5751/Former Raccoon

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Former Raccoon
Date of Scene: 27 March 2021
Location: Labs - Titan's Tower
Synopsis: Non-raccoon is very happy with friends now
Cast of Characters: Gwen Stacy, Dick Grayson, Irina-As17

Gwen Stacy has posed:
Some time had passed with Irina being a guest at the Titan's tower. Most of that time had been spent with the girl being 'out'. The effects of the poison, and also of the loss of those powers taking a toll. Gwen had been around, continuing her study with Irina's blood, trying to find a way to cure her. Or at least have her recover what she had lost. She knew the girl missed it.

But so far, no luck.

Yet now the girl is waking up more fully. Not staying up only for a few moments. So it was time for a decision to be made. And for her to actually talk with those in charge. That meant the older members of the Titans. And with Nightwing already being aware of what was going on he is the first she reaches out to.

> Hey, Nightwing. Our guest is finally waking up. Mind dropping by when you can at the medical labs? -Gwen

And with that sent she turns and sits on a bench, looking at Irina. "So, how do you feel?"

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing is spending a lot more time at the Tower these days, so literally minutes after the message is sent he steps off the elevator and makes his way over to the medical section. Spotting Gwen and Irina, he heads over to stand near the girl's bed.

Nodding to Gwen, he looks to Irina with a friendly smile and introduces himself, "Hi there, I'm Nightwing. It's good to see you awake and with us, we were worried about you for a while there. Did you feel up to talking a little bit about what happened to you?"

Irina-As17 has posed:
Irina-AS17 sat on the bed, hugging her knees, black circles under her eyes, still being fairly sick. Gwen would have found that the poison was a neurotoxin and its effects took a while to recover from, even after it was neutralized damage had been done. She was now her natural, perfectly 'normal' russian self. The only anomaly being the exact thing that kept her perfectly normal, the strip of mutant DNA that constantly reset her genetic code to its natural state, now unleashed it was constantly at work.

Her eyes move up to stare at Gwen, she hadn't been crying like at the start, but she had this veil of deep depression over her, over the loss of her whole identity and the world as she previously thought she knew. "Better. My energy is returning quickly now." She replies, focusing only on her physical condition.

She stares at Nightwing with a bit of surprise over him being so friendly, she nods very softly. "I apologize for the trouble I caused. My best guess is that they needed to make sure my powers were erased to protect their genetic research , and to make sure I was dead for defying them." She says while exhaling very deeply, she still could barely believe what she was saying, but the truth was being essentially stabbed into her heart.

Gwen Stacy has posed:
"Good." Gwen smiles fondly at the girl. "It will return faster if you actually eat the food we bring you. All of it." see? She's a good nurse. Fatten them up! She is dressed in jeans and top today, a labcoat atop it all. And no mask. So it meant she had revealed her identiy to Irina already. "I called someone to talk with you..."

And it's when Nightwing appears. She lifts one hand to greet him, "Hey. This is one of our older members. Or .., the original Titan." a brief laugh. "And you can open with him." she reaching to tap the girl's shoulder. "He is a friend.."

But then she goes quiet, letting them talk and clarify any doubts about what was going on.

Dick Grayson has posed:
He shakes his head, "No need to apologize. Not to sound cliche or anything, but helping people in trouble is kind of why we're here." He moves over to grab a char, pulling it over by Irina's bed and sitting down so he's not looming over her. Looming is Batman's thing.

He nods and lets out a little sigh, then says, "Well, why don't we start there. Who are the 'they' who did this to you? As far as I know we didn't get any info from anything left after the attack, so we're still kind of clueless there. If you feel up to it, do you mind sharing a little background on yourself and this organization?"

Irina-As17 has posed:
Irina-AS17 bites her lower lip very firmly, she's visibly hesitating, it was like ripping off the bandaid, she knew this time would come. Facing the facts was more difficult than she thought. She gives him a shakey nod, believing in Gwen's introduction, she lightly places her own hand over the spider woman's on her shoulder to steady herself. Breathing in a few times she begins. "They're my parents." She replies vaguely, at first anyways. "I've been with them since I was bo-" She stops herself with a realization, her eyes widening. That was convenient. That exactly the child they needed to research had been an orphan. The bite on her lower lip gets much tighter, leaving bright red marks now.

Once she recovers she shakes her head a bit to clear it. "Sorry. I don't think I was born there. But they've had me since I was a baby. They were studying me since my first memories, I was very confused at first, but they slowly explained to me what was happening." Her teeth grit and she unconsciously squeezes Gwen's hand extremely tightly. Luckily she was a normal human now and so that was unlikely to even be painful. She was getting to the difficult, most painful part.

"I had something they desperately needed. The key to a brighter future where no villany exists and everyone lives in peace, with no fear of what might come in the future. They told me it was the reason I had been born, to open the path to this perfect world, to the salvation everyone needed. So I gladly went with the experiments they did, it took many, many years."

She was breathing erratically now, trying to keep herself together and not breaking down in the middle of her explanation, but each word came out more strained. "I'm not sure why or what they needed me for. Why I was so important. But...after coming outside, experiencing all of this, I know everything they said were just convenient lies. If they wanted a happy future, a peaceful world, then why...WHY would they want me to kill such wonderful people? I refuse to believe that is the right path."

Tears streamed down her cheeks now even though she was doing her best to keep herself under control, they poured out of their own accord. "Once they managed to give me powers they sent me out to do tests and see what my potential would be. Now I know I know it was because they were adjusting the process to make better...versions of me. I saw it, the bird man who attacked Gwen, he was just like me."

She turns herself a bit and taps her left shoulder. Tattooed upon her skin is: AS17. Just like all the mutated soldiers who attacked them. Had any of them looked into the matter after SHIELD took them away, they'd find out all the soldiers shared the same fate, their powers were gone. "I knew I was going to lose them, but I just... I couldn't do it. I couldn't hurt my friends, maybe I'm just weak and this is all wrong, but it's the only path I can take now."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing sits quietly through the entire story, nodding as Irina tells of her experience. His lips tighten a bit as her emotions take hold of her, either sympathy or slight anger at those who would do this sort of thing. After she falls quiet, he reaches out to pat her shoulder gently if she allows it.

"I've heard words like that before. The brighter future usually turns out to be the future the leaders of the group want, despite what the rest of the world might think about it. But you have the right of it. How do you make a better world by going out and killing people? There's no path to peace through mass slaughter, just to domination."

He reaches over to pick up and offer her a box of tissues while continuing, "I'm actually impressed that you had the strength to throw off what they spent so much time teaching you and see the truth. Too many people in your situation would find it impossible to change their view of the world. You did, that says something about how strong you are."

Another nod, and he adds, "There were a number of soldiers with animal mutations involved in the attack. Enough that it worries me how many they may still have. And that makes the next question possibly the most important one... Can you tell us how to find them? We can't let them keep doing this to people. We'll do our best not to hurt the soldiers, since if they're like you they probably don't know any better, but we need to find the people behind this."

Gwen Stacy has posed:
Gwen continues to listen quietly as Irina explains her life, her growing up and who she was working for. A nod is given to Nightwing. "Noone has the right to impart their view on others in such a manner. But you did something that only a true hero can do, Alpha. You chose to be better. And that's all we can ask of ourselves." the spidery-one says, gentle smile to her lips.

She looks back to Nightwing, "I have tried to follow then once, but I could not find anything. They are well organized." her expression souring a touch. She considers and then asks Irina. "Were there others you had contact with at the organization? Anyone else you talked to in a more regular basis? Names, faces. Anything could help." a faint grin.

"The Titans are .., quite resourceful where it comes to finding people."

Irina-As17 has posed:
Irina-AS17 looks up at him, her expression is wiped clean with sheer surprise. It takes her a while to process his explanation, it was exactly what she needed to hear, suddenly everythings clicks in her head. "They said they wanted to wipe away every last villain and criminal. That peace was only possible through ending every last evil-doer." She looks down at herself with a bit of disgust. "I was ready to become the greatest evil. But here you guys are, showing me this much kindness." Now she had to stop periodically to breathe in sharply and let some tears pour out. "I'm in the exact situation of the people I was built to kill, but now I realize, I really wouldn't want that to happen to me. This is much better."

She smiled brightly now, a few crying hiccups from the relief. "So I wasn't weak after all...it wasn't my fault. I didn't mess up the world." She was so happy she could barely put it into words. "I was so scared."

She sits down in a more normal way now and clenches her fists, setting them on her own lap. "I'm useless right now. I can't fight, I don't think I ever will be able to again. I can't be the great hero I desperately wanted to be and save the world." Her words are full of regret and pain, but there was a positive firmness as well.

She looks up at him with a wider smile. "But I can help you guys take them down. I know every procedure, every drop location, every staging area, every transport location. But there's a bigger problem, you guys won't be able to go on the offensive yet. They're already coming for several people, one of my directives was to find potential targets. We have to keep them from taking anyone away. Both Spiders are, but I think they can handle themselves. Heather is another one, but she's protected here with you guys. The one we need to go help is my third friend. I don't know her name, she has this...bird mask...and these claw gauntlets that really hurt, and weird blood that lets her heal herself. If they take her away things will be very bad."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing smiles at her, shaking his head, "No, you did the absolute right thing. The world is not perfect, but that's not the way to make it better. So you kill every evil doer... and what happens next? Maybe then you're told to kill everyone who doesn't agree with your leaders. It doesn't end. Plus, human nature being what it is, sooner or later there would be new criminals. So where would the killing end?"

He listens, then sighs, "I know it can be scary, but I have a friend who used to fight, then lost the ability to do so. She helps other ways now, with information and such. You don't have to fight to be a hero. Like Gwen said, you already are a hero because of the choice you made."

As she lists the targets, he nods, "We'll still want to warn the other spiders of course, Gwen, do you have channels to do that? And your other friend.. Is she also mute? Uses a pen and pad to communicate?"

Gwen Stacy has posed:
The question about channels to the other Spiders is met with a sharp nod. "I do. Spidey is quite the tech wiz, we got a few channels for that." she assures Nightwing, now leaning back on her bench to rest against the work counter, arms folding over her waist. "I will make sure they are alerted to this."

Yet when Nightwing speaks of Alpha's other friend she furrows her brows. "Someone you have come across with before?" then she chuckling with just a small amount of levity. "Well, you *are* a very famous hero. Should had figured..." it's true! He was the Titan's poster 'child' afterall.

Then to Alpha she says, "We will help you in this. You already know you can count on me, no matter what. And Nightwing is right, there are many ways that people can help. You are not .., useless. Besides, you haven't lost what you learned, have you?"

Irina-As17 has posed:
Irina-AS17 gasped painfully, rubbing her eyes to try and get them to dry up, after a statement like that her emotions were just pouring out non-stop. "Thank you so much, you guys." She says after a stabilizing sigh of relief. "I would like to meet her, I think. But even then, what I know will be limited to how they operate, I have so little knowledge of the outside world, I don't think i'll be useful afterwards. I'm really thankful for this second chance to do something that's actually good." She extends her arms to hug both of them, if allowed, squeezing them very hard for what would normally be an uncomfortable amount of time for people, but she didn't know social norms very well.

"She does! I know where she is right now, I can take you there if you want. And well, I have not learned much, honestly. In terms of my skills I just... I was just supposed to kill people and be obedient. I guess it's easier to control someone who's very limited." Now when she replies her tone has a strong background of resentment and a burning anger. "But I will help until everything I have to help with is depleted. I spent a lot of time scouting and moving around the city, I can tell you where they're going to strike and who. And when it's time, how to get to the base, there are multiple steps. You need to take three different transports and they don't let you look outside or know where exactly you're going. But if we work slowly, we can track down every different route they take and then pin down the base."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing has no problem with the group hug or it's duration, he's not Raven. And Irina obviously needs some reassurance right now. "I'll talk to her about it. And as for your knowledge of the world, we can help with that. There's a number of options, including a school several of our younger members go to. That would be after we make sure your old group isn't a threat any more of course."

Sitting back after the hug ends, he tilts his head a little, "So Gwen called you Alpha, that sounds more like a designation or call sign than a name, do you have a personal name that you'd prefer us to use? And it's ok, I know exactly where she is, she's currently under Batman's protection. We'll make sure she stays safe."

He smiles when she speaks of procedures to find the base, "Good, think about everything you can remember about the base and getting to and from it, and we'll get to work on this. Gwen, give her a voice activated tablet, that way she can record everything she remembers, and also use it to maybe surf the web, look up things that interest her."

"Since they kept you so limited, I assume they didn't teach you to read or write, so I figure voice commands would work best for you. But we'll help you get used to the world, don't worry. You won't just be set adrift."

Gwen Stacy has posed:
No problem with the group hug for Gwen either! She can be quite the hugger sometimes. In her free time. Ghost Spider runs her hand through her hair after, smiling faintly, and worriedly, at the young woman that is only now discovering more on who she is, and who she can be. A glance to Dick, "Well, that's convenient ..." about the other hero being under Batman's protection. "She will be safe then." if anything Batman and his cadre of vigilantes were nothing short of legendary.

She gets up to her feet after, making her way to the counter and opens a drawer. Reaching in she takes out one of the standard tablets used at the tower. She taptaps on the screen for a bit, configuring a new user rather swiftly before placing it on the bed next to Irina. She was no slouch where it came to technology! "It's a good idea." she says to Nightwing. "I can teach you use it if you don't know how to. But you know your share about how to handle these I think."

Irina-As17 has posed:
Irina-AS17 rubs her hands together pensively for a moment. "I know some basic things, I can read and write uh, I guess on a basic level. I learned what I know of speaking from listening to the Doctors talking. I can do some basic math. I think that's it." She replies, feeling a bit ashamed by her lack of basic skills. "I know a few things from the outside world from what they taught me and what I heard them talking about, most of it I'm still getting used to."

She stops to think once more, there was one thing she was quite good at and that was what she learned from her basic military training. "I'm just Alpha, Alpha Superior Seventeen. I don't know why some people are called different things, it has always confused me. You guys have weird names too." She says waving a hand at them both.

"Anyways, if you guys get me a map I can mark all the important locations I know and the routes and stuff, it'll help narrow down the area of the base. Then to find the main base uh, I'm not sure if it's possible to infiltrate but it would have to be a really, really large area with the base under the ground. So I don't think it would have buildings and other stuff on top of it."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing nods, "Ok, good, that makes it easier if you can already read and write. That's not bad for someone who was raised mostly as a weapon. The rest can be caught up, so don't worry about that at all. Gwen can show you the internet, you can start learning things right here.

"Well, out in the world people have names, usually from their families. Some of us also take superhero names so we can have lives separate from our hero lives. That's why I'm Nightwing. I have another name, but I keep it secret so people who don't like Nightwing don't go after my normal friends."

"Gwen, you're good with tech, show her how to do map stuf fon the tablet also, would you? I'd appreciate it, cause I'm afraid I have to run."