2019-04-21 - A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out


Batman approaches Starfire about her recent adventures with an offer. Helena does her 'Luther - Anger Translator' routine.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Apr 21 00:00:00 2019
Location: Kori's Apartment - Queens, New York

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Theme Song



Dealing with SHIELD, then SWORD, then ICE, then New York state had taken it out of Kori. Emotionally and mentally exhausting, especially after having just fought off an invasion of strange extradimensional entities that had kidnapped about four hundred people from the New York area. Kori was one of that number.

The alien woman had been interrogated repeatedly and forced to sign multiple witness statements, as using her alien abilities for even self-defense was flirting with the boundaries of her refugee allowance.

But in the end it was concluded that no crime was committed, and so with soul-wearying exhaustion, Kori was returned to her home. At some point she was given featureless navy blue-and-white sweatpants— standard SHIELD issue— and a windbreaker. The latter was tied around her waist. It's a nice garment, too nice to throw away, but she's clearly more comfortable in her thin 'Midtown High PE' crop-top.

She's forced to go into her apartment through a window, because of course her keys are locked inside. Flight makes that fairly easy. The leggy Tamaranean refugee exhales as she gets 'home' and stretches as tall as she can, palms crossed high overhead.

She opens the pantry door and looks down. "Did you miss me?" she asks, beaming.

Her pet miniature giant mutant silkworm rolls onto his back, looks at Starfire, and burbles something she clearly takes as assent.

"Yes. It has an appetite." The lights don't come on in the room. Standing in the darkness is a figure in black. One that has been seen in history footage before, as he reaches over to turn on a lamp. "Koriand'r of Tamaran, welcome to Earth." comes the voice of the Batman as he stands in the middle of her living room. "Though I doubt this is anything like your suite back home."

His lips pull into a thin line as he looks around, and then to the leggy and bronzed alien woman. "We need to talk."

Behind the Batman stands another shadowy figure in black, its features shrouded by a mask across the lower half of its face and the hood of a mid-calf cape pulled up. Golden eyes watch steadily from the shadows of the hood. It's hard to tell much about the figure, but the general size and build suggest probably female, if a rather coltishly athletic one. She's quiet for now, a silent sentinel.

Not much point in subterfuge. And being honest, Kori's tired. A battle that sapped her strength, extradimensional teleportation, treading through the endless bureaucratic mire.

So when the dark figures make themselves known, she turns to them with a wary alertness. Her eyes flash a lambent viridian to replace their emerald hue and her feet slip from the ground as the Tamaranean princess floats in midair, gathering her power to her in coruscating, heatless green flames.

"Greetings," she says politely. "Are you here on friendly business? If you are assassins or here for a duel of honor, I'd like to request that you postpone. I am very much 'the tireds'," she confesses, her tone exquisitely polite given the circumstances.

If Batman were here to even try to kill Kori, he'd already been on the attack. Instead, the comment gets a chuff of amusement as he unfolds his arms, dropping them to the sides as he splays his hands open in the classic 'no weapons' show. Even with that utility belt around his waist. "I heard of your recent adevnture. I need to know. Is this a set up? Have you come to Earth to join us, or are you preparing for an invasion?" he asks her bluntly.

And while she may be glowing, Batman has yet to move, standing in front of the younger and slighter figure behind him, keeping her — or him — cast in shadow. "If not, you can put away your flames, and we'll talk." His lenses flare, as if echoing the armored man's thoughts as he watches Koriand'r's eyes to her reaction to his words. Unlike most, he's straight to the point. The niceities are saved for that other persona.

Helena might, privately, be just a little bit proud that she's been mistaken for an assassin. Intimidation success! Nevermind that actually being one would end in incineration, she'll take what she can get here. But to sight, she stays still in Batman's shadow…mostly. A tilt of her head lets those eyes peek out just a little further from behind him, taking in the sight of the Tamaranean with a careful, measuring gaze. Although there might be some excitement and fascination there as well. Carefully contained.

"I am not trying to set anyone 'the up'," Kori assures Batman. But she doesn't land, and her eyes continue to glow menacingly despite her courteous tone. "I have come to Earth to escape violent civil war in my home star system. I would not say I have had a 'the adventure', either," she points out. "I was forcibly abducted against my will. It was less an adventure and more 'victimization'."

She lands, at least, though there's little doubt that being attached to terrestrial ground means anything to the woman. The glow in her eyes dims just a little, revealing a hint of sclera and dark pupil behind the lambent luminence.

"If you are not here for violence, then I would ask your names. As you already know mine," she says, with a mild but meticulous precision.

"Yet, you were able to still manage over four hundred civilians, and a team of powered beings as young as you are into a formidable defense to hold off against the odds. It is a comendable effort." Batman responds. "Is it something you want to continue?" comes the next question.

It's not that he doesn't want to give his name - just he honestly doesn't think he has to at this point. He glances aside to the shadow behind him, and gives Helena a small nod of his head. It's okay for her to step out.

"Returning here to coalesce after doing all that doesn't seem to be fitting. If you're wanting to do this, to take on a role like this. You need to be prepared. That may be one of the few things that the Avengers had right the first time they did it."

Oh sure, the first question has to be one she can't answer! Helena steps out from Batman's shadow, though there's hardly more to see of her even in the light. Her build is more clear, but little can be seen of her features between the hood and the mask. "You can call me the Shadow for now," she answers. Her voice seems to be altered somehow, a low sound somewhere between a purr and a growl beneath the words. And she doesn't look at Batman when she says it. Normal enough, but anyone playing close enough attention might note that she's not looking at him hard.

Kori hesitates. For someone as versed in body language as Batman, it's not hard to read the uncertainty and fear combined with visible thrill for the recent carnage. Despite her polite mien and friendly disposition, Kori Anderson's a *fighter*. Through and through.

"I am pleased to meet you, The Shadow," Kori tells Helena. She ducks her head in something closer to bow than nod, and focuses back on the un-named figure in her living room/dining room/kitchen/den.

"It… seems unlikely I'd be abducted again," she responds, cautiously. "I am not a great hero of your people. I did not wish to see anyone harmed and I did not wish to be harmed. The most sensible decision was to protect life as much as possible," she remarks, with a modest shrug.

It's something that he's able to read, and able to read well. "You can't do any of that from here." Batman responds. "You can. But." he tosses the keys from the counter towards Kori, underhanded. "You might want to remember these. As for not being a great hero? There's a lot of people that believe they are that aren't, Koriand'r." comes the comment, and then there's a glance towardss 'Shadow'.

No words really need to be said, do they? So much more is said in a look.

"If you want to remain here, and continue what you're doing, that's your choice. If you want to do more, I'm going to make a proposition. There are going to be those that you suggest that you team up - work with them on their terms. I don't want that. I think that if you're going to take on this life - you should do it on your terms." he explains. "I'm offering to help you get off the ground. To give you something better than this. Someone once said - it only takes one bad day to change a person forever. You've had your bad day. Now. Let's make a change."

"You can continue to hide, Koriand'r. You and the others that assisted you tonight. You can continue to be the stranger. Or. You can do something about it. The choices is yours." He sets a communicator on the table. A secured line. "Because next time - it may not be someone looking to abduct you. It could be worse. And you should be allowed the chance to be prepared."

One of the best parts about the lower face mask is that Batman can't see Helena sticking her tongue out at that look. She can regret her lack of preparedness on the name front on her own terms. "Just to clarify, we're also not trying to abduct you," she chimes in, and despite the voice modulation, it's clear that there's some humor in her voice. "Or worse."

"I am grateful to you for that," Kori assuress 'Shadow'. "I do not wish to be abducted or the worseness. I have been content with my situation here for as long as I have been on Earth."

She eyes the keys on the counter, looks back to the dark-cowled male. "I remembered them," she assures him. "I simply could not access them."

She's stalling. The redhead looks down, away, back at the figures in her apartment. "I admit that I am struggling to fit into society," she relents. "I enjoyed the simplicity of open and earnest battle."

She looks at Batman. "I am still perhaps unsure of what you are proposing. My English sometimes is not adequate," she apologizes. "It would be helpful if you spoke with as little idiom as possible. What is it precisely you propose to do?"

For a fleeting thought, Batman is reconsidering his offer. Then he looks to Shadow. Returning his attention to Kori, he gestures to a chair for her to sit. And he moves to take a seat. Now, he steps into the light fully. The Bat-symbol on his chest is more visible as he takes a seat. "You applied for asylum less than six months ago. In that time, you have made every effort to live a normal life. Enrolled in Mid-Town. Attempted to work. You want to be a human. But you're something more."

"And others recognized it. I'm giving you a chance to decide if you want to act on it or not. To have the chance to organize those people that helped you into something that can help everyone. You want friends and companionship, that much is obvious in your actions. What I am offering is this: .. a chance for you to start what you want. To have those that understand what it means to be different and to stand out. To have a team. And for you to lead it."

"Which means you decide what it does. You decide where you want to be. Decide what you want to do." He's going to stick it to SHIELD as well, because why not. They all wanted him to register back in the day. Because of rules. "I'm only offering to fund this endeavor. Whatever you do outside of that - that is your choice."

"He's saying he thinks the young heroes of the city should team up, rather than keep trying to go it alone," Helena summarizes, finding herself a couch to half-sit against the arm, arms crossed over her chest. "And from what he's seen, he thinks you're the best bet to lead it. He's usually pretty good at judging people," she adds, the corners of her eyes crinkling ever so slightly above the mask, hinting at a grin. "And because he believes in this idea of a team, and in you, as much as he does, he's offering to fund it. Because the honest truth about these things is that they get way harder without funding. People will get hurt. Things will get damaged. You'll need supplies. And sure, everyone could get part-time jobs waitressing like the rest of the city, but that's time you're not spending making the city and the world a better place. So."

Batman's high-handed moralism and grim entendre are lost on Kori. She understands the gist of it, and even the impoverished refugee understands the word 'funded'.

Shadow's interpretation provokes an expression of comprehension from the redheaded alien. She brightens at the way the argument is phrased. "I am very honored to be considered for such a worthy and noble task," she assures the duo. "You do me too much kindness."

She falls silent and seats herself across from Batman. There are only two chairs at ther rickety, off-balance table. Her hands fold in her lap and only then does the lambent glow leave her eyes.

"I do not want to sound arrogant," she prefaces. "I acknowledge that I was of some aid in organizing the initial response to our predicament. "But surely, there are others in the cities or country better-pressed to be a leader of your people," she tells the duo, tone begging sympathy for her argument. "I admit that part of me wishs to help lead and train, and I lack the monies to build facilities or dedicate people to the training of being the warrior."

"I approached you because you did lead tonight. And because you're not human. You have no need for human proclavities or greeds - and I can trust you with what happens. As for the funds? There are ways to provide that. The question is, Koriand'r, is do you want it?" Batman asks, a simple question, really. He'll let Helena translate that.

Helena tilts her head a bit, golden eyes flickering between the pair as she applies what she knows of her father to what she's seeing of Kori here. The words, the mannerisms, the choices. "Well," she points out, "That's the great thing about a team. Everyone's got their strengths. Everyone contributes something. He likes that you're not likely to get wrapped up in politics here. You're probably worried you won't have enough of a grounding here to make the right choices. But you don't have to do it alone. You didn't do any of the rest of it alone, right?"

"I…." Kori falls silent. An atypical, pensive quiet, and her eyes focus on the center of the table for a few long counts.

"I should like some time to consider," she concludes finally. "You are asking me to risk a great deal. If the government objects to me leading any sort of team or group, I might lose my refugee status. I would not be able to apply for citizenship, and I do love this planet."

She looks from Batman to Huntress. "If it is not an imposition on your patience, I would feel more comfortable if I could be granted a leave of a day to consider your offer."

Nodding his head, Batman rises to his feet, and glances towards Helena - the not Huntress version. "You have a way to contact me." A gesture towards the communicator on the table. With that, he turns and heads to the fire escape, taking out a grapple gun and fires it to head off - expecting Helena to follow him.

"That was actually a yes," Helena notes as she pushes off the couch, winking. "Sleep well. And lock your windows." She backs toward the window herself, making a 'call me' gesture with one hand before she too grapples her way out.

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