4568/The Fairest Child

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The Fairest Child
Date of Scene: 02 January 2021
Location: Cafe Lalo
Synopsis: No description
Cast of Characters: Terry O'Neil, Donna Troy, Vivian Vision, Winslow Schott, Wally West, Caitlin Fairchild

Terry O'Neil has posed:
It's a brand new year for the Titans- and although they have only been around in their current incarnation for nine months, those nine months were jam-packed with enough adventures and misadventures to fill out more than one year. Who knew what the next year would hold?

Well, birthdays. At least that was an easy question to answer, since the team's first birthday happened right at the beginning of the new year. Conspiring amongst them, the location for a birthday brunch had been chosen as Cafe Lalo... because otherwise Caitlin would insist on cooking, and her doing so ran counter to the idea of having a birthday where people celebrate /you/.

In his human form, Terry is the recoinnaissance party that goes ahead and secures a table, as well as several chairs. Once properly situated in his table-and-chairs fort, he sends the text message:

"Target acquired. I repeat. Target acquired. Rendezvous at the following coordinates." The message included the cafe's location. Caitlin was the only one who didn't receive the message, since Terry knew that co-conspirator Donna would be with her, and he knew he could count on /that/ particular Amazon to be particularly sneaky.

He steeples his fingers and waits.

Donna Troy has posed:
    It's not as if it's going to be a /complete/ surprise. Caitlin is an intelligent woman and is unlikely to be fooled into thinking it isn't actually her birthday. Getting her to Lalo's is therefore acheived by the relatively simple process of saying "Hey Cait? Let me take you out for a bite to eat. There's a place not far from here I dunno if you've been. Lalo's, know it?"

    As sneaky Amazon ploys go, it's not particularly sneaky or complicated, but it has the benefit of involving Caitlin and food. These are things that go well together, and offering Caitlin food is generally a sure way to get her to agree to something, particularly when you know for a fact that she hasn't eaten for a while because you've been keeping her at the Embassy for HOURS ON END talking over plans, explaining rituals, and discussing Themysciran conventions. By this time Donna's pretty hungry, which means that Caitlin is probably /famished/.

    Donna had considered asking Terry to bring along the gift she had got for Caitlin so that it could be presented to her at Lalo's along with any other gifts people might have brought, but on looking the present over - and hefting it a few times - she had decided this was impractical, and would probably not be good for Terry's back. Thus it had been a couple of hours previously at the embassy that Caitlin had received her gift from Donna - an item that was both a bit of a joke after certain recent events that had taken place on another Earth, and something practical.

    Donna can't actually source Thor's hammer for Caitlin, but she does know some pretty superb Themysciran weaponsmiths, and during her recent visit had them work on a rush job to create Caitlin's Hammer. It's not really much like Thor's - not that Amazons particularly have their own style of warhammer as it's not something they go for much - being considerably longer-handled, with a sleek head. It's intended for two-handed swinging,and aerodynamic enough to be hurled, though it won't return on its own. It is rather beautifully crafted, in dark Themysciran steel with silvered inlays of complicated geometric patters surrounding a stylized image of Titan's Tower on the head. Said weaponsmith had visited Metropolis briefly in the aftermath of the Warzoon invasion and had enjoyed seeing the odd construction. Said weaponsmith had also joked about Caitlin being able to leave an imprint of the tower on the foreheads of people who offended her, so they knew who'd hit them, but given the weight of the hammer it would probably have to be a very solid forehead that merely suffered an imprint.

    Donna wasn't sure who'd make it to Lalo's today - only Terry, as co-conspirator, had actually confirmed, but she'd dawdled a bit on the way to give people time to show up. The rest of the Titans had of course been invited - and a special invitation extended to Vivian, who seems to have been accepted as something of an honorary Titan of late, and shares a birthday with Caitlin. Though given how each of them were born, there may be some question as to whether the date is entirely accurate, or if it was more symbolic.

    Thus it had been that Donna had dragged Caitlin into a gift shop on the way, to show her a rather wonderful Diana bobble-head figurine. To Donna's delight they had discovered that there were an assortment of Titans now included in the bobble-head range, and Caitlin had INSISTED on purchasing a set, and as she pushes the door to the Cafe open to walk in ahead of Caitlin, she has the bobble-headed Caitlin figure in her hand and a ridiculously large grin on her face. "But it's the coolest thing /ever/, Cait! And it really looks like you. Much better likeness than my one. To be honest I think they just reused the face mould for Diana and did a different armor which is lazy because I really don't look /that/ much like her. Still, joke's on them 'cos I don't even have that armor any more."

Vivian Vision has posed:
Vivian wasn't originally planning on leaving her dorm room much on her birthday. Her plans included a lot of quiet time reading, listening to music and perhaps a trip to a museum with Doctor Pym. But knowing her Great Aunts team-mate, who also happens to teach at her school, is having a birthday as well /and/ that they're in New York... Well it would be rude not to stop by and drop a gift off! Especially after receiving a personal invitation.

The synthezoid teenager is currently using a holographic disguise to make herself appear like a regular Human albeit with green hair. And has on a very fetching green party frock despite the cold at this time of year. No need for winter coats or scarves here though thanks to the wonders of being an AI.

Tucked under her arm is a gift wrapped tupperware box. Identifiable by the distinctive shape and size.

Winslow Schott has posed:
"Rejected! Why has Master Schott rejected me! I did everything he ever told me to do!"

This repeated phrase would've brought tears to Prince Gallant, if he were able to cry. It has been a week since Prince Gallant had defended that poor child from those villainous knaves, and since he met the so-called "Cheshire Cat". After making sure the boy was safe with the Cat, Prince Gallant had tried flying back to his "Master", aka Winslow Schott, only to find that no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't reenter the dome over the Suicide Slums. He then tried to communicate with Schott after all of his attempts to enter the dome had failed, only to be met with radio silence, which could only mean one thing, The Toyman had abandoned him and left him alone in the cold, dark, often unforgiving real world, and away from his family. In grief, Prince Gallant had wailed into the night sky and flown off, never returning to the dome, with it now serving as a constant reminder on how he was forsaken by his own creator, and separated from his family. He had spent the last week roaming Metropolis, scared, alone, and yearning to find any sort of companionship, then he remembered The Cheshire Cat.

After a few days of research, he had managed to figure out that the Cat was really a superhero named Vorpal, and that he had recently revealed his true identity to the world, Terry O'Neil. Prince Gallant found himself leaving Metropolis tonight and heading for New York City, far away from the dome. He had received an update from one of the social media outlets he followed that "Vorpal" was spotted in NYC tonight, at the Cafe Lalo, He intended on finding Terry and beseeching him for aid, or at least a place to lay his head for awhile. As the large, scarlet colored, male Unicorn stallion with a black and red mane flew over his NYC skyline, his fierce, ruby colored eyes scanned the environment, looking for the Cafe Lalo. As he flew, his armor seemed to glow in the moonlight and his worn, battle-scarred wings seemed to reflect on the night sky like a Bat's wings. As he flew, Prince Gallant had a fierce, determined look on his eyes. Nothing would distract him from his quest, nothing.


Alright, maybe that will.

Gallant's head immediately jerked towards the source of the gun fire, and he snarled when he saw what was happening below. There were a group of men standing in the middle of a deserted street, and in front of a semi-trick. They were pointing fire-arms at the driver, a tall, scrawny man clad in pink, with a trucker hat that had lettering that read "Auntie Wu's Fragrances". So, these varlots had planned on stealing perfume, not on this Knight's watch! True, Schott had only programmed him to protect children but Gallant felt something deeper, a burning desire to aid and protect that poor man below. After all, it's the right thing to do, and King Flare's knights swore to protect the innocent when they were knighted. With one more snarl, Prince Gallant swooped down and began to descent very fast towards the thieves, looks like he would be late to the party.

Wally West has posed:
Wally is on his second appetizer when everyone else gets there. He has a pair of wrapped boxes on the table next to him. "Here comes the birthday girl!" He greets everbody with open arms, offering a hug to anyone who will take one. He has a tinge of nervousness in his manner. Its the usual gift-giver's anxiety.

Wally actually got her two things: a silver bracelet with psalm 46:5 "God is within her, she will not fall." engraved on it, and a clear coffee mug made of spring tempered ceramic with "Yeah, I've heard that one too." emblazoned on the side.

"I don't know much about this religion stuff, I just picked out something that seemed nice and fitting." He pauses awkwardly, hoping he didn't get her the equivalent of a Monkeys 8-track for someone who said they liked rock music. "The mug theoretically bounces. I just can't throw it hard enough."

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin gives her Bobble Donna a poke. "I don't know, I think it's kinda hard to tell any of them apart," she says reassuringly. "They've all got the same head shape and eyes. I love the spangly outfit though, with all the stars and stuff. Definitely a fan favorite."

The hammer she'd (regretfully) left at the Embassy, because let's be fair: Caitlin would break something while playing with it in public if she didn't.

Caitlin's dressed in her usual understated way, simple and understated; a calf-length, loose-fitting purple skirt and a robin's egg blue blouse with a white camisole. Comfortable slipper shoes and simple silver clip-on earrings keep the outfit inconspicuous, and her red hair's tied back in an artful single braid that is pulled to drape over one shoulder.

When she enters the restaurant, Cait's eyes go wide. "Oh my gosh! Hi guys!" It didn't take her long to put it together, but for someone like Caitlin for whom duplicity is a great effort, there's a pretty big disconnect between 'suspecting' something and being prepared for it. Especially such a friendly appearance as all this! Wally's hugged, then Vorpal, then Donna too, just for fun. "You guys shouldn't have gone to all this trouble," she scolds them with a dimple-cheeked smile.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry hasn't seen Vivian in her holographic disguise, so it might be easy for him to miss her... even with the green hair, but the conspicuous present makes it easier for him. "Viv?" he asks tentatively, and then he gestures to show where they'll be seated. If it's her, good-- if it isn't, he will do that thing that people do when they THINK they know someone and then watch in horror as the person turns fully around to show it is not, in fact, THEM: he will pretend to be waving to someone BEHIND her. Probably someone invisible.

As luck would have it he's not wrong about her identity, and when the last of the Titans arrive, everybody is seated and waiting to ambush Caitlin.

"Caitlin Fairchild hush. Can you believe her? Don't go through all this trouble- says the woman who will bake a six-tiered cake for someone's one month anniversary with the team."

He takes out a small box and presents it to her, "Hush and accept the attention or I'll make Gar take you out for Karaoke. Speaking of the green devil, he says he'll catch you at the tower tonight so you might be taken out to eat twice."

As the redhead sits down, he says "Don't let him take you out for pizza, go somewhere expensive. He can afford it!" he grins. He wasn't affluent himself, but he did manage to find a nice gift that was within his price range for Caitlin: a labradorite broach in the shape of a dove.

"Wait, where did you get /that/?" he points to the bobble head, "That's fricking adorable, did you have it custom made?"

He gives Wally a wink, "Careful, don't give her mugs she can throw or she will use them as a projectile weapon next time I try to raid the kitchen at night."

Donna Troy has posed:
    Donna grins wide when the realization hits Caitlin that she isn't just going out for a quick bite with Donna but has, in fact, been ambushed. "No trouble at all, Cait. I mean even if it hadn't been your birthday I might have dragged you here, it's nice. A bit of a favorite of Terry's, I've met him here a couple of times when he's in the neighborhood. He tells me it's his mom's favorite cafe, but unfortunately we never seem to run into her here. Or at least if we ever did, he was good at hiding it. Besides..."

    Donna waves the bobble-headed Caitlin Fairchild in the face of the real Caitlin Fairchild. "BOBBLE-HEADED CAIT. C'mon! Totally worth it for this alone. Look guys! Bobble-headed Cait." Donna puts the figuring down on the table and gives its bobble head a little poke to make it bobble before sitting down. Following this she fishes in a bag and comes out with -- still boxed -- a bobble-headed Wally. "Look Wally! You too. There's a new Titan's range. I don't know if this is something Nightwing has licensed or if they're unofficial. We should probably find out and ask for money if they are. But they're SOOO COOL."

    A third, green-skinned, boxed figurine is pulled out and pushed across the table to Vorpal. "Look, they even have your boyfriend. I thought you might like to torment him with it." There is no mention, at this point, of Vorpal bobble-heads. However there's an all too familiar grin on Donna's face when she pushes the Gar bobble-head towards Terry, one that he knows too well.

    "Hey Vivian, glad you could come," Donna says with a smile. "Caitlin's not the only birthday girl today, huh? Well this isn't exactly a birthday present, so I won't be offended if you turn it down. But I thought you might be interested." She fishes in her bag again and comes out with a small decorative box with a bow on it, and hands it to Vivian with a smirk.

Vivian Vision has posed:
Vivian responds with a nod of greeting to Terry and a very tiny little holographic overlay that allows him to see her as normal. At least for long enough to recognize her. She sets down the gift wrapped tupperware box for Caitlin to open later. It's probably rude to open food related gifts at a Cafe. Besides the dish she has made really needs the honey syrup you drizzle over them to be warm. With so many Amazons on the Titans she figured a good gift would be Greek food. In this case a really big batch of Loukoumades.

"Happy birthday Miss Fairchild," she offers by way of greeting, moving to take the seat Terry has pointed out. "I didn't have much time to pick out a gift. So I just made you something with things I had to hand."

"In my case it was not really a birth as such. But happy first activation date is not so catchy and they do not make suitable greeting cards for AI yet," she admits to Donna, accepting the gift shyly. "But thank you very much for your gift. I have been informed I am supposed to be 'terrible' now I am officially two. But I am still unsure why that might be. I think Doctor Pym as having a joke at my expense.."

Wally West has posed:
"That is literally the whole point of a birthday party. It is doing things for people that you shouldn't have." Wally says in his fake offended voice.

Terry's comment about throwing mugs triggers the inner nerd in wally. "Technically any mug is a mug you can throw. The question is if you can through it multiple times before it becomes grapeshot."

Wally chuckles at the bobble heads. "I don't know if them being official would be better or not, I think I would feel equally exploited either way." He isn't actually bothered. He just feels as if maybe he ought to pretend to be.

Upon hearing that it is also Vivian's birthday, he vanishes for a minute before returning with a birthday card. It says 'Happy 2.0th birthday' but with the dot obviously penned in. "Happy birthday to you too." Having a public identity means that you get to use superspeed to get a birthday card for a birthday girl as you realize that it is her birthday. "I may disapear at somepoint later on and get you a gift as well if I can think of something."

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
"Nightwing handles all the merchandise stuff, and he's done a good job with it," Caitlin says. She echoes agreement with Donna's sentiment. "And it's a good thing, too, because I don't think any of the rest of us could do it as well as he did."

She cracks open Viv's gift and her eyes widen. "Oooh! That looks amazing." She dares to break one in half and sample it. "It /tastes/ amazing. This is fantastic, thanks Viv!" she tells the synthezoid with a broad smile.

She fusses happily with her other gifts; the broach is promptly pinned to the front of her shirt and the bracelet slips over a wrist after she carefully reads the quote. "These are really sweet, you guys, thank you," she tells Wally and Terry, and smiles gratefully at both of them.

"Viv, I'm sorry, I didn't think to bring you something! I didn't realize it was your birthday too. I'll make it up to you, I promise," she assures the android. "I'm sure Nadia can help me come up with something."

Winslow Schott has posed:

The thug went flying into the side of the semi's trailer, which echoed loudly across the night sky with a bang when the man's body impacted it. Prince Gallant grinned slightly and turned to confront the rest of the thugs, the body of the thug he landed on when he swopped down on them lying nearby, groaning in pain. The thugs had, of course, tried to shoot the Unicorn upon his arrival. Luckily, Schott been smart enough to add in a "Shield Spell" in Prince Gallant's defense protocols, which protected him from their bullets. Suddenly, one of the goons, a taller, scrawny man with swept-back hair wearing a black sweater and sunglasses, pulls out a hunting knife and charges at the Unicorn, swiping at him. Prince Gallant, with a surprise burst of agility, leaps back and responds by swinging a forehoof towards the man's face.


The man screamed in pain as the hoof collided with his face, breaking his sunglasses in the process. The man's unconscious body goes flying, landing in a nearby snowdrift. Another man suddenly pulls out another gun and prepares to fire, only to see a glow cover his hand. Suddenly, the man is lifted into the air and shot towards a nearby open dumpster. As the man crashes into the dumpster, the lid suddenly slams down on top of him, trapping him in. Letting out one more battle cry, Prince Gallant's wings suddenly sprout out and he zooms towards the remaining thugs, ready to finish this battle.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"I didn't quite know what to get you, Viv," he had a very short notice after he as informed of the coincidental activation date, "But I got you this... hopefully you'll find it enjoyable." Terry produces a book, a novel called 'The Girl Who Leapt Through Time' by Yasutaka Tsutsui. "It was a favorite of mine... but I've been told I like weird things, so... beware." It is clearly a used copy from a local bookstore, "I haven't found a new print of this one, this one's from the early nineties. I didn't have time to wrap it..." which is good, anyways, because any time he has tried to wrap anything, it never ends well.

At the sight of the green bobblehead, he makes a little squeak and scoops it up. "Oh he's adorable. I'll have to show it to Gar and chase him around with it- if I had a desk at the Planet, I'd put him there." The realities of interns was that you played round robin with available cubicles, and it seemed to Terry that he never got the same desk twice, despite there being a limited number of free ones.

"So how is the Embassy doing? I haven't been there in forever." Not since the party. Terry tended to avoid the Embassy just in case Diana decided to give him more cloaks or throw tiaras at him. There was only so much embarrassment the human body could take in one year. "And Wally, this is Cait... anything she uses eventually becomes grapeshot. I have seen her go Full Cailtin more than once!"

Donna Troy has posed:
    "Good pastries here, Cait. And sandwiches." Donna shoves a menu Caitlin's way. "If you can tear yourself away from Vivian's cooking that is... oh, she's finished it." This is unfair, as so far Caitlin has only taken a taste of Vivian's gift, not consumed the entirety, but that's not going to stop Donna from saying it. "

    "Probably wise when Wally's here. Eat it all before he does." This is also unfair because...

    No wait, it's kind of fair. Wally's got an even bigger appetite than Caitlin.

    "Embassy is doing fine, Terry. Though we may need to employ more staff. I've been going through a lot of paperwork since I got back. It seems that having an Amazon army turn up outside Metropolis and cut through an invading alien invasion force has made people take Themyscira rather more seriously. Suddenly we're getting a lot of... requests. You'll be more interested in the Themysciran Arts Center though. Progress there is amazing. Gods, Cait, you've got to see. Diana's had a miniature replica of the arena built in it. When I say miniature, don't expect something small, it's a proper arena. Just... well, Cait's seen the original. Big enough to fit the entire population of Themyscira."

    Donna leans back in her seat, and starts flipping through the menu. With her eyes firmly fixed on it, she says "So, Terry. You must be wondering about why I didn't pull out the Vorpal bobble head to wave it at you..."

Vivian Vision has posed:
Vivian Vision shakes her head. "Oh no please do not feel like you have to get me anything," she assures both Cait & Wally, blushing slightly. "I already have access to almost every book, movie and song Humanity has created. Well at least those which are accessable online. And I don't really have a great deal of space in my school dorm room."

She gives Caitlin a smile and adds "They are supposed to be best when soaked in a hot honey syrup with a sprinkle of cinnamon and chopped walnuts. Everything you need and the instructions are included inside." Not that Caitlin will need a lot of help figuring out how to heat honey up. But it never hurts to be thorough.

She unwraps the gift from Donna and pulls out a T-com. "Oh!" She turns it over to inspect the device from all sides, then tucks it very carefully into her bag. "I shall ensure it is kept with the utmost security.. And of course if you need my assistence with any matters at all I'll endeavor to be there as soon as is possible."

The book from Terry gets another smile as she tucks it into the bag next to the T-com. "I shall ensure I read it shortly. It will be a nice chance of pace to physically read a book. Usually I just download a batch of pdfs and have a subpersona read them all."

Wally West has posed:
A wave of relief crashes over Wally after Caitlin's reaction. "How has teaching been treating you? Have any of your students gone on a journey of self discovery where they not only save the world, but also discover that the real treasure was the friends they made along the way? (Or does that only happen in books?)"

"Geez Terry. Have you tried replacing things after you eat them? Thats what I do, and people only occasionally throw things at me when I raid the kitchen."

Wally is offended at Donna's suggestion. "Hey I don't eat OTHER people's food. I am apalled that you think so little of me. (although I wouldn't object to a little sharing) I would NEVER finish someone elses gift before they got to have their share."

"Welcome to the club Viv."

Winslow Schott has posed:
Prince Gallant panted heavily as he looked around at the downed men around him. It had been a surprisingly violent fight, but he had finally managed to dispatch the rest of the goons. He looked down at his hoofs and huffed aggressively at the sight. One of the thugs, a short, skinny man with what he could only described as a "rat face" had tried to slip away, only to be not only knocked down by the body of one of his fellow goons, but now pinned down by Prince Gallant's hoofs. The man was currently trying to slip loose, swearing to himself as he did. Gallant snarled at the man and said,

"If ye keep struggling, you'll find thyself in a world of pain!"

The man immediately stopped, and seemed to look up in fear at the Unicorn. Prince Gallant then glanced at the trucker before doing something unexpected. First, he makes the man he is standing on sit up, then Gallant bites down quite roughly on his shirt collar, lifting him up. Then, he levitates a second thug, a tall, stocky African-American man wearing a Black Hoodie, onto his back. As that thug drooped unconsciously onto Gallant's neck, Gallant's horn suddenly glows and a third unconscious thug, this one being a medium-sized Hispanic man wearing a brown sweatshirt is levitated in the air and stays this way. Gallant then suddenly sprouts his wings again and takes off into the night sky, taking the three thugs with him. Terry and company were soon going to have unexpected company.