11316/The Last Titan:New Kronos

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The Last Titan:New Kronos
Date of Scene: 30 May 2022
Location: Alpha Draconis
Synopsis: A mission of GIRLS and TITANS heads to Alpha Draconis to find out if the New Kronos that appears to have been blended with the tower is the real thing or not. The ship is damaged by an ancient defense system and forced to land on a planet that has twice suffered vast wars, and the team is landed in the middle of a much smaller one. With the help of a group of Titans who were dragged to Alpha Draconis by the Titans of Myth, they end the war and bring a chance of peace to the battled word. It becomes clear that the New Kronos at Titans Tower, and the Troia who inhabits it, are just a bad dream. But how can the sleeper be awakened?
Cast of Characters: Nadia Pym-van Dyne, Terry O'Neil, Victor Stone, Valeria Richards, Natasha Romanoff, Caitlin Fairchild, Donna Troy, Irie West, Madison Evans, Gar Logan

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
Alpha Draconis, that is where the Titans must go in order to help Donna and investigate this Troia business, that is where the answers apparently are. There's only one problem, it's really far away, really really really far away. Luckily in the recent past an intrepid group of GIRL geniuses with ties to the Titans built a starship that can travel to really really really far away places, the G.S. Tereshkova!

Space is generally up (relative to gravity) from Earth's surface though, which begs the question why the group is going /down/, specifically taking an elevator into one of the secure rarely used underground basement levels of the tower. Once the doors are unlocked within is a raised platform and some high tech looking beam emitters pointed at it with control stations spread around the room. It literally looks like something out of Space Trek, which knowing Nadia and her voracious acquisition of pop culture making up for all those years spent in a bunker, may have been the actual inspiration for the aesthetics.

The device does exactly what everyone expects it to do, after some calculations and adjustments by Nadia to one of the consoles everyone is transported to what can only be the bridge of a starship currently in orbit around Earth, the G.S. Tereshkova. Notably nobody has their constituent particles scattered across the void of space.

Waiting on the Tereshkova's bridge are none other than Valeria Richards, one of GIRL's most brilliant minds and one of the most brilliant minds period and Natasha Romanoff herself, who when she's not Avenging or SHIELDing also moonlights as GIRL's head of security. Someone had to go and get the ship out of the hangar after all.

"Hi!" Nadia waves to Valeria and Natasha as the group manifests on the bridge of the Tereshkova and she moves to hop into her comfy Captain's chair. "Okay, Val get tactical, Cait can you handle navigation please? Nat look foreboding. Everyone else strap in or hold on to something! Next stop Alpha Draconis! Engage!"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"You know, I could have gotten us through a Rabbit Hole, right? I've gone to Kian's homeworld!" Of course, what Terry doesn't mention is that he's usually short-circuited in his powers for a day or two after a multi-lightyear trip like that. It's the reason why the shipments to chocolate to Kian' world and the rhodium payment only happens once a month. At the rate of payments equivalent to 5 grand per rhodium shipment, Terry's cash flow was quickly increasing.

And yet he still lives frugally and cuts corners, almost as if the notion hasn't really reached his mind yet. Or maybe he's saving for college- it's one of those mysteries. "But spaceship is cool, too." He straps himself in. For this expedition, he's not wearing his Vorpal suit. Instead, he is dressed in... well. A uniform that looks almost like what Gar used to wear on the Space Trek TV show, because he simply just could not help himself, and he knows that back on Earth his boyfriend about to roll his eyes. "In any case, I am ready to infinity and beyonding."

Victor Stone has posed:
    Vic was watching over the first launch of the ship months ago, and though he came by teleport later he at least came /back/ with the group. Still, he hasn't technically left Earth orbit on the ship, so it's still cool to appear on the bridge and move to one of the stations. His mood is outwardly upbeat--they /should/ be getting answers!--but there's a tinge of worry in the back of his mind. What if they don't like those answers?

    Once he's strapped in he says, "I've got faith in you and all Terry, but if you'd accidentally missed then we're all sucked into space. Besides, spaceships are fun!"

Valeria Richards has posed:
While flying the flag for GIRL, Val's uniform, in all it's fancy unstable molecule, thing suit, doom tech forcefield emitting gloryhas ditched the standard numeral four emblen on her chest for that of the GIRL logo across her back.

The suit is still mostly blue with white boots and trimming around the padded shoulders, hips and thighs to look protective.

It is but way more than just for falling off a motorcycle.

The call for tactical gets a weird but enthusiatic grin out of her as she slips into the spot and starts getting all long range and testing the defensive systems to make sure they're not going to fail.

"Nat, you can totally help me with shooting stuff in space. Predictive shot leading is totally your expertise. But now we got some range!" she beams encouragingly to the redheaded super spy! "Can run some sims on the trip in the mean time."

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
Natasha Romanoff would go to slide along to a seat, "Why thank you Nadia, so lovely to be recognized for my talents." Natasha goes to sit in and strap herself in. Going through a series of weapons checks in total silent as she would go over her equipment. Going to lean against the console and evaluate the layout of the bridge. Positions. Cover. visibility. Angles. Points of egress and entry. Thickness of hull.
    She has done it all before and she will do it again. So deeply bound within her as to be part of her genetic code. Natasha waits. Their time will come soon enough. Then she goes sill, like a statue, breathing matching the thrumming of the engine. Almost silent as she matches it. The point is to match the background noise to make noticing her all the ever more difficult.
    Going to break her silence over at Valeria, "Physics are the same even out here. It's a matter of anticipating maneuvers and positioning. And knowing the capabilities of yourself and the weapons layout."

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
"I'll helm, aye aye, skipper!" Caitlin throws a notional salute at Nadia and stows her large hiking backpack in the aft cargo bay. Caitlin's a fairly seasoned traveller and doesn't pack light if she doesn't have to. Knowing her, the pack is full of rations, medical gear, and other aid and comfort items.

She takes her seat at the helm, adjusting the control layout and seat to her comfort. The redhead is dressed like the others, having adapted her leotard's colors and fit to match the pattern chosen by Nadia for the crew of her ship. The Tereshkova's controls are familiar to anyone who has operated a Javelin or Quinjet, the two most common form factors for the ships used by the Justice League, Titans, and Avengers.

While the others board and make ready Caitlin runs through the pre-flight checks again and starts punching up Apha Draconis on the navigation syste. "Inertial dampners online, holding .... .9 normal G... all struts and landing gear checks out, Pym Drive at full power... Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking," Caitlin says over the speaker system. "We'e about to engage FTL. Please keep your hands and arms inside the ride at all times and keep your seatbelts fastened until you hear me start screaming for help."

At the command from Nadia, Caitlin looks back over her shoulder, grins, and hits the FTL LAUNCH button-- sending the Tereshkova's inhabitants leaping through space!

Donna Troy has posed:
    The drive engages, a field of Pym particles fore and aft compressing and expanding spacetime to propel the team on their relativity-denying journey. Three hundred and three lightyears, the longest trip the ship has ever made.

    Passage itself is uneventful. The Tereshkova's technology has been thoroughly checked out now, the bugs and wrinkles ironed out, and test flights flown successfully. The view outside blurs, brightening in the direction of travel and getting dark behind, until the ship is simply surrounded by an eerie glow, almost like being inside a miniature comet, with no real sense of forwards motion. There's time for people to relax, to get up and stretch their legs, and to run all the tests and sims Val could ask for.

    And then the drive disengages, and with spacetime no longer warped, the Tershovka drifts at a relatively sedate pace through the local space of Alpha Draconis.

    Arriving at a new star system isn't as exciting as might be expected. If you know exactly where you want to end up your first view on exiting warp might be a glorious planetscape below, but when you're exploring, you find yourself somewhere that's only visibly not deep space because one of the stars is a bit bigger than the others. Or if it's a binary system, as is the case here, two.

    The primary is a white giant, and though distant shines brilliant white light that floods into the cockpit. The secondary, a main sequence star, is nearer but dimmer. It's a relatively close pairing, and they are relatively young stars, just a few hundred million years old. It's not a promising location to find planets, whatever evidence might have been provided by the mysterious alternative version of Troia might have claimed.

    Is this really the place where that strange room the Titans have been visiting regularly when Titans Tower seems to warp them there can be found? It takes a little time to hunt for planets. Some measuring of parallax to identify dots that are far closer than all the countless other dots of stars and galaxies that fill the skies. Eventually though, there it is. A single planet, orbiting the second star. Another brief hop with the Pym Drive, and there it is.

    The planet itself is a rocky world, slightly larger than the Earth, with oceans, though scant ones, and greenery, though not a lot. From orbit there are signs of destruction faintly reminiscent of what had been seen on Rann -- craters, areas of scorching, fields of glass. All the signs that this is a world that has been subject to a nuclear holocaust. A more impressive sight than the planet itself though is the ring system surrounding it. A vast band of multicolored ice and rock surrounds it, stretching out to a distance of dozens of planetary radii. The scientifically-inclined on the ship will recognize that it's far too large for a planet this size -- which means it is a very new ring system. New, at least, in astronomical timescales. Sensors also detect three small shepherd moons, and a fourth small moon, perhaps eighty miles in diameter, orbiting at a steep angle to the ecliptic.

    Almost as soon as the Tereshkova arrives, the ship picks up a broadcast from orbit. There's nothing the Rannnian translators can do to translate a radio message, but even without understanding the words it sounds to those listening like something is wrong. The signal is broken up, parts of it repeating, and it cuts out from time to time.

    And just a few moments after the signal is picked up, ships systems blare an alert -- a swarm of small incoming targets, traveling from a point in a polar orbit of the planet towards the Tereshkova at high speed.

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
Exploration is far more time consuming in practice than Space Trek makes it out to be and yet Nadia's eyes never lose their sparkle. There is no boredom here. Everything is new knowledge, new experiences that very likely no other humans have set eyes on before. This is the kind of thing she lives for.

That is of course until they're being fired upon. This is not an unforeseen circumstance, in fact it's the entire reason that the Tereshkova had shields and weapons from the earliest stages of its implementation, the GIRL scientists are aware of exactly how dangerous space can be. It's one thing to game it all out in theory though, it is quite another to actually get attacked for the first time!

"Wait is that.." Nadia squints at the telemetry of the suddenly appearing incoming objects. "This doesn't look..." And then the alarms begin going off. "Shit! Battle Stations!" Someone is going to have to put money in Caitlin's swear jar later, Janet's influence no doubt. "Val, how are our shields? Cait evasive maneuvers! Hang on!" Nadia's voice is tense as the ship faces its very first very real attack, quietly hoping they don't end up another layer of space dust in the planet's rings.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Oh, donkeyballs," Vorpal frowns. He placed a $50 in Caitlin's jar before leaving, so he has credit. He makes sure the belts and straps are firmly in place because he doesn't want to recreate several Next Generation scenes were people just flew all over the place.

Starfleet in the 24th century: They've figured out how to teleport people across vast distances while technically ensuring they are still the same person intead of a clone (or... are they?), but seat belts are apparently still several levels down the Civilization Technology Tree for them. "Let me know if you need any Rabbit Hole assistance. I'll need accurate visuals, though. I can open it without seeing but it becomes... inexact." And that's not something you want in a space battle.

Victor Stone has posed:
    Given that Vic is gathering all the information he can, spewing technobabble like he's reading from a script that matches the Space Trek uniforms they're all wearing, he's clearly having fun. But he might regret helping to find New Kronos as the missiles fly out toward them.

    He scrambles to a seat and straps himself down--/he/ can handle flying all over the place while someone shakes the proverbial camera, but he might break something if he falls into it too hard. Maybe break a person. He focuses his efforts on readouts of the ship's hull and systems, just in case they get hit.

    "Maybe we should send down a message? Tell them we come in peace!"

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Shooting big things with big weapons at long range. I can math the leads but why should I have all the fun and as smart and clever as my brain is. If we have trouble, having an extra set of hands with legit experience in a fight is not something I'll say no to!" Val reminds with an appreciative tone.

One little extra addition she made. Some fuzzy dice hanging just above the main view screens. For Luck, her uncle Johnny once advised.

The work on making sure the defensive systems paid off as targets blip and the alarms get really loud.

Thankfully Brainstorm has enough sense to kill the volume on the klaxons but the red lights stay up and running for that genuine Hunt for Red October Feel. She even knows the national anthem.

"Shields up and full so far! We gonna say hello and talk the welcoming party down first? I know it'd be nice to just just start zapping but that's a bit too much like Uncle Doom than what my folks would like and I'm trying to not be world conquering. I'll do it and become queen and empress but I'd rather play nice and go home and SCIENCE or go party." she asks with a mind for diplomacy and music and dancing.

Those hands though start working on intercepting and shooting down anything fired at the Tereshkova. Not any ships themselves but totally woprking on leading her aim against the incoming projectiles. "So uncool right!"

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
The issue with fighting in space and having large numbers of oncoming objects is there's so much more coverage one has to engage things in. So many more vectors that threats can come from. Natasha Romanoff goes to very, very calmly start to work at bringing secondary system monitors online even as she goes to pop up a holoprojector showing their position in the system and the attacking craft.
    The hologram would shift, showing the position of weapons on the ship, their firing arcs, and expected vectors of oncoming threats. It's about covering the angles. It's number crunching, instinct, and anticipation. She spins up a sensor dish to let the ship start to feed info on the oncoming threats. Size, speed, theoretical maneuverability, mass.. Hopefully getting more data as they get better sensor coverage of them. As the Tereshkova goes to adjust course and go evasive, more data is fed into the system evaluating how the oncoming things are in turn reacting. It's a dance of algorithms. More data fed in makes for better predictive arcs..
    Finally speaking, "The way missiles strike larger targets is by saturation. Attempting to have enough oncoming that point defense and countermeasures cannot hit them all and some will get through. They need to be thinned before they get in close. If you can jam them to some degree or however they're being targeted, that would be beneficial." Now the time is to give the ones running defenses as much data to work wiht as they can.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin flings her hands up around her head with two curt gestures to activate an immersive display bubble. It completely surrounds her head, obscuring her features slightly but giving her a 360-degree view of the ship's exterior.

"Tactical mode activated, unlock all maneuvering thrusters and full power to the engines," Caitlin orders the ship. She grabs the controls and puts the ship into a free-spinning corkscrew, then bursts into motion with a huge amount of acceleration to beat the incoming missiles by staying ahead of their intercept curve. It's a close and risky move but Caitlin pulls it off like a pro.

"Vic work me up a FTL solution, my hands are kinda full here!" she calls over her shoulder. "Nadia, are staying to fight or are we outta here?"

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
"Terry and Vic, get on the comms!" Nadia points in case their position wasn't clear. "See if you can contact anyone, maybe cross-refference that signal with the languages in the database to see if you can get any sort of hits from known extraterrestrial data!"

Nadia straps herself in as Cait gets ready to do her thing, her own eyes on the engineering screens built next to the Captain's chair because that's what she does. "Val, we try to communicate first, see if you can't take out the incoming weapons though, Nat should be able to assist with the targeting. We stay as long as we can, there are answers here that we need. Donna needs our help!"

Donna Troy has posed:
    It all starts out fairly calmly. Caitlin has trained well for evasive maneuvers, and she has a talent for moving the ship to maximize the range to the multiple incoming objects and give as much intercept time as possible. Val seems to be keeping on top of the targeting, and Natasha's tactical overview soon makes it clear to her that this is indeed a missile attack, following just the kind of pattern she was expecting, or perhaps dreading, to see.

    Natasha's words of warning are more prophetic than she might have thought though, because things suddenly turn much nastier. Each incoming missile on that holographic display suddenly splits and turns into a couple of dozen smaller targets, each independently maneuvering and putting on a burst of acceleration. She at least will be confident that with that many apparent warheads, many of them will be dummies intended to overwhelm the defenses, but which? They all have to be dealt with.

    There's no time to complete a spin-up of the Pym drive. Defensive measures engage on auto-tracking, the Tereshkova's own missiles streaking out to intercept as many of the incoming targets as Val can pick out. Natasha's control of the point-defenses is calm but deadly; short, precise bursts leading each target to conserve ammunition. Caitlin's maneuvers get wilder as the swarm of missiles closes in, skipping past warheads as they close in. From time to time a missile gets through and bursts against the shields, shaking the ship.

    It's a rattling experience, particularly to those who haven't been in a similar situation before, but it's quick. The skills of the crew are impressive, and they are aided by the fact that some of the missiles seem to be duds, or explode far beyond their target range. There are some hairy moments, some near misses and quite a bit of shaking, but it's all over before Vic has managed to get the engines spun up, or Terry has got anywhere with trying to figure out what language the broadcast had been in.

    Only it's not. Val is the first to notice the /second/ wave, and they're already very close. Each of the multiple warhead launchers had contained within it a single stealthed submunition, moving slowly closer to the target while the multitude of more conventional missiles were engaged. When the all simultaneously engage, they are already very close, and have positioned themselves to surround the ship. There's simply no time to stop all the incoming warheads, and the Tereshkova seems to scream in pain as the shields buckle under multiple impacts.

    The shields hold, but only just. Klaxons, silenced earlier by Val, start up again briefly but quickly fall silent. Power couplings around the ship blow in spectacular showers of sparks, and the console Victor sits at bursts into flames. Across the controls warning lights flash angrily. The most prominent and worrying warning: 'Power core containment compromised. Urgent shutdown recommended.'

    The barrage has stopped. There are no more missiles. The radio message keeps coming, repeating on a broken loop, but the attack is over. The damage has been done however -- the Tereshovka drifts wounded through space, drives unresponsive, in need of drastic repairs.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"... Shit, that was like those scenes in that old Robotech anime." Yes. Robotech. Terry has never watched the non-bastardized original versions, he only knows the abomination that was run on American television. And he has never told anyone that he totally crushed on Zor Prime- but you could probably guess.

Leaning back from the comm, he sighs, "I am starting to get flashbacks to the Warzoon invasion. If a black hole opens up, I am rabbit holing us all out of here, no objections."

He frowns for a few seconds, "No third volley, though. So the goal was to disable us. What for? So we'd drift in space and die? Doesn't seem like a good strategy, ships can be repaired... so does that mean something is coming for us? To... tractor us?"

He glances over to the rest of the crew. "Or am I reading the situation wrong?"

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Nat, this is why I asked!" Val states as while yes she is very smart. Tactics are not always her strong point. "Someone wanna get me a signal or something we can be all cyber warfare on? See if these Rannian translators can also do whatever coding language is behind them." she asks and ponders an idea while she works.

While she does work on that point defense, she does work on keeping the shields holding and keeping things like atmosphereand the crew inside the ship.^t^tThe second battery of missles launched hets and eep. "More coming. Seatbelts save lives!" she yells as the blasts rock the ship and knock

"I just turned those off. We knowm we know!" she says and flips the volume on the alarms to mute again while occasionally turning her head to glare with the looks daring them to go and be loud.

"This might be bad. Shields holding, but we maybe kinda need to move please?" she calls out and sees who gets the fun job of SCIENCE for forward momentum.

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
It goes about as well as any bombardment goes. The helplessness, the inevitability of it for just those seconds as impact hits. Natasha does two things. The first is yank down an air filter over her mouth in case the bridge is cracked and exposed to vacuum. The next is to lean forwards just a little bit, legs lifted up a few centimeters from the ground, arms braced to the straps as the rockets would slam in. The light alterations in her body's posture making it so she doesn't have her neck snapped a twig, or her ankles twisted. The attack is over.
    It's just been a few seconds and they're dead in space. Drifting. Natasha keeps her straps on, just in case. She goes to sort through priorities. "There's no risk of hull breach here?" Trusting to the ones who built the ship to tell how bad the damage was and not interrupting.
    After a few moments considering. "I would suggest we power down everything but life support. They wanted us dead. So let's not give them any signs otherwise." Then hands going to the straps she had used to anchor herself and moving to stand up. "And they'll be coming to confirm we are shortly if there's anyone alive down there directing them." Evaluating Terry's question. "Possible, probable even. They might presume that two salvos would have killed us. If the systems are fully automated so long as we don't register as functional they might presume we're dead. They're launching from the surface of the planet or wherever the launcher is present. Probable if there's someone alive and in control of them down there they'll be sending something up to confirm. Or to salvage anything leftover." Going on analytically, "Missiles and launch systems do take a great deal of resources. If they have minimal infrastructure to make more, unless necessary they'll ration them." More thoughts.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
"Natasha's right. We're dead in the water anyway," Caitlin tells the others with a frustrated expression, but keeps her eyes glued on the flickering tactical readout. "I don't see any boarders yet. Vic, dump the thermal mass couplers and vent the fluidated plasma. I've got one repulsor at fifty percent, the other is sputtering. If you can give me partial port shields, we can kick off the thermal dump and fall into asynch. With some shield modulation and partial controls I can more or less limp us down to the ground," she informs the others, and reaches for her own life support unit under the console to hang it around her neck in readiness for a hull breach.

Victor Stone has posed:
    Vic does not say it, because Caitlin's right there, but he thinks it: Well, /shit/.

    His response to his console catching on fire is to trip a nearby fire-suppression system that sends out a burst of lovely-smelling foam to keep anything beyond the console itself from being damaged. He's already unstrapped, though, and shaking his head.

    "Engines are down, Nadia. Power containment's compromised." He's already rushed to another console and pulled up a display, eyes and hands both moving rapidly. "I'm shutting it down, but we're gonna need some time to repair her before we're going anywhere." After a moment, he adds, "Mass couplers dumped, plasma vented. Shunting the shields to port."

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
Nadia should know about the status of the power core and engines and probably would know if she hadn't banged her head rather hard in one of the many ship shaking impacts. "Wha?" She says bleerily as her vision clears and she is looking at her Engineering screens with /everything/ lit up in the bad colors. "Oh no!" Her fingers start madly flying across her console as she attempts to activate the contingencies that keep Shuri's micro fusion core from blowing them all into space dust. "The core took a hit, I'm shutting it down, we're going to have to terminate the reactions ...which means we aren't going anywhere for awhile. Not that we could with the engines down and the power grid mostly toast. Zeta Emitters are a complete no go."

Nadia far from defeated however does not slump back in her chair, rather she jumps to her feet, swaying a bit unsteadily for a moment still slightly dizzy from the head hit, but immediately sets to work on further damage control. "We're still here though, which means hopefully we've been deemed no longer a threat, or it ran out of missiles, one of those things."

Donna Troy has posed:
    The flashing of angry alerts fades as the team gets systems under control, shutting down main power supplies and venting the plasma to avoid any system overheating. Finally the ship settles into an almost peaceful state, and there is time to assess.

    Damage is extensive, but thankfully most of the damage seems to be to subsystems and power control rather than the harder to replace components such as the Pym Drive and the power core. There is enough power in the storage banks to keep life support going for a few days at least, and it would perhaps be possible to guide the ship carefully to the ground on thrusters, but if so getting back into orbit would be a challenge. However getting down to the planet seems like a good idea, because if nothing else there's a whole lot of burned out cabling that will need to be replaced.

    Fortunate that there's someone on the team who can Rabbit Hole people down to the surface for the purposes of scavenging.

    Though the state of the sensors is not ideal and power is limited, there's no sign of any more incoming threats. The radio message keeps going, apparently on an endless loop, and it can be tracked back to a location in polar orbit, presumably some launch platform from which the missiles were launched.

    Scans of the surface are... intriguing. There are cities, but all evidence suggests the cities have been at least largely destroyed. There are signs of life in some parts of some of the cities -- lights, even -- but not many. Not far from the equator there's a small city that seems to be in a better state than most, and that's perhaps the single largest concentration of lights, but even then it doesn't look like there's more than a relatively small population there.

    There are no other signs of vehicles in orbit, nor are there any aircraft visible in the skies. There is however several powerful energy signatures coming from the planet, apparently deep underground. The ship's systems are not able to pinpoint an exact location for these, let alone what they actually are.

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
Once the immediate fires are out, Nadia turns to the others. "So the question is where would that room building place thing where not Donna exists actually be?" She glances down at some readings from the still functional sensors. "We seem to be okay for the moment but we can't rule out another attack without knowing what's actually going on at that polar launch point. Cait do what you need to and get us down there. We can figure out the rest once the ship is safe."

She gives Terry a nod as well. "Attempting to rabbit hole to the surface is plan B, but we should try and get the ship out of the line of fire of future attacks while we make repairs if we can. I don't like the way this planet reminds me of Rann either, in the we definitely destroyed ourselves with WMDs sort of way."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry goes to strap himself good and tight and secure himself. "Alright, then, let's land this puppy!"

Several big, fluffy purple glowing pillows appear in abundance around him, just in case. "I'll have a Rabbit Hole on the ready just in case we suffer a malfunction and the landing turns into a crash." Because Cait's a good pilot. If they crash, it won't be user error so much as equipment quitting.

Victor Stone has posed:
    "Well didn't 'Troia' say something about a war?" Vic pays attention, even if he's been mostly avoiding Troia. He straps himself back in, frowning thoughtfully. "I mean, this might be what's left after some kind of space war, right?"

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Sooo, functioning is one thing. But how much charge will the power core have? We gonna need to gas up now once we can move. In a pinch I can probably rig my force field generator to the engines and we just all take turns wailing on it to absorb and transfer kinetic energy. Might take a while but a kickstart seems doable." Val offers a suggestion for at least fuel.

"Soo, land or not crash at least first. Then salvage and repair and hope we don't run into any automated ground based stuff? Nobody wear red or gold. If you are, change your clothes now please?" she eyes Nadia especially a moment before looking to the others.

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
Natasha Romanoff would strap herself in, "Likely planetary defenses. Automated. I think the station was in the polar regions from the sensor telemetry. They registered us too quickly and fired too quickly to be keyed for launch. Normally there would be some level of delay where authorization for engagement would be required." She would have to plot the telemetry of their entry in system to see how much of a delay there was in firing.. Now it's just time to strap in and brace and get ready for the next level of damage control.
    Switching to Russian and speaking to Nadia <<I hope you brought the armory along.>>

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
"The next person who tells me the difference between landing and crashing, is off the cookie list for a year," Caitlin says through gritted teeth. "Vic, I need you to monitor the shields. See if you can push them out into an aileron wing. Val, divert power from the weapons and drive system. Keep an eye on that forward repulsor and don't let the resonance wave collapse under me."

It's a very ugly, very tricky landing. The vibrations from the air on the hull interfere with the inertial dampners and the exterior glows with heat as they make entry. Caitlin ends up modulating the shields with one hand and the repulsors with the other to crab into the wind shear so they glide at an angle. The ship rattles and protests the whole way down and even Caitlin starts looking a little worried as the ground rushes up at them.

"Everyone brace!" she shouts. "Vic, full power to the forward shields!" Caitlin kicks the forward thrusters to keep the nose of the ship up and scrapes the belly of the Tereshkova across several trees and rock formations, using them to slow down their momentum. They hit the field Caitlin had been eyeballing and she slams all repulsors into full reverse. The Tereshkova skitters, jumps, and skids across the broken ground-- but comes to a full stop, balanced on the hull belly and without any important pieces torn off!

"Who's dead? Sound off," Caitlin says into the groaning quiet behind her.

Donna Troy has posed:
    The Tereshkova's drives complain all the way down. It's a bumpy ride, but there's enough energy in the shields to protect against the heat of entry. Caitlin's quiet competence at the controls goes a long way to making the descent feel safer to the rest of the crew than it actually is, but before long the ship is sitting on its downthrust, coming gently towards the ground just outside the larger conglomeration of lights -- the most likely place for salvage to be found. Terry's pillows were never needed.

    Scans on the way down show no more signs of attack on the ship; Natasha's assumptions of an automated system may well be correct, and perhaps it has determined they are no longer a threat, or perhaps there is nothing left to fire. The concerns voiced by Vic and Nadia only seem more likely the closer the ship gets to the surface. The planet is covered in the scars of what must have been a fearsome war -- but there's absolutely no signs of lingering radiation. The wounds look too new for it to have faded so much naturally, so perhaps this war was fought with weapons as destructive as nuclear bombs but that don't leave such poisonous effects to linger.

    The descent slows, a careful balancing act by Caitlin to make the touch down as slow as possible while using as little energy as possible. It is a testament to her capabilities as a pilot that the landing is not a whole lot rougher.

    In the last moments before the ship touched down, some details came into view that suggest they might not have picked quite the perfect landing spot. The city, such as it is, is clearly in ruins. What settlement there is here appears to have been built amongst those ruins, perhaps survivors living in the ruins of their former greatness. It's clear too that the landing of the vessel will not go unnoticed. A number of figures can be seen running around below, at the edges of the city -- approximately humanoid in shape, but colored a dull green. Perhaps two miles out from the city is another line of people, approaching the city. It very much has the look of an army. Accompanying that other line of people are a number of heavy vehicles, something approximately like a tank -- but pulled by a team of animals faintly resembling oxen.

    As the ship finally settles down and the crew recovers themselves from the rough landing, the sensors indicate that some of the inhabitants of the city are already approaching.

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
"Okay, suit up!" Even as she says it, Nadia is already disappearing and reappearing in her Waspette armor following a micro-sized acrobatic costume change. "We have incoming, I'm really hoping we can talk to the green alien people, really really hoping, but be ready for the alternative. Either way, we need to secure our landing sight before we can start repairs."

"...aaaand there seems to be another army coming in, too." She adds after a pause this could get messy." She nods at whatever Natasha asked her in Russian, but quickly adds. "Remember we're not firing unless fired upon!" with a pointed look.

Once the preparations are complete, she heads towards the airlock, "Okay, here goes nothing. Let's hope 'I come in Peace' translates culturally here."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal rights himself up. How on earth did he end up upside-down in the harness during the landing is one of those things no-one, even himself, can answer. There's purple feathers everywhere from where magical pillows burst. They are quickly dismissed.

"Right, let's start the peace overture first. If they still insist on attacking, let me try the PsyOps approach and summon some terrifying illusion-" He momentarily appears to turn into a horrifying creature with a hood and cloak, darkness for a body and four gleaming red eyes piercing out of the darkness, tendrils of shadow around him.

No, this was totally not inspired by anyone at all.

The illusion vanishes, "Twenty feet tall might do it to chase them away. If that's ok as an in-between step between "We Come In Peace" and "Kick Their Asses", that is." He glances at the team- from Cait to Natasha to Nadia.

"In any case, I'll go invisible. You know, for element of surprise either way." He vanishes and steps up to the airlock behind Nadia.

Victor Stone has posed:
    Vic does everything Caitlin tells him to like a good engineering officer--maybe he should have a visor over his eyes?--and then unstraps himself as they prepare to leave the ship. He's got his own helmet on, prepared for whatever weird alien planet this might be.

    "The tanks--or whatever those vehicles are--have some kind of active power source, internally, despite the... uhh... ox-like things pulling them," he notes. "But yeah... these people might have the key to getting Donna back. Let's not go shooting anyone." Deep breath, and he follows Nadia on out.

Valeria Richards has posed:
Any landing you can walk away from. It's rough and maybe Valeria makes sure her suit, forcefield, thing suit strength enhancers and all are up and running so she can be relatively less strewn about by the shaking and bouncing.

"Val, all good!" she responds to the call to sound off.

She does double check how functional the ships down shields are.

And once she's outside she's running the scanners on her wrist computer and posiing to expand the radius of her personal shield to cover the others once folks have disembarked.

"Universal greeting? Don't use that. I think it's a yo mama joke in a few non terran languages." she adds and shrugs her shoulders.

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
Natasha Romanoff would take a moment to consider what Nadia had stated as she would go to the armory to start taking things out and moving to get out the weapons and gear. "Since you asked." Spoken quietly in Russian while she would be heading to the cargo hold to get weapons, inaudible to most.
    A short time later Natasha is coming out and has a set of binoculars that have some dark tape put over the lens. "Two groups of the local species. One group is in a relatively fortified position.." She takes another scan. "The other is advancing. Approximately four hundred are dug in.. I'd guess roughly a thousand attacking. Both groups seem to primarily have spears and bows.. A number have projecile weapons. Firearms or equivalent."
    Taking a few moments in consideration. "So they're fighting with salvaged weaponry from the previous conflict." Previous however does implythere was a break in the fighting at some point, which may be in error. She keeps her own rifle slung over her back and continues scanning. "Infantry screen with vehicles and ranged support for an attack.." No matter the planet or technology, some things stayed the same. She has a somewhat logical idea for what happened here.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Out of the air, Vorpal's voice suddenly rings out as they start leaving the ship.

"I'm picking up comms activity, 'mates. Translator is working..."

Listneing for a few seconds, and then Vorpal's voice adds, "Holy shit." That credit is running out, "Guys, you gotta hear this... there's chatter asking if this is a weapon or a trick... they're awaiting an attack from the dudes coming our way... and there are some other voices calling us sky gods... and..."


"Some of them are using the word 'Titans.' Literally Titans."

A pause. "Should I give us a godly glow when we come out? A little Glorious Raiment, godlight shining from above, celestial choirs, that sort of thing? Coming out in the appearance of gods /might/ stop them from attacking us. Also... Titans. /Titans/. We are right on the money!"

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin's own armor is stowed with her backpack; she takes a minute to gird herself with greaves, a pauldron, half-cuirass and leather skirting. She whips her fighting braid up into a tight bun and pins it in place so she can jam a helmet down on her head, the hard brow ridge giving her a menacing look.

She takes the frontmost position as they leave the vehicle, balancing her heavy steel battle-maul on one shoulder. The information from the others is processed quickly and Caitlin's eyes flicker as an idea occurs. The redhead turns to the others for a quick con-fab. "Guys-- I have an idea."

A few moments later, the converging forces are treated to an incredible spectacle. Caitlin launches herself skywards in flight, hovering fifty feet off the ground with the vast ephermal wings she'd once sported as the Archangel's right hand. Nadia grows to titanic proportions, a giant even among giants! Victor starts glowing like a one-man light show with his full armamemnt on display and portable audio systems blasting out a low-frequency noise that most life forms find *very* unsettling. There is a sudden *army* of Natashas, each looking impossibly dangerous, and then the chthonic form of Vorpal hissing and snarling and waving black tentacles around. And thanks to Valerie's exceptional engineering skills and emitters, she glows with a radiance that can be shared by all the other Titans-- a luminosity that looks, well... Divine.

"<THE TITANS HAVE RETURNED!>" Caitlin bellows in Greek, her voice loud enough to make the rocks dance. "<BOW DOWN, AND SHOW RESPECT!>"

Donna Troy has posed:
    It works. There's no question it works. The crew of the Tereshkova put in an appearance to wow the locals, and the result is immediate. Hundreds of alien warriors in the defensive line immediately fall to their knees, crying an ululation to the heavens.

    The effect on the oncoming army is less clear. They're still some distance away. From the looks of it, some parts of the line are getting nervous and the advance becomes distinctly ragged, but on the whole they are still advancing. The faint sound of cries can be heard on the air.

    Now outside the ship, it's easier to get a better idea of what is being faced here. The aliens are a little shorter than humans, averaging perhaps five foot tall, with elongated limbs and oddly small heads. The clothing they wear is a mixture of well-woven and rough spun, suggesting a degree of industry but a relatively low level of technology, combined with an impoverished society. The rifle weapons held in the hands of perhaps one in five of the aliens are a different story. They're obviously a technology well beyond what this society should be capable of making themselves, and from all appearances would seem to be some kind of beam weapon.

    A figure advances out of the crowd, coming to a stop some fifty feet in front of the ship. He's better dressed than most, with a circlet of metal on his brow and a staff held in one hand. The other hand he raises up, and presses to his eyes for a moment. A greeting? Insult? Salute?

    The figure, obviously some kind of leader, turns his back on the Titans and raises his staff high. Slowly the ululation of the gathered defenders falls silent. "Do any of you now doubt the word of the messenger?" he calls out, his words easily translated by the Rannian translator. "Does any among you now doubt that the words of the Books, old and new, are the truth? This day is our greatest test. Before us stands the army of the Baahn tribe. Every one of you saw your deaths in them. And now, as was promised, in our time of need -- the Titans have come to aid us. We will fight, we will win, and we will LIVE! The message granted to our forefathers, and repeated to us in our own lifetimes by the Messenger has been proven true. We shall survive. We shall learn how not to hate. The Third People shall do what the first people and second people never could. We will rebuilt the world as a paradise for our children, and our children's children, forever!"

    A great cry goes up as four hundred voices call out a wordless call of joy and agreement, weapons raised.

    The leader turns back to the crew of the Tereshkova, walking closer. He repeats the gesture of covering his eyes with his hand, and then nods his head. "You came. In our hour of need, you came. The Baahn are almost upon us. They outnumber us more than two to one, and they have six Throwers. Whatever aid you can give us, Titans, we thank you for. "

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
This is the second time Nadia has been an object of religious veneration in less than a week, she really needs to not make a habit of this she thinks to herself.

Standing before the devout followers of the Titans, Nadia looms. There are so many questions, like who foretold their coming /apparently recently/, this stinks of the same outside party shenanigans that set the events of the Wonderland invasion in motion. Is Katia's friend Erin behind this too?

Pushing all of that aside for a moment she calls out to their new worshippers. "Violence is not the way! We shall see about Dissuading them from fighting!" And then closer at hand she looks down to where the others stand below and says "Terry, break their will to fight." Knowing exactly what she is unleashing but sometimes you need a Vorpal weapon to stop an army.

For her own part she raises and stamps a huge foot in the direction of the oncoming army. <<Sit on it!>> She meant to say 'Stand down!' but her Themysciran Greek is still very much a work in progress.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"With pleasure!"

The crackle of chaos magic in the apparition's voice shows that the Cheshire Cat is gearing up for something big. and he draws on his ample reserves of chaos magic- even pulling some from the ambient itself, scant though it usually is.

And the eldritch creature seems to explode upwards and outwards into a mass of roiling shadows, a tree of darkness that reaches towards the sky and expands with branches of black that erupt in multitudes, and they themselve explode until there is a towering dark presence lifting over the horizon, a dark king of shadows with gleaming red-demon eyes peering from every part of the expanse of darkness in a chaotic array that glitter like malevolent stars dying at the end of the universe itself. But what follows is worse- the voice, worked through the translator, amplified by his magic so that it echoes across the landscape in a voice that speaks with the wailing of grief, and is preceded by the acrid scent of charred and burnt ruins.

~Sons of the dust arise!
The fated hour's come forth,
And, as your life-stream dies,
Aggrieve who gave you birth
by callously despising
your life and all its yoke,
Let your comrades see you writhing,
And your bones, the feast of smoke.
Brave shades of chiefs and sages,
Behold the coming strife!
Turn back the wrath of ages
And choose instead your life!~

As the tendrils of darkness sweep forward towards the approaching attackers, ghastly shades writhe on the ground that suddenly appears to be wilted, smoked, crater-pocked and tinged red with bloood: conjured phantoms show their own bodies mangled, smoking, charred heads tossed skyward in a silent cry of agony and despair that no-one heard.

"~The Titans command the breaking
of strife an enmity
Or else none shall find, when seeking
The remains of what you used to be!~

And the king in black opens his wings, almost blotting out a section of the sky, with the wailing of angered souls echoing through the landscape, to reinforce his point.

Victor Stone has posed:
    Vic backs Terry up with more of that /really/ painful even if on /just/ on the edge of hearing noise, but visual effects Terry does /not/ need help with.

    He looks to the leader of the locals, and says, "We prefer not to fight if we can help it--but we will fight if we must. Leave it to us, though. We can handle this." More confidence than he feels, but you've got to project confidence in these situations.

Valeria Richards has posed:
A lot of experiments and builds take time to cook so thankfully Val has a brother and friends that have helped her keep someone abrest of nerd culture. "Soo, I bet this is how Wonder Woman or Thor Feel. Umm. We're downplaying this right?" she asks and looks back to the group, then to her wrist computer's scanning read outs and then to those approaching. A few buttons making the ligh show of her shields nice and sparkly and impressive. And functional as a defensive barrier. Invisibility certainly possible but now is show time by the looks of the others.

"Okay, so we doing the if they ask if we're a god, we say yes." she says and runs with it." she states and sighs. "Uncle Doom, you'd be proud. Dad, Uncle Ben, sorry." she adds under her breath like she swiped the last slice of Johnny Storm's Pizza and let Ben take the blame. Again.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin lands on the ground while Terry does his grand act. Even she has to admit-- the Cheshire's skills with his powers have improved considerably in the last couple years. It's a performance worthy of Raven herself. She hands the borrowed repulsor back to Victor with a regretful expression. "Thanks," she says. "I think that added a nice touch."

"Nadia, Terry, keep 'em spooked. I'm gonna take out the heavy hardware," she informs the Titans. Caitlin drops her pack somewhere safe, gauges her distance, and takes a running start of a few dozen yards. With a grunt of effort Caitlin leaps into the air like a loosed missile, a direct arc into the middle of the enemy vanguard. She lands just in front of the artillery piece, scattering the animals in a panic. Without breaking stride Caitlin plows into the front of the sled and smashes the platform apart with her bare hands. It's done in moments, and ignoring the arrows and spears being hurled at her obdurate skin, Caitlin lines up the vault to the next location.

Donna Troy has posed:
    The attempts at intimidation seem to be having an effect, as the onrushing army stops onrushing -- though they are not backing off. They seem nervous, but they're forming up into a line.The six tank-like vehicles, presumably what the leader had referred to as 'throwers', are being lined up, a hive of activity around each one.

    Despite the appearance of apparently divine aid, the defenders do not hesitate to retreat to their dug-in positions. They do so fast, but calmly, as if this is something they are used to doing, and they have trained to do. Soon every few feet of facing wall seems to have the barrel of a rifle poking over it in the direction of the invader's lines, and behind them stand ranks of archers at the ready. As yet though, they do not fire.

    Then Terry's monstrosity puts in its appearance. The line of invaders waver. The defenders too look over their shoulders nervously -- it's a lot. Some of the attackers start to back away, but they're yelled at by captains and the line still holds. This is certainly a well-drilled force, and one might wonder what threats deserters face to keep them from fleeing in the face of all of this. An uncoordinated volley of rifle fire is aimed a the shadow king, beams of scarlet filling the sky overhead, but they do not seem to have the range even were the illusion substantial.

    Then Caitlin goes Full Fairchild. It is not a comfortable frontal assault, because there's ground to cover, even though she covers it fast. Her Themysciran armor protects her well from the incoming arrows, a little less well from the incoming laser fire from the rifles, but it stands -- and then she launches herself skywards to total one of the six throwers. The response from the soldiers around her is immediate -- dozens of them hurl themselves at her, spears stab at her, and she's swamped. Getting free, let alone getting to the next vehicle, is going to be a challenge.

    Then the ground shakes. The shaking builds for a few moments before ending in an echoing BOOM. Each of the remaining tank-like vehicles shudder as if firing, but there's no visible missile coming from them.

    The impact, however, is quite visible. The ground at Nadia's feet is torn into the air in a great shower of dirt and rocks that skitter from the shields Val and Vic can provide, but Nadia herself is less lucky, and even in giant form, even from a near miss, she's staggered back. The Tereshkova shudders violently as if something impacted it. The ground in front, where shadowy ghoul-forms writhe, erupts in two great blasts that send their own showers of rock and dirt heavenwards.

    And worst, two large sections of stone wall simply buckle inwards and blast back as if some enormous invisible fist had punched straight through them, tangled bodies of defenders behind the walls hurled violently back into the defenders.@emit

    Across the field of battle, scarlet beams fire, and arrows fly. The range is too great for them to have much impact, but fly they do. The arrows all fall short, on both sides. The lasers fare a little better, but this still appears to be extreme range for them. A few bolts of red splash against the teams shields, or against walls. In the attackers lines, it's clear the defenders are concentrating on the crews of those tank-like vehicles, but the beams are largely dissipated by the time they reach their targets, if they do, and the effect is minimal.

    The tank crews busy themselves at the 'throwers', preparing to fire a second volley. It's a worry.. These artillery weapons are clearly very powerful, and Caitlin is pinned down...

Donna Troy has posed:
    But something is going wrong for the attackers. Very, very wrong. The first sign is a sudden panic among the lines of the army, to the far left, where for some reason a section of the line starts looking /downwards/ and apparently attempting to stab the ground with their spears. The disturbance moves along the line in a growing scene of chaos, in the direction where Caitlin is struggling.

    The second, much more dramatic, sign that something is wrong is when an actual, honest to goodness /dragon/ appears over the army. A /green/ dragon. With an /archer/ riding on its back. The dragon swoops low over the left wing of the army, terrifying the soldiers below. As it turns for a second path, the archer on the Dragon's back fires an arrow that flies true, straight at the projector-dish of one of the throwers. It embeds itself there for a moment before the Thrower is rocked by a powerful blast that splits the dome in two. As it passes back, the dragon opens its jaws and a torrent of flame pours out over another of the throwers.

    The third sign that things are getting even stranger than Vorpal's illusions is when the shields of the Tereshkova suddenly brighten and swell into their fullest strength. As if from nowhere, a web-like coating of metallic tendrils seems to wrap around the ship, swarming and slithering briefly across its surface, then quickly disappearing into the substance of the hull. Val and Nadia receive notifications from the ship -- all systems operational. Weapons on-line. And standing by the ship, grinning her head off, stands the littlest Jedi.

    It continues. One of the surviving Throwers simply grinds to a halt, suddenly uncrewed, it's handlers lying in a heap on the floor some distance away, with nothing but a faintly yellow blur to say what happened to them.

    And if the press on Caitlin was beginning to thin out of sheer terror, she suddenly has a small but might ally. "Fear not Caitlin! I am here to save you!" calls out the cause of that rippling disturbance that had had the enemy soldiers stabbing at the ground. Somehow, unbelievably, Caitlin is joined by Kaida, the mous Titan stabbing ankles as she goes.

    One Thrower has been eliminated by Caitlin. One by Irie. One by Kate, and one by Gar. There are still two more, but with Kaida's relief Caitlin is free to take on another, the Tereshkova's weapons are ready for targeting, the attacking army is finally falling apart in a mass of terrified soldiers. It looks like the attack is thoroughly broken.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
The illusion is not technically taxing, nowhere near as taxing as opening a Rabbit Hole across whole light years, but what it does require is /care/. All of that extra magical energy is invested into, well, what some might call sub-routines. Those with a more religious and mystical bend might even call them short-form monadic constructs. The Witch-Queens in Wonderland simply call them /whorls/. Little self-contained cycles of chaos magic infused with Terry's intent and a magical imprint of the Big Picture of what the grand illusion is supposed to do- like little bits of magical DNA carrying the genetic information of the illusion. They flow and coruscate and thread through the enormous thing, independent of Vorpal but enacting his intent, ensuring that everything remains according to plan and, then, dissipate back into primordial chaos once The Goal has been achieved.

This is something he's mostly figured out on his own, and he isn't exactly aware of the full details of it, most of it being done through instinct and imagination alone. The day when someone is finally actually interested in teaching Terry some magic will be an interesting one.

The Dark King remains over the battle and, perhaps to the greatest humiliation of the Throwers, two large globs of Terry's trademark magical glitter fall towards them. This will not damage them, of course, but it is certainly not the most militaristic look.

It also helps the targets stand out. He's /helping/, people.

Within the massive trunk of darkness that is his illusion, Terry can still see without, and he laughs when suddenly a very familiar archer flies by on a very familiar dragon.

"... that's my man!" comes the voice of the Dread King, amplified by magic and translator, and probably confusing the fuck out of a lot of the retreating enemies.

Irie West has posed:
    Once her tank is taken care of Iris appears in front of the crew of the Terashkova. "Hi guys!" she chirps. She's wearing a new costume, now. She's got a tight jumpsuit that's colored in red blacks and yellows, with a lightning motif running up the side and down the sternum. Over that she's got the leather jacket that Donna gave her, and red gloves compliment the look. She's got red goggles over a half mask cut so her brilliant red hair can flow outward.

    "Did you miss us? Looks like you got yourself into the middle of a war." Before anybody can answer her she holds up a finger. "Hold that thought."

    She zips back to the army that's in the middle of breaking and runs through the soldiers looking for ones who haven broken yet. These? These get a really fierce wedgie. That should get them moving.

Madison Evans has posed:
    With chaos all around them probably the last thing Victor expects is for Madison to suddenly appear right in front of him, holding a metal orb about the size of the a soft ball. "The Titans told us to bring this to our friends! They said that you need-" That's about as far as she gets, before the thing activates - and encases the ship briefly in a strange webbing. "I- huh. I figured this was tech that you would need to- hrm. Well. Here, I guess!" She hands the things off to Victor anyways, and then turns to face the routed alien army.
    "So. What's our next move?" the little Jedi asks in a cheerful tone.

Gar Logan has posed:
That's right. Kate is astride a giant green dragon, keeping herself in place as the creature soars over the army below, wreaking havoc on their formations and their will. If there's any doubt who it is, he passes close by and calls out, "Uh, since when did you become a mindflayer, Vorpal?"

And the demonic visage ahead of them all starts talking about his man. Confusion all around, for a moment.

Beast Dragon harries the ranks a bit more, but the alien soldiers are scattering willy nilly by now, choosing survival over all else. "That's right! Go on! Git!" Another burst of flame follows, meant more to frighten than singe, and a familiar 'voice' follows from one of those Jim Carrey movies. "Sssssssmokin'!"

Victor Stone has posed:
    As a bunch of other Titans show up, Vic cheers, particularly at that /very/ nice shot at the projector dish. "Booyah!" He shouts, fist in the air in celebration. "That's how we /do/ it!"

    Then he's grinning at Madison. "Where'd you come from, huh?" He grabs the orb from her, peering at it curiously. He's not going to stick it into his chassis to see how to it works. He's /not/. He's really not.

    He's totally gonna /try/ to stick it in his chassis if nobody stops him.

    With a shrug, he tucks the thing under his arm--gently--and calls, "BURN 'EM DOWN, GAR!" Right now he's mostly cheerleading since he's evidently been tasked with Holding The Orb. It's an important job, one that requires great skill.

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
Nadia was trying to resolve this without fighting, scare them, break their will, not have to make snap value judgements since that rarely seems to go well in the heat of the moment on unknown planets. But that is not to be.

Nadia makes a face and sighs when the Will of the enemy refuses to falter and then the advancing army is getting attacked from another direction. That is until the Tereshkova is hit, at that point Nadia's peacemaking demeanor shifts noticeably. "Oh you did NOT just do that!"

The thing about Nadia's growth which she has begun to utilize more lately is that her entire suit grows with her. This is great for modesty reasons but it also means things like her wrist blasters go from handy sidearms to naval class weaponry capable of punching a hole in the side of a starship at that scale. Thankfully where this enemy army is concerned she usually defaults to a stun setting. But one of those gauntlets is exactly what is raised now and pointed at the oncoming army. There is a great *FWOOM* sound as the beam of energy blasts forth and is dragged across the battlefield raking through the oncoming forces like something out of a Macross anime. "DO. NOT. TOUCH. THE. TERESHKOVA!!" She seems maybe a bit upset.

It is about that time that she also sees the silvery spiderweb effect being spread over the ship and it really looks like the normally happy peaceable go-lucky Nadia might have a full on aneurysm. The saving grace is of course when the ship is suddenly giving her green across the board, deep breaths follow, and she redoubles her energy towards stopping the threat of the army. She can check over every micron of the Tereshkova later.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin's getting swarmed down, mostly because-- well, she really doesn't want to *hurt* anyone particularly badly. A broken bone or two, sure, but she is pulling her punches as she is wont to do. The redhead's quite capable of knocking the least of these guys into next week with a careless backhand.

Gar's arrival is a surprise-- his presence, that is, not the dragon. She'd know that dragon's derpy expression anywhere.

Caitlin breaks out of the melee with a shoulder charge and starts running after Gar, pushing through the enemy forces like a snowplow. She puts fingers to her lips and whistles once, shrill, a familiar low-high phffew-PFEER that Gar can hear a mile away. Once she's got his attention the redhead lines up the next angle and leaps into the air with that explosive strength in her legs, seemingly confident that Gar will intercept her mid-trajector!

Gar Logan has posed:
At that whistle, like calling a giant taxi or dog, the (very much not derpy) dragon swings around and catches sight of a certain someone. "Oh, hi Cait! Check us out! We're lighting 'em up! You want a ride, too? Hop on!" Beast Boy comes in low when she takes a jump up high, timed just so for a fancy landing. She'll just have to grab hold of a few spikier scales that stick out, lacking anything else. "Next stop: the ship!"

Donna Troy has posed:
    It's a rout. It started as a rapid retreat, but it very quickly turns into a rout. Between the anvil of the Tereshkova crew and the hammer of the other Titans, the invading army hasn't even got time to figure out what's hit them, and they don't hang around to find out. Soon the field is empty, but for a litter of dropped weapons, a whole bunch of fallen enemies -- most of whom will later turn out to have merely been stunned by Nadia's weaponry -- and the wrecks of the tank-like 'Throwers'.

    When the dragon-Gar lands, and it all seems to be over, the defending force comes out from behind their shelters, cheering. There have been a few casualties, but the protection thrown up by Val and Vic's shields, the distractions of the Natasha army and Caitlin's frontal assault, and the sheer terror inspired by giant Nadia and the Vorpal illusions kept the army at extreme range, and the casualties, indeed even injuries, are remarkably few.

    The cheering and general celebrations is not generally extended to the crew of the Tereshkova and the newly arrived Titans though. The defenders seem nervous of them, but they are approached once more by the leader, who approaches carrying a book. He again covers his eyes with a hand, definitely some kind of salute.

    "We are the Third People," he intones, his voice deepening, booming out, "Long ago there lived the First People, who were not us. They learned wonders, but never learned how not to hate each other, and they are the ones who broke the moons as brother slew brother and sister slew sister. Years beyond understading passed, and there came the Second People, who were us. They learned wonders, but never learned how not to hate each other. They are the ones who burned the world as brother slew brother and sister slew sister. Those few who survived became the Third People. We live in the shadow of the wonders our forefathers built, and we too have not learned how not to hate each other, but it is not yet too late."

Donna Troy has posed:
    His voice drops back to a more conversational tone. "You saved us. You have weakened the Baahn tribe so they will never be able to be conquers again. We can live in peace, and in time we will bring our peaceful ways to the Baahn tribe too. Their leaders are discredited, their army finished. We can never thank you enough."

    "In the days of our forefathers, the Titans of the Broken Moon came to us and they cleaned the poisons that fouled the seas and plagued the lands that the second people had laid down in their terrible wars. They spoke to the elders of our tribe, and the elders of every other tribe, and they told us: 'Learn what your parents never learned, or you too will follow their path. Choose another path for yourselves, and when you have done so, we will come to you again with gifts that will grant you paradise.' As you have seen, not all the tribes listened."

    "Our tribe was one that did not listen to words spoken generations ago, of promises that seemed impossibly distant. For generations we fought, we conquered. But then, when I was still a young warrior fighting for our tribe, we were blessed a second time. The Messenger came to us, and she renewed the message of the Titans of the Broken Moon. And she told us that there would come a day, one day soon, when we would be visited by the Titans of the Tower."

    He opens his book, ruffling quickly through the pages before holding it out to show a particular page. The book looks hand-bound, but the text is printed, signs of a limited but growing native technology. One one page is an illustration, the linework printed but the coloring obviously done by hand. The picture shows five figures, the drawing a little crude, but the figures roughly human, as if drawn from a description received by someone who had never seen a human. In the foreground stands a figure dressed in blue and black, holding two staves; another a woman in purple hooded robes, and a third a woman bearing a sword and shield, armored in black with silver stars. Behind them stands a tall female warrior with red hair pulled back in a ponytail, and beside her a dark-skinned man who's face and body is half metal.

    "I know what I see." He points to Caitlin, then to Victor. "You are the Fair Child, and you are the Cyborg. You have came to help us, as was promised. We will not forget. We will strive for peace, for all our days."

    He covers his eyes a last time, nods his head, and backs away, to see to the ordering of his people.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal's illusion finally gets dispersed, and the Cheshire cat seems to have a lot of questions after what the leader said. And a lot of things to assimilate.

But first and foremost, there's something at the tip of his tongue, and a slightly indignant tongue in his muttering.

"... why am /I/ not in the book? Vic gets to be in the book! Cait's in the book. I need to get my agent on the phone. Somebody get me my phone." He pauses. "Somebody get me an agent first."

Victor Stone has posed:
    "Terry," Vic says quietly, staring at the book with... he's not tearing up, that's /motor oil/ okay guys... with /moist/ eyes. "Terry... that's the /original/ Titans. That's why you're not there."

    He points. "See? Nightwing, Raven, me, Cait... and Troia. Donna." Yeah, he's choked up a little.

    He smiles at the leader. "You're welcome. It's good that we could help." He looks around at the others. "You guys have any idea who the Messenger might be?"

Gar Logan has posed:
"Heh," Beast Boy says, having returned to normal once letting Kate and Cait off. Red and white costume, all that. He also adds to Vorpal, "Those are the OGs. I guess Hekate was wrong about us being true Titans after all. Oh yeah, we just saw her again." He may not be in there, but..that's all right.

Gar passes by Vic and goes to slap him on the butt like you do in sports. "Good job, my dude--OW!" Forgetting, of course, that Vic's got quite a hard ass indeed. Commence shaking of the hand back and forth. "I hope you guys find real peace, seriously. That'd put you a step ahead of our people."

A moment of seriousness from someone who is often not.

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
Nadia by this point has returned to her normal size. "Okay, this is great that these guys want to find peace and they're trying to put war behind them, but we still haven't found Troia yet, or disabled that polar defense system." Even as she says this she's still casting furtive glances over her shoulder at the Tereshkova, a voice in the back of her head still screaming at her to check over every micron of the ship, but she is doing her best to stay on task because that is what responsible Captain's do.

Donna Troy has posed:
    The leader stops and turns to Cyborg, tilting his head. "She was The Messenger," he says." That is all we know. She came to us twelve cycles ago." It'll take a bit to figure out, but by the time the Titans leave the system they'll know enough to figure out that's around 2014. "She looked much like you. Her hair was dark, and her robes were orange-gold, like the light of the dawn. She told us that one day some of you would come here, and that if we lived by the advice the Titans of the Broken Moon gave to us so many years before, the Titans of the Tower would befriend us too. She spoke truth."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"--I guess that makes sense, but as to who the Messenger would be, I-" Vorpal freezes. "Wait. What. You saw Hekate? Again? Logan you get your ass back in here and tell me exactly what happened!" he reaches for his boyfriend to drag him back to him by his arm."Hekate is never wrong. She /is/ basically magic. Anything she says, she says for a purpose. And part of magic is misdirection."

He frowns suddenly at the description the man gives them, and his jaw drops.

"Dark hair. /Saffron Robes/. AAAAAAAAAAAH!" And he grabs Gar by the shoulders and shakes him gently, "TELL ME EVERYTHING SHE SAID!"

Madison Evans has posed:
    "But I think... somehow Donna is Troia and Troia is Donna and maybe it's just- she's dreaming? Wonderland is dreams sorta, yeah? Whn we were up there- when we were on the moon, the Titans told us Troia wasn't there and hadn't ever been there, so this story of like- a war and all the Titans dying //isn't true,//" Madison babbles off quickly, looking between the others who and accompanied her, and the Titans who had arrived by space ship. "...does any of that make sense?" she asks uncertainly.

Victor Stone has posed:
    Vic's eyes widen and he looks between Gar and Terry--not because of the butt slap, but the rest of it. "You're all true Titans... you're just not the /first/ Titans," he says in a bit of a daze.

    A slow, slow blink. "...That makes a /lot/ of sense, actually. But... but /why/? Vorpal, /what's going on/?" He doesn't say it in the normal 'Terry what'd you do?!' tone. It's more 'help me understand,' more clear because he turns to Caitlin and adds, "Do /you/ know?"

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan lets out a short sound of surprise as he's physically yanked back and forth by the hands of Vorpal. Fortunately, the eyes do not bounce in their sockets. That only happens in stuff like cartoons. "Dude! I am not a Shake Weight! Ease up on me!" he blurts, his own hands going up to stall the rocking.

Then, he does the unexpected for him: he actually remembers enough to tell it almost exactly word for word. "Okay, okay. So, like, we were in the Tower and you know how the doors would be all weird and the main room was sometimes that other place? After you guys left, pretty much /all/ the doors were wonky, and then it felt like the whole place ended up somewhere else, and when we got to the main room it was this giant chamber you couldn't even see to the other end of, and it had these huge columns and stuff. Then we followed a path that led to this balcony overlooking this place, and /she/ showed up."

Clearing his throat, he gets to the meat and potatoes of the matter. "She said 'they' were the original Titans. Called them the real ones, the Twelve. They drew us here. She didn't think they'd pay enough attention. But she said Troia's only dreamed about this place. She's never been here. She dreamed about it a lot, but didn't know it was here until pretty recently. Hekate said it was a sad dream. She sounded surprised we hadn't figured it out yet, but everything would work itself out and Troia would know stuff she didn't know before, and some of the Titans would be happy for it, while others wouldn't."

He isn't done yet, and he looks to be visibly recalling as much as he can, the way his eyes concentrate past everyone. "She said there's a truth about Troia she won't be the one to reveal, that it's not really a secret by now and she doesn't think Zeus really cares that we showed up. She said we should be embarrassed to call ourselves Titans, that Olympus and New Kronos were, like, stunned we'd do that. I guess we showed them, didn't we? Anyway, she said they're not locked up, that Zeus freed them all thousands of years ago and they, um, agreed on behavior after that, like not having any more Titan-children. And they had to leave Earth. And then we got down here to take care of the army."

Clearing his throat, he says, "If that means what I think it means about Donna..." Bombshell.

Madison Evans has posed:
    "And she said she couldn't fix Irie! You left that part out. Ugh. What's the point of being a GOD if you won't fix stuff?!" Madison declares - sounding rather put out. "But see? Like I said. It's all- it has to do with dreams! And Wonderland has to do with dreams! So like - dreams are the key somehow. Yeah?" The young Jedi looks between the more experienced heroes, to see if //they// have more insight into all this mess.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Information is flooding in. The Cheshire's eyes go wide. And his mind- round, like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel. Vic's qustion is heard, but not answered right away because he's digesting.

"The messenger with dark hair and saffron robes came to them in 2014. When the Titans-" Terry shakes his head, "Hekate! It was Hekate! It was Hekate all along!"

And then he sits down, a hand over his mouth as he thinks, and thinks. Madison, bless her Jedi heart, thows a beam of light to add to the things clicking in his brain. "A sad dream. And Wonderland was born from a sad dream. And... and..." Click. "She touched the regalia. I remember. When we rescued it from that fake Alice. She touched it. I /remember/ her touching the scepter and then... and then her voice got all echo-y and..."

If Donna dreamt all of that- the war, the dead Titans that never died.

"Wait a minute."

He sits bolt upright. "THE DREAM. The dream. Donna told me about a recurring dream she was having over and over again of wandering the empty Tower, and every spot in the Memorial had a statue, but hers. In that dream she was... the last Titan."

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
By this point Nadia has vanished. Once it became clear what they came for had indeed been found, there was no reason to deny her nagging doubts any longer.

Though anyone going to the Tereshkova can find her easily enough running every single diagnostic and inventing a few new ones as she goes over the ship with a fine toothed comb trying to figure out what the hell happened to it and eventually get it ready for the return journey.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin steps over to Vorpal and Gar, and when a moment presents itself, hugs Gar. Partly it's so she can check him for injuries; partially it's just a long-standing motherly habit of giving him just a little bit of stability in a world that can seem overwhelming at times. Victor's there too, and while none of it is meant to be exclusionary, there's just a moment where three of the original Titans can connect with each other and a story that apparently goes back to their first days as friends-- and family.

"Y'know I remember-- on Themyscira, once. I mentioned how much Diana and Donna look like each other. The whole... issue from clay, thing. Donna told me she wasn't Diana's genetic sibling. She wasn't Queen Hippolyta's blood daughter. And I kinda... I don't know. I didn't think about it much. What are the odds that a baby lost to sea would have all the powers Donna does? That she would take to the training of the Amazons, all their magic and the lasso and everything?"

"I was /so sure/ this was the Wonderland thing bleeding into reality," she admits, giving Vorpal an apologetic look. "But I think you're right; Wonderland just let Donna dream a dream she'd forgotten about since she was a baby." She gestures at the land around them.

"A dream where the last of the Titans was brought to Earth to be a bridge between the old gods, and the new ones. And ended up creating the Titans all over again, in her own way."

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan impulsively leans into the hug as Vorpal figures a lot out that admittedly goes a bit beyond his ken. Cait hugs were always good hugs back in the day, before Doomsday, and sometimes there just aren't enough of them. But as she's talking, and all those pieces come together little by little, the things he recited from Hekate (and almost got perfect, but not quite)...all of those blanks are getting filled in.

"Uh, wow. That means Donna's..." Pause. "Dude. I mean, /DUDE/."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"What Wonderland brought up," Vorpal says, standing up slowly, "was a nightmare. Oh god it's making sense. The thing corrupting Wonderland- when Donna touched the scepter, it must have brought up her old recurring nightmare. And the Regalia has the power to..."

The Cheshire sighs and rubs his forehead. "Make dreams into reality. Change reality. That's why the tower claims Donna never existed- she overwrote the reality around the tower with her nightmare. And now she's trapped in it... We need to get back as soon as possible and... figure out how to undo this. It's not Wonderland, but Wonderland played a part in this. What I still don't know..." he glances at Madison, Gar, and the rest of the Titans who encountered Hekate, "... is the whole picture of what Hekate is doing. So many moving parts. Just a comment here and there like she seems to always do- did she put it in Eris' head to use King Ixion's resentment as an amusement? Did she know, when she delivered her message to these people," he gestures to the retreating aliens, "that this would happen to Donna and that we'd come /here/? For that matter how could she possibly know I would exist? And that-"

He waves a hand, shaking his head, "No, no that's the wrong way to think about this. She's Hekate. She probably has millions of variations and different moves she can make. The steps aren't as important as the why of them... and right now we can't think about that, we have to go and get our Donna back!"

e looks at his boyfriend, and he nods. "Yes, Garfield." And Vic. "Donna is... a Titan. Which makes her an actual goddess."

Victor Stone has posed:
    For a moment, Vic brightens visibly. "We're gonna get Donna back! That's what /I'm/ hearing! Go Titans!"

    But then... he frowns. "We're gonna get a /goddess/ back." He frowns at Caitlin for a moment, taking comfort from her presence, but seeming suddenly... wary? Upset, a little. "It's... it's almost like we never knew her at all, isn't it?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry frowns. "Vic, my mom said the exact same thing to me when I first came out of the closet. I mean, she got over it, but the whole 'It's like I never really knew you.' I mean, I said 'yes, mom, you knew me, you just didn't know I was thirsting majorly over all of those American Gladiator reruns you liked to watch so much. Outside of THAT, you knew me just fine!'" The cheshire cat dusts his hands, "This isn't any different. We know our Donna. She's like a big sister to me. So /what/ if my big sister just happens to be a goddess? Just look at me, it makes sense."

He turns around and starts heading for the Tereskova, "Come on. We've got to help a goddess out of the closet. Or Boudoir. Or Grove. Or wherever it is goddesses hide."

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin just ... sighs, at Vorpal, shoulders slumping. "...No. She's the same person we've all always known. Same Donna we grew up with, and got in arguments with, and fought Doomsday alongside. She hasn't changed. Just how we knew her. Like when she told us who she-- well, who she THOUGHT she really was. Not a Knight of Ilium."

She starts herding others towards the ship, making sure no one or nothing gets left behind. "And I mean, it's not like we don't know some gods already. She's no different than Thor, really."

A crooked smile crosses her face. "I mean-- she wears jeans. I've seen her do it."

Irie West has posed:
    All this time as people are figuring this out, Iris is standing in the background, her hands clasped to her chest, and nods encouragingly. Her eyes are shining brightly and her grin is enthusiastic. "I knew you guys could do it!" she shouts. "You don't know how /hard/ it's been not saying anything."

Madison Evans has posed:
    "OH EM GEE, I went to an alien planet, and saw actual aliens, and stopped an actual war, and now I get to ride in an actual space ship!" Madison gushes. No - it doesn't take much to herd the child towards the ship. "Dibs on a window seat! Let's go save Donna!"

Donna Troy has posed:
Where did the other Titans come from? For the full story, turn to page https://heroesassemble.mushhaven.com/scene/scene.php?id=11405 and discover where they came from, the secrets of the orb, and what Hekate REALLY said!