4607/Double Damian

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Double Damian
Date of Scene: 05 January 2021
Location: The Danger Room - Titan's Tower
Synopsis: Donna puts Damian into an invisible box before checking he's no doppelganger, and lets him out again. Then she gives him a sword for being a good Robin.
Cast of Characters: Donna Troy, Damian Wayne

Donna Troy has posed:
    "Activate program T-seven-four-two," Troia calls out. The lights around the exterior of the danger room dim, and a holographic figure slowly fades into existence in the middle of the arena area. Apart from the fact that it is faintly translucent and the lights on the walls can be made out through the figure, it's an extremely accurate duplicate of Robin.

    The figure stands still, the chest rising and falling slightly with simulated breath, as Donna circles it, studying it from every angle. The holographic Damian's eyes follow her movements, but when she circles out from its view it stops still, the head not turning to follow her further. Although it is unnaturally still, the real Damian has been noted to stand unnaturally still too. The failure to keep her in sight all the time is the real tell.

    When she has finished circling, she stops in front of it, staring at the figure for a few more moments before walking back to the control console and taking a seat. She pulls out her T-Com, sends a message to Robin asking him to join her in the Danger Room, and waits his arrival.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Robin had headed over as soon as he received the message. Despite his proclivity to act defiant to many, he was still a professional. It's why he never called anyone by their names, strictly codename only.

  It was also why Donna was one of three Titans who were not also Bats to know his real name, first or last. The doors to the Danger Room hissed open, and the figure of Damian in full Robin regalia entered, his boots had been designed to quiet their footfalls, his utility belt contained unmeasurable weapons, both intended, and unintended. To most people, a Robin posed enough of a potential threat as any powered beings. That was why it was imperative to exonerate both Robin and Nightwing.

  "Troia." He said plainly, evenly, and all business, just like Damian...before he gets pissed off.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "Robin," Donna says by way of greeting, as business-like as Damian himself, though she accompanies it with a smile. She nods her head towards the holograpic likeness of Robin standing still in the middle of the floor. "Guess what issue we're dealing with today."

    She's not really expecting him to play guessing games, and she's confident he'll know it. News of the doppelgangers has got around the team and everyone has been warned to consider the possibilities of attempts to infiltrate the team. "Knowing how to fight against ourselves is not something we generally train for," She says. "But then our duplicates probably won't have had that opportunity, so even with the limitations of the Danger Room programming, it's an edge we can work on."

    "Of course knowing we're not giving training to someone who's already been replaced is an issue. How can we be sure of each other? Well, you know about my sister's lasso. We will use that to clear people over the next few days. However, I'm going to give you a little reassurance. Supergirl, Caitlin and I travelled to Themyscira in that other Earth. I saw that world's version of Diana and Queen Hippolyta. I was unknown to them. That means if there is a duplicate of me in that other world, she's no Amazon and very unlikely to be a concern."

    "As for you..." Donna grins at Damain. "Well I can clear you when I get my hands on the lasso. But you're smart, Robin. You understand what it means to be a highly-trained fighter in a way that out of all the Titans, only the pair of us - and possibly Kori - really understands. So let's consider this killing two birds with one stone. Whatever happened in that other world, if there is an alternative Robin, he had a different background. His training may have been similar, but it wouldn't be quite the same. I think I'd see any differences. So are you prepared for a bit of training, and to show me that you fight the way I'd expect you to fight? We've sparred a lot, I think I'd recognize any differences. "

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian's eyes did watch her from behind those eyelets which were a trademark of a Bat. Of course, he answered. "Doppelgangers. As much as I am loath to admit, Van-Dyne did well in spotting them."

  "Wait a moment." A hand raised up before he speaks again. "You claim as such, but how does that exonerate you? All you have said was that you are not one of them. Am I supposed to take that at face value? Not bloody likely."

  "So, what else do you have that proves you are exactly who you say you are?" Robin's hood was raised, allowing those lenses to gleam out from the shadow. It was Batman's intimidation tactic, but it tended to work more than not.

  "As far as I am concerned, any, if not all of you could be there replacements."

Donna Troy has posed:
Donna gives a small shrug. "We have already dealt with Supergirl's double. That means that our Supergirl can be trusted, and she was with me on that universe's version of Themyscira. I'm sure you've read the reports. I am not known in that universe, my sister and mother didn't recognize me. If I am my doppelganger, I haven't had two decades of Amazon training and don't have superpowers. In the unlikely circumstance of there being a me in that universe who survived, she's presumably the daughter of Aegean fishing folk. Are you worried I'll try to hit you over the head with an octopus cage?"

    She breaks into a grin. "I don't think that Troia would be able to operate the Danger Room, for that matter. If it will reassure people I have no problem with using Diana's lasso on myself, but for now... I think that's pretty solid reason to trust me." She gestures towards the holographic Damian. "Are you concerned I might have come up with a Danger Room Robin strong enough to beat you? That would be a foolish plan. Besides, I haven't activated it yet. It won't start fighting until you attack."

    Donna leans back in the control seat, arms folded behind her head. It's probably intended to put Damian at his ease - she's very much not looking ready to attack. "I'm clear. Supergirl is clear. Vorpal is clear too - remember that the Cheshire Cat is not a being from Earth, so a duplicate Terry O'Niel would not be Vorpal. There are good reasons to suspect that Caitlin and Raven do not have duplicates, but I haven't been able to make sure of that. Everyone else... is questionable. Including you, Robin. Let's be honest, I have far less reason to trust you right now than you have to trust me."

Damian Wayne has posed:
     "And from where I am standing, one week after our missing team members come back from deep space, these duplicates start showing up. Whatever the hell Vorpal is, I barely trusted him before the incident in space."

  Robin looked over the holo-Damian, and got up into his own face, their squat noses millimeters away from the other.

  His own T-Comm is taken out, and after a few seconds, he closes the clamshell violently before a >tt<. "Van Dyne has gone too far. The labs are NOT her personal space, others use them as well. This will be taken care of."

  Damian lowers his hood before he turns his head to Donna. "Your attempts to goad me into action are noted." Even then, it worked. Damian started with a flurry of punches, all deflected by the holo-him.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "Actually they started appearing well before we came back," Donna says levelly. "This hasn't been made public yet, but they've been finding portal traces going back several months. We don't yet know how far back, but probably before we even got lost in space, so you can dismiss that as a factor."

    "As for the labs... that's part of what Nadia is working on. Which is why it is a good idea to have security on the labs. There are other lab rooms available, but nobody is going into the lab where Nadia is working without my clearance. That's an easy thing for us to resolve though, Robin."

    When Robin starts fighting the holo-Robin, Donna leans forwards with her elbows on the console to watch, a faint smile on her face. She rather enjoys watching Damian fight. The duplicate matches Robins first few moves well, but it doesn't take long for him to start noticing the limitations of the system. All in all it's a pretty decent attempt to duplicate his own fighting style, but for someone with the combat training Damian has received it doesn't take long for him to notice the limitations. It's too predictable, and too inflexible to react to unpredictable moves that Damian might employ, though he'll notice that its reactions are boosted a touch above his own and it hits slightly harder than he does, no doubt attempts to compensate. All in all it's not bad - someone has obviously done some hard work on the combat technique simulation routines. It's interesting to recognize a number of Robin's own techniques, undoubtedly modelled from recordings of bouts he has put in on previous visits to the Danger room, but he'll know it's no real match for him.

    "So what do you say, Robin?" Donna asks after the first few short engagements of the battle. "Should I add you to the 'cleared' list? Are you the Damian born on this world, or have you traveled here through a portal from the Earth that ZZGU conquered?"

Damian Wayne has posed:
     The two keep going at it, real Robin and holo-variety. As much as Damian would hardly admit it, he knew his own weaknesses.

  Once he was done playing with the hologram, he removed his grapple, and pulled himself upward, swinging from the line before taking a pair of batarangs in his fist, and lunging for the holo-imposter.

  Disconnecting himself from the height, gave him enough of an X factor that it would be hard for the copy to fight against, and with a flick of his wrist in two directions, the batarangs arced behind Damian, giving him the opening he needed.

  Robin landed with his shins on either side of the hologram's head, immediately pivoting into a back-handspring, before fulcruming the hologram's head into the ground.

  The blow was brutal, Damian had done this to others when he was in the League. It was a compensator for his small stature, but due to the lethality, it was no longer a move he employed.

  A distinct heavy crack could be heard, and through the hologram's ears, blood started to trickle out drop by drop. "Do what you want, Troia. I am not sure of anyone at this juncture. But rest assured, if I was not the Damian Wayne from this earth, The Titans would have been dead and buried by the time you returned. Instead of welcoming you back with open arms."

Donna Troy has posed:
    Donna watches the fight with fascination, but she doesn't seem at all surprised at the ease with which Damian dispatches the hologram Robin once he decides to finish it, nor with the brutality he used to dispatch it. Something else that Damian and Troia have in common, they don't shy away from violence. Donna will preach the importance of giving people a chance and how violence should be the last recourse, but she doesn't have the squeamishness many of the Titans have about killing when she thinks it's necessary. When the fight is done, she leans back and applauds.

    "I've already done what I wanted to do, Robin. Diana's lasso can force someone to speak the truth, but generally people are willing to speak on their own. I cannot compel people to tell the truth, but I can sense when people speak a lie. That is one of the gifts the goddesses granted to me, and you are now one of the few people I have told this to - though a few more suspect. Keep that to yourself, please. But... you were speaking the truth."

    She grins a little wider. "Well, as you saw it. I warn you not to underestimate Raven or Koriand'r. Both of them are extremely deadly when they want to be." She tilts her head to the side, then gives a shrug. "As are you. As soon as you got within eight feet of your duplicate, the Danger Room force projectors closed a force field surrounding the arena area at maximum capacity. If anyone's monitoring the tower's power usage, they'll probably be curious about the power spike. Consider that a mark of my respect for you." She flicks a control on the console. "And consider it another reason to trust me that I just switched it off."

    Donna nods her head in the direction of the observation seating beside her. "Something for you," she says. "A late Christmas present. I had it made for you on Themyscira - wanted to make sure I was giving it to the right Robin." On one of the chairs there is a pile of Donna's things - her own shield and sword, a jacket, and a wooden box that looks suspiciously the right shape to contain a short sword...

Damian Wayne has posed:
     "When I was seven, I broke my arm while climbing a mountain. My mother made me continue climbing it until I reached the summit." A lie, but not far from the truth. Obviously, he had to test it for himself as he walked towards her. Robin looked towards the elder Titan, and gave a nod. "I am pleased that you are convinced." It was his own awkward way of saying thank you without actually saying it, distancing verbally when he wasn't distanced physically.

  He looked to the box, before he reached for it, opening the gift. His eyes went wide as he saw what was inside.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Donna grins wide then gives a soft laugh. "Oh, trying to test me?" She asks Damian with a smirk. "We can test you formally with Diana's lasso later, along with everyone else. But I am clearing everyone to my own satisfaction first. You'll find a sharpie next to the box - please put a small dot on the inside of the third joint of your little finger, and keep it refreshed. Anyone you see with one has probably been cleared by me. The code phrase is 'There is no code phrase'. I don't need to tell you the trick behind that. I'm a great believe in looking for tells. Oh... you'll get a ping on your T-Com... I am inviting you to a private channel. These measures are to make it easier to see if someone gets replaced after I have cleared them."

    When the box is opened, it reveals a scabbarded sword, similar in design to Donna's own but a little shorter and lighter. It has the traditional double-sided leaf blade, flaring out so the tip is wider than the middle of the blade to give weight to slashing blows, with a long point for stabbing. The blade it patterned in two metals, one a darker steel with a bloom to it that looks similar to the bloom of wootz or damascene steels, but with a finer and more delicate patterning to it. The other is a lighter, more silvery steel. It takes a few moments to notice the lighter steel makes patterns within the surface of the blade each form lightly picked out with a surround of hair-fine gold inlay - bat shapes on one side and writing on the other, Greek letters, reading /daiomonou makhos/.

    Robin will be aware immediately that it's a double-sided xiphos type of sword, not a single-sided makhaira type - the inscription has deeper meanings. The first word is no doubt a form of 'daimon', a call to Damian's family name as it's the origin of the english word 'demon' like his family name, but also a pun on his own first name. Of course 'demon' is a poor translation as the original meaning was more a spirit of guidance and protection than of evil. Thus it could be translated as 'Damian's Sword', or 'The demon's blade' or even perhaps 'a guiding protector in battle'.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian's eyes look over the sword, with the eye of an aficionado. He was not just a warrior, his mother made sure he was a scholar as well, as Olympias to Alexander when he was a child.

  The blade was a thing of beauty, Damian has had blades made for him before, but this...this was different. The Themyscieran blade was grasped in his hand, a flourish as he grasps the handle and swings lightly, feeling the weight of it, allowing himself and the sword to get to know each other.

  "Thank you." He said, before putting the sword back in the scabbard and box. The permanent marker grasped, before the gauntlet of his arm was released with a whir of mechanics, and the glove slipped off his hand, a small dot where it needs to go. Only those who'd ask would ever need to see it, but it would be there.

  "The irony of having my name and not ever having a sword to match is not lost on me. Damianos, damazo, to tame." He shakes his head softly, never having liked the thought of his name having some great meaning. As if he needed more weight on his shoulders. "I like this one more." He mused, it was a sword without any ties to the League.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "Words are fluid," Donna says. "Everything is about interpretation. It is better to have multiple meanings than to have a single meaning, because that means that you are free to interpret your fate rather than believing yourself bound by it. Long before the blind poet was born and made our traditions of storytelling famous with his tales of the city I was named for, we have believed that only the Fates should attempt to weave a single truth. I believe it is better to be a guiding spirit than a conqueror, but it is you who weave your fate through your actions, and in the end it is you who will decide which you become. In the world we live in, both need a good blade."

    "This sword was made for you by the swordsmith Pallas. She was taught her arts by Hephaestos himself, and has made weapons for heroes for over three thousand years. I pray to the gods that it serves you as well as her work has served others." Donna stands and rests a hand on Damian's shoulders. "And that you become the hero that I believe you will be. I hope one day you can visit her forge and tell her of the deeds you have performed with her work. It's something I am working on, but traditions are hard to shift."

    Donna gives a brief nod and starts gathering her things. "You'll need to practice with it. That type of sword... it's different from what you are used to. But I'm sure you will pick it up fast. I'm glad you are you, Robin. We need to be on our toes with this one."

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian can only give a small chuckle before sliding his gauntlet back on. "Maybe someday." Truly, Damian would have probably felt at home on Themysciera, if he had been a female. But alas, he just has to be the heir to two great factions. One the terrible, the other, a thankless crusade against villainy.

  "I will, I have a feeling it will be the star of my rotation." He commented, before he put the sharpie back down, and picked up the box.

  "I fear what this other earth's Damian would be like, if he indeed lives. You'll do well to clear Hawkeye soon. If you want the new guard's support." He offered, before walking to the door, and exiting out.