5730/A Wonderful Birthday

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A Wonderful Birthday
Date of Scene: 26 March 2021
Location: Palace - Themyscira City
Synopsis: The Amazons and Titans celebrate Diana's birthday on Themyscira, and it becomes a double celebration when Caitlin returns succesfully from her quest, an Amazon.
Cast of Characters: Donna Troy, Diana Prince, Kara Danvers, Cassie Sandsmark, Vivian Vision, Toni Monetti, Nadia Pym-van Dyne, 1581, Caitlin Fairchild

Donna Troy has posed:
    It has been an extraordinary vacation, one the Titans would likely remember forever. There had been feasts and parties, hunts and training, exploring and relaxation. There had been impossible, wonderous, magical things. And now it was coming to an end.

    The final day of the Titans visit was always going to be a little different, because the final day of the the Titans visit coincided with the birthday of princess Diana. Birthdays are not traditionally celebrated on Themyscira for reasons which should be fairly obvious, but in recent years Diana had brought the tradition back from America, at least for herself, Donna and Cassie, the only three Amazons who actually have birthdays of their own. The Titans were of course invited (and politely informed that they didn't have to worry about presents!)

    The day had been spent in the grand arena that dominates one side of the mountain upon which the city of Themyscira is built. The Arena is large enough to hold the entire population of the island rather comfortably, and it felt like at least most of the population had turned up for at least part of the day. Celebrations had taken the form of a series of games, contests and athletic demonstrations throughout the day - a kind of mini Olympics where Amazons had shown off the impressive prowess of their best warriors and athletes, and made it pretty clear that if Themyscira ever enters the regular Olympic games, America will have to draft in its supers to avoid them becoming a farce.

    Although the games are ostensibly a celebration of Diana's birthday, it quickly becomes clear that in a lot of ways that's an excuse. The Amazons just love their games, and it's not just Diana who's being celebrated. Throughout the day a number of other Amazons who have achieved particularly noteworthy things of late are given their own moments in the sun, either by proclamation or being given the opportunity to display their talents.

    For the Titans, the day had largely been spent relaxing in their seats, chatting, and watching the events, punctuated with regular snacking on a variety of cakes, freshly grilled meats, and vegetable nibbles. This seems to be the Themysciran way. There had been opportunites for the visitors to join in the games if they had wished, to give demonstrations of their own skills, though there was no pressure to participate. Donna's contribution had been a demonstration of flying, which is a very rare talent amongst Amazons - and to make it more exciting, she had been flying through a series of flaming hoops swinging on the end of ropes suspended from great pillars that were raised up from the floor of the arena for the purpose.

    Other events had included kanga racing, which unlike a typical horse race is a contact sport. The contestants had raced their kangas around and around the arena at a furious pace, the giant macropodidae crashing bodily into each other in an attempt to dismount their riders. It's an interesting demonstration that the kangas are not beasts to be underestimated, and was very exciting to watch. There had been archery demonstrations, and combat drills including an extraordinary demonstration of blind-fighting by Philippus, who had taken on four burly Amazons while blindfolded - and won.

    All in all, it had been great fun. It's a shame Caitlin had missed it. Where is she? Nobody seems to be saying.

    Eventually the day had draw to a close, and Diana had handed out prizes to a dozen or so of the contestants who had most impressed the crowds. And then it was time for the feast.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Back at the palace, the courtiers have been busy. The great courtyard is lined with brightly burning torches to light the evening, and a large circular table has been set up for the royals and their guests. It's a much smaller affair than the great games, involving perhaps forty guests of the queen and the princess along with the Titans. An ox is roasting in a fire pit to one side as the guests are lead to their seats and offered drinks of their chosing. A selection of appetizers is already on the table waiting those who's appetites will not wait for the main course.

    At the head of the table sits Diana, taking a place that would normally be reserved for Hippolyta, who's seat is to her right. Cassie's seat is on Diana's left, and Donna's to Hippolyta's right, the rest of the Titans all seated close by.

    As the guest take their seats to the strains of gentle /kithera/ music, General Philippus, still flushed with pleasure and excitement from her successes in the games, stands at the opposite end of the table from Diana.

    "Sisters, friends, guests!" she calls out. "The idea of a birthday party is one that is foreign to us, an innovation Diana has brought to us from the world of men beyond these shores. One of many innovations we seem to be seeing in recent days. After all, I am talking to you in a language few on these islands knew just ten years ago, but is now virtually a second language here. Nine hundred and three years ago, a gift was brought to these islands. A gift to our Queen, but also to the rest of us. In those years, she has changed us all, and generally for the better. She has had her moments, it is true - perhaps that is something we can talk about some time when her young friends from Man's World are not here to spare her blushes, though! Nevertheless, it is a worthy thing that we mark princess Diana's achievements in this way. Diana, I remember you as a small child, begging me for a sword. I always had to say no. When eventually your mother acceded to your wishes, you took to it as if you had always wielded one. You made us proud, and then you left us to make Man's World proud, too. Now you have returned to us, to continue to make us proud. We salute you, and all you have achieved here and in the world beyond."

    Philippis raises her /kylix/ of wine, and her voice: "PRINCESS DIANA, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"

Diana Prince has posed:
Needless to say it had been a busy day for Diana.

She had been required to attend many different celebrations and events around the island. It was part of her birthday obligates that she make these appearances, and it'd been deemed so ages ago when she was just a little girl o nthe island and the Queen wanted to humble her daughter by not allowing a whole day being dedicated to praising the child... she felt Diana got enough of that the rest of the long year.

In her modern age, Diana doesn't consider any of it to be any measure of an obligation. She considers it to be a privilege.

So here and now the Princess sits at her seat, happy as she's ever been with a large smile upon her lips as she listens to Philippis' speech.

She raises her own cup up to salute and thank the General for her kind words. She mouths 'Thank you' to her across the distance to the other woman and when there's a moment Diana looks around to everyone gathered.

"I want to thank everyone for being here tonight." She announces. "I cannot... say... just how much it really does mean to me. It has been a challenging year for a number of reasons, and we're only just a few months in to it, technically." She grins for a brief second and then glances to Donna, then to Cassie and then back out to the others around the feasting table.

"This has been a great experience, having so many outsiders on the shores of our island. It is a measure of things to come, as far as I am concerned." She glances to her mother then. "I hope the memories made here, are of good, and happiness. I hope they resonate and stay with everyone as we prepare to travel back to the main land."

Diana holds her cup up to everyone. "To our last night on this ever so needed, and relaxing trip."

Kara Danvers has posed:
    Kara has her own /kylix/ that was given to her as a gift from Donna. She loves the thing, oh so much. It is filled with wine and she lifts it and replies with a cheer, "And hopefully not our last, Happy Birthday Diana." A small sip is taken and she sets it down. Her day, mostly, was spent watching. Because the people she had been training with were all involved in the games.

    And while it was tempting to offer herself up as a contestant, there simply wasn't any way she felt she could do the games justice.. either she did her best with her super powers, or she did as they did and was disingenuous about her contributions to the games. So, she declined and watched with delight. Their talents were many and splendorous.

    Her time on the island had been, without question, eye opening and relaxing. Firstly because the sounds of the world were so distant she could barely hear them, but secondly the culture was yet another alien experience unlike anything she had met before. She knows those back on Krypton would have considered their ways barbaric.. but she also knows Kryptonians were barbaric in their own ways too. She has learnt to place her home and her culture next to, not above, others she has met on her journeys.

    Without a doubt, her favourite display was from her newest martial arts mentor Philippis whose prowess knows no bounds. When she was younger she watched the Fighters Guild put on demonstrates and while they were impressive, they weren't even a candle to Philippis's skill. She is proud to have been accepted as her student. She had vowed she would never allow herself to be defeated by Zod and his soldiers again - and finally she had a way of learning how to make that a reality.

    It does make her stare off in to space, out through a tall window and at the forested mountains beyond, thinking about the idea that may be this could be a home too. Not just Earth, but Themyscira. There was a lot to like about this place. And even though their religion was not her own, she was starting to see that simply didn't matter to them; nor should it matter to her. Her eyes move to Diana to catch a glimpse with her and give her a nod that screams real happiness. Despite the ups and downs she's had since arriving, dealing with her own existential crisis; strangely this place was quickly feeling like family.

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
Cassie did the kanga racing! Was there any doubt?

She's become rather strangely fond of the unusual Themysciran beast, after all. This isn't to say she's particularly the most skilled of rider: she's been doing it for a year or so, but not exactly regularly (streetside kanga parking is hard to find), and not for the millenia the Amazons have. But what she lacks in experience, she makes up for in enthusiasm. It also helps that it's a contact sport, because she DOES have a bit of an advantage there, compared to the average Amazon. She doesn't win, but she does cause a bit of a sensation when she unhorses (well, unkangas) the prior champion in a clash, even if the zest of their engagement allows another rider to make it past them and on to the finish.

Apart from attending that event, she'd spent most of the day escorting her friends around the city. Although they've already gotten the tour, the place is even more alive and buzzing with the events, and so there are extra things to see, from workshops putting out spectacular wares to various performances of poetry, music, and so on. Part of the point of the trip is helping any of the Titans who want them pick out local outfits, accessories, and so on.

Which leads to the gathering itself, where Cassie appears in such garb herself, wearing a long chiton of rather airy and delicate fabric, belted and decorated, not quite to the levels of Princessery as the actual Princess, but so that she will look fitting sitting with them. But there is a twist: as some of the Amazons arrive, some of THEM are wearing western clothing, dresses and the like that would be appropriate for such a party. Cassie apparently conspired to bring some of it along in her luggage, and has made some swaps and exchanges. It may shock Hippolyta a little to see them like that, but as ever, she is irreverent and grinning.

Which brings them to the present. "Happy birthday, Di!" What else is there to say?

Vivian Vision has posed:
Discovering there is due to be a birthday celebration on short notice caused something of a minor panic for Vivian Vision. Human cultural conventions indicate a guest at a birthday party should bring a present. And aside from bring a bottle of Janet van Dyne's exclusive perfume for Hippolyta she didn't actually bring any other gifts. The horror!

Thankfully in a land of plenty and abundance a synthezoid with access to the internets culinary bounty can make pretty much anything she wants. A variety of sorbets made in bulk for the party and a small selection of the same fruits made into preserves for later, because it's hardly a gift if it melts and/or gets eaten by everyone else on the island.

Viv has no need to eat or drink, so her own time has mostly been spent just enjoying the various performances and games. And of course when the various attendees are given the chance to show off their skills and abilities... Well it would be rude not to show off a little, right?

Floating up in the air she puts on a holographic extravaganza the likes of which few have seen. Recordings of epic battles the Titans have been involved in (or at least those epic battles she was around to witness) and wonderous events that have been carefully chosen to show her friends in their finest moments.

Toni Monetti has posed:

Toni Monetti had gotten an immaculate cotton chiton, Doric cut and a natural turquoise-adjacent dye, and accented it with a belt of silk fiber interspersed with some colorful stones. She has also put on some chunky plastic sunglasses against the glare of the day, but those she brought with her. She has, with Cassie's conspirance, filled up an entire medium bag with additional stuff, including several pieces for her momma. She has also eaten like four dinners' worth of little snacks and probably also wine.

She has managed to show the true wisdom of her people by only getting her lean on rather than becoming a total roaring drunk. "WHOO!" she calls as the speech begins -- but just the once. Progress! She shifts in as Philippis speaks. The words are almost...

"She does not look a day over five hundred," Toni says quietly to her neighbors. And when Diana - WONDER WOMAN, Toni thinks, fachrissakes - raises a cup to them, Toni raises her cup as well. (A little sloshes on her wrist. Not the first time tonight.)

"You gonna sing the song or is that gonna get us fed to the catalepsis?" Toni asks Cassie.

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
It has been an amazing vacation, the first vacation Nadia has ever been convinced to take. The bar is now /really/ high for all future vacations. There was delicious food, there was gorgeous beach, there was meeting /megalodons/ and other amazing flora and fauna that no longer exist anywhere else in the world save for here. It was perhaps surprising to no one she spent a good amoung of time among the island's unique bee population. And then there was the Temple of Knowledge, the chance to explore a school of scientific thought that diverged from the main stream of science in the outside world thousands of years ago with so many unique insights. For a girl who finds wonder even in simple things much of the time, it has all just been simply incredible.

Perhaps to the surprise of some, Nadia jumped at several chances to test herself in combat training as well, exploring the limits of her unique blend of Red Room combat training and Janet's Shrink-Fu. Now in these games was her chance to show off the fruits of that training in an exhibition of hand to hand combat against several Amazons. At first her opponents who were not part of that training are caught off guard by a fighting style that seems to embody the very bees the Amazons sometimes use as weapons. She almost seems to disappear as she rapidly changes between sizes flitting about, and 'stinging' in such a way to attack her opponents balance as she works around much stronger opponents turning their force against them making up what she lacks in strength with speed and physics. Cunning tricks will not avail her against any champions but it is impressive for one so young and not nearly as physically gifted by comparison.

Really it all flew by in a whirlwind as they arrived at the final evening of Diana's birthday party and the present. Nadia listens to the speaches smiling brightly. When Philippis raises her kylix, Nadia also raises her glass, "Happy Birthday Diana!"

Hippolyta (1581) has posed:
The Queen of the Amazons looks very much at ease. A gathering of forty or so is positively an intimate gathering, considering the gatherings over which she often has to preside. Clad in festive attire the color of yellow crocus flowers, the Queen freely converses with guests and old friends alike. As Diana and Donna speak, Hippolyta reaches for her own vessel and, in her turn, speaks.

"Under the benevolent gaze of the Patrons, we watched the flaming circle of our days in deathless peace and prosperity. But just as we knew not the stings of old age and its final infirmity, so too were we unaware of the joy of new life. Nine hundred and three years ago the Amazons of Themyscira were blessed, and since then we have twice more been blessed with new life- and new perspectives. Although we once lived apart from the world, uit is the way of the kosmos that all things change, even immortals."

The Queen looks at Diana fondly, "Diana, you were the first of us to set foot in the world since time immemorial, and you have made your sisters and your mother proud. I thank the goddesses who saw fit to grant this gift to me, as I thank the gifts that followed after." Her eyes glance towards Donna and Cassandra before returning to Diana. "Happy birthday, my daughter."

Donna Troy has posed:
    Troia has been visibly on edge the last few days. Ever since she and Caitlin went off to do something together and Caitlin hadn't returned. Troia had been close-lipped about what was going on, saying only that Caitlin had something to do, she'd be back in a few days, and she'd let people know what she was up to herself.

    Until today. Diana's birthday has been a relaxing and pleasant one for Troia. She had started the day by giving a gift, a statuette of Athena she'd had made for Diana, with Athena standing atop a rare giant pearl Troia had fought a particularly grumpy giant clam for herself in the waters off the island on her last visit.

    She had spent most of the day seated in the arena with the Titans, cheering and whooping like the most enthusiastic of sports fans when Cassie had joined the Kanga race. She was hardly alone in this though - Cassie seems to be quite popular among the Amazons. Equally loud was her celebration of Nadia's display, which was also popular because it was something quite unexpected to the crowd. Amazons love a spectacle, and the size-changing trick is not something they see every day. Philippus' blind-fighting demonstration had Troia rapt with attention, delighted at watching a master at work and eager for any small hints she could pick up herself. Vivian's display, while greatly enjoyed by the crowd had her frankly embarrassed though - she has been rather vague in her description of the Titan's exploits to her sisters. Only Hippolyta and Diana had really heard much of it before, and even to them it's quite different seeing it in person like this.

    As she raises her kylix and joins in the toast for Diana, and listens to the words said around the table, Troia reflects on how /happy/ she is. Here she sits, in her fine comfortable chiton (like Cassie's it's fancy, decorated with interestingly colorful borders, but not quite as fancy as Diana and Hippolyta's dress), in the warmth of the Themysciran evening, with so many people she loves. Two wonderful families who have adopted her. Her mother, who gave her... everything. Her sister, who never ceases to inspire her. Cass, who makes Themyscira /fun/ in a way it never quite was before, when she was surrounded by Amazons all sooo much older than her. Toni, Cassie's friend but new to the Titans, amusingly drunk already. "/Katablepas/", she whispers to Toni, smirking.

    Then there's Raven, who has buried herself in the rare texts to be found on Themyscira, and it makes Troia happy she has finally been able to show them off to her lover. Bright-eyed Kate, who is in archer heaven and has impressed even Philippus herself. Nadia, who's constantly amazed by everything, and had to be told that no, she couldn't keep a megalodon, several times. Kara, who seems to be as at home and at peace here as Troia had fervently wished she would feel, and who Troia is confident will be returning here often in the future.

    Troia regrets only that she couldn't have brought more of the Titans along. How great it would have been to have the boys joining them here. She glances sidelong at her mother, and thinks to herself 'One day. Soon.'

    And, of course, she regrets that Caitlin isn't with them for this celebration. Troia had hoped she would be. She'll have to let the Titans know that she'll be staying behind when they go home tomorrow, to wait for Cait. It won't be long, maybe another day. Maybe two at the outside, won't be more than that. Troia is sure of that.

    One of the palace guards enters the courtyard, crossing smartly over to the table to lean in between Troia and Hippolyta, and whispers something to the pair. Troia's eyes shoot wide and she glances excitedly at the queen. "She's... I have to... I'll..." she gabbles, standing so quickly with excitement that she spills a little wine. "Diana!" she calls out, racing from the table to the palace gates. "She's back!"

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
The frivolities go on for quite a while; it's not terribly far from the grounds to the palace gates, and the word from the guard gives Donna plenty of time to scramble to the gates.

With almost perfect timing, at the end of Hippolyta's speech, there is a stir at the entrance to the festival grounds. Caitlin and Donna are walking steadily towards the table where Hippolyta oversees the affairs around her. The redhead looks tired and in fair disarray, dust from travelling clinging to her legs and feet. The thick braid of her red hair is a little loose and the borrowed training armor-- heavily dented steel backed by leather-- looks like it has seen a little more action than when she left.

Caitlin stops twice, trying to walk back, but Donna encourages her forward (with at least one firm jab in the ribs). The redhead swallows her nerves with a gulp and keeps moving forward, and the crowd falls silent as she passes along the walk towards the table.

A large hiking backpack is in one hand; her heavy warhammer in the other. Both are set down, and Caitlin takes a slow knee in front of the table.

She waits for Hippolyta to invite her to speak. "I'm really sorry for the interruption," she says to Hippolyta and Diana, almost as soon as she can. "But I was told that I had to come straight to the Queen with a message. I-- um. Athena--" she looks around, nervous, then back at Hippolyta. "I was told ... I mean, I met with the goddesses, and it's a long story, but Athena told me that, um... this is my home, now, and I am welcome here forever." The last word twists upwards a little in interrogative inflection, betraying Cait's uncertainty towards Hippolyta's response to Athena's overriding authority.

Kara Danvers has posed:
    The chiton was adopted by Kara day one when she got here. Dressing in the clothing of the local culture? why it's practically tradition in her family. Just simple white, a golden belt about her waist. She likes the style. It was simple and served her well considering there were plenty of them to wear and she was getting them dirty daily with her combat training.

    The gasping calls that 'she has returned' has Kara curious. Her head turns and she sees through the walls, one very tired looking Caitlin. Her smile grows and she watches with interest as she pushes herself on to prostrate before the Queen. Spoken to the goddesses? told she lives here now? but.. what about the Tower? it just won't be the same without her.

    Confronted with a sudden pang of selfishness, Kara reminds herself that this is not the way. She instead slowly lets out a long breath and places a hand on her tummy, "Wow." Meeting the Themyscirian goddesses? she wonders if it is as simple as bathing in the sunlight and knowing Rao smiles upon her?

    Now she wonders what right she has to ask to return to this place. her eyes turn to Hippolyta as so many others eyes do too. She wonders what ordeals her friend went through to get this message. Caitlin is tough, very tough, so they must have been very hard.

Diana Prince has posed:
Donna's gift had been received with a happy smile from Diana, she'd isnpected the gift with a measuring stare, one that Donna would know was trained by years of experience in the arts back in Man's world. But in the end, Diana had simply offered Donna a hug and a soft 'thank you' laced with sincerity. She'd also said she'd need to hear the story about how that peral was acquired as she may very well be familiar with those troublesome pearl owners not wishing to give them up.

Diana had attended all the events that were directly connected to her sisters and to the visitors that were with them on this vacation. From Nadia's fighting, to Cassie's glorious Kanga riding skills, to Vivian's show of Titan exploits and achievements. It all just added up to a great day for the Princess.

In the now, Diana looks to her mother, the two sharing similar attire almost as though their dresses were designed by the same person! The Queen's kind and heartfelt words make Diana glance down to her lap and have to take a moment to bite down on her bottom lip to quell tears from gathering on the corners of her eyes. When she looks back up her dark lashes are fluttering the moisture away and Diana is nodding once to her mother and mouthing her a silent 'I love you' to the Queen.

But it's soon pulled away from that--

Diana had been expecting Caitlin's return, but thought it might not be until after the majority of people had gone to bed, or not till morning. Cait had clearly rushed home now.

And when she enters, speaks, and reveals her association with their people... Diana stands up and moves around the table to the redhead. Diana's arms come up, her dress and cloak trailing behind her as she means to embrace Caitlin and give her a firm hug, and a whispered phrase in to her ear. "You have earned it, you are my sister now. I am proud of you." Before she pulls away again, smiling.

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
"Oh we're definitely singing the song," Cassie assures Toni. It is only a matter of the timing! "I'm not sure if there's gonna be a cake, but we'll wait till the right moment and then strike..."

Otherwise, she settles to take in the other birthday ceremonies, whether these are the more ceremonious Amazon variety or some of their own, like Vivian's holo-show. It's not clear if she's moderately embarassed or incredibly amused by getting to watch the holographic replays of the Titans battles with her bizarro counterpart. Possibly both. Probably both. However, it is at the end of Hippolyta's grandiose speech and her final 'happy birthday' that seems to mark an appropriate moment in the whole thing to launch into her plan. Loudly, and more or less on key:

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Diiiiiiiaaaaaannna, happy birthday to youuuuuuu!" Does she owe some weird copyright holder money now?! Pft, try and sue her in the courts of Themyscira, bitches!

Of course, the next verse poses some hilarious opportunities. And so she starts in, "How old are you-"

Yet this friviolity is interrupted by the arrival of the palace guard. Cassie looks over with some mild curiousity, not really worried about an attack (but you never know), only to change her likely guess as the guard speaks up. She who? Cassie looks side to side and then back- Oh, there! Caitlin's back. And she has something to tell them! Naturally, this results in another round of whooping celebration (but fortunately not anymore singing):

"Woooooo! One of us, one of us!" Not the traditional fashion, perhaps...

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
Nadia watches the celebrations with wide bright eyes taking everything in and continuing to indulge in the delicious wine. Janet may have introduced her to alcohol and her constitution and metabolism maybe be far beyond an average person's but she is still looking a bit tipsy from the Themysciran libations.

When the commotion starts though she begins craning her neck trying to see, ever curious about everything around her. Certainly Caitlin's absence was noted but Nadia is still surprised when her friend's appearance is at the heart of the commotion. She watches and listens with those wide eyes getting a bit wider. Belonging to a place is a funny thing for her as she has never really had a place to call her own. Russia has a lot of bad memories and the United States gave her citizenship only after a harrowing ordeal forced, but she's still only been there a year, so to see someone accepted to a place as 'home' with seemingly deep significance and implications, there is a lot there for her to process. She also shares Kara's questions, wondering if Caitlin will be staying here from now on rather than being with them at the tower.

For now though she isn't quite sure what to say and just watches with her wine, somehow managing not to drop it.

Vivian Vision has posed:
Although Vivian has almost certainly picked up at least one Amazon style dress for this particular event she's wearing her favorite yellow summer dress. Because it's best to be comfortable for long parties and Viv wasn't entirely certain she would avoid being dragged into some martial exploits. She leans over to Toni & Cassie and, keeping her voice low, notes "If either of you begin to feel unwell please let me know and I'll make sure you don't throw up on yourselves." And of course because it would be a shame if she got a new outfit and someone threw up on her.

When Caitlin arrives she shifts her focus to the main festivities for a bit. Listening attentively and waiting for the official response. Presumably she will be expected to clap or cheer shortly.

If she's concerned this means Caitlin might be leaving there's no sign of it. Logically speaking Diana, Donna and Cassie all probably consider this place home. And yet they stay elsewhere all the time.

Besides if Caitlin was about to quit the Titans the Amazonian members of the team would likely be tearing up about now!

Hippolyta (1581) has posed:
Is Hippolyta surprised? Did she have foreknowledge of this, some whispered word to her by the Patrons? It's hard to tell what the Queen knows, and what simply appears to leave her unfazed by the practice of millennia. As Caitlin brings news of Athena, the Queen of the Amazon rises.

"Nine hundred and three years ago, we were granted our first daughter by the gods. They have twice sought to bless us on the same day. Rise you, whom the world without knows as Caitlin Fairchild. On this day you are born an Amazon, the first woman born of mortal man not brought to these shores in infancy by the grace of the gods. You are the first of those outside these shores to earn this right, and therefore you shall be known by all on this island as 'sister', and.... Aikaterine."

She extends her arms and, to the amazement of many no doubt, Queen Hippolyta embraces Aikaterine.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "I-- um. Athena--"

    That's all it takes. Just those three words, and Troia /knows/. She gasps, her breath catching, and she has to fight every instinct to just jump in and wrap her arms around Caitlin there and then before she has finished speaking.

    Just like that, at least one of the Amazonian members of the team is indeed tearing up, though it's obvious from her face that Troia's tears are tears of joy. Athena! Athena herself. It's perfect. It might have been Hestia, goddess of the hearth, or Demeter, the goddess of plenty. Either would have been very suitable for Caitlin. But Caitlin is strong, and she is a warrior who fights fiercely - but wisely, and with compassion. Athena is just so right.

    Troia holds herself back, but it's a struggle. She stands there, wiping her face, as Caitlin finishes giving her news to the queen, and Hippolyta responds, and names her, officially, what her oldest friend has been to her for many years.

    A true Amazon.

    And when the speaking is done, Troia is quick to join Diana and Hippolyta in embracing their new sister. "Told you, Cait... Aikaterine. Sister," Troia manages to whisper, though she's visibly struggling to get the words out.

    Then she's guiding Caitlin to a seat - her own, next to the queen's, and she's not taking no for an answer. With a gesture she calls for drink and food to be brought to Caitlin, who is surely starving.

    Troia moves over to stand behind Cassie, resting her hands on Cassie's shoulder, and with a joyful laugh joins in Cassie's chant. "One of us! One of us! Everyone..." she addresses the Titans, who may still be puzzled. The Amazons present understand and are already calling out their congratulations to their newest sister, in Themysciran Greek. "Caitlin is now officially an Amazon. One of the sisterhood, who can call Themyscira her second home. These last few days she has been on a quest to... to make it official. Please give her time to recover, and she will tell us what she choses to tell us of her quest in her own time."

    She fetches her cup, gets it refilled, and walks around the table to find a spot for herself beside Kara. Raising her glass, she calls out "To Diana, happy birthday! And to Aikaterine Fairchild, Titan and today born anew an Amazon, happy birthday!"

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin turns a pretty spectacular shade of pink at the accolades and whoops, particularly from the Titans in the audience! The praise from her friends clearly means the world to her though, and she fairly glows with happiness at the sight of the Titans cheering her on. The redhead exchanges hugs with Donna, Diana, and Hippolyta each, blinking back tears at her newly acquired name. Donna especially gets a long and firm hug; she was there at the beginning, and now at the end, of this personal quest. She's earned it.

"Donna, no, wa--" Donna's not taking 'no' for answer, and Caitlin starts getting dragged off to the table. A thoughtful bystander moves her pack and gear someplace it won't get stomped on and Caitlin takes the offered seat, trying to hide her pink face between her shoulders and failing.

Oh look, wine! She grabs up a full cup and drains it in a few quick swallows. The redhead winces and coughs, setting it aside, and starts attacking her food with a ravenous appetite that does her usually exquisite table manners a disservice.

Kara Danvers has posed:
    Well, the joy is utterly infectious and you can add that to Kara's list of weaknesses as she tears up a little bit and claps her hands with delight. She crosses an arm over her chest and bows, the Kryptonian bow that is, then remembers where she is and crosses both arms and resumes clapping.

    When Donna comes to sit next to her she wraps an arm about her friend and gives her a hearty snugging. She knows Donna can take it. "Just like that," she says with a chuckle - obviously it was a big ordeal and Caitlin survived it. If she had known.. well, good she hadn't known because it was clearly meant to be done alone. "We have no such trials like this on Krypton. Instead, we sit and take tests."

    Her greatest trial, to enter the thinkers guild and go to the science academy, was all she had dreamt of for the year leading up to the test when she was sixteen. She never even got to find out if she had passed - not until Power Girl told her that she had found out she'd passed in her reality. That was good enough for Kara. Success has rarely come to Kara like this. So she knows the elation well. She lifts her /kylex/ up in salute to Caitlin and says, "Syncharitíria Aikaterine."

    She whispers to Donna and asks, "Did you know? of course you knew. You kept the secret well." She smiles and looks around at the Titans. Not all of us here obviously, but enough that it is a memory she will cherish. She does, however, whisper to Donna, "Does that mean she won't be living with us in the tower any more?"

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
When the electric atmosphere fills the air, Nadia is not immune to the infectious atmosphere, not that she really needs it. She is on her feet anyway cheering for Caitlin when the joy begins to spread. The wine probably helps, too but she is genuinely excited and happy for what her friend has achieved.

"Congratulations Aikaterine!" She shouts, attempting to mimic the name she heard.

That Caitlin will get a hug is pretty much inevitable and when she is dragged off towards a table Nadia takes this as her opportunity. She darts around those between her and Cait, resizing herself as needed like a manic pixie with a mission until the young somewhat inebriated hugssassin is able to wrap her arms around her in a flying hug.

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
Is it part of Cassie's sinister master plan for culturally corrupting the Amazons that she now has some of them in party dresses chanting a movie reference in celebration of a new sister, making the whole thing look like a very -different- sort of Greek initiation? She's a tricky one!!

Mostly, though, Cassie is bursting with happy energy, just absolutely beaming at all the festive and congratulatory expressions that set the hall abuzz. It's a good feeling! The wine definitely helps! On the latter point, she grins at Vivian. "I'll be fiiiine!" She may not be totally fine, but her constitution is still rather impressive. Mostly, she gets to 'fun tipsy' and tends to stay there, unless she's REALLY going at it.!

The idea that Caitlin might be spending some time apart doesn't seem to worry her, though, when it's brought up. "Pft, I got like... half a dozen places I sometimes stay, now." It's not even an exaggeration! Cassie has rooms at the Tower and the Roost. Here of course, and at the Embassy. A place near school. And finally... AT HER MOM'S HOUSE. "So I'm sure we'll still see plenty of her around."

Taking another swig, she leans at Diana's side, glances up to shoot her a grin, and then settles to take it all all in. It'll be a long night of drinking and celebrating, no doubt, but she's on for it!

Donna Troy has posed:
    Troia accepts Kara's hug gratefully, one of those rare Kryptonian-Amazonian hugs that are hugs like few other. "She's not leaving the Titans. It's just... She has been accepted by the goddesses," Troia explains. "I mentioned this to you before once, back in the Danger Room when I gave you that kylix. It has been planned for some time. But it's... it's a very personal thing. And we did not want any of you to worry and spoil your vacations here - just to be here for her when she returned, to celebrate with her."

    She takes a deep breath, and another good drink of her wine. This has been a long time coming. Caitlin had so many doubts since the idea was first broached, here in the palace several years ago, when Caitlin had been spending a lot of time on Themyscira, training with the Amazons. Caitlin having doubts is something Troia has become very used to in the decade they have known each other, and Troia can't help but wonder what difference this will make to her old friend. Is it too much to hope that Caitlin might actually start to /believe/ Troia's words of encouragement, now they have been echoed by Athena herself?

    She closes her eyes a for a few moments, giving a quiet prayer of thanks to Athena. When she opens her eyes she looks across the table at where Caitlin, Hippolyta, Cassie and Diana are seated together, watching Nadia's infectious enthusiasm as she joins in the hugging. Watching Cassie and Toni's drunken revels. Watching Caitlin eating ravenously. Fortunately the roasting ox is still to come, Caitlin won't starve the rest of the party. Troia can't help wondering if she has ever felt this happy before.

    Troia leans back to Kara. "There's a temple, deep in the forest. You can only find it if they /want/ you to find it. Caitlin found it. I did the same, four years ago. The Amazons were originally chosen by the goddesses, so... so it's a way to show they approve of someone becoming an Amazon. That they recognize the qualities in that person that they looked for when they originally chose the Amazons. Caitlin has worked so hard for years for this, and I... I can't... I can't say how proud and how happy I am that the goddesses see in her what I have always seen in her."

    She lowers her voice to a gentle whisper. "I hope it is the start of something. Too long the Amazons have separated themselves from the world. We are supposed to spread our wisdom. There /should/ be new Amazons, to help spread our ways. Amazons from outside, because we live on an island, but we are not that island. We should not look always to the past, and there will be more who tread that path, who seek the temple."

    She lowers her voice a little more. "/roshu rrip w ile tim, she/? There's a long way to go, Kara Zor-El - but the future is an interesting place."

Diana Prince has posed:
It certainly has been a productive vacation too!

Diana spends a bit more time over near to Caitlin her mother and Donna before Caitlin is off to get some food and drink. Diana smiles to her mother before she moves back toward her own chair. Her eyes go over the table to where Cassie is singing, or was, with Toni.

The both of them get a grin.

As the Princess gets back to her chair she leans over to Cassie and speaks something to her about returning that song when it comes her big 20th birthday in just a few months time.... A grin is sent, and Diana glances to Donna as she notes the other behind Cassie's chair moving toward Kara.


Diana's eyes go back toward the Queen and after a moment she speaks up to her mother. "Have we... decided on the other matter at hand yet, Mother?" Diana asks of Hippolyta with regard to Kara being granted permission to come to the island any time the Kryptonian feels the desire to bring herself to it.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Hunger aside, Caitlin is a civil person and her manners mean a great deal to her. Once she's at least got the gnawing hunger assuaged the redhead gets to her feet again and rejoins the celebrations. The tips of her nose and ears are a little pinker than normal from the lush wine served at the Queen's table.

She rejoins the little circle of Titans, wiping her mouth daintily upon a napkin to clean crumbs from her lips. The exertion of the trip definitely brings out Caitlin's cheekbones, and she seems a bit thinner than usual. Even a few days on a restricted diet has its impact on her physique. The redhead reaches down to Donna's fingers and gives them a warm squeeze, and she includes Kara in her smile.

"I've got so much to tell you about it," Caitlin informs Donna. "The whole trip, I mean. It was... it was so..." She exhales in frustration at her lack of vocabulary, but the impact of the meeting clearly still shines through to her very soul. "I had no idea it'd be... -like that-," she clarifies, inarticulately.

Caitlin glances at Hippolyta, then back at Donna. "Your mom's not mad, right?" she mutters, in a lower voice. "I didn't know how else to put it, but I didn't wanna be, like, 'well Athena said so', either," she frets.

Kara Danvers has posed:
    Kara pauses mid sip from her /kylex/ and stares at Troia with a look of wonder and concern all at once, "nahn zw w :dhiviao ni kryptoniuo, and.. that is a complex thing to suggest to me. Especially.. now." She says and her look is one of puzzled concern.

    Her eyes look over to the Queen and then to Diana and she shakes her head. There is no way to reconcile the kindness shown to her, the trust given to her.. with how the Oans saw her and her family. She stands up from her seat, "Excuse me please."

    Donna's words really got to her and she walks over to one of the large windows to stare outside for a while. A knot in her throat. May be she had too much wine - is that purely psychosomatic for her? she's not sure. Caitlin earned this and she is both delighted and proud for her.. may be being here would taint her great achievement. She will have to explain herself to Phillipus though.. and that seems just as scary a prospect as telling Batman off.

Hippolyta (1581) has posed:
?The Queen seems about to answer Diana when she notices Kara's reaction. Holding hr Kalyx in her hands, she glances pensively at the Kryptonian before looking at Troia, something unspoken exchanged between them.

In a calm and measured voice, Hippolyta finally answers. "Diana, I have come to know the worthiness of your friend and seen it with my own eyes. It is by the great good that has come from her actions in this world, and the other- and that is the measure by which the gods judge. Thus I give my permission in accordance with the law of Aphrodite, and extend Kara Zor-El the privilege of coming to Themyscira whenever she shall feel moved to join us, and she will find welcome, shelter and company when she does so. So I have spoken, and so shall it be." She sits down her vessel on the table.

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
Hugssassin attack finished with Caitlin thoroughly hugged, have to make up for missed hugs with her being gone most of the trip after all, Nadia relents and takes up another glass of wine. Though for all the sudden acrobatics she managed a moment ago in the air, the Themysciran strength alcohol has left her a bit unsteady on her feet. At least there was no aerial disaster with a tiny Nadia winding up somewhere awkward.

"I want to hear all about it Cait!" She beams looking up at her much taller friend. "To Cait! Because she is awesome and did awesome things!" She grins raising her glass, a bit of Janet's influence showing through as far as where she learned her party etiquette.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Troia struggles for a few moments, torn between giving Kara some space and following after her, but finally elects to give her space. That, after all, is a part of the reason she had wanted to bring Kara to Themyscira - to give her somewhere she could think and reflect, without distractions.

    It's not just Troia though. Kara is the victim of a sister act, and Diana is on the case at the same time. She returns Hippolyta's look, holding it for a moment, then nodding her head very slightly. Let Kara process this declaration first - Troia is quite sure there will be conversations to have after this, but for the moment, she decides, it's best just to keep an eye on Kara.

    Besides, by the time she's had time to consider it, there's Cailtin's own self-doubts to address.

    Troia returns the squeeze and grins up at Caitlin. "Of course she's not mad, Aikaterine. Didn't I tell you, this was a kind of formality? She agreed readily for you to do this thing. Do you think she would have done so if she had not /already/ accepted you as one of us? Why would she be mad that Athena agreed with her decision?"

    There's a small shake of her head and Troia's grin fades into a gentle smile. She gestures to one of the Amazon servers, who brings Cailtin's cup, refilled with wine, from her seat to where she has come to join the other Titans. "Listen Cait," she says quietly. "I think you're not seeing this quite right. What Athena said...she said for your benefit, not for mother's benefit. Even if it sounded to you like you were being told something to tell her, it was you that she wanted to learn something from her words. I am sure you will be going over your experiences in these last few days for a long time to come, trying to come to terms with it and fully understand it, but keep that in mind when you do."

    Troia leans back in her seat, glancing over to where Kara stands, then turns back to wink to Nadia across the table. She raises her cup to join Nadia's toast, then takes a sip of her wine to wet her lips before continuing, tones still hushed. "Cait, what happened to you... it was very personal. I mean -- yeah, I want to know everything of course. But take some time and make sure you are certain of what you want to share before you tell anyone anything, okay?"

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana is setting her drink glass down again and standing up when she sees Kara rise up quickly to rush off. She knows, or assumes to know, some of what must be fueling that. action from the young woman. A glance is given to Donna, but with Donna choosing to let Kara go for now, Diana elects to do the same.

Her mother's response to her has Diana smiling as she's walking around those at the table. It makes her happy beyond words to hear the answer, as though everything she'd hoped for with plans of pushing Themyscira in to a new era were coming together.

Diana retrieves something from a court servant and brings it to where CAitlin is. She offers it to her. It's a bundle wrapped up in deep blue cloth and tied in gold rope. Inside of the soft fabric wrapping is a leather bound book with Caitlin's name enscribed on the leather cover. "This is your journal for your journey, Caitlin." The Princess offers. "Within it you should write the tale of this, and your future stories as an Amazon, so that they may be joined with the records of other Amazons." She smiles softly.

"Your stories will be quite... exciting, I am sure. Inspirational to others on the island, and beyond."

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin gives a sheepish smile, first for Donna's gentle correction, then for Nadia's effusive salutation. Oh hey, there's wine in her hands again! For lack of a better idea of what to do, she throws back a healthy gulp of the potent drink.

She lowers her drink in time to receive the gift from Diana. It takes just a few moments to unwrap it and she stares at the journal with wide, slightly damp eyes. "Oh, golly," she concludes finally. "Diana, this-- this is so nice of you. Thank you, so so much." Rather impulsively, Caitlin flings her arms around the Princess for a warm hug. "I promise to do my best to record everything accurately," she swears.

Kara Danvers has posed:
    Kara's eyes widen in surprise and she turns as the Queen makes another declaration. The choice is stripped away from her in an instant. All her self doubts and fears are no longer relevant even if they persist. The Queen has spoken and Kara's mouth opens without a ward to depart from it.

    She turns and approaches, then crosses her arms in salute to the Queen, and Diana and then Troia. "I am honoured by your trust in me. If only all would judge me by my deeds and not my heritage, much tragedy could be averted," she says solemnly. "I accept your invitation and it will be my privilege and honour to visit Themyscira."

    She isn't quite sure what to say to that though, and puffs out her cheeks, then resumes her seat at the table, dipping her head a touch and sipping more of the wine. This stuff is working, right? please let this wine give her the strength to blame it for her awkwardness.

Hippolyta (1581) has posed:
The Queen of the Amazons glances at those gathered in her presence. From her daughters, to their new sister, to the Titans and finally the Kryptonian who seems to bear the weight of another world on her shoulders. The adequate balance of regal presence and warmth, she gathers her veil about her. "I am afraid I must take my leave of you to finish preparations for tomorrow. Do continue your merriment- but do remember we shall all gather in the morning. Once again, Happy Birthday, Diana. And Aikaterine."

With a smile, the Queen sweeps out of the hall, accompanied by some of the Amazons who will be involved in what will ensue in the morning.

But what exactly is it?

Donna Troy has posed:
    Troia knows what Hippolyta is planning. She gives her mother a grin as the queen sweeps majestically from the room, glancing back at Caitlin with an even wider grin. Diana knows too, of course, but Diana's probably too busy with enthusiastic Caitlin hugs.

    She rests a companionable arm around Kara's shoulders, and leans close. "This is the law of Aphrodite Ourania, Kara Zor-El. Remember that /other/ Themyscira? Compassion demands not just that we might sometimes provide a sanctuary for those that need somewhere they might redeem themselves for their deeds, but sometimes also those that need a sanctuary from the deeds of others that those less compassionate might judge them for. Before we leave tomorrow, the pair of us can fly out and try coming back, and I'll give you some help figuring out how to actually find the place. It'll take a bit of practise, and you'll probably find it easier having me, Caitlin, Diana or Cassie along with you the first couple of times. You'll get the hang of it though."

    She leans back, tapping her cup gently against Kara's, and smiles. Apparently apropos of nothing, she says "Sometimes, but not often, I wonder about what home I might have had, if this had not become mine. It's... a curiosity. Before I washed up on these shores, rescued and brought here by the Nereids, I must have had a home, a family. Parents. Perhaps it would have been an idyllic home. Perhaps not. It could have been anything. But the truth is, I know where I come from. I come from here. I come from America. I come from the places that have shaped me. The places where I am loved, and where I find those who I love in turn."

    She looks around, taking in those she is surrounded by. Her sister, and her figurative sisters - including the newest - the Amazons. Her team-mates, those she has met only the last year or two and one who is her oldest friend. Her smile grows, and she calls for more drinks to be poured out for everyone.

    "To Diana, and Akaiterne," She calls out, demanding another toast. "The birthday girls! To Themyscira, and to the Titans! But most of all... to family."