nod. "Nice to meet you. Wish it was under better circumstances, but in our line of work that is so rarely the case." He chuckles at Paul thanking him for Sara, "It's no problem. I'm happy to help. Any way that I can, I—" His voice trails as he takes the cell phone. Clearly he sees what worried Sara as well. "What in the…"

"Seriously, with the names and everything? You want to give him our badge numbers, too?" Because Sara's not dating Captain America, or checking in with SHIELD regularly, or anything like that. Sighing, she lets the Witchblade fade away, pushing a hand through her hair afterwards and watching Superman's reaction. "Yeah," she says quietly. "That was sort of my thought, too. Hold on." She steps over to cue the video up to the zoomed shot with the crest. "Ring any bells?"

"He's /Superman/." Paul points out. If anyone can be trusted knowing their names, it's surely him. "And you didn't say you wanted to be anonymous." Which he'd have just pointed out was silly anyway because he's /Superman/. Shifting position so he can get a look at the phone too, he looks to see if there's any recognition.

"I won't pry," Superman says absently. "I can see through pretty much anyone's disguise. I always honor my allies privacy."

Superman looks at the phone again and shakes his head. "I can't believe it. The crest is Kryptonian, similar to mine, except for my family's insignia, this is replaced with Death. It can't be right." He shakes his head, almost unwilling to believe that the myth is true, or that it has somehow come here.

Sara shoots a look toward Paul, though she rolls her eyes rather than say anything. Moot point. "Right or wrong, she's clearly got a similar power set," she points out. "Laser eyes, super speed, super strength. New York isn't exactly without its own defenders," she adds, "But I sort of figured…Well. If something from my side of the street showed up somewhere else, I'd want a heads up. Also, if she's got your powers? I don't want to be in it alone."

"Kryptonians are way out of our pay grade." Paul agrees. "Out of most peoples' I'd think." And he's including Cap, SHIELD, Iron Man and everyone else he can think of. "This looks like a problem for Superman."

Superman nods slowly, "There's a legend, a Kryptonian Legend I mean…I don't know if each of you knows this, but I'm not from here. Anyways, my people had a myth that some of the first inhabitants of our Phantom Zone, sort of like jail, banded together and became one with technology they built on the inside. They'd sit in the Phantom Zone, under their new form, waiting for a chance to strike. They called themselves the Aeyther of the House of Death." He shakes his head, "In what I learned of my people, I thought the story was just something parents told their children to get them to eat their vegetables."

Sara eyes Superman for a moment. "So you're saying that, in addition to everything else that comes at us, we're looking at things that are Superman's boogeyman." She shoots a look toward Paul, checking that interpretation, before turning back to the Man of Steel.

"So you're saying that there's a bunch of people out there who have your powers. Except that they're criminals. And now they're here." Yep, that's Paul's interpretation too and he nods at Sara's look before turning back to Superman. "So how do we stop them?" Which, of course, also translates to 'how do we stop you' but that's just a side effect.

"Well, there aren't many. They literally combined their ghost forms to take one form. So, if that's what she is, she's it. But it will likely be stronger than me. And will likely be made up of the worst elements of my home planet," Superman grimaces. "Or, it could be someone with similar powers who knows about this. Or…it could be a lucky guess on their part. I really don't know."

Sara looks toward Superman, grimacing. "That thing I killed the last time I was here," she says slowly. "Was that also from your home planet?"

Paul just waits for an answer to that one.

Superman looks to each of them worriedly, "I don't know." A deep breath of air as his eyes dart, "We need to get everyone we can on this immediately. Any contacts you have. Anyone that will listen. If she's them combined I won't be able to take her. Not by myself. Any scientist you know will need to start working on developing meteor rock. Green, Blue…All of it."

"Most of our contacts are in SHIELD," Sara says slowly, looking to Paul again. "So they can bring some firepower to bear, but we're not exactly in the same league. We know a few other people on the occult side of the street, but they're sort of occupied with a sort of…elder gods issue at the moment."

Paul nods his agreement. "SHIELD can certainly get people on that." Yay, Stark. Well, he can do something useful for a change. "It would be best if you told them directly what you know and suspect. We can set that up if you want. But what do you mean by meteor rock? What's with the colors?"

"Magic would help as well, Sara. I have no defenses against that. And if I don't, she won't." Superman turns towards Paul, "Meteor rocks. When I came to this planet, shards of green rock came along with me. They drain life from me, take my powers, and will kill me eventually. In forms of red they release me from my inhibitions. Blue takes my power away. I'm not sure what would happen if we tried to create it synthetically, but, I'm afraid we don't have a choice. I'm not sure where to find any of it. I can get your allies the information, if I can meet them. If you both can set that up, as you say, I'd appreciate it."

"Constantine, Wolfson," Sara muses to Paul. "I could call Estacado, but…" She grimaces. "Don't exactly trust him not to take advantage of the potential chaos. He packs a hell of a punch, though," she adds with a look to Superman. "Just…Well. Not a nice guy."

"Wolfson?" Paul asks as he considers what Superman said about colorful meteorites and their effect on him. "Not Estacado." No. No more working with murderers, damn it! "There's also Jason. And Trent's friend, Illyana."

"Well, guys like that best be used as back up, I imagine. We need someone good at tracking people down, as well. Someone with eyes and ears all over the world. If this woman, this Aeythr, has my powers, she could be anywhere at the drop of a dime. Trying to follow her on foot might be impossible."

"Right, the guy who timeshares with the demon that killed you, but not the gangster," Sara snorts at Paul, crossing her arms loosely over her chest. This sounds like an old argument. "Trent's friend apparently runs a pocket dimension that's hell-adjacent, by the way. I visited. It was…weird." They're like an old married couple, really. "Trent can track people, though," she admits. "As can most of SHIELD, I'm sure."

"Jason isn't the demon." Paul points out. "Estacado /is/ the mobster who just had his pet pseudo-demons eat a warehouse full of guards." Granted, criminals but still. "I know about Illyana. We've spoken a couple of times. I can fill you in about her later." It's immaterial at the moment. "But the thing is." he tells Superman, turning back to look at him. "We do know a bunch of magic type. They're a little busy dealing with threats to the universe though. We'll ask around. And we can get you in to talk to SHIELD."

"Well, if things go wrong, this world will be one they wont want to come back to. Anyone you can find, the better. I'll discuss the matter with Batman and some of his allies, too. Anyone who wants to help should be considered," Superman offers.

"I'm sure Superman can get in to talk to SHIELD if he wants." Sara pauses, and despite her general crankiness, there's a moment where her lips twitch with amusement. "He could knock on Hill's window." Bad, Sara. Bad. "But we'll let them know. I'm guessing you don't exactly carry a cell around, yeah?"

Paul chuckles at that mental image. "I'm sure he can. But a head's up is always better. They'll have at least a little advanced notice that it's hitting the fan." Cause they both know just how much Hill /loves/ surprises.

"You can reach me through the SRD, I'll tell them to expect your call and they can patch me through." Superman gives a worried sigh. "I think we should catch up in a day or two. God help it if anything happens before we can find her. Two people, that we know about, are already dead."

"Superman's boogeymen," Sara sighs. "Because elder gods and this world's boogeymen were getting old hat." She holds out a hand, summoning up a small smile. "Sara, by the way," she introduces herself more formally. "We'll do what we can. I'm not letting Superboogeywoman go to town in my town."

"Can't let you get bored." Paul tells Sara with a quick grin that disappears a moment later. "We'll talk to you in a couple days then." More likely, in less than a day. This is too important to dally over.

"Sounds good," Superman nods to Sara and shakes her hand. He might not have cared for her beheading of the Doomsday monster, but the last time something like this reared its head, she was there when others weren't. She has his trust and respect. "I'll give you a call earlier if I find anything."

"I can't remember the last time I was bored," Sara notes to Paul. "I think I'd like to try that. It sounds exciting." Stepping back, she nods to Superman. "We'll, ah. Be in touch, I guess." Don't think too hard about it. It won't get less weird.

"Hang on a sec… Let me see if I can set this up now." Sometimes when Paul wants to talk to SHIELD, he call their switchboard and sets something up with Hill's secretary. Other times? It says something that he has Barton on speed dial. Pulling out his cell phone, he places the call. When someone picks up, he says "Barton? Manning. You're on speaker phone."

"Barton here," and in the background, city traffic. The wind is blowing a little past the speaker, so the archer is obviously on the move. "Great. Okay, thanks for the warning."

"I agree there, Sara," Superman says with a faint smile. "I will be." When Manning puts Barton on Speaker phone, the Man of Steel speaks up. "Barton, this is Superman. We're calling regarding a very worrying case. A new supervillain is on the loose. One with extraordinary powers."

"So I guess the whole dinner thing went well?" Sara murmurs to Paul when he just dials up Barton, arching a brow. Helpful partner is helpful.

"Yes, that's really Superman." Paul states and though he doesn't answer Sara verbally, he gives her a quick grin followed by a mock sigh. "One maybe even more powerful than he is. He needs to get in to see Hill or maybe even Fury ASAP. Also, some high tech science types so…" Bleh. "Stark might be a good idea. Something about finding and colelcting specific pieces of meteors. He'll give you the details but that should let you know who needs to be there."

"I guess it's a good thing you're not on speaker phone then." The tones are wry and the noise behind Barton continues. "Hey, I'm walking here!" Beat. "Sorry. Some guy got a new Beemer, apparently." The noise fades back as a door opens and closes, and the sound of stairs being taken can be heard. "Okay, that's kinda cool. But that worries me if the guy is harder core than he is. Though, he might find out that the DepDir is one to be feared." Nodding, though it can't be seen, it can be heard in his voice. "Stark is rough. Something's going on." But the fact that he's on speakerphone, nothing more is said. "Hill I can guarantee. The Old Man, most likely. Stark.. eeeeh. It's a 'we'll see'."

Stark? Well, that should work wonders. Stark and Kent don't get along very well. In fact, Clark's recent opinion piece about Tony was a rave hit in his office. He imagines it was met with less exuberance in the Stark camp. That being said, difficult times call for working with difficult people. As long as he can treat Tony well enough, there should be no concern about working with Kent's other half. "DepDir?"

"Deputy director Hill," Sara supplies for Superman. "I like her. She's got balls." Which is to say, she's a pain in everyone's ass, but no one's perfect, right? "Don't they have an entire science department or something?" she chimes in on the matter of Stark.

"Whoever. I only suggested him because he's got the money and the tech." Paul tells Barton. "If there's better, get them. Like I said, meteors. So if you know of better space guys, go for it. I'm sure SHIELD's files are better than what I read in the paper. Anyway, yeah. Worrisome is an understatement. So there it is. Once you're ready for him, contact the Metropolis SRD and they'll relay the message to him."

A door opens and closes, and after a couple of steps, the sound behind fades to quiet. Barton's home. A rustle of plastic bag can be heard, and he sets the phone down for a second while he puts his milk away. Pulling it back up to his ear the moment he hears noise, another nod comes. "Okay. I'll give you 'worrisome' and the fact that Superman is concerned, I'll bump it up to the front burner and put it on 'high'. Which means, lucky me, I get to make the phone calls." There's a *crack* sound, and a swallow of something is taken soon after. "Metropolis SRD. Gotcha. It'll probably be me doing the contacting, if that's okay."

"S'why I called you." Paul points out cheerfully. "I know how much you love letting Hill know about new problems. Especially bad ones." And since he has nothing to really contribute to the conversation, and isn't an agent of SHIELD, he can pass the buck this time. "Okay, ball's in your court now."

Another swallow of something comes and a hiss of breath follows, "Right. I appreciate it. I'll remember this, Manning. Maybe… maybe I'll sic Coulson on Superman and he has to go through you." That's one way of getting even, right? Barton finishes futzing in the kitchen and takes the walk back out into the living room. "Okay. You'll be hearing from me by day's end tomorrow. Luck willing nothing comes crashing through my roof." Like a meteor.

"Sooner is better." Paul reminds but nods. "Sounds good but only to keep me in the loop. Much as Sara and I would like to be there, it's not really our show. Superman's the only important one here. Talk to you later. Or not."

"Right. Talk to you later." In the next moment, the connection is lost.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License