8198/Only a Bird in a Guilty Cage

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Only a Bird in a Guilty Cage
Date of Scene: 01 October 2021
Location: Kyshán: Kían's estate
Synopsis: The avian Powers that Be come a-calling.
Cast of Characters: Kian, Terry O'Neil, Gar Logan

Kian has posed:
    A typical Akiár bed is usually described as follows: decadent for one, luxurious for two, comfortable for three, cozy for four, and difficult to find for any larger group.  It sounds a lot better in the original Akiár'shak, where it not only rhymes, but each line is a pun.
    Kían was ultimately forced to admit that bringing one back to Earth with him wasn't going to happen.
    It has been a busy couple days, gathering a few easily portable things to bring back with him: about half his wardrobe, a personal computer system, a communication console, a case of his dad's brandy, and a few personal effects—all while being in near constant communication with friends and family, when they weren't actually visiting.  So Kían was looking forward to a good night's sleep where he didn't have anything to do or anyone to see outside of his dreams.
    The kirát, the house control systems, are pretty good about gently waking someone when it's time to get up.  However gentle the waking, though, the reason for being awakened can be quite shocking.  If Gar and Terry are already up and about, they'll hear his startled squawk.  If still asleep alongside… Kían can only apologize later for the loud {!!!!!} he can't help but 'send.
    Either way, he'll be found sitting on the edge of the bed looking pale and breathing hard.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry is usually a morning person—he has to be, with the job that he has.  However, whenever he is on vacation, he has a tendency to revert to his late-sleeping habits, and a trip across the universe does sort of count as a vacation, intentional or not.
    The cheshire had been in the middle of a blissful dream when the telepathic alert came in, and within a few seconds he is sitting up with a wide-eyed, alarmed look ,hand reaching out to Kían.
    "Kían!  Kían, what's the matter?"

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan had been napping, but as his usual self.  Sleeping as a different animal, or an Akiár… it doesn't really work that way.  It takes focus and concentration to keep any form.  So, he's wingless and he has the normal amount of fingers.  There is no real telepathic stuff happening, except for anything that might cross over from Kían.
    Anything startling causes him to sit up in a haze of half-sleep and half-alertness, rapid blinking and eye crust being rubbed away by the knuckles.  "Huhwhaaat?" he asks, nearly rolling off the bedding before catching himself.  "I'm up!  I'm up!  …what's up?"

Kian has posed:
    Kían bolts across the room to a closet door.  "Okh shon'h takh-tái?" he asks with a note of panic in his voice, literally throwing clothes over his shoulder, repeating the same Akiár phrase with rising agitation until his hand falls on what looks like a blue tabard.  He turns around and very nearly tosses it onto the bed, stopping only when he realizes Terry and Gar are there, looking at him with varying degrees of concern.  "Ai, c'Rhys'yw… I haf woken you up.  There… this… it… I… ai, c'Rhys'yw."  It genuinely takes him a moment or two to get under some semblance of control, and that requires a large glass of ice water from the night stand.
    Finally, he takes a deep breath and says, wide-eyed, "I am to expec' a call from the Imperial house in a son… a little less than an hour.  I-I-I… what if they order me to stay?  I do not know if I can say no to a personal representative of Her Serenity."
    His eyes widen again, and he looks like he's on the verge of passing out.  "c'Rhys'yw… what if it's Tóra q'Tar herself?  They… I… she… what am I goin' to do?!"
    It isn't fear, but clearly Kían finds the prospect overwhelming.  Like a parish nun unexpectedly being told she's about to get a call from the Pope.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "Oh, is that all?" Vorpal says, sliding off the bed and then giving Gar a wink after he has managed to get off the floor.
    "Kían, you are freaking out over something that hasn't happened yet.  You don't know why they are calling, so it's useless to speculate.  As to what they might ask you…."
    He crosses his arms over his chest.  "Let us wait.  Of course Gar and I will both insist to be present and won't take 'no' for an answer."
    He walks over to Kían and tries to soothe him by circling his waist with his arms.  "Right, Gar?  Should we freshen up?  Get a little fancied up for the call?"

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan goes over for some water as well, and in the process the wings sprout from his back and his form changes enough to complete the shift to Akiár, that mental awareness clicking back into existence.  For the moment, he continues to speak aloud so Vorpal can hear.  "It's fine, it's fine.  I was almost up anyway, and we've got a few things to do, right?"
    He listens to the news from Kían, as he also gets some water for himself, a hand resting against a hip in the process.  "So you're going to be seeing, what, is this like a Cardinal or something?"  He grins a little too much at the joke he's just made, whether they get it or not.  A cardinal is a bird, but also a religious title.  Ha ha!
    After a sip, the other hand gestures back toward them.  "Dude, it's your life.  Your will.  Didn't you just get done telling others they can't keep you here, that you'll go where you want to?"  Yeah, he heard about that conversation.  Vorpal would have also heard all about Gar's encounter with Shíri and Raká, plus the qihár practice.

Kian has posed:
    "Iss that all?" Kían repeats, scandalized… until he remembers who said it.  "Do you remember the firs' time you met Wonder Woman, Terry?" he asks pointedly.  "You ended up unconscious on the floor.  I am feelin' a lot the same right now."
    He takes another deep breath.  "Yis, of course, I want you bot' there.  But please, this iss an Imperial.  You only speak when spoken to."  He looks directly at Terry, remembering the encounter with Aéla.  "An' you be unfailin'ly polite.  If not for the sake of protocol, then please, do that for me."
    He shakes his head at Gar.  "No, not another high priest or priestess.  It will be one of the Imperials themselves; if not the… the q'Tar herself, then one of her children.  I-I-I would find it very hard to refuse a direc' order."
    He slumps against Terry when hugged, and breathes, "I hope I can.  If I haf to, I will."
    After a moment, he adds, "I hope."
    Then he glances at the clock and squawks, "Shower!" and bolts for the bathroom.
    He will not be in there long.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Vorpal purses his lips as Kían darts for the shower.  He will not take one—it takes far too long for fur to dry, so this will call for an illusion.  And he knows exactly what illusion to use.
    "We're going to have to help him, hon," he says, reaching out to take Gar's hand.
    "Everybody here but Shiri seems to have an opinion of what Kían needs to do according to their desires for him.  Nobody among them seems to ask what he himself wants.  We will have to be there for him and ensure that what he wants isn't trampled under the awe of some crown-wearing old bird.  Once you've sat at the table of a nine-thousand-year-old queen, all other royalty seems so—mundane."

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan crosses his arms now.  "You know I don't do all that good with not talking, so you'd better hope whoever this person is talks to me."  He's grinning in such a way as to suggest an attempt to lighten the mood, but with Kían rushing off to clean up, he can't be certain.  What he can do is send privately, {You gonna be okay?  We're not gonna let them force you into anything you don't want, even if that means me ruining things to the point they'd never welcome me back.  It's been nice here, but you're not someone else's property.  You're Kían, and all that entails.  So this Imperial person only gets one chance to do the right thing.}
    He adds to Vorpal, hand taken and squeezed, "He knows we've got his back.  They need to understand he has his own life to live, no matter what they want of him."  Then he's staring at the feline-boy.  "Wait, what?  How old did you say she is?  Are you talking about Wonderland?"

Kian has posed:
    Normally Kían's thoughts are pretty orderly, but Gar can easily sense his agitation, even though the birdman is trying mightily to impose at least a veneer of artificial calm.  {I don't know.  I'm still panicking.  I've never talked to an Imperial before.  I'm only hoping I don't pass out the way Terry did in front of Wonder Woman… well, at least Raven isn't here to put us away with ghostly black tentacles.}  That brings a little laugh out of him, and surprisingly, helps calm him some.  {Please help keep Terry under control.  I can't have them thinking I'm going back to madness, then they might think I need to be examined first and possibly proactively redacted to 'protect' me.  You know how he can get.  It was one thing with Aéla, but this is going to be an Imperial prince or princess.}
    Kían looks a little calmer as he returns from his shower, hair tied back loosely with a gold-tone band, and but for his pendant, predictably and obliviously unclothed.  "I think I feel calmer now," he says, although he doesn't really sound it, as he sits down to slip on his sandals and lace them up his calves.  "We shoul' not assume what they want until they say it.  It iss possible it will be jus' a courtesy call to the new Rhyták."  That last word comes out like he'd bit into something sour.
    He smooths out the outfit he called a 'shon'—it really is basically nothing more than a blue tabard, and looks like it will hang to about his knees, front and back.  He his head through the hole and turns around while he smooths the front.  "Would someone please get this qokh thing to hang properly between my wings?  I hate wearin' these, but… Imperials."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "Of course, here."  Vorpal is the one who volunteers.  "It really is rather amusing, your people go around mostly naked, you'd think the royals would have enough common sense to recognize comfort over formality…."  When Kían is properly fitted, he steps back and comes around and back into the line of sight of the two Titans.
    And quite a sight he is.  While he was out of sight, he conjured up an illusion to cover him.  Gone is the kilt.  What he is wearing now is something that would look straight out of a high-budget fantasy movie by Peter Jackson, had he decided to update Wonderland by way of his Tolkien adaptations.  It is a smart courtly suit in white and crimson, with your standard billowy shirt with an open neck enhanced with velvet, underneath a crimson doublet laced in the front and  enhanced with a rich brocade pattern, with embellishments of hearts.  Venetian breeches continue the color and pattern motif, worn over white hose and dark crimson boots.  An elegan white satin cape is thrown jauntily over his shoulder, and the outfit is capped off by what appears to be an antique silver coronet that dips downward over his forehead, a single heart-shaped ruby seems to sparkle on his brow.
    "Don't be silly, love.  Wonderland is only five hundred years old.  Add or take a century.  Queen Hippolyta is close to nine thousand years old, and incredibly well-preserved at that, wouldn't you say?" he asks.  He glances at Kían.  His outfit doesn't exactly look like normal clothes, the white fabric seems to have a slight internal luminiscent quality to it.
    "Well, I am ready to represent Wonderland and meet your royals."

Gar Logan has posed:
    Fortunately Gar doesn't need to wear one of those.  He has the common Akiár attire for now.  Just as he starts to move toward Kían, he lets Vorpal finish things up with getting the garment to fit properly.  "I'm told you're going to have to control yourself more than usual," he tells the cat.  "So pretend you've got laryngitis or something, just for a little while."
    The clothing he illusions up… fancy as it is, he can only rub at his forehead.  "Oh, boy…" he says, mostly under his breath.  "Who are you trying to impress with that?  Me?"  The explanation given as to who's that old… he verbally jabs, "Okay, behave or the next time I see her, I'm letting her know that you're going around telling everybody how old she is."

Kian has posed:
    Kían fastens a belt around his middle and checks himself in a mirror.  "I hate wearin' these thin's," he repeats, and turns to face his friends… and just stares blankly at Terry a moment.  "I… that looks really good on you."  Terry has variously mentioned possibly being royalty—or even divinity—in Wonderland, although it's always hard to say how seriously to take it.  "I need them to not worry about me goin' back, Terry tenár'h, so that if I haf to insist, they are more willin' to let me haf my way.  Please do not scare the… the… whoever iss callin'."
    Kían leads the way—walking, not flying—to the receiver area to wait.  A pot of hot tea, or something not unlike tea, is already waiting, and Kían pours himself a cup.  While adding spoon after spoon of sugar, he explains, "The shon I am wearin' iss highly formal.  It iss not easy to fly in, which I guess iss what makes it formal."
    He glances at the still-empty receiver space, where the hologram of the caller will appear.  Both Terrans will have seen it in operation: Kían has received a lot of calls, and the effect is quite realistic, almost like they're actually there.
    And he shivers.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "Kían, rest assured, I will not scare them.  However, I can't make any promises about what Donna might want to do if they order you not to leave."  A mischievous smile plays on his lips.  "Although I am quite sure that your royal family is smart enough to not end up with a cat butt tattooed permanently on their foreheads."
    He is kidding about that, of course.  Donna wouldn't do that.
    Would she?
    Taking his seat, he sits up straight, assuming that regal-yet-relaxed position only felines seem to achieve.  "I know this looks good on me.  That's on purpose."  There is also something unusual about him—regardless of what light there is in the room, and what light his companions may be under, he seems to be lit from multiple angles at once so that there is nary a shadow on him, completing the unearthly look.
    "Don't be silly, Gar.  Donna's mom knows exactly how old she is."

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan raises a finger as Vorpal mentions that tattoo, then just reaches to extend that finger to place it against the feline's mouth while silently saying 'No.'  Like cats listen to that.
    "Oh, so it's through one of these?" he asks as they relocate and Kían places himself near the receiver thingy.  "Do you want me nearby?" he asks Kían, forgetting just what kind of view someone on the other end would have from it.  "I didn't bring anything that formal, either."  The green one jerks a thumb toward Vorpal.
    "Anyway, just remember we're here.  Whatever happens, we got you."

Kian has posed:
    Kían smiles a little, but he's obviously still terribly nervous about what's coming.  "Yis, please, both of you.  Stay close.  I—kya!!"
    The tone announcing the incoming call is mellow, but Kían's nerves were all on edge.  He whips around to face the receiver, wings twitching.
    Who appears is a woman with short black hair, golden brown skin, and blazingly white wings.  She has a carefully neutral expression, although her blue eyes dart back and forth between the three young men facing her.
    Kían drops to one knee, bowing so low his forehead nearly touches the floor, wings spread wide, and just stays there.
    «Arise, Kían k'Rhyták t'Kiáre.»  Kían channels the translation through to Gar, so he can pass it along to Terry… and of course his internal wince with that title can't help but go with it.  He adds, for their benefit, {This is Ría q'San.  She is daughter of the empress, and viceroy of Kyshán.}
    Slowly, Kían pulls himself back up.  «Thank you, my princess.  I would like to present Gar s'Márek'Mári t'Lógan, and Téri Oníl, both of Earth, the world I have been on.  I… have not been told why I am being honored with your communication, my princess.»
    She smiles very slightly.  «You can't think that your reappearance is mundane, Avatar of Kiáre.»  She chooses to ignore the wince that Kían couldn't quite suppress at the title.  «I have been asked to verify your intentions.»
    Kían swallows hard.  Only the Empress herself could have given Ría any directions.
    Before he can say anything, she turns her attention to Gar.  «I would point out that you're very green, Gar, but you probably know that already.  How is it you look like one of our people?  And so very different from Téri.  What kind of world is Earth, then?»

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    She addresses Gar and Vorpal remains quiet, as per his promise to Kían.  He can't help himself, though, and he observes her wings.  For a moment, he is incredibly tempted to give himself wings like those—so bright that they would outshine the sun.
    But he has made a promise, and so far Her Royalness hasn't done anything to provoke the sass of Wonderland.

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan stands adjacent to Vorpal enough that some part of them can remain touching.  For now, it's the hands.  A brow shifts upward at Kían's expression of startlement—never gets old—but the majority of his attention… no, the supermajority of his attention falls upon Ría.  Noting Kían kneeling and bowing so low, with his wings spread so far apart, there is a part of him that feels like he ought to do the same before he recalls that he does not serve anyone here.  He is a visitor, and while he can be as much an Akiár as anyone else of this world, things are still different.  So, he dips his head respectfully enough and waits.
    No witty words, no goofy behavior, and he merely waits as patiently as he is able to until she's scrutinizing him, asking him questions.  That just means it's time for him to say something.  What, though?  He only knows once he's begun.
    "Ahh… can I speak to her he way you… no, I guess not.  Um.  Kían will have to tell you what I'm saying, because I don't know your language very well yet.  But first, your wings are beautiful.  And thank you for noticing.  Yes, I've been told I'm especially green before." Clearing his throat, he flashes Kían a hopeful expression then turns back to the image of Ría.
    Going on, he explains, "I have the ability to turn into any animal or person I've seen, as long as I can concentrate enough on it.  I've even been a duhón but when Kían came to our world, someone looking to help him brought him to meet my team of friends.  We can all do special things, and I turned into an Akiár to try to help him feel more comfortable, and we quickly understood each other.  Our planet has lots of different kinds of people, and some from other planets too.  It's very different from your world, and people like us work together to help keep it safe from danger."

Kian has posed:
    She accepts the compliment with a slight nod.  «You are a diplomat, Gar of Marek and Mari.  And your friend is quiet.»  Possibly the first time that has ever been said about Terry.  «But, you say it is a dangerous world?» Ría asks.
    «It is a very different world, my princess,» Kían tries to explain.  «They do not have the mind touch, so they are all apart from each other, and things that do not happen here… happen there.  We,» he continues, indicating himself, Gar and Terry, «and our other friends do what we can to minimize that.  It is interesting.»
    She smiles again.  «That sounds like an understatement, Avatar of Kiáre.»
    «It probably is,» Kían admits.  «I have seen and done things I could never have imagined before.»  He decides to take the elephant in the room on directly, and adds, «It's why I need to go back, beyond that Gar and Terry are tenár'yw, and they need to go back to their friends and family.  I don't want them to go through here what I did there, knowing no one, none of the language, none of the culture.»
    Ría merely looks thoughtful at that.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    It is, indeed, the first time this has been said about Terry outside of an unfortunate bout with laryingitis.  Or a session with a good book.
    Unfortunately, although silence is golden, in the case of Terry O'Neil, it is short-lived.
    "It is not only for our sake, but for the sake of your worlds' future security, that Kían should come back with us."
    He does not follow up immediately on that thought, but uses his Rabbit Hole to serve himself a bit of the tea before proceeding, demonstrating the reality-bending nature of his power.  "Your worlds are a haven of safety and have been spared the visits of more hostile, war-like species.  Earh has not been so lucky, but in that adversity we have learned how to, as Kían pointed, keep ourselves safe.  You have not had that experience.  It will be only a matter of time before one such hostile species stumbles upon your world."
    A sip from his cup, and then his green eyes fix on her, unblinking.  "It is therefore very advantageous not to only have an avatar of Kiáre, but also his friends—many of whom are gods themselves or avatars theof whose powers are of a scope unimagined here—who would gladly come to bring aid at a thought's moment, in appreciation for the considerations that will be shown to Kían."
    Sip, stare.

Gar Logan has posed:
    "A diplomat?  Ahh… not really.  I'm kind of a bad joke teller and I try to get people to laugh a lot, but… I can be more serious when I need to be, and I know this is important," Gar explains to Ría.  "And Terry, we also call him Vorpal.  See, we have other names we go by.  Codenames.  Like me, I'm Beast Boy, because it has to do with what I can turn into.  Some names make more sense than others.  But Terry was respecting you by not talking until you brought him up."
    It's kind of skirting the request to not speak unless spoken to, technically.
    "And Kían's right.  And so is Terry.  Where we come from, only a few people can do telepathy.  There are so many people there, I can't imagine always hearing other thoughts in my head.  Just here, I've been having to get used to it.  It's very different.  Kían says our world is weird, and so is yours, but it's also neat."
    Taking in a breath and letting it out, he glances toward Kían before giving Vorpal a long look, clearing his throat a little.  "What we're all trying to say is that we think it's in everyone's best interests if Kían can go back with us, because he knows about our world now and we can all teach each other more things about each other that way, and if it's okay, we can come back here with him sometimes too.  Now we can have ways of doing that, so nobody has to stay completely in one place.  And now that we know what could happen here, we'd work to make sure trouble doesn't come here.  I was worried about being stuck here, but I think there's a part of me that would get used to it.  Peaceful is good."

Kian has posed:
    Kían translates faithfully—he couldn't do otherwise—but the tremor in his voice is noticeable even if the words are alien.  Clearly, he thinks they might be making demands that it's too soon to make.
    Before he can add something to try to soften the message a little, Ría nods once.  «We are aware that there are other civilizations out there, that are not like ours.  That is why we have not made contact with any of them.»  Kían looks shocked; Ría regards him sympathetically.  «Of course you didn't know.  It's only widely known that we have discovered signals, not that we think we have decoded some of them.  For all we know, one of them might even be this Eart' you were on.»
    «I… why is this not known?» Kían asks.
    «It will be, when we understand what we're receiving.  What little we know is very different from our worlds, and some are not far away, cosmically speaking.»
    She glances at Gar and Terry again.  «Tell me, Avatar of Kiáre, your first reaction to being on a strange world was fear, and it stayed that way a long time, didn't it?»
    «It did,» Kían admits.
    «Her Serenity does not want her people needlessly fearful of that which we cannot yet explain.»  The smile returns.  «You give me hope that our people can learn, though, if you have become so comfortable on another world that you call these two tenár'yw.»  She regards Terry closely.  «I think also you want him to come back with you for reasons other than your work there… and that you feared I was going to try to keep Kían here, yes?»

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    The Cheshire cat gives a slight smirk and takes a few moments to sip his tea, savoring it and also buying himself a few moments.  Cats use silence as a tool, at times more so than anyone else, and he holds his tongue until the silence is in danger of being a little too long.
    "I think that would be a reasonable concern.  My reasons are varied and they are not hidden—I think it is very clear how Gar and I feel about him."
    The smirk turns into a half-smile.  "Besides, without us he would be utterly lost and hopeless." He leans slightly to the side, anticipating a wing-thwap.  Old habits die had.

Gar Logan has posed:
    The revelation that the Akiár already know about other places beyond their world is news to Gar, leading to him sharing an upturned brow and curious expression with Kían and Vorpal.
    To Ría, he states, "You're concerned that others from those worlds might be hostile, aren't you?  That's why you've tried to keep this from everyone else, and why you haven't reached out to any of them.  Well… that's kind of a smart thing to do.  We haven't had that luxury on Earth.  Sometimes it feels like everyone ends up on our planet somehow."
    As for the rest, he puts on a poker face, as much as he can in any event.  Ría's guessed well enough when it comes to the trio.  No real need to confirm or deny it.  "All I know is you can't cage a bird for very long.  Most of them need to be able to fly free."

Kian has posed:
    «We have some reason to believe some of these other worlds are… not what we would call sane,» Ría says delicately.
    «Some are definitely not,» Kían confirms.  «We've had to defend Eart'… how many times now?  Three or four?»  He looks to Terry and Gar for confirmation.  «I have had to help with defending their world.»
    Ría very nearly smiles at Kían.  «So if one of these races should notice our worlds, you are ready to act in defense of the Imperium, yes?»
    Kían swallows hard, and whitens.  «I… uh….»
    Ría looks genuinely apologetic.  «Of course, we did not know what happened to you when you disappeared, Avatar of Kiáre.  But you understand that if anything should threaten the Imperium, you may be called to our defense, in a way that the rest of us are not familiar with.  Your own tenár'yw have said as much, that your presence on their world is to that end.»
    Kían swallows hard.  They did, didn't they?
    «If anyone understands being born to things they did not want, I do, Avatar of Kiáre.»

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "If there is any question about it, you can rest assured that we would come to defend your world against a hostile threat.  Although I may temporarily be drained by the trip, our friends are more than apt to deal with the threat.  Our team and their allies consist of members of other worlds, gods, demi-gods, travelers from the future, and users of magic the likes of which are beyond conception in this world."
    He glances over at Kían, "I am not exaggerating, right, Kían?"
    He glances back at her.  "We are the Titans, and Titans are family.  That means Kían is family, too, and anyone threatening his family will find out very quickly that we don't stand for that.  A month or so ago we went through the lands of the dead and fought an invading army of five thousand monsters in order to protect the family and land of one of our members, Troia." Another sip of his tea.  "Our motto is Titans Together.  And we mean it."

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan clears his throat.  "What we're saying is we don't run away from threats and hide, and neither do others on our planet.  We're not the only group around.  Kían's part of our family now, and we're part of his." They did break up once, but the Akiár don't need to know that part.  They returned, sooner or later.
    The prevailing idea behind this?  They've got each other's collective backs.
    "Of course, we'd need to have ways to be able to reach each other if you end up in danger," he explains to Ría.  "Is that something you can do?"

Kian has posed:
    "I haf already packed a communication unit to bring back to Eart' wit' me," Kían explains to Gar.  "I thought it was to stay in touch wit' my frien's an' family.  I never thought… nnh."  He returns his attention to Ría.  «I… are you asking me to be responsible for two worlds?»
    Ría shakes her head.  «No, of course not.  But you may need to be available to be called upon.»  She glances between Gar and Terry again.  «I get the feeling that's kind of the way you live there, yes?  Waiting for the next thing to happen?»
    Kían nods once.  «Kind of, yes.»  He hesitates, and says almost unwillingly, «You do not want to be q'San
    Ría raises one eyebrow.  «Do you want to be Rhyták?  No, I would rather be somewhere painting.  But… that is not my choice.  I can only make it my hobby.»

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "We all have to do things that we don't like.  But we do what we can with the time that we are given.  And compromises are found.  Kían, you may be staggered by the notion of being responsible for two worlds… but think about it.  As Titans, we are responsible for any world that is in trouble, if we have the means to help.  When Brainiac invaded, it wasn't just one world, but all the worlds he had captured and had shrunk.  This is not outside of our wheelhouse."
    he glances back, "It's an old expression.  But I'm sure the translation smooths that out…"

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan shakes his head.  "No, it's not like that.  We aren't just sitting around waiting for someone to need rescuing.  I do acting, Terry is a reporter.  There are singers, musicians, doctors, magicians, athletes… you name it.  Other people do different things for fun, but when someone needs us, we're there to help.  That's what we all agreed to do, but we have to live our own lives outside of all that.  We need a balance."
    He gives Kían a nod about the communications device, but he grows quiet again as he waits to see what more comes of this discussion.

Kian has posed:
    «And that,» Ría says, «is all we need, Avatar of Kiáre.  Not that you are here all the time, but that you are here when we need you.  Go and have a life and be Kían, please, even if you don't do it here… but be here when we need you to be.»
    «I and my friends?» Kían asks.
    «You and whoever you think you need.  You're the Rhyták, not me.  I don't think you would question my decisions as viceroy of my Serene Mother.  I won't question yours as Avatar of Kiáre.»  She smirks faintly.  «Unless you don't show up when we need you.  Then I might have a few sharp questions for you.»
    Kían looks down, folding his hands over his chest.  «I could not allow harm to come to my wing-brothers and wing-sisters.»
    Ría smiles.  «Of course not.  There's always the Great Charge, even if you're not on our worlds.  You will be back if we need you.  I hope that we do not and that you are able to live your life without having to call upon your position as Avatar of Kiáre.»
    She eyes Terry with definite amusement.  «I don't worry about that going to your head.  That one would talk back to any god he thought needed it, yes?»

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry is the very image of innocence.  You would think butter would not melt in his mouth.  Another brief silence as he sips his tea, and glances at Garfield and Kían.
    "I have no idea what she's talking about."

Gar Logan has posed:
    This time, Gar ensures Vorpal is whapped by someone's wing, because he uses his own to do it.
    "We will be able to visit sometime, yes?  I think there is a qihár coach who wants me to return at some point."

Kian has posed:
    «I don't think whether you visit is up to me,» Ría says, still smiling enigmatically at Terry.
    «We'll be back,» Kían says.  «I don't know when, but we'll be back.  Now that I know I can get here without being dropped through a hole in the universe.»  He glances at Terry.  «Of course, it's up to Terry tenár'h since it's his rhy'thar that allows it.  But I think he'll want to come back too.  Our world is a good break from the craziness of Eart'.»  He grins at Gar.  "An' I think Kála iss after more than jus' a new prospec' for the team," he adds in English.
    Ría draws herself up, looking more formal, more regal.  «Of course, Avatar of Kiáre, we may ask you to be present for certain formal events.  Coronations, First Flights of Imperials, that sort of thing.»
    Kían's eyes go very wide.  «Imperial—!» he gasps out, and looks like he's about half a second from passing out, in the manner of Terry's first encounter with Wonder Woman.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Kían if you faint right now I will have no recourse but to tell her all of the embarrassing stories I have of you Terry says directly to Kían, hand in hand.  And then the Cheshire grins at Ría.
    "Of course, he will be available, unless we happen to be in the middle of saving one world or another, but that usually only takes a day or four."  He speaks of it as if it were the most normal thing.  "But worry not.  For any potential delay we might experience, we will send something special in thanks for your patience.  This and that of things that are native to Earth.  Although Kían believes that we listen to music with half the notes missing, I believe that you might enjoy a musical group that is a predilection of mine.  They wrote a song about dancing Queens."

Gar Logan has posed:
    "Oh, Kían's good at overseeing a First Flight.  Mine went great," Gar says with a smile as he reaches up to touch his pendant.  He knows full well how Kían may react to this, but now that the situation seems like it's come to an agreeable conclusion for all, he will delight in teasing just so.
    He adds, "And I'm sure she was appreciative of my flying skill.  Not that I haven't noticed the way a lot of you have been looking at me."  Yes, his feathers are fluffing out slightly.  How could they not?
    Picking up on what Vorpal's laying down, he muses, "Oh, we could come up with a care package of some of our best treats.  That'd be a good idea."

Kian has posed:
    "I am not goin' to faint," Kían says defensively, not least because with Terry around, he could easily wake up covered head to food in purple and pink glitter.  "An' I haf already been thinkin' about sendin' somethin' back," he adds to Gar.  "An' you are definitely nice to look at, I can not argue wit' that."  He turns his attention back to Ría.  «I… my princess, I was afraid you were going to order me to stay.  I thank you for not doing that.»
    She chuckles indulgently.  «Would you tell me how to be a San
    Kían looks scandalized.  «Of course not!»
    «Then I won't tell you how to be a Rhyták.»  She stands up, and Kían automatically drops into the low formal bow that began this interview.  «Arise, Avatar of Kiáre.  I have what I wanted to know, that you will be here if and when we need you.»  She regards him up and down.  «I have seen the records of you from before Flight 442.  You seem very different from the Akiár that disappeared in a blue flash.»
    «I probably am, my princess,» Kían answers, standing upright again.
    «In a good way.  Your friends and that world have been good for you.»
    «I… uh…» Kían begins, then falters.  «I think you're right,» he finally says.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry grins.  "Yes.  Gar is very nice to look at," he says with a wink to the green teen—
    Teen?  Not anymore.  He suddenly realizes that, give or take a day, Gar is about to turn twenty.  This is something he needs to plan for, as soon as they get back.
    Wrapping an arm around Kían's waist, he grins at Ría.
    "We call it exposure therapy.  It works wonders."
    Exposure to WHAT?

Gar Logan has posed:
    Another wing slips out to thwap at Vorpal.  "Twerp."
    Stepping away from his range, Gar rubs his hands together.  "We should have another nice meal before we finish things up and go back home.  Maybe after a good night's sleep?"  And whatever comes with that, naturally.

Kian has posed:
    Ría smiles.  «Peace and safe skies until you come back to us, then, Avatar of Kiáre.»  She reaches for a console, presumably to terminate the contact, then hesitates.
    «And good luck.»
    She glances back and forth between Gar and Terry.
    «I think you're going to need it.»
    And she flicks out of view.