5275/A Bart Bearing News

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A Bart Bearing News
Date of Scene: 20 February 2021
Location: Main Room - Titan's Tower
Synopsis: Bart comes to the Tower to update the Titans on the Phoebe affair
Cast of Characters: Donna Troy, Terry O'Neil, Bart Allen, Kian, Wally West

Donna Troy has posed:
    Since the resolution of the Terry and Gar Doppelganger Duo Daily Disruption Drama, life at the Tower has been relatively quiet.  There are of course a couple more known doppelgangers out there that the Titans have yet to deal with, but neither doppelCassie nor Ant-Girl have been seen for a little while, so things have been relatively peaceful.  The frequent absence of Donna, who has been splitting her time even more than usual with embassy business in the absence of her sister rather than clattering about the tower hitting things noisily with swords has no doubt helped.
    However embassy business cannot keep her away from the tower for long, and so Donna is there this evening, treating everyone who happens to be around to a rare non-Pizza meal of Chinese takeout, freshly flown in from a swanky Manhattan Chinese that has become a bit of a favorite of embassy staff.  Not knowing how many people were likely to be around, nor indeed how many of them might be people like Gar, Wally or Caitlin who's appetites are virtually limitless, the table is spread with a banquet of oriental delights sufficient to provide left-overs even if all three were to show.
    The meal is winding down, but people are still nibbling.  Selecting a piece of tender-looking duck (which Kian has previously been warned against) with her chopsticks, Donna leans back comfortably in her seat and looks around the table.  "Pizza is good, but it's nice to have a change," she comments.  "After the last few weeks, anything that feels like a change seemed to be a good idea.  It's been tough on us all, and we've got a few more challenges to meet.  At least Gar doesn't have to hide out any more, and Terry's stopped moping."  She gives Terry a wink and pops the duck into her mouth.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry leans back and smirks, enjoying the last scraps of his food—he had been very hungry.  "Now now now, I wasn't moping.  I was a tragic figure.  That's how it goes, right?"  He gestures to the food.  "And you're lucky Gar's not here right now, or he would be the first one to request that Cait experiment in the creation of the first Lo Mein pizza, and then where would we be, I ask you?  It would be the apocalypse.  Cats and dogs laying together, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera."
    He pauses.  "Note to self: Add 'Ghostbusters' to Kian's next movie night."

Bart Allen has posed:
    Bart Allen has just finished with dealing with SHIELD, and after making sure Phoebe was safe at the base, he came to the Titan's tower before heading home.  He comes into the main room a bit of a blur, into the gym area and back out now with a towel on the floor, and stomping snow off his shoes, and brushing it off his shoulders.  He looks around and says, "Oh, hey did not mean to interrupt dinner or anything but I needed to let you guys know a few things," he offers and once he has the snow off him, he does pick up the towel not leaving it on the floor.

Kian has posed:
    Kían sticks with only fruit and vegetable items and rice and way too much soy sauce, and needs no training with chopsticks, which he calls dotí—apparently they use them too on his world, although unlike Asian cultures, they consider using one to skewer something to be perfectly acceptable.  "This iss good.  Iss close to some Akiár food," he says, tucking in to some Szechuan veggies—without any apparent reaction to the heat and spice.
    He's about to say something to Terry about his taste in movies, when Bart zips in and out and in again.  "News iss not known for waitin' for a good time for us," he comments, popping a mushroom into his mouth.
    Whatever Rae did to him during the doppelTerry mission, she apparently hasn't seen fit to undo yet.  Since then, he's been so much more at ease, so much more comfortable.

Wally West has posed:
    Surprisingly, Wally has not been hoovering up food at this particular moment.  He has been using less of his speed lately, and as a consequence, he has been able to actually stop to enjoy food.  He was briefly concerned that this change in behavior would get him mistaken for a doppelganger, but the food won out—as it often does with Wally.  Delicious stir-fry.
    "You were definitely moping.  Distraught at a stretch, but mostly moping."  It is much easier to joke with Terry now that the whole Crisis on Infinite Terrys is over.  "I would actually try lo mein pizza.  The tastes clash way less than pineapple does."
    "Fire away, Impulse.  What do you have to say?"  Managing to track snow in with the friction that you get at super speed is quite the trick, but Bart would figure it out.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Donna nods her head in agreement with Wally.  "Definitely.  Full on moping.  You wish you were a tragic figure, Terry.  The drama doesn't make you a tragic figure, it just makes you a drama queen."
    The teasing is accompanied by a wink, so for all of that she has, presumably, forgiven Terry.  "We were never this bad, were we Wally?" she asks with a smirk.
    "Impulse!  Hey, you're not interrupting," Donna says when he makes his appearance.  "In fact it's good to see you, we seem to need some help with an excess of food.  Why don't you grab a seat and see what you can do to sort our problem out?"  She reaches a spare cup from the stack of clean crockery and pours out an additional cup of jasmine tea, pushing it in Bart's direction, figuring out he could do with something warming even if he chooses not to partake of the food.
    "You're always welcome here," she reassures the younger speedster.  "That's why we gave you the passkey, after all.  Sit down and let us know what's up."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    The ginger crosses his arms.  "All the indignities I have to put up with for the sake of food.  Someday, someday I shall be accorded the respect I deserve.  Until then, though, I continue traveling from town to town helping people in need, and jumping from life to life hoping that the next one will be the jump that takes me back home."
    He reaches over and selects a spring roll to munch on.  Bart's arrival doesn't surprise—the Tower is Grand Central Station for friends and allies alike.  "Bart!  Come in and grab some nosh and tell us what's the buzz!"

Bart Allen has posed:
    Bart Allen nods, and will take the tea, and pile a plate up that makes the other heavy eaters pride.  "I just had to tell SHIELD that I was a member of the Titans, and they may think Superboy and 23 are part of the Titans as well.  We just took down the people who kidnapped Balm."  He uses her code name out of habit when not at the Outsiders base.  "That Rodgers guy kidnapped her to use her as a healing stone hidden inside a plastic rock to sell spots in a bomb shelter in Montana."  He eats a bit and says, "A SHIELD agent and we got there at the same time.  The SHIELD agent took care of outside."  He does not go into details on it.  "SB, 23 and I went in and found her and got her out.  The SHIELD guy had found out one of the doctors had been giving her mom the wrong meds, so she is on the mend and should get better now, and Balm is sleeping recovering her strength.  I stayed behind to turn the rich jerks over to SHIELD, and told SHIELD I was one of you guys.  The jerks tried to bid on Balm when they realized she was a healer, and we got it on record, and gave SHIELD all their IDs.

Kian has posed:
    "Terry has had some reason to not be him-se'f," Kían says somewhat primly, in defense of the cat, glancing back and forth between Donna and Wally.  "You mus' admit that much."  He shakes his head, and makes a noise that's halfway between a chuckle and a snort.  "c'Rhys'yw, I look forwar' to a mont' where nothin' crazy happens."
    He chews thoughtfully on a chunk of bell pepper.
    "That iss not goin' to happen, iss it?"
    He listens thoughtfully to Bart… nope, got very little of it.  He looks to Donna, expecting clarification.

Wally West has posed:
    Wally pokes fun at Terry's yarn.  "Yes.  Far off lands such as Manhattan and The Bronx."  He shakes his head at Kian's concern.  "And be comforting to our friends?  Where is the fun in that?  It is never a dull moment around here and we take the fun we can get.  Besides, it's the price of our assistance.  We bail you out, but we get to tease you for it."
    Wally is naturally unfazed by Bart's pace of speech.  Having access to the speedforce has other perks besides beating the morning commute.  "Well, that sounds like an adventure.  Still, all's well that ends reasonably well.  Good to hear you got them in the end.  Is there something we can help with, or did you just come to hang out?"  Wally has had enough emergencies lately that he wants confirmation that it is still time to relax and not panic time.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Donna gives a brief shake of her head to Kian.  "Unlikely.  I don't remember such a thing as a month where nothing crazy happens the entire time I've spent in America.  I think Americans are just crazy people."
    She listens quietly to Bart's tale, but sits a bit more upright when she realizes it's about Phoebe.  When he's done she leans back a little and picks up her own tea cup, looking at Bart thoughtfully.
    "You've got her back then?" she asks, "and she's okay?  If you guys think she could do with a bit of time with our medical facilities, that's no problem at all.  I can get Caitlin to give her a proper check-up."
    Donna puts her cup back down and leans forwards, frowning.  "Listen, Impulse… nobody knows better than we do what it's like to be a new team, starting out.  And at an age where a lot of people think you shouldn't be doing what you're doing, or that you need help all the time.  Where sometimes you do need a little help, but as soon as you ask for it you're risking people thinking that you're proving them right, or that the big guys are going to sweep in and take over your investigation because they think you're not up to it.  Well we are the big guys now, and if the Outsiders ever need our help or our resources, just ask."
    She picks up her cup again, gesturing towards Bart with it.  "Thing is, I mean back-up.  We won't tread on your toes or try to take the lead from you as long as I'm here.  I promise you that.  As for the SHIELD thing, that's fine.  If they have any questions I'll give them the okay-but if you take my advice, in future don't shy away from telling them you're with the Outsiders, and being proud of it.  They may not take you that seriously just yet, but that's how they'll learn to."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry gives Wally and Donna a mock glare.  "For the record, I know where you sleep."  This is false.  He doesn't know where Wally sleeps.  "Beware the hairballs."
    He raises his eyebrows.  "Oh man… poor Phoebe.  You guys did an amazing job.  But, like Donna said, never hesitate to ask for backup.  In fact, I have just learned a very important lesson about not asking for backup and ending up regretting it!"
    He glances at Donna.  Significant Glance.  Pregnant With Relevance.  "I mean, let's be honest—people thinking I shouldn't be doing things is a day ending in -y for me, so if you guys ever need the use of my Rabbit Holes, all you need to do is reach out!"

Bart Allen has posed:
    Bart Allen nods his head and says, "Thanks, we were pretty sure we were able to handle it, we tracked her to a little town in Montana, and then I got information on it and a map.  We went in to hit it in the evening and ran into the SHIELD guy.  Some of our people are not on the best terms with SHIELD at least that is how it came off.  I figured using the Titans name would get them to take the guys in without to much questions on who all was there with me.  I did not think you would mind, but figured I should let you know, plus the guys trying to buy Balm may want to try to mess with you or something.  I will remember if we need help, and appreciate the offer for medical help.  Once we got the tubes and stuff out of her, she was already healing on the way home.  I think right now, if someone tried to move her Scout and maybe Mr Murder Mittens might try to rip their arms off."

Kian has posed:
    Kían tries to take in as much of the conversation as he can, but wow.  There's really only one thing he can speak to: "SHIEL' treated me all right when I firs' came to this worl'.  They haf been good people to me, I thin' you can trus' them.  Especially Cap-ten Mar-vel.  She brought me to the school, an' then to meet Gar, which ended wit' me bein' here."
    gHe smirks very slightly.  "I thin' she mean' for that to be a good thin'."
    And then… he just turns and stares at Bart.  "Mister Murder Mitten?" he repeats slowly.

Wally West has posed:
    "Well if you need help with SHIELD, feel free to use me as a reference—as long as you aren't using my tab."  The suggestion that people would deliberately target the Titans amuses Wally.  "I hope anyone aligned with those jerks is stupid enough to mess with us.  It would save us the trouble of looking for them."  It isn't cockiness—okay not JUST cockiness.  People who would target them are usually capable of far worse and this team can handle almost any comers.
    "Anyway, I gotta jet.  I have stuff at home.  Don't be afraid to call."

Donna Troy has posed:
    Donna gives a nod to Wally.  "Take care and don't worry about doing the dishes, we've got another speedster here to deal with that," she says to him with a wink.  Poor Bart—apparently that's the price you have to pay for all that tasty calorific intake.
    She's probably joking though.  After all, Terry still needs to redeem himself, and is therefore on dishes duty for the rest of the week.  Probably.
    However Donna's relentless revenge-teasing of Terry should not spill over into omniscient narrative, therefore this should be ignored.
    "SHIELD has a lot of… politics.  They need to do everything by the book.  Uh you know, Kian.  Paperwork.  They are good people, but they can be a pain to deal with sometimes.  But yeah, don't worry Impulse, you're fine using our name, and you can refer people to me if you need to.  Like I said, I don't want to take anything away from what you guys are doing with the Outsiders, but you're kind of part of the family.  I mean we have Cassie on both teams, and you're around often enough you're at least an honorary Titan by now.  It's all good.
    "As for anyone trying to mess with us?  When it comes to people who think they can buy or sell a teenage girl, honestly I welcome it.  If they are stupid enough to try to mess with us, that means we get to find out who they are, and that suits me just fine."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "If I might add a suggestion—that we find a way to mess with the guys trying to buy Balm.  As Donna said, some asswipes thinking it's okay to buy and sell a teen girl need to have the meaning of Going Full Caitlin explained to them.  Preferably with a hands-on demonstration.  What say you, Donna?"
    Terry glances at the Amazon, one eyebrow raised, "We could lend a hand and visit some righteousness, justice and copious kicks to the nads?"

Bart Allen has posed:
    Bart Allen nods, and says, "We turned them over to SHIELD, but I can give you their names, and address, and all the information that was on their IDs."  He offers to the ones there.  He looks over to Kian.  "Mr Murder Mittens is a kitten that lives with us, someone referred to the panther's paws at the zoo calling them Murder Mittens.  The kitten looks like a little panther, and he thinks he runs the place, so he is Mr Murder Mittens as a name.  Scout is Balm's dog, he is about as old as Balm.

Kian has posed:
    Kían nods to Donna.  "They were very… official," he says diplomatically of his brief time under their care.  He doesn't fault them their caution—he came from another planet, they wanted to protect their own people, and ultimately they were reasonable about it and let him go when it was clear he was no hazard.
    DoppelGar might disagree with that last bit there.
    He nods to Bart as if he understood.  He didn't, but he has a feeling further explanation isn't going to help.
    Something Terry said sunk, in, and he hopes he mis-heard it: "Buying people?" he asks, clearly hoping to be told he heard it wrong.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "I'm all for it, Terry," Donna says with an expression that suggests that violence is on her mind.  "I'd be more than happy to give a few people of that kind a dose of justice to the nads.  However let's not forget that this is an Outsiders investigation."
    She turns to Bart with a nod, and remembering that she has a cup of tea in her hand takes a sip.  "If you want to pass that information over to us, you are of course welcome to do so.  However I imagine that you guys would quite like to get a bit of justice in on your own, so… well.  The information you have might lead on to people higher up in the chain.  That does sound like something worth pursuing."
    Donna slides a purple Kool-Ade across the table to Kian, on the assumption that he'll need a stiff drink.  "You heard it right, Kian.  It happens.  Someone is taken against their will for the purposes of selling them to someone else who wishes to exploit them.  When we find out about it, we step on it very hard."

Bart Allen has posed:
    Bart Allen nods a bit and says, "They were offering six million dollars for her, just at finding out she had healing powers," he informs them.  She did not hear this as she was unconscious when we got her out of there.  "I will give you some of the information if we have trouble tracking them down, maybe invite you along on some dealings with them.  Hopefully most of them will be kept by SHIELD for some time, and they will hit them where it hurts the most.

Kian has posed:
    Kían might just go get what's left of his gift from Harley to add to the Kool-Ade… but instead he stays, and picks the tumbler up, and just stares into it like it was a scrying pool.
    Ultimately he just shakes his head.  "Maybe when we fin' my worl', I do not go back, I bring a team of redactors here.  This planet needs them."
    He sounds like he means it.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "You might be right about that, Kian," Donna says with a gentle smile.  "When it comes to your theory that this planet is crazy, I can't say I disagree—with the exception of my home.  When I first came to America I viewed things rather like you do, even though I was fore-warned what to expect."
    She rolls her shoulders, and leans an elbow on the table, looking back to Bart.  "I guess you guys have access to the Bat database through Red, but if you need access to our systems to help with tracking people down, just let us know.  We're here for extra muscle if you need it too—I know you guys are a bit under-strength at the moment with Cassie being de-powered."  And potentially with Conner about to be de-Earthed for a few weeks, but now isn't the time to voice that thought.
    "One other thing—when she's feeling better, please let Phoebe know I've got a job for her.  Diana's mostly recovered from the more obviously physical injuries and she's fighting off something with a more magical component now.  But anything that might help give her the strength for that fight is worth trying, and Phoebe's power may help."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry nods.  "As Donna said, if we can help in any way, it's not even a question, really.  Unless we've gotten swallowed by a black hole…"  And here, the strangeness of living as a Titan requires him to add the clarifier.  "Again, we're all here for you."
    Dabbing at his lips with the napkin, he gives Kian a side-glance, and says, "Donna, do you need to have a talk with the Akiar about free will and the ethics of rewriting people, or do I?  I'd love to do it now, but…"  He stands up.  "…I'm gonna drop by the Hall of Justice and visit Di for a little.  I got her this…."
    Digging into his satchel, the redhead produces a small stuffed toy.  Every time he visits, he brings another one to put by Diana's bedside, so that when Wonder Woman finally awakens she might end up in a very confused state, thinking she has somehow ended up in Lilliput.
    The new acquisition is… very much a Terry gift.  It's a slice of bread with arms, legs, and a goofy face.  The arms are wearing little bracelets, and there is a tiara across the top of the crust.  "It's Wonder Bread.  See?" he says, grabbing the toy's hand and making it wave at those gathered.  "Anyway, I should head out.  I'll just change into my cat form, grab a few things and Rabbit Hole over there.  I have to go to the neighborhood anyways 'cause…."
    And here, mischief appears across his face.  "Tuesday'll be the one year anniversary of my fateful meeting with Gar in front of the Hall of Justice, and I want to prepare a surprise for him."  He pauses and glances at Donna.
    "That could also be considered the one year anniversary of all of this insanity starting," he says, stretching and heading towards the dorm room to grab whatever it is he needs before heading to the Hall.

Bart Allen has posed:
    Bart Allen looks at the cat man go, and looks over to Donna, and says, "They are a great couple, and their kids are so cute," he comments as he knows this.  He looks at Kian and says, "We luckily have people willing to do good and help people fight things here on Earth, and maybe it is a balance that has to be, but as long as we have good people fighting for us, I can not give up hope.

Kian has posed:
    "Yis, that iss the poin' of the redactors, to free the victim of the compulsion of what-ever iss broken inside them an' allow them their full life again," Kían replies to Terry, and finally gets into his Kool-Ade.
    Donna gets an envious smile.  "Of course, I did not haf any warnin' of what kin' of worl' I was fallin' into.  An' it iss still your worl', even if it iss not your… nnh.  Home… land?"  Right word, but probably for the wrong reasons.  Well, he gets to guess right sometimes.
    He genuinely smiles at Bart.  There mus' always be hope.  I haf seen too many thin's happen here that I woul' haf said were impos-sible before I came here.  Maybe hope work on this worl' because it needs so much help, it has to."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry chuckles as he walks into the elevator, calling back with a jovial tone, "Oh, I'm sure they would be, just look at-"
    And then it's almost as if his brain finally caught up with what his ears heard, and he stops mid-sentence to shoot Bart a look.
    "Wait, what—"
    But the elevator doors close on him.