5444/Catching Arrows

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Catching Arrows
Date of Scene: 05 March 2021
Location: Main Room - Titan's Tower
Synopsis: Donna and Kate chat about teamwork, manticore hunting, gods and what it's like to be a regular human surrounded by tanks.
Cast of Characters: Donna Troy, Kate Bishop

Donna Troy has posed:
    The tower has been relatively peaceful the last few days. Probably the result of the last of the Doppelgangers being taken out of circulation - with the capture of BadCassie, there are no more DoppelTitans -- at least known about.

    With the relative calm, a lot of Titans have been catching up on things outside the tower. Things that they have perhaps not been able to focus on properly in the last few weeks. For Troia it's the other way around - after weeks of splitting her time between the tower and the embassy, she's got catching up to do on Titans business. Sitting comfortably in the tower main room with a laptop and a beer, she has been catching up on the administrative side of keeping the team going.

    This is the less glamorous side of the superhero team business. The stuff that never makes it into the movies or comics. Checking stock levels, filling in insurance reports, filing event reports with the authorities, and dealing with the suits in the Titans Foundation who keep the money rolling in. It's Donna's least favorite part of the Titans, but someone has to do it. Oh for the days when she left all this tedious stuff to Dick.

    While she was away in space, it had probably come as a bit of a shock to Kate to find this side of the heroing business even existed. Sometimes Nightwing would come in and do it, but Kate and Damian found themselves having to fill in a fair amount too.

    Kate. As Donna's wandering mind considers her fellow sufferers-in-administration, Kate inevitably comes to mind, and a sense of guilt slowly settles over her. She's been meaning to have a one-to-one with Kate ever since she got back, but somehow the distractions never stop. She checks her T-Com to see if Kate is in the tower, and discovering that she is, Donna sends her a message: 'Hey Hawkeye, you busy? I'm in the main room if you're not, would like to catch up. And give you some news, unless Cassie already told you.'

Kate Bishop has posed:
Relative Calm is good.

Kate has mostly moved back into the Tower with the wrap on all the known DoppleTitans. She was making many appearances, but only when there are confirmed Titans. She was not sleeping in the Tower where frankly a DoppleTitan could have killed a sleeping human with a fingerflick.

She is abit worried that people may blame her, feeling a bit of guilt about it, but still it seemed tactically very sound to Kate.

She was splitting her time between Kara's parents place and New York when not at the Tower to train with the team.

She was more than happy to hand off the whole Keeping The Titans Running back to Donna when she got back too. God knows she has enough actual homework. One shouldn't be doing Trig, Working out, Hero Time, and also reviewing legal paperwor kand keeping a foundation running if it can be avoided.

Liable to lead to burnout.

She is swimming in the pool, laps, working out not leisure when her t-comm goes off. She swims over and checks it then shoots off 'Sure be down in a few. What news?'

It is a few minutes for her to get downstairs, her hair still wet and a towel over her shoulders. Wearing a pair of loose comfortable leggings and a tanktop. Not bothering with shoes right now at home. "Hey Troia, sup?" she queries as she walks in.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "Very little," Troia replies with a faint smirk. "For some reason nothing seems to be happening. I don't trust it. The universe is plotting." She gestures with her bottle towards the fridge. "If you want to grab yourself a drink there's the regular supply of sodas -- and a couple of beers if you prefer. Help yourself."

    She shuts down the laptop and pushes it aside to give Kate her full attention. "Paperwork. Not that much of it is actually on paper. But still. I can finally hand running the embassy back to Diana, so of course there's Titans paperwork to do instead. Maybe I should get lost in space again -- you and Damain seems to do a good job of keeping on top of it. And on top of other things. Though Damian seems to be in a sulk about the whole thing now. His explanations haven't made a lot of sense."

    "So, I guess Cassie hasn't said anything to you yet then. In that case, think you can take a week of school? We've got a... what did they call them in Gar's Show? An away mission. No wearing red. You up for it?"

Kate Bishop has posed:
There is an eyebrow arch from the elevator area over at Donna at the bit about beers then an amused smile.

She meanders to the kitchen and fishes around, grabbing a couple of cherry whiteclaws not beers out of the fridge. "I am aware of our fridge." she teases Donna lightly. The white claws in hand though she heads over to join Donna pulling out a chair and settling in across from her. She pops one of the drinks open and sips it now studying Donna. "I mean... quiet does probably mean some sort of calm before another storm. That said. Hell I'll take any sort of calm before a storm."

"No getting lost in space, I have math homework and would rather not add Titan's paperwork back onto it, it shal be your curse Troia.. or Robins."

The talk of Cassie's news though has her interested. "Sure I can take time off, my dad doesn't really pay attention to much of anything I do to be honest so I can just say it is a trip.. spring break related I guess.. with friends and take a week off without much trouble. What is the away mission?"

Donna Troy has posed:
    "I am aware you are aware of the fridge, Kate. You might not of been aware there was beer on offer." Troia accompanies the riposte with a thoroughly adult sticking out of her tongue in Kate's direction, a sure sign she's in a more relaxed mood than she has been in a while.

    But beer has been refused in favor of alternative fruity conconctions of underage drinking. Troia is mildly scandalized, but only because she thinks that if Kate wants to drink something fruity and alcoholic, she should be drinking Themysciran wine.

    "It's a secret mission of utmost seriousness and danger, Kate. Don't say yes until you know what you're letting yourself in for. We're going to strange enchanted land where there will be fighting and monsters. Also beaches, partying and relaxation. Diana and Cassie have convinced me that it's time we took a vacation on Themyscira. You're invited."

    Donna beams a broad smile at Kate. "I know it won't be your first time, and I'm so jealous I didn't get to see you see my home for the first time. But I know you barely got to stop and smell the air when you were there before. This time you'll have the chance to see the place properly, at least unless some emergency intervenes and we're all called back five minutes after arriving."

Kate Bishop has posed:
I mean. If the fridge was stalked with Themysciran wine Kate would be Drinking The Hell Out of It.

She grins though at the adult move on Troia's part, laughing a touch.

Her arm goes over the back of the chair she is in as she lounges in it, not quite sitting on it proper as she sips the drink and listens to the breakdown of the mission. She does slide in a "I'm not backing out of missions when I am asked to go." before it gets into the details.

There is a laugh though at the end of the sequence. "Well.. I mean yes. Also the whirlwind the first time was intense we were basically in and then out again with a Prophecy in hand while you were gone Troia... yes there was some drinking and archery but not nearly enough." a grin from the archer. "I have been really looking forward to a chance to go back and actually see it properly like you are saying."

Bigger sip then a scowl. "I will skewer any emergency that makes us return early, let alone immediately. It will be an ugly blood bath.... so it best not happen." she wiggles the drink over at Donna.

"This sounds fantastic though.... I am totally going to quest for a magic sword." teasing.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Troia grins along with Kate's enthusiasm for the 'mission', right up until the talk of magic swords, which makes her smile drop a little. She quickly recovers her smile though. "Yeah, I think if someone invades the Earth the day after we arrive they're going to have a few really annoyed Titans to deal with," she agrees. "Let's hope the next batch of alien invaders have good enough intel to know to wait a few more days."

    She smirks a little, shakes her head and takes a swig of her beer as she settles back in her seat. "It's been a hard few wee... months. Cassie needs a break after her ordeal. Diana's back on her feet but a bit of time on Themysciran soil would do her good. Cassie's mom has some healing to do. All in all it makes a lot of sense to make the trip and take a few of you along with us. Balm from the Outsiders is coming, and... a few others. There will be plenty of time for drinking and archery. And I might take people on a manticore hunt in the forest if anyone's interested. "

    Troia's eyebrow arches slightly at Kate, and she inclines her head. "I suspect you could use the break too. You've been working hard, and I know the doppelganger situation was... I guess extra stressful for you. I hope you haven't felt too cut-off from the team this last while. But that's just a guess, because I haven't really had a chance to catch up with you properly, Kate. How's life and the team treating you? Anything you need to get off your chest?"

Kate Bishop has posed:
Kate tilts her head when the smile drops a little "I was kidding Donna." she notes unsure there then well talk about alien invaders scheduling around vacation makes the teenager grin again. "They had better book ahead this time for sure."

"Months for sure... and yeah I can't imagine how hard this has been on Cass and Diana. This sounds like a really good idea and I am happy you guys want me to come along. I am also intensely interested in hunting a Manticore. For the record. Count me in."

The last part, well.

Kate sips that whiteclaw and looks thoughtful. "Not off my chest but... honestly it did suck that the tower wasn't safe. I mean yeah I know that people can attack the tower at anytime. Maybe even bypass the security. As a rule. But with the team scattered or injured and the enemy being able to just... bypass the systems or look like us. It was a bit extra daunting for me Troia." she glances out the window not at Troia. "So yeah I didn't feel safe sleeping here I guess defenseless. I hope people don't think I abandonned you all.. I know I wasn't there when you took down the dopples." not that she wasn't willing to be there. Timing maybe.

Donna Troy has posed:
"Nobody thinks that," Troia replies quickly. "Listen Kate, you've made yourself a vital part of this team, but that doesn't mean you have to be here for everything. None of us is. The whole point of having a large team is that there will always be enough people around even when some of us aren't."

    She watches Kate thoughtfull for a few moments after finishing speaking, before turning away, sliding down into the sofa and staring up at the ceiling. "It wasn't exactly a normal situation. The security here is good, we just never thought about how to make it secure against... ourselves. Short of some kind of biometric tagging, that's always going to be an issue. Thankfully evil clones aren't a regular occurance."

    She drums her fingers idly on the closed laptop, and gives a small nod of her head. "Listen. Nightwing's planning on spending a bit more time around the tower the next little while. Try to spend some time with him, okay? I can't really... I know what you're going through Kate, but I can't /feel/ it. He can. When we first started -- well, with people like me, Cait, Vic, Dove and Hawk around, there were times when he questioned himself. Not often, but it happened. There's no amount of training that is going to give you the strength to lift a city bus, or make you bullet proof. But training, and intelligence, will let you do what we do without needing to do either of those things."

    "Always have faith in yourself, Kate. I do."

Kate Bishop has posed:
Kate pivots a bit, half leaning against the table and also keeping an arm over the back of the chair. She cracks the second white claw at his point.

"I appreciate that. I really do." the not thinking that. The having faith in her.

"I get we won't always be here. The.. evil clone thing was daunting in a new way and will just take some time to really process I think. Gar almost died. I mean that Cassie clone almost killed Diana. It was.... a lot. Terry the idiot lost his powers because he didn't get support." she just shakes her head.

"The one bright side is I think we will probably come out of it stronger... I'm happy to be back here. Even if Supergirl's family are wonderful and were happy to have the occasional overnight guest. This place is my home now and ... I didn't much like not feeling safe in my home."


"I'll talk it through with Nightwing. Robin would probably just tell me to get good." eye roll. "Not that he was around much either during the situation, which well maybe my tactics weren't awful." a smirk. "I'm not second guessing being a hero or the team though, don't worry Troia."

Donna Troy has posed:
Troia smiles and nods her head. "Terry... 'Terry the idiot' lost his powers because he forgot he had support," She says. "He tried doing things himself, and that's not what a team is about. When he finally slowed down and started talking to the rest of the team about how to fix things rather than rushing off doing his own thing, the problem got resolved really quickly. Robin is not happy with him about all that. On the other hand, Robin thinks that Terry's biggest sin was getting in his way when he tried to... resolve the situation with Gar's doppelganger on his own."

    She sighs a little, then puts her beer down and folds a leg underneath herself, tilting round on the sofa to face Kate better. "It was a strange situation, and nobody really knew how to process it all. It was very personal. It's not surprising that people thought that it was somehow their responsibility. It's like... a movie thing, isn't it? Fighting your evil opposite number. 'This is a battle I must fight alone' and all that. It's total... it's missing the entire point of a team. But it's inevitable roadblocks on the way. When you're a family, you don't see it the same way. One person's problem is everyone's problem. We've grown fast, and we're a good team, but we're not quite a family any more. Getting there though, I think."

    She blinks a couple of times then shrugs at Kate. "Anyway. Tell me about your visit to Themyscira. I... when I heard you'd been, I have to admit I had mixed feelings. On one hand I loved the fact that you'd had the chance to see my home. On the other I was kind of disappointed... I wanted to see your face when it was all new to you. Never mind though, I'm sure I can find lots of new things for you to see while you're there."

Kate Bishop has posed:
"I will say on Terry's behalf, he has been doing training sessions with me without using his powers. I have been really putting him through his paces and maybe having ... a tiny bit of sadistic fun with it too." she grins.

Finally she rolls up to her feet and heads over to join the couch sitting, it is more comfy, though she wedges herself up against the arm of the couch. "He even appologized and admitted he was wrong and I was right that day I was trying to help him in the danger room when he was powerless. Like I said. I think this whole incident is more liable to make us stronger than it is to fracture us."

"Eh I view you all as my family.. just some of the newer members are distant wierdo cousins." another chuckle. "Maybe cousin It in a couple cases even..."

"I am positive Troia you can find things to make me gape in amazement in a week there. I promise you all we really did was touch down on a landing pad, talk to the Queen.. rush to see an Oracle.... and then go back to a feast. I think they humored me with a little archery before we slept and flew back in the morning. We were amidst a crisis and all." she smiles.

"I won't lie and say it wasn't a blast though .. I am psyched to be going back again."

Donna Troy has posed:
    "Terry was... if he hadn't apologized to you, I'd... I got pretty upset with him, honestly," Donna says, shaking her head. "The way he spoke to you... I had to not talk to him for a couple of days. But... yeah. I think he has learned his lesson."

    She recovers her beer, and raises it to Kate. "Yeah, you're right. It will make us stronger. It's just... growing pains," she says with a grin, before taking a swig.

    "There's a lot to see. Themyscira isn't just another Greek Island. Our culture is very different. Three thousand years in isolation means things have developed in unique ways. There are genres of music to listen to that you've never heard before. Architecture like no-where else. Stunning landscapes. Beautiful beaches, though we better remember to warn you all to stick to the shallows. Themyscira has sharks like nowhere else, too."

    "Manticore hunt definitely, if the Queen allows it. But you might find you just want to spend your time in the city enjoying the baths, visiting the temples, training in archery with people who have been shooting arrows for three thousand years, and spending the evening drinking wine and eating grilled meats in lamp-lit taverns overlooking the sea. A week isn't nearly enough, Kate. But there will be other opportunities. If I have my way -- and Diana feels the same -- Themyscira is going to become more open to the world, and we want the right people to be regular visitors. You're the right people, Kate."

    "I still can't quite get my head around the fact that you and Cassie went for a consultation with the oracle. That's some serious stuff. I've only seen it once myself, and not as a consultant. Menalippe's nice, I always enjoyed lessons with her. But the priestesses of the Oracle themselves, they kind of... they're weird, you know?"

Kate Bishop has posed:
Kate considers that quietly. The fact that Troia is as mad about the way Terry talked to her as she is. She honestly didn't know it upset anyone that much.

"I think Terry gets it and felt bad, I mean .. it frustrated me but I get way worse crap from my dad than that, it's fine Troia."

Yeah she doesn't seem to understand how fucked up what she just said is either.

"All of those activities sound like a needed break. Honestly may just want to sample several things the first couple of days and then just soak in a couple of them. Guess we will see." she grins. "The food, baths, and archery lessons and contests sound like the best part." pause "Never to a hunt for a mythic monster... but then I'm a wierdo."

She laughs. "The oracles were... weird. For sure. The uh... I am pretty sure goddess that hijacked the whole thing and actually seemed to manifest and spoke the prophecy was way more intense than the Oracles though... I have never been struck so hard by anything to be truthful.."

Donna Troy has posed:
    Troia tilts her head curiously towards Kate. After a moment she narrows her eyes. "Hijacked?" she repeats. "That doesn't... It doesn't work that way. The oracles are a... it's hard to describe. A kind of gateway to the consciousness of a god or goddess. The priestesses of the oracle don't truly read the oracle themselves. They enter a kind of trance that allows the patron of the oracle to inhabit them and speak through them. It can't be hijacked."

    "But you're saying... manifested? As in... she was actually there? You saw Artemis appear before you?" Troia blinks at Kate a few times and shakes her head in apparent confusion. "Mother didn't... if you saw one of the patrons, Kate, you've been blessed. They are... they are powerful beings. Yes, it would have been intense. I have only met one of the patrons face-to-face once myself. It was... it was a powerful experience. Impossible to describe."

    She blinks a couple more times, then shakes her head, dismissing from her mind for now something she doesn't have any explanation for and makes little sense to her.

    "Yes, a manticore hunt will be fun." Troia's expression shifts to a grin at the thought of it. "Manticores are savage and dangerous. but you have already faced great dangers in a less controlled manner. There are precautions you will have to take. You'll have to learn how to use a manticore shield, for a start. It's not exactly complicated, but it is vital if you don't want to spend the rest of the vacation recovering from the toxins."

Kate Bishop has posed:
"Uh yeah it wasn't like voices came through the Oracles... the pool of water rose up into a woman's form .. it was like it was lit from within with this light. It was a bit hard to look at and listen to... if I am honest about that."

She thinks back to that. "I mean it was intense.. and you are right it defies description. I know I am not doing it justice saying the water from the Oracles pool rose up glowing. It was.. not .. eeh yeah." she smiles softly though. "The voice was like listening to warm summer moonlight.. if it had a voice..... I can pretty much picture it all if I close my eyes and think about it because it ... you can't forget something like that..."

"I figured Cassie or someone would have told you about the manifestation. The Queen asked Menalippe to ask the question... three times. There was problems with the first two attempts and it worried the Oracles and Menalippe. When pressed a third time the Patron .. I guess.. manifested and asked if the Queen really wanted something already spoken to be spoken again. The queen instead asked for an echo instead of it being spoken again.... and it was. It was. " she shaks her head. "not sure why they didn't tell you that part..."

"Learning to use a Manticore Shield sounds fun actually... maybe you could config one into the danger room so I can start practicing with the shield?"

Donna Troy has posed:
    Troia resumes blinking. "The pool of water? That's... that's even weirder. It's strange mother didn't mention that. But... well, things are different with mother. If she was there, it's hard to guess... She kind of has a hotline to the patrons. In some ways she's more of a high priestess than Menalippe is. She knows them personally, and she's been talking to them for thousands of years. Probably some prior disagreement she had with Artemis and the Oracle chose to be difficult." She flashes a grin in Kate's direction. "The oracle is always stubborn. I mean... I read the prophecy and it makes a lot of sense to me now, in retrospect, but I'd have been as baffled as you were. You've seen what consulting oracles is like now."

    Troia's eyes stare into the middle distance, and her expression softens into a look of reminiscence. "When I met H... when I met one of the patrons, she appeared to me as... just as a woman, really. Beautiful, ageless - you couldn't have said how old she looked at all, as if she somehow looked young and old at the same time. She seemed... it wouldn't be right to say she was glowing, but it seemed like she was lit by more light than was actually there to light her, if you know what I mean. It was dim, early morning, and I was indoors, in the shade. The light of the sun was thin still, and red with the dawn, but she looked as if she was standing in the golden sun of midday. But if you ignore that, she just seemed like a person. And when she spoke... she talked to me in a voice that might have been one of my sisters'... kind, gentle, but ordinary. Execpt that it /felt/ that it wasn't. Like there was music in her voice that you knew was there, but you heard it only in your imagination, not with your ears. It's impossible to describe, but..."

    She closes her eyes in a moment, remembering, then opens them to look at Kate with a wide grin. "I'm quite jealous now, Kate! Not only did I miss seeing your reaction to arriving at Themyscira for the first time, but I missed a chance to see one of the patrons. Totally jealous!" Actually she looks pleased.

Kate Bishop has posed:
Kate listens intently there and tilts her head a couple of times as Donna works through it and then talks about meeting one of the other Patrons. She has a question but it doesn't seem necessarily right. She will have to ask later about why the Amazons call the Gods the Patrons like that.

Must be a good reason.

"Well, I wish it had proved more helpful for rescuing you guys faster but I really got the sense that it was up to the four of you to do stuff in particular ways and orders and we couldn't direclty help. What it did though was restore hope to the team and that was really the most important part. I was really happy for Cassie that we got some sort of news."

"Also yeah that experience isn't ever leaving me." she rolls off the couch to her feet and smiles to Donna. Carrying her empties to recycle them. "I need to figure out how to play hookie now though because I am not missing it."

Donna Troy has posed:
    It's a good question, but the answer is of course a matter of linguistics. What's more, it's all Diana's fault. She's the person who decided that the best way to render '/prostatates/' into English was 'patrons'. If you think about the word, you might see why she had been eager to find an English word for it, though 'protectors' would have been a better translation. As to the masculine form, in the original language it's a masculine plural when they aren't specifically referring to the goddesses only, the /prostatides/. It probably didn't occur to her at the time to consider the English word is more definitively masculine.

    Donna swigs down the rest of the beer and gets to her feet to join Kate at the recycling, dumping her bottle too, and taking the opportunity to wrap an arm around Kate's shoulders and give her a gentle squeeze.

    "No need for a danger room simulation, just a bit of instruction. It's not like using a regular shield, it's more about having a kind of portable wall to hide behind. You'll do fine, and it'll be fun. Not many people outside the Amazons can say they've hunted a manticore! Thanks for the chat, Hawk. "