2843/An Alien Display

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An Alien Display
Date of Scene: 09 August 2020
Location: Jules Verne Museum - St. Martin's Island
Synopsis: Colette attempts to convince a group of Titans that the most moral course of action is to perform a heist on a museum. They do not agree, because Superheroes don't do situational ethics!
Cast of Characters: Colette O'Connail, Terry O'Neil, Kian, Gar Logan

Colette O'Connail has posed:
     If it wasn't confusing enough being a fictional feline, Vorpal's combat training has perhaps been even more confusing.  From Harley he had been learning a rather wild combat style, all about athleticism and power.  Donna had him learning a much more controlled style, all about efficiency and balance.  Colette's contributions had been… weird.
    The first few sessions had been all about reading biomechanics.  Terry had spent hours trying to predict how Colette was thinking about attacking him and announcing how he would deal with it.  At first it had seemed impossible, but at least it meant a lot fewer bruises than training with the others.  After some surprisingly patient pointers towards muscle movement, centers of gravity and muscle extension, it had started to make some sense and he was regularly making the right calls.
    This had lead on to situational awareness training.  Colette had started that off by breaking down the actions she'd taken during a couple of episodes involving herself, Terry and gangsters.  Then she'd started taking him to random places and outlining threat scenarios, and demanding Terry figure out how to deal with them.
    Today's scenario had been at the Jules Verne museum, not far from the tower, and a hypothetical raid to steal artifacts.  This had involved a lot of things that were not immediately obviously combat related, such as the position of doors and display cases.  If Harley seems to see combat as largely athletic and Donna sees it as precision and discipline, Colette seems to treat it like a piece of detective work.
    Colette had been explaining about the importance of sight lines when it had occurred to her that she's never really looked around this place and declared the training session over early.  From there it was a short conversation to noting that the Tower was just a little way away and maybe Kian and Gar would like to join them and they could make a day of it.
    Colette and Terry wait in the large display room near the entrance to the building which houses displays of artifacts from the Alien Alliance invasion—in particular a Khund ground transport that had been destroyed by the Titans, in the days shortly before they became the Titans.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    The Cheshire cat has been a good student.  As good as he can be, at least, considering how new so much of this is to him.  Often flustered at the start, he started getting more into the groove of things as the sessions went on, and… well.  He always enjoyed a good mystery—such as, for example, what the heck did Gar see in him?  Why couldn't he get a good parking spot at the Planet?  And when would he find a good uniform worthy of the Titans?
    "Can you believe I had never really been here?  Of course I knew it was here but… you know."  He waves his hands.  "It's one of those things…."

Kian has posed:
    Kían was glad to get away from the Tower for a little while, especially when he heard there was a museum of alien artifacts.  There was just the tiniest chance that he might see something he recognized, or at least something familiar.  He wasn't counting on it, but it was at least possible.
    So far, disappointment.  He hadn't expected to see anything from the homeworld, but maybe something from some alien race that had wings like him.  "This iss all from aliens visitin' Ear't?" he asks softly, looking around.  "Hwy iss Ear't hwere all aliens go?  Nnh… an' iss maybe hwy I en-ded up here.  Ear't iss a… a at-trac-tor, iss that the wor'd?  Draw alien life here.  Can not think hwy…."
    Obviously, Garth's enchantment has worn off—but Kían was right, he was able to keep some of it.  While it's still not perfect, his English is definitely better.

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan agreed to come over, directing himself first to the food so he could load up on assorted snacks.  That would explain the shoulder bag, complete with a long straw that's more like a small hose running from a container built in.  That makes it so much easier to sip a soda and keep the hands free, and he wears a lanyard that has a frame to stick his phone into in lieu of actually toting around a full-fledged camera.
    Green tourist attire: check.
    "S'up, dudes?" he calls over, sucking down some liquid sugar on the way toward them.

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    "You're getting a bit better," Colette tells Vorpal.  "Seeing things you wouldn't have seen before.  Missing a lot still, but it's a start."  This is high praise, Colette style, and she gives Vorpal a friendly but slighty-too-hard punch on the arm for balance.
    When the others turn up, Colette greets them with a cheery wave to guide them over to where she and Vorp are standing by the wrecked transport vehicle.  The museum isn't too busy today, but there are enough other visitors that the group is beginning to garner some attention.  "Hey guys!  Vorp was just saying how he's never been here, and nor have I, so we thought why not.  It's pretty cool."
    "Aliens have been visiting here a long time," Colette answers Kian.  "If you want to know the source of the attraction?  Well you were the only person on your world with a rhy'thar, right?  Think how many there are here.  No wonder people… alien people… would be curious."

Kian has posed:
    "That woul' ex-plain, yis," Kían says to Colette, "Ex-cep' that my people did not know of Ear't, so there iss no reason for me to haf come here ex-cep' by chance.  An' that is a lot of chance.  Almos' too much to belieff."
    He shrugs, and wanders a little closer to the Khund transport.  "Iss possible Akiár ast-ronomers haf heard of Ear't, but not know it as Ear't.  They haf foun' some radio sources.  I don' know anythin' about them, though."
    He frowns at the Khund craft.  "An' that does not look like it should fly."

Gar Logan has posed:
    "That's 'cause it's not meant to, bird," Gar says, thumbing through a small booklet that has info on much of what's here, even if there's a fair amount of it the Titans had more direct experience with.  He's also wearing sunglasses and a visor, really playing up the 'out of towner' vibe no matter how much of a fake it is.
    "Man, these chick… uh, I mean, alternative hot dog fingers are yummy!  Kian, I'd offer you some, but I don't think I'm gonna have any left!"  Hastily, he finishes off the chicken fingers, peering toward the others from behind the tinted lenses.

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    "Yeah, they just hover a bit," Colette says, agreeing with Gar.  "I saw a couple going down the road during the invasion, when my family was fleeing the city.  This was eight years ago.  A whole bunch of different aliens got together and sent an armada to Earth.  They said they would destroy the planet unless we handed over everyone with powers.  The alien alliance turned out to be a bit fragile though, and it never quite became a full-scale assault.  I think Australia got the worst of it, though there were small scale battles all over.  A lot of the stuff here comes from that time.
    "And too much chance I'd say, birdy buddy."  Colette moves over to a glass case close to the transport, where there is a display of replica Khund guns.  "I mean if you were just sent somewhere at random, the chances of you arriving anywhere with a breathable atmosphere were next to zero.  I'm sure there was some interference thing going on.  And that's another reason why lots of other races pay attention to this planet.  Humanity is messing around with a lot of technology it doesn't really understand, and the place is full of half-assed sorcerers throwing magic around for fun."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "There's more than that," the Cheshire cat observes, "Aside from what sorcerers are doing, Earth seems to be a natural source of chaos.  I know it's one of the things that caused my father to choose this place to come after he got… invited out of Wonderland," he tries to say diplomatically.  "Things just… happen here a lot.  Apparently a lot more than in a great deal of planets, but I guess that's the price you pay for excellent food and the great view, right?"
    He shoots Gar a quick glance and wiggles his nose, indicating that he could very well smell those were chicken fingers.  He winks at him, from the side that Kian can't see.  Because it would just not do to have the birdman faint in public like that.

Kian has posed:
    "That iss the firs' des-crip-tion of Eart' I haf heard that makes sense.  A natural source of chaos," Kían says, obviously satisfied with the explanation.
    Colette's explanation gives him some pause, though, and he has to turn it over in his mind a little.  "I do not really know hwat iss meant by magic.  It iss tellin' the laws of nature to look the other way, I thin'?  Iss not any-thin' we haf a tradition of on my worl'.  Even my rhy'thar does not break physical law.  It jus' focuses them differen'ly."
    And Gar just gets blinked at.  "Hyu eat dog?  I thought dogs were not food animals…."

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan puts on a look of innocence at the look Vorpal sends his way, as if to ask 'What?'
    Waving off Kian's question, he says, "Don't worry about it.  Hamburgers don't have any ham in them, so you're just gonna confuse yourself if you try to overthink naming.  And of course Earth is chaotic and popular.  I live here.  Everyone wants a piece of Beast Boy."
    He looks at the winged alien after lowering his sunglasses slightly, the grin he sports showing off that underbite he's got.  "But magic… man, that's Raven's whole thing and I still don't get it."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    "I mean the whole reason for the alien alliance invasion was because Earth is weird," Colette explains as she studies the replica Khund weapons in the glass cabinet.  "They turned up and demanded we hand over all the mutants and metas.  Because there's a lot of them here, and that worries people.  Been happening a long time one way or the other."
    Colette turns and looks at Kian thoughtfully, then nods her head.  "Yeah, telling physics to look the other way isn't a bad way of explaining it, but not entirely true.  It's more like physics is a convenient lie we tell ourselves to explain how things usually work and pretend that covers how they always work.  Magic is the part of the universe that isn't clockwork.  It's what happens when you nudge things from their default path.
    "Chicken wings are the wings of chickens though Kian," Colette says, moving on to the next case.  It's a display of personal artifacts gathered from downed alien soldiers of half a dozen races.  "Don't fall for that one.  Avoid."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "Nobody knows where the name came from, really, Kian," Vorpal says, trying to distract Kian from the avian revelation by digging into the never-ending well of trivia.  "But folklore says there was this cartoonist who used to denigrate the cheap sausages sold at Coney Island by drawing them as talking dogs, insinuating that the meat in them was suspect and that it contained dog meat.  People being what they are, the name 'hot dog' entered common parlance.  That's one of the stories, at least."
    He drapes an arm over Gar's shoulders and raises an eyebrow.  "Everybody may want a piece of you, but I'm the lucky guy who gets to have the whole cake."  He deftly reaches over and grabs the container that the wings had formerly been in, and chucks it over his shoulder, disappearing into a tiny Rabbit Hole.  Evidence removed.
    "A world without magic sounds like a world in need of spicing up, don't you think?"

Kian has posed:
    Kían actually looks slightly offended at Colette's comment.  "Physics," he says tartly, "iss not a lie.  I know, I get to see it work from inside.  I do not know how or hwy I can, but I can.  It iss the only con-sis-tent way to ex-plain how reality iss.  Hwat-ever magic iss, it will need its own ex-planation.  I don' know much about it, but it seems to be dif-feren' for every-one."
    Terry and Gar's antics are… par for course for Terry and Gar.  "I don' know, Téri.  Life seems com-plicated enough without more con-fusion."

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan eyes Vorpal following the removal and relocation of the food container.  "We can't shelter him forever, dude.  Colette just tried to make him pass out, I think."  His focus shifts toward her next.  "Hey, Colette!  If you're hungry for some, they've still got a bunch at the food court!  With a few sauces!"
    He adds to Vorpal, in a voice that's only faked in the attempt to keep it down low, "Don't forget the frosting on that cake."  He remains out of the physics conversation, occupying himself instead with looking more closely at a few of the things on display.

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    "Tempting, Gar, but you know? Here's the point where I say I could kill for some nice spicy buffalo wings.  But then Kian starts wondering what buffalo are, and when we explain that… well if he wondered how that Khund transport could fly, he's going to have a lot of questions about buffalo wings, that's all I'm saying."
    "There's no such thing as a world without magic, Terry."  Colette's attention is focused on the shelves of alien curios and knick-knacks.  "Some worlds have less, some have more," she says vaguely as she looks at the artifacts, barely paying attention to what she's saying.  "But it's always… some people have tried to remove it in… the…."  She winds down mid-sentence and lapses into a brief silence.
    "Terry," She says a few moments later, her voice quieter.  "You can open a rabbit hole to basically anywhere you have seen, right?  So for example… when we were exploring the scenario of a raid on this place to steal artifacts… I mean if you were on the other team, you could pretty much just scope the place out, then go home and after the place is closed open a rabbit hole to inside one of the cases, right?  I mean if you weren't a Titan and you were on… I dunno.  Is there a supervillain team?  Like Team Evil or something?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "If I were a supervillain, Col," Terry says with a smirk, "let's just say that I know exactly how much trouble, and how very profitable my career of crime could be…."  He then looks at Gar, and says, "But aside from my own moral compass, the thought of seeing this guy disappointed in me is just too crushing."
    He points at one of the exhibits, and says, "I haven't tested the limits of my powers, though.  I don't know how far I can open a Rabbit Hole.  Maybe an alien planet, if I had an image of it?  Who knows?  Wonderland wasn't exactly a good proving ground because everywhere was close and far at the same time, depending on what day of the week it was."
    And then he bumps Gar with his hip, lightly, "And say no more about the frosting, Garfield Markus Aurelius Logan.  We're in mixed company."

Kian has posed:
    Kían looks sharply at Terry for a moment, when he mentions 'an alien planet'… then goes back to perusing the alien artifacts.  Unfortunately, opening a portal to an alien planet requires knowing where that planet is in the first place.
    So instead, he goes back to perusing the exhibits.  He has no expectation of seeing anything from his own world, but something hinting at the avian—even if not Akiár—or at least just three-fingered usage would be nice.
    After a moment or three, he comments absently to Terry, "Hyu can see the moon from here.  May-be hyu can open a portal there, to see if hyu can?"

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan sticks his tongue out at Vorpal, but is still looking toward Colette.  "Don't give him any ideas, sheesh.  Just be glad the power of me is here to keep him on the path of mostly good."  He's being especially joking today.  Must be in a pretty good mood.
    And then the cat comes up with a Hallmark moment full of sugary words.  "Oh god, I think I just got a cavity," the green Titan mumbles, pretending to poke at a tooth.  Following that is the hip contacting his, and he nudges back with a stage-whisper while motioning toward the woman in the party, "You forget she was trying to make this happen from the start."  Kian?  Can't account for what he might be thinking of.
    As for the moon, he edges away a few steps.  "Before anything like that, I'd really, really like to have a spacesuit first, just in case."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    "The Moon's boring.  And count yourself lucky it's just a cavity, if he'd continued on much longer it could have been diabetes."  Colette continues to speak in that not-quite whispered voice of a lower than normal-for-Colette volume.
    "Terry, look at this.  See this thing here?"  She's pointing at an object in the glass case that looks vaguely humanoid.  The museum label describes it as 'Perhaps some kind of totem, fetish or good luck charm—identifying these objects usually amounts to nothing more than guesswork'.
    "The one I'm pointing at?  Now without moving your head lower your eyes and look at the thing on the shelf below it and two to the right.  Don't look like you're looking at it.  Kind of looks like a pair of Rubik's Cubes embedded in each other?  Can you just take a good look at it and the case it's in please?  We can talk about moral compasses later."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "Yeah, Colette, and Lois, and Harley, and—but that doesn't mean you need to disclose the full cookbook you know."  He looks like he might do something embarrassing, like kiss Gar's cheek, but then he is distracted by Colette.  Colette asking him to look at things, in that very weird way of hers that usually means there's a lot of stuff going on that he's not privy to.
    "Mmmyes, I see it…."  He gives it a good look, and then says, "Okay, I have looked at it so thoroughly, it's asking me if I intend to date it. So?"
    He remembers what Kian said, and adds, "Gar is right, Kian.  We don't want to Rabbit Hole to the moon without at least space suits.  We'd get sucked out in a second because our moon has no atmosphere—like the dining area of a McDonald's."

Kian has posed:
    "I assume the moon has no air," Kían replies, slowly wandering along a row of alien, uh, things.  "Craters are all clear an' bright.  The edge iss sharp an' iss not blurry from air."  Did he mention he's taken an astronomy course?"  "I mean open the portal in a vacuum… nnh.  In a room that is al-ready a vacuum."
    Noticing that Colette and Terry seem to be studying something, he wanders over.  "Hwat iss?"

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    Colette rests a hand on Kian's shoulder as soon as he comes over to look at the case, and is pushing him gently away from that case full of personal artifacts and over to where there is a collection of life-size models of an assortment of aliens.  "Look at this Kian!  These are models of the different races that have tried to invade Earth.  Check this guy out!"  Colette points out a model of a Khund.  "No wonder these guys are so angry.  Can you imagine being this ugly?  Oh wait, no, he's lost his crown.  This is definitely the ugly one of the gang."  She's found the Dominator.  "I bet on their homeworld, dentists are basically kings."
    Colette comes back from her find of uglies to urge the other two to over to join her in mocking them.  "C'mon, guys.  Check it out.  Gar, could you turn into one of these?  Or do you like have to actually see a living one for that to work?  That could be really useful one day.  If you ever do that, Gar?  See the dot on its head?  Make yours basically as big as you can."
    "So.  That thing in the glass case back there," she says, volume lower again, eyes on the alien models.  "I know you guys are heroes and you're all about stopping crimes and all that.  And yes when we came here it was all about how to stop people stealing things from here, Terry.  But I'm gonna ask you to forget that stuff for now and remove that object I pointed out from here later tonight.  This is not a villainy thing.  I don't want it.  Drop it in the bottom of the ocean or something.  Okay?  Just take my word for it."

Gar Logan has posed:
    "Did you hear what he said?  'Gar is right.'"  That's what Gar is focusing on, but for now that's all he's focusing on saying because he's coming to stare at Colette like she's one of the aliens here, too.  He shares a questioning look with Vorpal, then upon looking at the figures of the creatures she's pointing out he shrugs.  "I probably could.  I mean, if I wanted to."
    It's the suggestion she makes about swiping something later on that gives him reason to pause.  "Um, Colette?  You realize what you're asking him to do, right?  You're asking him to steal.  If you want to figure out a test of his powers, there are much better ways of doing it that aren't gonna risk getting anyone in trouble later on."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    The Cheshire cat hmms, and glances from Colette to Kian and Gar, and then back to Colette.  Then to the artefact, and then back.
    "First things first.  You don't throw something into the ocean if you want to get rid of it.  Next thing you know someone is going to find it inside the stomach of a fish and then it's all over.  So just how bad is that thing, and what can it do in the wrong hands?"
    A cat's curiosity mixed with a human's sense of right and wrong means questions must be asked, at least perfunctorily, "It's not necessarily stealing, hon, if it's some sort of doomsday device we've got sitting out there in the open."  Which is why he wants to ask questions first.

Kian has posed:
    There is an Earth adage about curiosity and cats that Kían of course doesn't know.  His race has something close to it that translates as, "Curiosity is a disease; you can't cure it, but you don't have to die from it."
    Kían has suffered from it most of his life.
    So he resists being redirected, and he definitely doesn't care for her mocking tone regarding the alien mannequins on display, being an alien himself… even if he agrees that they're not especially easy on the eyes.
    So he slips back to the case she tried to keep him from, at his earliest opportunity.  Certainly before he had a chance to hear her ask Terry to steal something.
    Of course, he doesn't know exactly what they were looking at, unless it has some sort of weird energy signature or telepathic beacon.  Even if he gleans nothing from the display, it's the principle of the thing: Kían chooses to see or not, and Colette may not choose for him.

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    "Not a test, Gar," Colette says with a broad smile, as if they weren't discussing larceny.  "Look, you guys perpetrate violence and property destruction on a major scale.  If you were doing that for the wrong reasons that would be bad.  'Cos you're doing it for the right reasons, it's good.  See?  Same principle.  This is the right reasons.  I'll oversee things and make sure it's done right, so nobody's going to get in trouble.  Quite the opposite."
    "Don't look back at the case, Terry, we've moved on," Colette admonishes.  "Now we… never mind."  She deflates slightly at the sight of Kian having returned to the case, but quickly gathers herself and follows him over.
    "This one Kian," she says, pointing out the humanoid figure she'd pointed at before that isn't the object she'd directed Terry's attention to vocally.  Her voice is a little louder now, not unnaturally loud but loud enough to be overheard.  "Very similar objects were carved by Humans as some of the earliest objects the species ever made besides tools.  There's one called the Venus of Galgenberg I saw in a museum in Europe that dates back thirty thousand which looks remarkably similar… just proves that throughout space and time there are some ideas that are kind of universal, I guess."
    She hops back over to Terry and Gar.  "Okay, better leave it a few days before doing it.  Um.  Besides, it's not stealing.  Keep in mind that this stuff is all looted off corpses, and add the fact that there is zero chance that object hadn't been looted off a corpse at least once before.  It's rightful owner is undoubtedly dead and would certainly not want anyone else to have it.  It's not a doomsday device and it can't do anything in the wrong hands, it's just a lump of ceramics.  However it could make someone very, very angry if they saw it."

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan watches all of this with growing suspicion.  He may be the light-hearted member of the Titans, usually one of the group getting into silly things, but he isn't an idiot.  "Okay, for starters, we don't perpetrate anything like that.  It's the bad guys who are doing stuff we try to stop, because we're trying to help keep people safe.  None of us are going around destroying things like that."
    There's a part of him that's lost and confused over what's going on with Colette trying to prevent Kian from seeing something, leading to him watching the bird alien for a few seconds to find out if anything he sees triggers a reaction.  Then, it's back to her.  "So, yeah.  You're acting really weird right now, Colette.  I just want you to know that.  You don't just take stuff from museums, no matter how right you think you are, and if you're asking Vorpal to do that for you then you'd better have a really good reason for it and tell us exactly what this is all about, because right now I'm not sure what you're trying to do here.  Who might get angry if they saw it, and why?"
    Isn't it sweet to see Gar playing protector for Vorpal?  He takes a step closer to Colette and crosses his arms.  "So, let's have the truth or nothing is going anywhere."  He even sounds irritated!

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "Yeees, and David having a penis makes some fundamentalists very, very angry.  Like my green knight in shining armor said, knowing the who and the why would help.  Also the what said someone would do if they got angry would help put things into context.  You have to remember, doing things for a good reason includes having knowledge."
    He reaches out a hand and places it on Gar's shoulder.  Gar being this sweet means Terry can't mention the fact that Lois had told Clark that Terry was 'canoodling' with Gar, to Clark's utter embarrassment.  The moment had passed about two exchanges ago, but Terry had been waiting to use it to see Gar's expression.
    Some other time.

Kian has posed:
    Satisfied—if slightly baffled and disappointed—Kían has of course no idea that he's been lied to, has no real concept of being lied to.  Regardless, he follows back towards Gar and Terry, now that he has seen.  "Iss nothing to haf made a fuss about," he says, a little discontentedly.
    And then… what?  Kían listens to what Gar says, and to what Terry says, and watches Colette.
    This is a conversation he and she had had, with some difficulty because his English was so very much worse then, about the birdman's concept of truth and how he couldn't lie to say he had not seen her.  For him, it's a simple question with profound implications: "Colette tavár'h… haf hyu tol' us somethin' that iss not true?"

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    "Not weird Gar, just sensible," Colette counters.  "Look, it's all relative.  You recently destroyed a ton of Brainiac's robots, and confiscated a bunch more from him, remember?  Only you don't think of that as vandalism and theft because of the context.  Well the context here isn't that different.  That object is not in the possession of its rightful owner, and there is the potential that if it remains where it is it could cause a violent reaction if the wrong person saw it.  Possibly considerably worse than that."
    "No Kian, not a lie," she says, squeezing his shoulder.  "There's something complicated that you guys don't really understand, and I'm trying to explain it and why it's important that nobody looks at it or… look.  Okay.  What it is… not the thing I showed you Kian, something else that's in this museum…."  Colette chews her lip thoughtfully.  "Well.  Essentially it's someone's name, that's the easiest way to describe it.  There's an alien race of shapeshifters—they don't have a kind of a default look, right?  There's no base body they shift from, their appearance is entirely fluid.  So they define themselves as an individual through a possession they carve a pattern into personally.  It should have died with the person.  Putting it on display like that would be considered spectacularly disrespectful.  Like, massive insult.  Blasphemy.  Kian… imagine if you walked into another room and saw an Akiar's wings torn from its body and put on display for the public's amusement.  Now imagine you were insanely violent.  That's the kind of situation we're potentially dealing with here, okay?  Kian, tell them.  If you were insanely violent and you saw that when we go into the next room, how would you react?"
    She's being very patient with the others, at least in her own mind.  If there's a hint of tension and annoyance in her voice, it's just the barest hint.  "I could do it myself you know, but not without breaking the glass case, and the whole… thing.  So I asked Terry, because he's the one who can pull it off without anything being damaged and no risk of anyone being hurt.  This is the smart way."

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan clears his throat.  "You know that was everybody literally saving the world, right?  And that he took actual cities and neighborhoods and shrunk them down?"  Hands spread wide as he reminds Colette of this fact.  Kian's question, and Vorpal's way of asking for more information… well, he pauses for both of them, rubbing the back of his neck uncomfortably while Colette goes into some more detail about why it could be bad if someone saw the thing.  Leaving Kian to explain how he'd react to the scenario offered, he goes back to the other thing.
    "It's still going behind people's backs.  Look, I don't know how it ended up here, but you think it's bad for it to stay here.  Why don't we just talk to whoever's in charge and explain why we need it, and if we have to pull rank or whatever and say it's official Titans business for national safety we can do that.  But just using Vorpal's rabbit holes to sneak it out when nobody else is around?  I'm sorry, but that doesn't sit right with me."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "Gar makes a lot of sense," Vorpal says, and it is lucky that Raven is not part of this outing because the gasp that would elicit might terrify small children.  "Look, you forget that I work for the woman who has Superman on her speed-dial here," or speed-scream, "Just give me the info, Lois can have a word with Superman and we'll get this removed quiet-like.  To sweeten the pot I will even tell Lois that we could write an article about Superman performing an appropriate disposal of the object in a manner that is respectful to that particular alien culture, and the museum will look good doing it, too."  He holds up a finger.  "And no photographs or artist renditions of the artefact will be taken.  That way we are not thieves, Gar doesn't have to feel anxious about this, and the whole thing is legitimized by the presence of the most famous alien on Earth.  Any objections?  Because if there aren't, I'm feeling peckish."
    Terry reaches over and puts an arm around Gar's waist, and this time he does peck his cheek. He was being too adorable.

Kian has posed:
    Bad example, Miss O'Connail, very bad example.  Kian whitens and moves away from Colette, getting behind both Gar and Terry, keeping them between himself and her.  He makes a few false starts trying to answer her, then turns away.
    When he finally does find his voice, he doesn't sound at all well.  "Hyu ask the im-possible, Colette.  I am not insane, and I am not violen'.  I can not know."
    And then he does turn around, and looks hard at Colette.  "An' do not ever use an exam-ple like that to me again.  It will not lead to violence, but it may end a frien'ship."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    "You answered my question perfectly Kian.  And I'm sorry I upset you, I really am."  She sighs shakes her head and looks down.  "I didn't… I wanted Terry and Gar to understand how badly this would be taken.  Because you have a parallel to understand it, and they don't."
    She looks at Gar, then at Terry, and gestures towards Kian.  "See?  This is exactly what I mean.  If someone as nice as Kian takes to even the idea of it happening that badly, how do you think a… well.  They're not particularly nice people.  Right."  Colette takes a deep breath, and doesn't roll her eyes, but it takes an effort not to.  She pinches the bridge of her nose.  "So it's okay to steal Brianiac's stolen property back from him because it's for a good cause.  Saving the world.  I totally agree, Gar.  One hundred percent.  It's the good thing to do.  Just like this item of stolen property should also be stolen back for a good cause.  It's unlikely to save the world, but it might just save a few lives and possibly avoid an inter-species 'incident'."
    "Now, we have two alternatives."  Colette removes her fingers from the bridge of her nose and from Terry to Gar.  "We can try persuading lots of people of what I'm trying to persuade you, but persuading lots of people is harder than persuading a small number of people.  We have no evidence that we can provide that what I am saying is true.  There will be people asking for proof.  It will cause extra attention to be paid to an object which we really, really, don't want extra attention paid to.  Any publicity would be bad.  There is no 'appropriate disposal'.  There is no guarantee some enthusiastic researcher won't convince themselves that a few photos wouldn't hurt.  The fact that it has been on display here for a few years could easily be considered an unforgivable sin already.  And remember the whole 'shape-shifter' thing?  It's entirely possible some of these guys are on this planet already.  Going through the whole beauracracy thing means increasing the danger significantly."
    Colette folds her arms.  "On the other hand, we just do it my way.  Nobody is hurt.  Nothing is damaged.  A minor object goes missing from a case, nobody is really going to care.  They'll probably think it was an administrative error.  We remove the object, the stand it's on and the descriptive placard, there's a good chance nobody knows it has gone.  The risks are considerably lower."
    "So there's the choice.  You risk lives, and risk insulting an alien species, because it 'doesn't feel right', or you do it quickly, safely, and quietly, with no fuss, and reduce the risk by a large margin."
    "I get that it doesn't feel right.  I get that it goes against your self-images.  Hell, I'm glad that it goes against your self-images.  But it's still the right thing to do."

Gar Logan has posed:
    "And what happens if whoever takes it forgets to clean up around where it's been?  Where there's dust by an empty spot?" Gar asks pointedly, now beginning to feel more sure about his point of view in all this, even as Vorpal moves closer for the attention at his cheek, returned with a brief ruffling of Vorpal's hair, and Kian reacts by using them as a barrier between himself and Colette, telling her things in no uncertain terms.
    The team shifter frowns, and whether he just doesn't get it, or sees what Colette's trying to say but still doesn't agree with it, the result is the same.  "Brainiac attacked us and was going to destroy the world.  Keeping stuff he had is way different, but yeah, I don't have a problem with us holding onto some things from alien races that were here to harm us.  But what you're asking for?  Yeah, we have a couple ways of doing it, and I like the idea about getting Superman involved.  He'd know for sure how to handle this, but we're not sneaking it out for you so if you don't want to do it that way, you can take it yourself and leave us out of it.  Come on, guys.  Let's get back to the Tower.  I'll get some food delivered."
    He begins to turn away, glancing over a shoulder.  "Ball's in your court, Colette.  If it's already been sitting here for years and nothing's happened, a few more days isn't gonna hurt."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "There is a much easier way to do this," Vorpal mutters as he produces his phone.
    <<LOIS.  Can you get Superman for me?  Lives are at stake.  No time to explain.  Tell him to meet me at The Tower>>  He holds up the text for Colette to see, unsent, and then adds, "Faster than a speeding bullet, remember? But… just to make sure…."
    Terry glances around, just on the off chance there are cameras, he bends over as if to tie his shoes, and touches the floor with one finger as he does so, muttering something.  Unless you're looking closely, you wouldn't see the fine filament of purple light that jumps from his fingertip, slithers across the floor, and zips up the wall onto a control panel.
    "Right then, let's mosey out, on the double."
    The fire alarm is deafening.  Every single alarm in the building is going haywire—there's the security alerts for the display cases, the fire alarm, even the Carbon Monoxide alarm.
    "Woops," he says, probably not heard by anyone but maybe Gar over the unbearable din.  Museum patrons are already beelining for the emergency exits, covering their ears to protect them from the awful noise.
    Once they're outside, Terry sends the text.  He figures it'll take Lois about twelve seconds to get the text, another twelve to get Superman's attention and, if he's available, ten seconds to explain, and four seconds for Superman to get there.
    "Let's take the Rabbit Hole," the Cheshire says to the entourage, "We don't want to keep the man waiting."
    He'd given that spell a good amount of oomph.  It was likely that the alarms would be going on and off throughout the remainder of the work day, which would at least hopefully keep any potential shapeshifters from being able to enter the museum, as institutions of this sort tend to shut down for the day for maintenance when museums go haywire.
    Kian was right. Earth was just one of those inherently chaotic places.

Kian has posed:
    "Iss easy," Kían says, with the air of someone who's just saw their way clear through a logic problem.  "No museum shows all its collec-tion.  So haf it taken off public view.  If their people show up, then giff it to them wit'out delay an' wit' an apology.  Someone mus' know the museum direc-tor, or know someone who knows her or him, an' even if not, hyu say Titans haf added to this collec-tion.  Iss mean Titan's word shoul' be meanin'ful here."
    He comes out from around Terry and Gar.  "An' iss no stealin', no un-honest act.  Iss bet-ter answer, yis?"
    And then all hell breaks loose, alert-wise.  The ceiling precludes taking to the air in any meaningful way, but he kicks into the air as soon as they're outside, just long enough to get the tension out of his wings, and lands back with the group again.  Oblivious to what Terry had done, he shakes his head.  "Inheren'ly chaotic," he mutters.  "Shoul' stay and make sure every-one gets out safe."  Still not a fighter, but at least Kían's thinking like a Titan.

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    "It's a ticking bomb, Gar.  Just because it didn't blow up yet isn't any reason to wait before defusing it."  Colette winces and shakes her head.  "Or to invite a committee to come along and decide which wire to cut when you can just hurl it straight into the sun. The fewer people who…."
    She's interrupted by Vorpal's phone in her face.  "Wait.  Terry, I…."  She stops, puffs her cheeks out and nods.  "Okay.  Do it your way, even if it's wrong.  But destroy it.  Sorry Kian, this is… it needs to be destroyed.  Not destroying it is…."
    What exactly not destroying it is, is lost in the blare of alarms.  If Colette has any more to say, she doesn't even attempt to fight the noise to let it be heard.
    Once they are outside, Colette stops to look back at the museum with an oddly blank expression.  "Okay Terry, Gar.  I shouldn't have tried to persuade you to do it my way, even though it was the right way.  I'm sorry.  And Kian, I'm sorry I upset you.  Humans just don't have anything that combines the personal and sacred in the same way, you were the only one who could… I'm sorry.  You guys go talk to Superman or whatever, I'll leave this one in your hands."
    Colette leaves them to Rabbit Holing, turning away and walking to the lot to find her car, giving a backwards wave towards the three Titans.  "Later guys," she says cheerily.  "Let's go to Giorgio's soon.  My treat."  It's almost as if none of that happened.

Gar Logan has posed:
    Fire alarm?  That's one way to vacate the building in short order, and if Vorpal is summoning Lois to get through to Superman, there isn't much Gar is going to worry himself over with this one now.
    Whoops, indeed.
    Watching Kian get those wings stretched out, he nearly joins the birdman but remains planted on two feet instead.  Colette gets a few more words out of him.  "You're right about one thing.  You shouldn't have tried to get us to do something you weren't willing to do yourself."
    He steps through the rabbit hole without so much as a 'see you later' or a 'goodbye.'  Not even the prospect of her offering free food changes his path.
    The Titan is not pleased.