4659/The Sacrifice

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The Sacrifice
Date of Scene: 09 January 2021
Location: Sub-Basement - Titan's Tower
Synopsis: Donna and Terry (but mostly Donna) conspire to discover if Raven is really Raven, and blow up the basement of Titans Tower if she isn't.
Cast of Characters: Donna Troy, Terry O'Neil, Rachel Roth

Donna Troy has posed:
    The T-Sub sits in its berth, rocking slightly as waves lap against the dock from the sea-passage beyond. It hasn't been there or a while - Victor had taken it, and himself, away shortly after the arrival back on Earth, and had not been heard from until his arrival back at the tower yesterday.

    The problem of doppelgangers had occurred during Victor's, and the T-Sub's, absence. This in itself does not clear Vic of supicion - he has been off the radar during this time, and who knows what might have happened? Checking up on Vic is a priority, given how much potential a mirror-Vic has for causing problems. There is, Troia insists to Raven, a slightly higher priority - checking the T-Sub.

    The logic is simple - Vic turned up at the tower in a large vehicle that could be carrying anything. A significant amount of explosives, for example. Leaving it here at the base of the tower, with the intent of detonating it if he is discovered, could be a back-up plan to give himself the opportunity to escape.

    "So that's the thought, Rae," Troia says, standing on the dock and watching the T-sub bobbing gently on the waves, an explosives detector in her hands. "Before we risk confronting Vic, I'd like to check this thing out, and have you remove anything... untowards... to the bottom of the ocean. Because knowing /our/ Vic, if there's a Vic clone he'd probably have made anything like that pretty resistant to any kind of physical tampering, but there's not much he can do to protect it against magical tampering."

    As it happens, this is the second time that Donna has come down here to scan for explosives, and she has already cleared the site. Which is not to say there are no explosives. There are some in the torpedo warheads, of course. There is the tank of fuel for the T-Sub, which is pretty explosive too. There is also a package of explosives ready to be triggered, but that's currently stashed away in a lab room, with Terry.

    The plan, previously arranged with Terry, is this: Donna's going to find out if the most dangerous of Titans is a clone. She is fairly confident that Raven has not been replaced, but the price of being wrong is too high. If Raven /has/ been replaced, Donna is going to use the word 'submersible' and Terry is going to hear through the T-Com signal Donna is relaying back up to the lab. Then Terry is going to rabbit hole the explosives to the back side of the fuel tanker, and Donna will explain to evilRae that any /hint/ of doing anything magical will result in a very quick and very powerful explosion.

    "You know Rae, when I got back... I was really hoping we'd just have a few weeks where everything was quiet. A few weeks to ourselves. Maybe when we've dealt with the doppelgangers, huh? This is all so... stressful."

    The added stress is what Donna has not mentioned to Terry - that her thinking is that confronting an evil Raven is probably too dangerous, and the best option would be to detonate the explosives instantly, without giving EvilRaven any warning.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"You better fucking come back, Donna Troy."

Not the fuzziest words to give a friend going on a dangerous mission, but it had been That Kind Of A Week. "I'm not losing anyone else."

Vorpal was a bit of a wreck, admittedly. Garfield's fate was less of an uncertainty for him than some of the other team members... even when they brought up his own disappearance, seeing the man he loves being torn apart was a little more definite than an ambiguous disappearance up a cosmic butthole. He has had, at most, four hours of sleep in the last few days, recurring nightmares keeping him up. Fortunately, the Cheshire Cat is capable of catching quick naps to keep himself from falling apart... quick enough that dreams are not terribly likely.

He sits on the floor, close to the bombs, listening carefully and not making a sound. Not because he has to, but just because he doesn't. Two of his friends are out there near the bobbing ship, and only one might come back. Or none.

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven plays along faster than Donna is used to. The woman that Donna is leading down to the Submersible is perhaps the world's strongest empath. Without effort, she cannot tell exactly what Donna is thinking, but lying to Raven is nigh upon impossible. This is why as Donna begins giving her half-truths, she is happy enough to comply.

    She's heard Terry's broadcast. The world is being invaded by doppelgangers, and now Donna's here being not-quite-herself. So, sure. Let's go see the sub. Let's forget that Raven and Donna aren't the sub dismantling type. Neither of them are engineers or mechanics. Logically, Nadia should be here, or Cait. Make no mistake- a mix of her Empathy and the logic of the situation, Raven is already suspicious of what's going on.

    Idly, Raven floats forward, making sure not to say much of anything regarding this plan, until they're there, and Donna is talking.

    "Troia." She states, turning to face the other woman. "I had hoped the same thing. Right now, all I want is for you to explain the nature of your deception. If you're not from this universe, you will want to pray to your former deity that you know the very exact location of a /very/ safe Donna Troy."

    Donna's truth sense, of course, pings true. Raven certainly IS about to do whatever it takes.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Donna doesn't actually plan for Terry to lose anyone else. She's /pretty/ confident this is the real Rae as the world is still standing, but she's going to be very relieved to confirm that. She's also /somewhat/ confident that if the worst comes to the worst, she'll survive the blast. She hasn't ever really tested the extent of her abilities, but she's survived some pretty nasty things before, and ultimately all she really needs is an explosive powerful enough to kill any regular human body down in the sub-basement.

    "I am from this universe," Donna replies pretty calmly. More calmly than she feels, but she's not actually /too/ nervous, because she's not expecting this to actually end badly - it's more about making sure. "Caitlin, Supergirl and I visited the other universe's Themyscira. I wasn't known there. There /is/ no clone Troia. "

    As she speaks, Donna goes through the motions of running the explosives sniffer, walking casually around the submarine, her eyes fixed on the readout. She knows what it's going to read already, but she just needs to keep things going a little longer. "So you have nothing to worry about from me. That is assuming you are also from this universe. If you're /my/ Rae, you'd want me to check that out. You'd want me to know that you are the Raven who I have known since we met all those years ago when the Titans first formed, not some other Rae from an alternative universe. Why don't you tell me that you are, while I check out the sub...?" ...mersible. One second. That's all it would take to finish the sentence.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry TENSES up like a whip the moment those words come up. Butterflies in his stomach, heart in his throat...

And then Donna doesn't finish it. Wait. Did she not finish it because Raven suddenly choked her? Cast a silence spell?

The Cheshire gets to his feet and begins to pace the room. What should he do? What should he do?

He could go there, invisible, and see... but Raven would sense him. There was no way she would miss him.

"Goddamnit Donna!" he groans, thumping the nearest object- a chair- hard with his fist.

"Ten. I will count to ten. Fifteen. Twenty... ten." If he heard nothing forthcoming in the next ten seconds, he'd have to make the call...

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven's expression softens only as much as it ever can. Donna stops lying. There's no deception anymore. Raven watches her move, and there is enough there for her to suspect Donna's plan involves violence. She can sense the intent. It's touching, really, so they'll have to pardon her for twisting the knife, just a little bit.

    "So your plan was, what? Bring me down here, ask me if I'm the real Raven, and if I don't give you an answer you like, you kill me?" she asks, keeping some level of physical distance from Donna, more out of a need to play this moment up rather than just come out with the words Donna wants to hear. So far, all she knows is that Donna will attack her. She's not expecting a bomb.

    "They aren't clones. They're the real things from an alternate universe. It's different." A pause, as Donna goes through the final -ask-. Raven's brow raises. "So I'm /yours/ now. Like a possession. Open up the closet, pull me out of the back, talk about how they're making them so realistic now, that kind of thing." If only Terry were listening. Another pause. Her gaze levels on Donna.

    "Of course I'm the real Raven. If my father had succeeded in making another key in another universe, we would all be in pits of endless suffering. You would not have fought an alien, and you would not have survived to tell the tale." That's a fair point. Trigon exists beyond the concept of a multiverse. He is singular. There can only be -one- Raven, or none. That checks, as far as Truth is concerned. If Raven is wrong, she doesn't know it.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Donna seems intent on continuing the explosives check as Raven speaks. The '...mersible' never comes, but there's the occasional muttered 'Aft cargo clear' and similar. He'll hear Raven's words too, so he knows there's no spell of silence, but she's making sure he knows she's still around and Raven isn't talking to the air to keep anyone listening in guessing.

    When Raven finally says the words that are testable, that would be making Donna's truth sense ring if they weren't true, if this wasn't the real Raven, Donna's shoulders slump suddenly and she exhales long and hard. The detector dangles forgotten in one hand for a few moments before she drops it on the floor and raises her hands to cover her face. She takes a couple of deep breaths before loudly stating "All clear, Terry."

    She lowers her hands again, looking directly at Raven at last, her expression slightly anguished. "No Rae, not a possession. But you are the Raven that I love. And I had to make sure. You know I did. Yes, I made the same assumption, that another Raven - probably doesn't exist. I don't see how if there was a version of you in that world, a world that is so full of hate and rage, that there would have been a ZZGU for me, Superman and Maxima to haul into space. But... but I had to make sure, because the price of being wrong would..."

    Donna drops her gaze to the floor. "I had to make sure," she repeats, miserably. "I had to be prepared to... to do to a possible clone what you'd want me to do... if you... if... you know."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry stops, and then slowly slides down to the floor, exhaling. "Holy fuck..." he taps his comm after a few seconds, "... okay. She's cleared. Do you want me to come over or... should I let you two have a moment?" he asks Donna, and slowly begins to stand up. He looks at the explosives. "Someone needs to deactivate this." Not him, though. He's not touching. explosives- this is something that the entire team would agree with.

He slowly gets back to his feet and rubs his forehead. Well, at least they had Raven. That was good.

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven slips her hands into her pockets, and returns to the ground. When she had started floating is anyone's guess. Her brow remains raised, as she listens to Donna clarifying her comment. She'd hoped it would get a bit more of a rise from her lover, but you can't win them all. "Terry was listening?" she asks, taking a step or two forward.

    "I understand. You needed to be sure that they didn't have a way of swiftly taking all of you out of commission for replacement. You're just not thinking clearly." Now that she's so close, her hands leave her pockets again, somewhat oddly, and she places them on Donna's shoulders. "If you were, you'd be thinking about the bigger picture. There's an alternate Terry and Gar that we can hit with no repercussions. Nobody can stop us anymore. The world is our oyster."

Donna Troy has posed:
    Donna stays silent for a few moments with Raven's hands on her shoulders, then gives a small snort of laughter and in a flash she has her arms wrapped around Raven, hugging as fiercely as she dares. "Terry was listening," she confirms. "He was going to rabbit hole the explosives down here if you gave the wrong answer. I already scanned the T-Sub, it's clear. But it seemed like a good cover. Half truths, you know.

    She pulls away again, quickly wiping her eyes, then mutes the T-Com. "Don't tell Terry I was going to detonate them immediately. I don't think in his current emotional state he would be in a place to really understand why that would be a good idea."

    Her finger comes off mute. "It's okay Terry, you can come down now. We had our moment. There will no doubt be another moment later, but you won't want to see that."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal laughs, "... asshole," he says. But he says it with a lot of fondness, and heads out.

It takes him a little longer to get there. He doesn't Rabbit Hole, choosing instead to become human and head down by conventional means, giving the two a little longer without his presence.

When he finally arrives, he's dressed in a grey sweater and washed out jeans. The lot of him looks rather washed out and tired. Red, puffy eyes, hair messier than usual, if that is possible. "Well," he says in a rather subdued manner, "Is this the part where you tell me this has been a setup and you're actually testing to see if I'm the Doppel, and those explosives were a dud?" He tries a slight smile. "Because I could tell they were fakes. Total fakes."

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven keeps her hands where they are until Donna hugs her, crushing the two of them together in one of her patented a-little-too-tight hugs. "It would have been hard to protect myself from an explosion I didn't see coming. You would have been cleaning me off of the walls." She notes, rubbing that in momentarily. How could she not?

    When they're muted, Raven replies- "He'll have to get over it some day. I did." Sure, it was... Intense. But she -did- get over it. "I don't know that it's okay. He should probably stay upstairs."

    They're still mostly embracing when Terry arrives, and Raven looks to him for a moment, and then back to Donna. She wants to say it. He's in a good mood. It's /eating/ at her. Donna just has to give her permission.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "We have Vic's roombas for that, Rae," Donna says, grinning slightly. Honestly at this point, joining in the morbid jokes is pretty much a defense mechanism. "Though really the clean up wasn't what was bothering me. And yeah..." she lowers her voice slightly. "'...Didn't see coming' was kind of the plan."

    Hopefully Terry isn't going to think that part through too carefully, or if he does he'll assume that it was a flaw in Donna's plan. Had Donna really intended on using the explosives as a threat to an evil alt-Raven, she'd have given evil alt-Raven time to shield herself from the blast. It's not that it sits right with Donna, but she and Raven - the real Raven - have discussed what to do in the case of an Evil Raven in the past. She's not sure if she could go through with that with the real Raven, the one she has known these past nearly ten years, but she knows it's what Raven would want.

    When Terry arrives, Donna gives Raven a small smirk and an even smaller shake of her head. "That makes no sense Terry. If I was setting you up, the explosives wouldn't be a dud. You were locked away in a blast-proof lab room with them and I had the detonator. Think about it."

    Donna exhales long and hard. "Rae... Terry won't have a doppelganger, at least one who's Vorpal. His powers come from an extra-dimensional entity, and there's only one of them. Supergirl's double has already been dealt with. I have cleared Robin and Nadia already. We have a secure channel for everyone who has been cleared, I'll put you on it. Also..." she holds up her right hand, showing Rae her little finger. "Ink dot inside third joint of the smallest finger, for quick identification in case someone who was cleared later gets replaced."

    "We've got a few more people to clear. Cait and Vic and Kori should be fairly straightforwards. We just need to make sure we don't tip our hand without overwhelming force present. Nightwing I'll handle. Wally and Siobhan are the ones that worry me."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Robin wants to hunt down and kill Gar's doppelganger," Terry says, stuffing his hands in his pockets, his smile fades. "Wants to kill him out right. I understand the threat that he poses but... I spoke to Diana today."

Donna could see where this was going. Probably. "I'm going to try to capture him and turn him over to SHIELD instead," he says quietly.

"I expect both of you are going to tell me what an utter fool I am. So..." he takes his hands out of his pockets and spreads them, "Let's hear it."

Rachel Roth has posed:
    For a moment, Raven is lost to thought. Her eyes seem to go to nowhere, and she ponders the statement being made. The task before them, and what it means to investigate all of them at once. Donna's plan lay forgotten in the face of continued work.

    "Hm. We had the element of surprise. It would have been important that they have little idea that we know of them at all. Easier to trap them that way, when we know we're being trapped."

    Her hands slither into her pockets, as they are wont to do at all times. "We would probably know if there was another Wally. I don't think he'd have the patience. Less if he was mentally unstable. We can probably let it come to us, if it exists. Siobhan is a different story, but compromising her mentally likely means we have nothing to fear of a -subtle- banshee."

    Her eyes flit to Terry. "SHIELD will know how to get the information that we want out of him. If Beast Boy is still alive, it won't be an easy matter to get him to spill. We could do it, but we would be hard pressed to contain him until we're done... Unless he's missing all of his limbs."

    Her attention goes to Donna again. This might be the breaking point, if Donna shoots her down twice.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "There's always my sister's lasso," Donna counters. "I can dedect a lie told to me, but that's only good as an interrogation tool in certain limited circumstances. Diana's lasso would /make/ him talk."

    Her eyes go to meet Raven's. "However many limbs he has left," she adds. How can she refuse Raven again? Especially after threatening to blow her up. It would be /wrong/ to spoil her fun.

    Donna changes subject quickly by wrapping an arm around Terry's shoulders and giving him a squeeze. "No Terry, I'm not going to call you a fool, I'm going to tell you I am proud of you. Chosing to grant mercy to someone who has hurt you and those you love is a hard choice to make, but it is also the right choice. Sometimes ending a life is a necessity, but if we can find a way to spare life, that is always better. The gifts of Gaia should never be wasted, and there is nobody who is irredemable if correct opportunity presents itself."

    She lets Terry go and shakes her head a little. "I will have a word with Robin. He's... he's very emotional. He has lost someone he cares about and he is probably finding that hard to deal with. He has a lot of feelings he struggles to make sense of, and has been raised to see only a limited way of dealing with those feelings." It might come as something of a surprise to Terry that she would say that, given the emotional range Robin generally displays goes all the way from 'fairly angry' to 'very angry', but she and Raven at least know there's more to Robin than that. Perhaps the only other Titan who really does is Gar.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"He's lost someone he cared about? How do you think I feel?" he asks in his currently subdued state. There is a moment where the mask almost cracks and he looks like emotion will pour through, like he might break down-and then he takes a deep breath and that thing that claws at his chest is subdued once again. "... but you're right," he concedes. "You're right."

"I realized it today talking to Diana. This Gar's as much of a victim as my Gar. Free will was taken from him, his own life was taken from him. He grew up in a nightmare and had to survive... if that hadn't happened... he'd be like my Gar." He shakes his head, "He has to answer for what he did. But to take his life just like that..." he looks at Donna, eyes glistening slightly, "Don't kill if you can wound... you know how it goes."

He glances at Raven and nods. "If... he's alive. We'll find out. Harley is contacting Aquaman to conduct a search with the marine life in the area where Gar was... disposed of." Harley is what? "We'll find him. Alive or..."

Breath. "Sorry. I'm tired. haven't been sleeping well at all. I... can't imagine why." A very slight smirk.

Rachel Roth has posed:
    It's not every day you get to unleash every bit of frustration on someone. Raven appreciates being told that she can, morbidly, do whatever it takes to learn what they want to know. She doesn't relish it, but there's an understanding that she's -willing- to do the deed.

    "A degree of mercy. Not all the mercy, but some. A better virtue than none at all, at least. Diana, and Troia, are right."

    Raven turns her head from Terry to Donna. "Let me know if you need me to restrain him when you talk to him. He may try to incapacitate you for getting in the way." That's probably fair. At the very least, he's unlikely to try and kill either of them, but Donna might be thankful for the backup.

    "I think you might feel terrible. Worse than terrible. Terrible in a way that cannot be summed up in words. Consider, though, that someone like Robin isn't used to caring about /anyone./ It's important to understand that however intense in comparison to anything else you've ever felt this is, you have at least -some- preparation. Robin has never had that. He's entirely unprepared to deal with what he's feeling."

    Raven nods. "I will go to where he was lost. If he's alive, I can find him. That'll take me away from here, though. For a day or two, perhaps more. In the meantime, get some sleep. Medicate, if you have to. If Beast Boy is alive, and you die because you couldn't get any rest, we're back at square one."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"You're right, Raven," Terry says, "I hadn't really looked at it that way. I've been wrapped up in my own grief for too long. And... now I know how you guys felt. Back then." He shakes his head quickly, "I had never lost anyone so close to me before. I couldn't understand. If it ever felt like I didn't treat your grief with the respect it deserved... I didn't know. I know better now."

He smiles a little, sadly, "And from knowing you, I know that some day it'll get better. I'll never stop loving him... but it'll get better." The unspoken sad part is the continuing without the missing person. "But thank you for your concern. If you can spare the time to look, it'll mean a lot but..." he looks at Donna, then back at Raven, "You are the most powerful among us, and you are the greatest safety our team and home has from this threat. If you can't afford to look because it would compromise that... Gar would understand." He adds, "So would I."

He smiles a little and turns around, "You're right, I'll go to bed. I'm staying at the Embassy for now... so maybe I'll get some good rest in those beds." He stops by the exit and turns around. "Diana gave me Donna's room. I woke up this afternoon surrounded by frippery and thought I had turned into a princess." He turns around and exits.

"... night."

Donna Troy has posed:
    Donna bites her lip thoughtfully. "Given the time that has passed... I hope that Gar is somewhere sleeping off the worst of headaches and burning up a whole lot of energy as a salamander, regrowing a limb. Before you go anywhere Rae... Siobhan is a priority, and I'm going to need your help to deal with her, she's magical. We should... plan something. Together."

    Before Rae goes anywhere... Donna is still feeling a little emotionally stretched after setting a trap intended to potentially kill a duplicate of her girlfriend, and may have some more personal reasons for Raven to not rush off and be away for a few days just yet.

    Donna reaches for Raven's hand and gives it a squeeze. "Let's head back up to my room and figure out a plan of approach." She glances towards the elevator Terry had just taken. "After I kill Terry. I know, I know, leave a bit for you."