1555/TITANS: The Spider-Maker's ArcHIVEs.

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TITANS: The Spider-Maker's ArcHIVEs.
Date of Scene: 07 May 2020
Location: Uptown - St. Martin's Island
Synopsis: Kian, Vorpal, Starfire, Flash, Cyborg and Troia answer an emergency call. So does HIVE.
Cast of Characters: Donna Troy, Wally West, Terry O'Neil, Victor Stone, Kian, Koriand'r

Donna Troy has posed:
    Caitlin and Vic had been working hard on the tower systems for a while now, and things were pretty much up and running the way they should be.  Better, even—improvements have been made.  Newly installed AI routines promise to reduce the necessity of monitor duty dramatically by using sophisticated pattern-matching algorithms to identify and flag any suspicious data coming into the tower's systems through the many channels being monitored.
    Amongst those channels are of course the local police bands.  When said bands start buzzing with words such as 'spider-mechs' and 'Titans' then those AI routines would, if they were actually intelligent, feel almost disappointed at how much of their complicated programming was going to waste.  Before it even reached the second pass for cross-referencing, the data channel was already flagged with a 100% relevance score.  You could have run this on a smartphone.  Probably on a pretty dumb one, really.
    When the alarms go off, Donna is in the main room of the tower, having just finished some training and in the process of finding something to drink.  Thus within a second or two of the alarm sounding, she has the data up on the big screen, and is relaying information through the T-Com to all Titans listening.
    "Police are reporting an armed assault in uptown St. Martin's.  It's the lab where those spider-mechs some of you guys fought were being developed.  It's been closed down under police investigation since, and they're reporting a shoot-out.  Two forensics officers inside the lab under attack by estimated four armed men.  One squad car on site, other assets on route.  Sending the co-ordinates to your T-Coms, all available Titans, meet on site."
    "Titans... TOGETHER!"

Wally West has posed:
    Wally West is pretty impressed with this automated monitor system.  The Justice League was never so much on the ball.  On the other hand, he muses to himself, the team is going to feel awfully silly if this is a bunch of Mechwarrior players gathering for geeky fun.  This does not stop him from racing to the site, from spending a few seconds inspecting the immediate area thoroughly to make sure there's no threat of ambush in the first few moments they're there, and from racing back to the nearest Lexbucks to pick up a blended mocha with extra whipped cream.
    Hate the villain.  Love the coffee.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry's heart does a little skip as the communication comes through his T-Com.  He is in the common room, finishing up some notes on the upcoming Titans-related article, which was due to hit this weekend… with some fanfare, hopefully.  "It's going to have to wait…" he says, closing his laptop and standing up from the couch to take out his trusty portable mirror.
    "We're all mad here!"
    A multicolor light show later, the human is replaced by the Cheshire cat, albeit still without a functioning uniform that will complete the look.  It's just jeans and a t-shirt, for now, at least.
    "This is Vorpal.  I'm opening a Rabbit Hole, destination your co-ordinates.  Meet me in the commons if you want to ride in style on the Vorpal express!"
    Pulling up the coordinates on his smart-phone, he then looks at the Maps app and gets a good gander at the area before opening the Rabbit Hole.  "Rooftop landing okay?  For the element of surprise?" he asks over the comm as he concentrates, deferring to the experience of the other Titans versus his total lack thereof.  Whatever they choose, there will be a Rabbit Hole opening up to transport anyone who wants to come along.

Victor Stone has posed:
    "Spider-mechs?  Awesome!"  Vic blurts out, leaping up from the couch and dropping his playstation controller onto the cushions.  As he's already in the main room, getting in gear is just a matter of vaulting over the couch back and jogging to the nearby freefall tube.  "Look out below!" he shouts as he hops out into space.
    And then, with a blast of rocket exhaust, doesn't actually fall.  Rather, he sort of skids in midair, flailing, and after a quick boomerang motion, is back on solid ground.  He squints at Vorpal, a touch grumpily.  "What the hell is a rabbit hole and what is it doing superseding my awesome T-Car?" he grumbles as he lurches back into the area.  It's hard to argue with the efficiency, though, so he simply frowns at the portal and shrugs.  "Probably drop me on one of their heads," he says.  "I do love making craters."

Kian has posed:
    The older Titans are used to this sort of thing.  Kían, not so much.  He stares at it for a full five seconds before it sinks in that this means him too.  "Ai, c'Rhys'yw… not more ro-bot bug!" he says, diving off the roof in the general direction of the site of the former fracas.
    What he's going to do, he doesn't know… but he's on his way.  Apparently, this is what he does now.
    Whether or not he understands it.

Koriand'r has posed:
    She had almost forgotten the sound of the buzzing T-Comm.
    Starfire was in the middle, in fact, of enjoying a piece of pizza when the device started to buzz.  After a surprised sound, after which she stuck the rest of the slice within her mouth, she pulled the device from her handbag, and her green eyes widen.
    And soon enough, she was off, and flying.
    Missions were always serious.  So when she arrives on site, she was dressed in a purple dress, such as she was, and she had managed to tug on her gauntlets.  And she was wearing heeled boots, of all things, at the moment.  "So I have heard that there are spiders, and there are mechs?  Or is this one thing?" she asks.
    Just in time for her to jump in the rabbit hole.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "Rooftop sounds good Vorpal," Donna says.  She stands next to Vic, studying the Rabbit hole with curiosity.  "Don't worry, Cyborg.  Nothing could supersede the T-Car.  It was never the fastest way for some of us to get around anyway," she says with a grin.  "It is the coolest though."
    Starfire arrives just in time to get a grin from Donna, and a "Come on!" before she dives through the portal.  She's never afraid to try something new.
    Wally is, of course, first on the scene.  It's a junction in one of the busiest parts of uptown St. Martin's, an area of offices, galleries and shops.  There's a police car stopped across the junction, and three officers are there, heavily occupied with crowd control.  The front of one building has been taped off, but the police tape is shredded and blowing across the road.  The doorway to the building is a blasted wreck, and smoke is billowing out gently from inside the building.  Occasional muffled gunshots can be heard within.  The police are struggling to keep crowds of curious and risky onlookers from peering inside.
    Those coming through the Rabbit Hole arrive a short time later on the roof of the low-rise office opposite.  From their vantage, they can see an unmarked helicopter parked on the roof of the building under attack, and a pair of ropes dangling down the front.  This is presumably how the attackers arrived, and indicates a wealthier sort of criminal, at least.
    Kian is last to arrive, but not long after the others—it's only a few minutes flight from the tower.

Wally West has posed:
    Wally is there, but he zips around now and again, making sure that everything remains clear and safe for the group, and when the group is assembled he's still flickering so he can hear any orders or warnings, but still maintain their perimeter.  "I don't know anything about these guys, Titans," he notes between smacking down a mugging four blocks away and snagging a kitten out of a tree on the other side of town.  "Somebody want to fill me in?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Vorpal lands on the rooftop and crouches, ears twitching at the sound of gunshots.  He speaks over the com: "Wally, we ran into some dudes that hijacked the spider-mechs that were developed in this lab.  We put a stop to that, but I think it's a mighty coincidence that this lab is getting hit again.  Maybe they didn't like that they couldn't steal the fancy toys.  There was a robed dude who could command the spiders, so I imagine that whomever is in there isn't just planning to steal the tech, but also knows how to use it."
    He frowns.  "Should we have a team come from the top and one from the bottom and sandwich them in between?  I could open a hole down there and then another to the rooftop across… or is it a bad idea to split the party?  Rookie, here."

Victor Stone has posed:
    "Wow, Kori, way to make me look underdressed yet again," Vic greets his old friend with a grin.  Then he glances around the main room, a little sheepishly, and asks, "Sorry.  Wrong tone?"  Taking a breath to get his game face on, he turns and leaps through the portal just after Donna, moving with more agility than you'd expect from a man his size—especially a metal one—and skids to a kneeling halt with both hand-mounted sonic cannons up and primed.  He scans the area quickly, both in the figurative sense and, thanks to his augmented vision, literally—checking infrared bands for the heat signature of anyone who might still be hiding on the roof as backguard.  Assuming the coast is, for the moment, clear, he makes a beeline for tha choppa like the Predator is on his tail.
    "Got me, Flash," he answers over the com channel.  "Sounds like some of the newbies know what's up, though."  Vic might not be as far along as he'd like integrating the T-Com into his systems, but he's handsfree at least, and he aims to use that to good advantage when he reaches the helicopter.  "I'm gonna hijack this thing's systems," he informs anyone listening.  "That should cut off their escape route AND net me a cool new helicopter to tinker with when the mission's over."

Koriand'r has posed:
    For those that knew Starfire, the young woman still tended to get serious while on a mission like this.  With the hem of her dress fluttering, she exits the rabbit hole, and pauses a moment.  "That was… most… interesting," she says.
    "I do not think I should have eaten the pizza so early before travelling this way," she says to the group at large, her eyes flickering over the others.  Most notably, Wally—at least as best she can.
    A GASP comes from her.  "Gunshots!  I hear them!" says the floating woman, her eyes glowing green as she looks towards the building.  And quickly, her eyes snap between the windows, and the helicopter.
    "If they are fighting with the police, we must hurry," she says, turning her eyes back towards the others.  "I do miss the T-Car some," she amends to Victor.  "It was most… cool," she says, giving a double-thumbs up.  "And please do not feel underdressed, for I am overdressed for a fight!" she says, giving Victor a wry grin of her own.  Maybe not all too serious.
    "I think that we should go all in," she says.  "All through the front.  If they try to take off in the helicopter, Victor will bring it back to Earth, yes?" she says.  "And if he cannot…."  Her eyes start to glow green.

Kian has posed:
    Kían touches down lightly.  "Iss not ro-bot bug again?" he asks, peering over the edge of the roof.  The sound of gunshots seems to bother him not in the least—although that may be because he doesn't know what they are.
    He straightens up, and looks back.  "Iss maybe… nnh.  Not haf wor'd."  He reaches for Terry, who is most accustomed to his mental touch.  {But the robot bugs aren't here anymore… what else could anyone want here?}

Donna Troy has posed:
    «Kian, follow Cyborg.  Stay in the air and warn him if anyone else approaches.»  Donna's voice on the T-Com starts slow and clear for Kian's benefit, then speeds into rapid-fire instructions for the rest of the team.  «Starfire, we don't have floorplans, might be a back stairway for them to escape.  Take Vorpal, you two go in from the second floor and find a way down to trap them.  Flash with me, let's take the front.»
    Wally's quartering of the area reveals no other obvious problems, and his running around helps clear people back a lot more effectively than the police yelling at them on their own can achieve.  The senior officer is grinning at him with relief and is just about to start talking to him when Donna drops down from the roof and lands beside him, pulling her lasso from her belt.  "How many attackers?" she asks the cop abruptly.
    "Four," the policeman replies.  "They're…."
    She's already striding through the smoke into the lobby of the building.
    When Cyborg reaches the helicopter, he finds it without a pilot—presumably the entire crew has entered, because it looks like it's only large enough for four people.  He's quickly able to hack into the control systems—it's a conventional model, apart from one technical curiosity—a box mounted on the roof of the cockpit that isn't in the specs.  It's heavily shielded but he can pick up on a carrier signal—it's some kind of secure communications equipment.

Wally West has posed:
    "Y'know," Wally observes, "there's kind of a ridiculous level of entitlement when 'spider mechs' don't count as 'fancy toys'."  A shake of his head, another flicker.  And then he's not there at all, racing after Donna, past Donna, to find an officer holding off two gunmen behind a number of overturned tables.  They are quickly relieved of their weapons, which appear before the aforementioned senior officer, and cuffed with—what else?—zip ties.

Koriand'r has posed:
    "Understood, Donna Troy," says Kori into the T-Com, tucking it back at her hip.
    A glance to Vorpal then, as a wryness spreads across her lips.  "It is you and me, Terry!" she says. "Did you ever feel like you were going to be doing superheroic things like this?  Just… please be careful, and do not get shot."
    And at that, Starfire says, "Can you rabbit hole us to the back stairway?"
    And afterward… Starfire lands lightly upon the rear stairway, bringing her hand up to the doorhandle, and twisting it.  It had been locked, once upon a yesterday.  Now, well, it was very much open.
    In spite of the *CRUNCH* that sounded when she twisted the door handle, Starfire peeks in, before creeping in—as much as an amazonian bright orange alien in a dress could creep.  Eyes flickering back and forth as she looks for attackers.  Before bringing up her hand to signal Terry to follow.
    "I hear… moaning below," she says.  "Carefulcareful," she adds, floating up and peeking over the edge of the stairwell, her right hand holding the starfire she was known for…
    …that abruptly vanishes.  "There is someone hurt!"  Hoping that Terry will follow, Starfire flies up and over the stairwell, down to the man.  A forensics officer, gravely wounded, his glasses hanging on a bloodied head.  "…two more, below…" he croaks.  "They're after the computers…!"  A quick look up to Terry, and she nods her head.  "Are you ready?"

Victor Stone has posed:
    Halfway into the cockpit, Vic flashes a thumbs-up to Kian when the avian is assigned as his—wait for it—wingman.  "They'd have to have some pretty crazy tech in this thing to stop me," he confirms for Starfire as he goes to work on the flight systems.  And just as he says that… what's this, now?  He runs one metal finger along the side of the box, checking for a latch, bolts, screws—anything he can use to pop it open or remove it from the craft.
    «Okay, Titans, the rotors won't go around, so the chopper is downed,» he reports.  «There's a custom comms system bolted in here, though.  Not sure what it's for yet, but if I blow up—again—it was booby trapped.  Holler if you need an assist.»  His wry tone signals that he's mostly kidding about a bomb, but just in case, he does project a shaped force shield between himself and the equipment before he tries to pop it free from its housing.

Kian has posed:
    Kicking lightly into the air—and staying well away from the helicopter—which looks like an oversized kitchen implement for reducing vegetation into slurry as far as the birdman is concerned—Kían quickly scans the area.  "Iss one of those air thin's comin'," he radios down, "an' iss four mýo… nnh.  Iss four air thin's come f'rom other way."
    He gestures, hoping someone is watching.  Not a good time to have limited English—for his part, he goes higher yet, seeking the high 'ground' instinctively, over whatever is incoming.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "Me? Be part of the fricking Titans?  Never in a million years!" Vorpal says to Kori.  As they make their way to the back, he follows her diligently, using his natural stealth to keep them from being detected.  When they come upon the wounded forensics officer, his eyes widen.  "Kori… this man needs medical attention now…."  But, of course, there were others downstairs.  He frowns.
    The Titans were here not to just punch people really, really hard, but also save the people they weren't punching*.
    "Kori, I'm going to take him to an ER.  I'll come back as soon as I leave him off in capable hands… you might have to go on ahead without me.  But I will be back!" the Cheshire cat says, and then sits down next to the officer, reaching out to touch his hand.  "You're going to be all right, just hold on…"
    He focuses hard, and thinks of the ER.  He just so happens to be very familiar with the ER** in Metropolis, and the entrance to it appears beyond the Rabbit Hole.  He cannot, of course, move the patient—never move the patient if you can help it, but fortunately he has recently discovered that he can move the Rabbit Holes.  And so, the Rabbit Hole passes gently over them, replacing the laboratory floor for the Emergency Room.
    "This man is gravely injured!" Vorpal says as he stands up, obviously causing a great commotion in people who were lined up and not expecting to see a Cheshire Cat that day, much less a bleeding, wounded man.  "I am Vorpal of the Titans and we need a medic now!"

*Footnote: Sometimes they might have to save people they punch really, really hard, too.  The world is, after all, a variegated garden of strange fruit. Just ask Kian.

**Footnote: Just ask Lois.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Cyborg is unable to detect any trace elements indicating explosives inside the box, but that's not a sure thing.  It could be well sealed.  However it's small and light and probably nothing his shielding couldn't handle.  The material is odd and will take more analysis than can be done in the field to figure out, but the rest of the helicopter is fragile enough, and he's quickly able to dismantle enough of the roof to free the device.
    Inside the lobby, the forensics officer pokes his head up over the table, then stands up, visibly relieved.  "Am I glad to see you two," he tells Troia and Flash.  "Got a wounded officer back here needs evac, and there are two more of those guys downstairs.  We think they're trying to steal the work that was being done here."
    Vorpal's arrival in ER does indeed cause a commotion, and almost one cardiac arrest.  They're well used to Terry there, but not so much salmon-colored cat men and bleeding officers appearing out of nowhere.  However it doesn't take much gawping to realize what is going on, and in very short order there are medics carefully lifting the officer onto a stretcher, and a small harassed-looking doctor thanking 'Vorpal of the Titans' profusely.
    One day he may get used to saying that.  It may take longer for him to get used to people accepting it.
    If anyone follows Kian's gaze to the skies they will start to see what he's talking about.  From one direction a police helicopter is rapidly closing on the location.  From another, four boxy yellow air vehicles of an entirely unfamiliar form are approaching from further away but at higher speed.  As Kian watches, a small object detaches itself from one of the four boxy yellow vehicles, and streaks across the sky towards the police helicopter….

Koriand'r has posed:
    Where once, Starfire was in a party of two, she finds herself alone.
    Standing up, and rolling her shoulders back, she glances down the stairwell that Vorpal and the forensics officer once stood.  "Well," she says.
    "There is no time but go time," she adds, mostly to herself.
    And once she stands straight, she launches herself down the stairwell, crashing into the server room at top speed.  Likely, she was just dealing with normal people with guns.  But maybe they had the sort of gun that would dig into her, or actually hurt her.  So surprise was the option!
    And once in the room, Starfire stands up straight and tall, as the two men who were rapidly pulling hard drives from the server room give her a blank stare.  Left hand goes down, and starfire lights in her hand.  Tossing that with an underhanded toss towards the first goon's gun, she lunges forward with her right, to swoop up the other criminal before charging forward to bash him into the first one—while he was still distracted with his burning gun.
    "There were two people in the server room down here.  They were stealing the hard drives," she says, picking both stunned people up by the scruff.  "They are handled, now."  She gives them an extra shake for the trouble.

Victor Stone has posed:
    Instinctively, Vic leans forward to try to peer up through the windscreen at Kian, in an effort to get some visual cues that will help him make sense of the warning he's getting, but the angle is just too awkward.  Grunting, he yanks the mysterious machine with him as he exits the craft.
    "Okay, five air things converging on us," Cyborg mutters to himself as he jets into the sky.  "If he means 'birds' we are going to have words about information priority."  But a quick glance reveals that Kian's definitely relaying the important stuff.
    "Oh damn… «Airborne threats!  Incoming from the east!»  Having alerted the team, he quickly starts disco pointing, playing IFF scanner for Kian's benefit.  "Bad!"  (boxy yellow guys)  "Good!"  (police helicopter)  "Bomb!"  (the missile)  "Can you hold this?"  (mysterious communicator that I just tossed in your direction)  Vic is nowhere near as in his element up here as any number of his teammates, but if he can just get a steady enough shot….
    A cylinder pops out along one metal forearm as Vic sights down the length of his limb, red eye shining brightly as it takes in as much telemetric data as possible.  The business end of the tube glares bright blue and a translucent beam of light streaks out—a high-frequency laser aiming to detonate the projectile in midair.  "C'mon… c'mon…" Vic mutters through gritted teeth.

Wally West has posed:
    Wally would be quick to volunteer his ambulance services, but it appears Vorpal's got that under control.  So he starts toward the basement—but Starfire has things well in hand, it appears.  "Is that it?" he asks, brows furrowing behind his cowl, and then he vanishes to search the place thoroughly, making sure they haven't missed anybody.  Not that he'll vanish for long, but for a few moments, at least, there's a red streak racing through the building.

Kian has posed:
    Kían nabs the lobbed box (whatever it is), and goes higher yet, turning his attention to the yellow boxes, trying to determine if they're piloted or robotic.  "What iss box?" he asks over the radio, "an' what am I do wit' box?"  As the adrenaline starts flowing, his blue glow begins to appear.
    'Bad' and 'good', at least, he has a grasp on—but randomly exploding bad things is not necessarily good.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Vorpal doesn't really know what to do with the thanking—he identified himself as a member of the Titans for convenience—fewer questions asked meant victims get attention stat.  Does he really think he's earned his place, though?
    That's a thought process for another time.  Right now, he is about to open a Rabbit Hole when Cyborg's voice comes through the comm.  «Airborne threats!  Incoming from the east!» it says.
    He thinks for a second, and then opens the Rabbit Hole again—his destination?  Not the second floor, but the rooftop, joining Cyborg and co.  "Airborne threats?  What's going o—"
    And that's when the Cheshire notices the missile.  "…crap."
    He can see that Vic is working on doing something to it, so he puts himself on standby, watching that missile carefully.
    "If it gets too close… I can try to Rabbit Hole it back at them…" he says, and then adds over the comms, «Kori, get to a window if you can, incoming!»
    Because just in case Vic didn't get it, and he couldn't catch it with his Rabbit Hole, Starfire might be able to shoot it out of the air before it reached the helicopter.
    He didn't want to think what would happen if they failed.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Wally's recce of the building reveals it's largely empty.  The upper floors are office space that seems to be mostly unused, the floor below contains technology design offices, one of which is occupied by a satisfied-looking Starfire and two throughly shaken goons.  There's not much likelihood they are planning on giving her any more trouble.
    The basement level below that contains a large and very well equipped workshop space, filled with fascinating bits of spider mech in various stages of construction.  None of the appear to be complete enough to be functional.
    His recce also reveals four black boxy devices connected to pillars in the workshop space with red LEDs blinking on them.
    Kian and Cyborg are not the only people to have observed the missile by now—the police helicopter banks sharply to the side to evade the oncoming missile, but the missile starts to swing around in a wide arc.  It's less maneuverable, but it's got a lot of speed to make up for that, and the helicopter has only seconds…
    But the missile has less.  Cyborg's computers have to work fast to track the missile's motion and keep the beam positioned accurately enough, but before long the laser does its work and the missile bursts apart in a sudden bloom of flame . The helicopter jolts sideways from the blast, but the pilot is able to wrest control of the bucking craft, and turn it away.
    The smoke filling the doorway fountains outwards as Donna races outside again.  She may not have Wally's speed, but she was the one Titan he actually had to make a vague effort to beat in a race.  She's in time to see three of the yellow craft cut their forwards thrust and fire up retro-boosters for a rapid deceleration descent.  One comes down on the roof opposite, and two at ground level.  At a height of around ten feet they over, then open up like the petals of a flower coming into bloom.  Each of the three splits into six segments that fold downwards, and from each segment a figure slides out, dressed in head-to-toe yellow and black body armor, full-head yellow helmets with large black eyepieces giving them a vaguely hornet-like appearance.  Each one is armed with a heavy rifle-like weapon of unfamiliar design.  Miniature rockets fire briefly from their boots to slow their descent as they land.
    As soon as they touch down, each group of the hornet-armored men starts moving with professional precision.  The group on the roof position themselves spaced along the edge, and two men each start targeting Vorpal, Kian and Cyborg.  The six nearest the entrance to the building rush for the door, while the third group of six stand in close formation, in ranks of three, front rank kneeling, and open fire on Donna.
    The air is quickly filled with an acrid, chemical odor as each discharge of their guns releases a small puff of red gas out exhaust holes in the side with each blast of a beam of focused energy—these are not conventional slug-firing arms, but some kind of chemical laser.
    Donna raises her arms and dashes forwards, charging the group of six firing on her.  Fortunately the rate of fire of the laser rifles is not high, and with rapid arm motions and sudden darts left and right as she closes the distance, she's able to deflect the beams with her bracers.
    Further down the street, the fourth vehicle closes in and comes to a hover a few feet above the ground.  A door cracks open, and two figures can be seen silhouetted inside.  One very small, hovering with some kind of flying apparatus, one absolutely huge—bigger than Cyborg.

Wally West has posed:
    Wally regards the boxes for longer than usual—two instants, perhaps—and then he's gone.  Off to the nearest place where he can find a book on disarming bombs.  Honestly, the internet is entirely too slow for this.  Dear god, the time it takes to watch the words load on a page, line by line, only to blink out and repeat the process.  Really, watching analog TV was hell.
    The book is found.  And Wally discovers it's kind of useless, under the circumstances, since he knows nothing about bombs—well, a little, but not enough to determine which kind of bombs these are, and what if ALL the wires are green?  Because really, if Wally was the sort of person who made bombs that he didn't want disarmed, the first thing he would do is do away with the idea of making the wire you need to cut a specific color.  So yeah, the book is discarded.  Plan B.
One at a time, Wally rips the bombs from the foundation of the building, races about a hundred miles out to sea, hurls them away, high as he can—best not to kill any whales or sharks either—and returns to get the next before the first can explode.
    He's back in maybe fifteen seconds, appearing among the cops, consuming a Twix.  He looks very slightly sweaty.

Koriand'r has posed:
    "What?  To a window?" Kori says, still holding both of the criminals in her hands.  To the stairs she steps, and then starts to fly up them, holding the two by the neck still.  "What am I looking for?" she asks, even as she is racing up the flights of stairs.
    It was the explosion that causes her nearly to run into a wall."X'hal!" she exclaims, moving to slide next to a window, sticking her head out and looking towards the clear sky.  Setting the two men down there, she scans the same, still hearing the beat of the helicopter.
    "Was that the police helicopter?" she calls over the comms.
    The two men are given another shake, before she slides them up near the wall for safekeeping, pulling the window open, and leaning her orange head out.  A sigh, and she brings out her hands to whack the two men atop the head with a little love tap, of sorts; to make certain they will be stunned for a little while longer, before stomping on their weapons, denting them enough so that they can't be used.
    And so Kori starts to float to the roof—although she pauses, seeing the gathering there, her eyes widening.

Victor Stone has posed:
    "BOOYAH!!" Cyborg whoops victoriously as the missile explodes, pumping his arm in an airborne victory dance.  "EAT IT, RONALD REAGAN!!"
    There's not much time to enjoy the moment, as the interlopers start discharging troops to bring the fight to the Titans.  "No idea who they are, but they seem like real dickheads," he tells Kian, then dives back down to the roof.  He lands with a titanic slam between Vorpal and the yellow-clad soldiers, hitting hard enough to kick up masonry dust, then rises into a hunched posture, both arms crossed over his head to project a gray-blue force shield.  "Get behind me and do your thing," he suggests, offering a shelter from which Vorpal, Starfire, and Kian can launch their counterattack.

Kian has posed:
    Kían means well, but it's fair to say that his tactical training has only just begun… if even that.  So he does not follow Vic down, but stays in the air where he feels safest.  "Dik-hed?" he repeats mildly over the radio.
    Vic is very possibly not exactly quite the right person to be teaching new English words to the birdman.
    For his part, Kían is disinclined to turn his powers against living beings, dickheads or not.  He is perfectly willing to cut off their retreat, however.  He tucks the box Vic tossed him under one arm, and concentrates on overloading the electronics of the yellow landing craft….

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    The Cheshire cat doesn't quite know what he is capable of.  He can poke holes in reality, and he's a cat.  Is that it?  Who knows?  He certainly doesn't.  Some people theorize that, in moments of extreme stress, some metahuman abilities have a way of manifesting themselves, suddenly giving a heretofore harmless person the ability to be mostly harmless.  Today, however, is not one of those moments for Vorpal.
    "Do my thing?  Okay…."  He takes cover behind Victor, and briefly wonders… what is his thing?
    When the hornet soldiers start targeting them, though, instincts take over and he leaps towards the nearest soldier, gracefully lunging forward with extended claws.
    This looks like a suicide leap, but if things go the way he's planning, he'll vanish mid-leap as he opens a rabbit Hole whose exit hole will come out behind that soldier.  With any luck, he might be able to land onto his back and knock him over… and maybe get a hold of its fancy pew pew equipment. Provided he doesn't get shot out of the air.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Wally has managed to dispose of the bombs—if that is what they were—without any of them exploding in his hands.  This is the generally approved way of disposing of bombs.  When he's back and amongst the cops, the battle is in full swing.
    With Vorpal and Starfire heading up to join Cyborg on the roof, the first group of six are able to enter the building unimpeded.
    As she nears her group of six, Troia drops low, sliding a leg forwards to kick the feet out from under the first of the soldiers.  She keeps one arm raised, bracer forwards to deflect more shots, but they are coming slower as the soldiers have to rapidly re-aim lower.  The other arm goes to draw her sword, sweeping it around in a single movement to hamstring one, then another on the backstroke.  She slides into a crouch and launches herself, shoulder first at a fourth before they've had much time to react.
    The six on the roof start peppering Cyborg's shield with laser blasts, but the shield holds strong, and those behind it seem entirely safe… but after a few seconds of this, the leader of this troop issues a sharp command.  For a moment they stop firing, but then the leader takes a careful aim and shoots at the center of the shield, and a moment later all five of the rest line up on his target and start firing in unison, six shots hitting the shield in almost the same spot simultaneously.  Suddenly this feels a bit more worrying.
    There is a shower of sparks from the first landing craft as Kian's rhy'thar works its alien magic on the electronics.  This first one goes unnoticed, as the soldiers it had contained have gone inside the building.  The second goes the same way, equally unnoticed as its occupants are rather busy with Troia.
    Talking of whom… Troia lashes a foot sideways, taking the knee of one of the two remaining men on her and making him stumble to the floor.  Her forearm whips out into the face of the other with a crunch of bone.  She flicks her swordarm back to slice into the gun barrel of the one who's knee she had kicked before he could right himself, but almost simultaneously she takes a blast to the back from the one she'd shoulder-barged earlier, knocking her to her knees with a shout of pain.
    Vorpal's suicide leap breaks the discipline of the troops firing on Cyborg's shield, and three of them swing around to bear on him.  His tactic turns out to be risky indeed as a couple of shots barely miss him, but then he's through the Rabbit Hole, and suddenly one of the soldiers discovers that 170 lbs of angry cat is rather a LOT of angry cat to have on your shoulders.
    The two figures in the fourth transport come out into the light.  The small one is definitely in the 'restricted growth' category—without the flight harness he's using, he would barely be up to the tall one's waist.  He wears a hooded suit of green, goggles and a shaggy brown beard.  The tall one is a redhead with a black body suit, who's build is so solid it looks a little like someone painted the Hulk.  "You take the woman on the ground, I'll deal with the ones on the roof," the small one says.
    "Gotcha, boss."

Wally West has posed:
    The second of the Twix bars is shoved into Wally's mouth, and he allows half a second for the sugar to hit his system and the wrapper to flutter into a wastebin.  Then he's everywhere at once, wherever he might be needed, pushing a laser blaster just slightly so its beam won't hit its target, stopping somebody from stumbling into the path of danger, generally preventing mayhem, rather than actively fighting their enemies.
    Sometimes it's nice to be the fastest.

Koriand'r has posed:
    Be it as it may, while Star might not need the shield that Cyborg provides; she certainly appreciates it.  As soon as she notes the lasers shooting her way, she vaults upwards in the air, gliding upwards, and then twirling on a path down before she ends up behind the shield, landing with a 'click' from heeled shoes.
    "Who are these people?" she asks.
    While others might go left, or right    Star flies straight upwards, and flings starbolts at the unlucky soldiers that she notices.  It was less of a precise shot—and more… peppering the area with these starbolts.  Maybe she'll hit a soldier or two, but mostly, well….
    She was kinda hoping to disrupt the precise fire they were leveling on Cyborg's shield.

Victor Stone has posed:
    Cyborg's force shields deplete rapidly under focused, sustained fire, but it's hard to focus OR sustain fire when you've got a man-sized cat on your back or a face full of starbolts.  He was betting that giving his teammates a bit of breathing room would be enough to let them seize the initiative, and they did not disappoint.  Once the opposition is looking disorganized, Vic jet-leaps across the gap between them and lands near their opponents, his hand dropping to his waist.
    "Aw, now this is just bowling," he says—and if you hit the head pin hard enough, you've got a strike.  The commander who rallied the group against him is Vic's priority target, and he's going to use all his old football skills to hit low and lift, with any luck sending his target tumbling right over the edge of the roof.
    Not lethally, mind—Vic is one of the good guys, after all.  That hand that went to his waist is comes up with a carabiner attached to a length of cable.  During the tackle, he clips the cable to the soldier's uniform, so that he'll get a hell of a scare when he goes off the edge, but end up dangling a couple yards down, reliably belayed by Cyborg himself.  Electrifying his other hand, Vic will finish his charge ready to taser any hornet-men who come within reach.

Kian has posed:
    Emboldened, Kían applies himself to the third landing craft, and if—when?—that one is taken care of, he goes looking for the fourth.  He does recall there were four of them, after all, and it does make him wonder why only three were on the roof.
    It may be a sign that he's getting used to this insanity, that he's really not glowing all that brightly.  Barely noticeable, in fact.
    He stays high, also keeping an eye out for any other 'dik-hed' that might be trying to sneak up on his friends.  That is the technical term for them, isn't it?

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "AAAAAARRRRGGG" Vorpal tries his best to wrestle the weapon away from the soldier he is currently assaulting, but isn't having much luck.  It's probably due to the fact that said soldier is wearing body armor, and the claws of felines are not known for cutting through it unless they are dipped into special metal, or somesuch.  While this is causing enough distraction to keep this guard from firing, it's not doing much to contribute to the lessening of the troops by more than one.
    And that's when Vic says something about bowling, and a little lightbulb goes over the cat's head.  "Vic, you're a genius!"
    A Rabbit Hole opens up immediately under the soldier's feet and Vorpal leaps off him just as the Hornet soldier falls through.  The other end of the Rabbit Hole opens up right on top of two of the soldiers firing at Vic who had not yet been immediately taken care of—they would receive a delivery consisting of one flailing hornet soldier.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Wally's intervention stops a follow-up blast from the one soldier facing Troia who's still standing.  She gets painfully to her feet in the period of grace he's earned her, and her punch lifts the soldier several feet into the air.  That shot apparently made her angry.
    Wally's already interfering up on the roof too.  The arrival of Angry Cat was already a distraction, and as Kian adds another distraction with the third drop-ship going up in sparks, all discipline is lost.  The remaining five start picking their own targets, but each time they pull the trigger, their barrels just seem to be pointing the wrong way.
    Then a Cyborg rockets across the gap between the roofs and connects with the team leader in a most satisfying fashion, leaving him dangling over the roof.  Vorpal's rabbit hole trick knocks three heads together, and Cyborg's taser dispatches the one of that three who was merely dizzy rather than stunned.
    Starfire has to take rather more care with her Starbolts than she had been hoping now that Vorpal and Cyborg are both in amongst the men, but she takes her time, picks her shots and soon the last two of the soldiers on the roof are out for the count.
    The small guy in green had disappeared from sight for a moment, but then there he is again, rising up the side of the building on his flight harness and coming back into view as he clears the parapet of the roof.  He levels a gun at Starfire and fires three times at her, at almost point blank range.  Three springly bands of steel explode out from the barrel, weighted ends swinging violently around on impact, and within a moment Starfire's legs are wrapped with two bands, and her arms wrapped with another.  Unable to retain her balanace, she falls to the roof.
    The large guy pounds down the street towards Troia.  "Mammoth don't like hitting girls, but gotta do my job," he announces to her surprise.  A huge fist swings around, and Troia ducks it easily—but the power of the blow is such that the swing makes an audible >whump< of displaced air, and Troia's eyes widen.  She ducks a second swing too—Mammoth is strong but rather slow—and then darts in closer to land a gut-punch.
    Mammoth steps back with an "Ooof," but then grins at Troia.  "You punch pretty hard, but ain't nothing can hurt Mammoth!"
    "Guys?" Troia calls out, backing away a little and uncoiling her lasso.  "Might need a bit of help here."
    Kian locates the last vehicle, the larger one that Gizmo and Mammoth had arrived in, and concentrates.  It takes him a little time to work his magic….

Koriand'r has posed:
    Once the last two soldiers were taken out, Starfire whirls towards the small green man, her eyes narrowing some.  "Your soldiers are defeated, and you will never—woo-whoop!"  The last bit of her heroic statement was cut off with that.  The steel bands wrap around her, and although they weren't, particularly, too heavy for her…
    They were weighted very strangely.
    So she flips head over heels in the air as the top weight was heavier than the bottom, and ends up kinda spiraling down to crash against the roof, Kori biting her lip as she struggles against the steel bonds, flexing her arms.  But she can't quite get a good… angle at it.
    Still a bit stunned from the fall, that also takes some of the stress off, but after a second or two… the steel does groan.

Victor Stone has posed:
    "Finally, somebody notices!" Cyborg answers Vorpal with a laugh.  Granted, he can't take credit for the tactic, but he can at least take the compliment.  And Vorpal's idea, in turn, gives him his own novel thought.  Isn't that what teamwork is all about?
    He loosens his grip on the cable for a moment to let out some slack—undoubtedly giving commander buzzkill a minor cardiac episode below—then sprints back toward the edge of the roof.  "You guys go help Starfire!" he calls out as he springs out into space.  But instead of leaping across the gap with one initial burst of thrust, Vic sustains the burn, whipping the cable around him like a lariat.  Before long, he's flying through the air with a goon on a line whipping around him in circles, like the biggest ugliest screamingest morningstar in the history of medieval weaponry.  It's tricky—but, to his computing systems, hardly impossible—to arrange a collision between his catch and a large enough target below.  "Troia, DUCK!" he hollers out moments before his goon on a string will go flying over her and straight toward Mammoth's face.

Kian has posed:
    Focusing on disabling the fourth vehicle, Kían tries to keep track of what his friends are doing—and it's very confusing.  It all seems to work, but he can't figure out how.
    Stay in the moment.  Keep an eye on his friends' backs, and keep an eye out to make sure no one's noticed him and pointing anything his way… c'Rhys'yw.
    This is insane, this is completely insane.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    «"Vic is on his way, Troia!"» Vorpal shouts into his comm, as… well, new developments come up.  There is a small man throwing bands at Starfire, and there goes Kori toppling onto the ground after getting shot by that peculiar gun.  She didn't look hurt, just a little tied up.
    "And I'm OUTTA here!" Vorpal says, turning tail and suddenly jumping over the edge of the rooftop in the opposite direction from Gizmo.
    Has it finally happened?  Has the Cheshire cat found a yellow stripe amidst the red ones?  Has Terry been spending too much time with Clark Kent?  Stay tuned, true believers, and find out!
    "—Or not!"
    That was Vorpal as he landed on top of Gizmo, having used a Rabbit hole to intercept his descent and then deposit him on top of the bearded menace.  There is a brief struggle, as the man's flight harness suddenly has to compensate for an extra one hundred and seventy pounds that its user did not use to have a second ago.  There is much bobbing up and down, and a good amount of cat-scratching going on.  Eventually Vorpal manages to wrap an arm around Gizmo's head, just enough to obscure his eyes, and grab his gun arm with another hand so as to point it away from anyone.  "GIDDYUP!"
    The Cheshire cat then leans back, and then Gizmo and Vorpal find themselves describing loop-de-loops across the firmament.  Vorpal's all-too-eager rollercoaster screams are accompanied by Gizmo's pants-to-be-darkened screams, and the two leave a trail of smoke that describes the most curious figures in the air.
    Soon enough that flight harness starts going low, and at one point they're almost in danger of colliding with Donna—and then a sharp veer later, with Mammoth, and then a final veer later, with the wall of the building.
    "WALL!" Vorpal shouts, and tries to lean back to push up… but there's too much weight for the harness, and so he does what every sensible Cheshire cat would do: he leaps off his ride, managing to snatch the gun away and fall with it.  Fortunately his cat-like body is capable of cushioning the fall, rolling and then eventually stopping in a crouched position, Gizmo, on the other hand—
    His eyes are uncovered just in time to make corrections to his path.  He doesn't smack into the wall at full speed right away, which could potentially break his neck.  Instead, he manages to slow down, alter his course, and almost manages to pull up.  He smacks into the wall—but not at full speed, only hard enough to daze himself momentariy and somewhat damage his flight harness.  He does slide down the wall after face-planting against it in a most satisfying, Wile E. Coyote way, though.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Gizmo watchs Starfire fall and start to struggle with a grin.  He pulls a large cartridge from the gun and slots in a different one, swinging around to take aim at Victor.  What weapon does he have in mind for the cyborg?
    Troia backs away slowly from Mammoth.  The lasso glows golden in her hands, and she starts swinging it in a short, careful arc.  He reaches a massive fist out, swinging, and she ducks it.  She keeps backing away, eyes fixed on Mammoth's, and ducks another swing.  Then she ducks a third time when Cyborg calls out.
    As Cyborg closes the space between himself and Mammoth with that human flail whirring, Gizmo hovers in the air tracking him, lining up the shot and getting a handle on Cyborg's motion.  His grin widens and his finger starts to squeeze on the trigger…
    And then… CAT!
    As Gizmo and his feline rider hurtle randomly through the air, Gizmo's screams dotted with complaints of "INSANE!  DANGEROUS!  UNACCEPTABLE!"  Cyborg releases his slingshot.  Goon smacks straight into Mammoth's face, hard enough to stagger the giant.  In that moment, Troia leaps up and forwards, trailing her lasso, and catches Mammoth around the neck.  She flips over him and yanks with all her strength, teeth gritted with the effort, and hauls him onto his back.  Mammoth gasps for air, giant fingers clutching uselessly at the taut rope around his neck as Troia pulls the rope back and low to keep him pinned.  "NOW Cy!  Hit him!"
    The remaining six soldiers pick this moment to come running back out of the building.  "We've got it!" the leader calls out.  He stops in his tracks, looking around in surprise at the chaos, then rushes over to help Gizmo up.  Gizmo takes a moment to look for his gun before realizing it's no longer around.  He checks his harness with a frown, "Hand it over, give me your gun, and get to the shuttle!" he yells out.  "The drop ships are down!"  The leader hands him a gun and something else, and the six sprint for the shuttle while firing wildly at Vorpal and Kian to cover their retreat.  Gizmo rapidly pulls the gun apart, and fingers awhirl modifies his flight harness with some components cannibalized from it.  Then he takes to the air again, his flight back distinctly wobbly.
    "MAMMOTH!" Gizmo calls out, his voice suddently amplified.  "DISTRACTION COMING, GET READY!"  He pulls a small controller out of a pocket, and grinning madly, presses a button.
    Meanwhile, a hundred miles out at sea, a snowy grouper noses around a small black object, attracted to the flashing red light intruding the dark altantic depths.  The light goes off.  This is the last thing the grouper ever sees.
    Gizmo stares at the building.  He stares at the controller.  He jabs the button again several times, then drops the controller with a look of disgust and a cry of "Incompetents!" before rocketing straight up in the air at impressive speed, abandoning the final six soldiers and Mammoth to their fates.

Koriand'r has posed:
    And with a final flex of her forearms, Kori bends the metal off of her body, at least, the topmost rung.  Kinda flopping around like a beautiful mermaid, Kori uses the opportunity to indelicately kinda putt putt hover up into the air a bit—and chuck the band of metal at the shuttle.  Or the fleeing people.
    With no small amount of annoyance.
    And then she sets herself to prying off the last two steel bits, her exposed shoulders flexing as she does so.  It tore the hem of her skirt!  She liked this dress!
    And she was murmuring in Tamaranean.

Victor Stone has posed:
    Rockets and dabbling with modular ailerons aside, Cyborg is not a flier by nature.  Never is that more apparent than now, as he cuts thrust, inverts, and brings his shield back up.  Gizmo had time to warn Mammoth about a distraction, not a 400-pound wrecking ball descending from the sky.  With Donna holding the bruiser in place, Vic doesn't even really have to worry about aiming, just falling as hard as his massive frame allows.  And that is pretty damned hard.

Kian has posed:
    Oooo, wobbly thing in the air… to a qihár player like Kían, that's a target of opportunity.  Terry would recognize what Kían is up to having seen it in the birdman's mind, but Terry is also probably more than a little bit busy right now.
    Advantage #2: Kían knows his rhy'thar protects him against energy weapons, so he can close at will and ignore the laser fire.
    Advantage #3 never comes into play as the little one shoots up into the sky at a speed Kían can't match.  One word in Akiár'shak spits out of the comms—a translation is not forthcoming, but the tone is… not pleased.
    After a moment, in English, Kían radios down, "Sor-ry.  'Dik-hed' has got away."

Donna Troy has posed:
    There is something of a running joke amongst Metropolis' heroing community that the Special Crimes Unit always seems to turn up just when the danger has passed.  Given that their headquarters are only a few blocks away, that seems most pertinent just now, as a squardron of half a dozen black-painted vehicles come screeching up with sirens blazing.
    Four of the SCU vehicles are squad transports, that drive up to the downed shuttlecraft and park up surrounding it before disgorging a dozen very heavily armed officers.  One is a command and control vehicle, which discharges a single woman, deputy section chief Tandy Pearson.  The last is a secure containment vehicle that stops by Mammoth's unconcious body.  Officers in heavy protective gear carring shock harnesses and ultra-reinforced block-cuffs.
    The assault squadron doesn't have any fighting to do.  The six soldiers find the shuttle is fritzed and decide to come quietly.  Troia removes her lasso from Mammoth's neck and hands him over to the mercies of the containment officers.
    "Great Hera," Troia exclaims as she watches them cart him away.  "That guy is strong."  She rubs at her back, where she'd been hit by one of the laser blasts.  "Is everyone okay?  I think I need a long hot shower."
    Pearson approaches the group, a stern look on her face.  "Titans.  So you are back.  Do I need to remind you that we'll want a report?  The Justice League always manages to deliver it within 24 hours.  Well…" she sighs.  "I'm sure we'll have yours in a week."
    Pearson looks from face to face, then sighs and turns to walk away.  She stops at the door of the C&C vehicle, then looks back.  "I'm only going to admit this the once.  It's good to have you back."