Drawing Lines

July 22, 2014: While touring the nearly complete, brand new Watchtower space station, Wonder Woman, Sentinel, and Supergirl discuss just how far the JLA is willing to go in its mission to bring freedom and justice to the world. Cameo by Batman.

The Watchtower

The most technically advanced space station orbiting Earth, Watchtower Station is an advanced operational station funded and maintained by the Justice League.



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The Watchtower is a new addition to the Justice League resource bank a hidden orbital space station that took the combined cultures and funding of many of the teams champions to even make a concept. Since the recent call to arms a little under a year ago by Wonder Woman and Batman there have been many changes to the way the team operates and who is counted amongst its ranks. A sort of restructuring, if you would.

The Hall of Justice on Earth little more than a front desk, an embassy, a monument and a museum (there are transporters located within that can send those with the proper codes to the Watchtower, however). At this moment in time Batman awaits standing in the observation deck a that vantage point above Earth and stars beyond breath taking as one would expect.

The Dark Knight stands alone at the moment looking at a large monitor that sits out of place with cables wired to it, a stray that has yet to be placed where it should be, traversing the station itself a lot of places remain like this untouched yet or still being built as drones and anonymous workers toil hour after hour to get one of the biggest expenses mankind has ever known operational. The footage scrolling across the screen are latest developments in Subterranea, the Ukraine, Middle-East, even the giant hole that remains unexplored in Russia.

Diana arrives in a flash of light, stepping off of a broad transport platform and moving without a second thought toward the corridor leading to the station's command center. She's not rushing, but neither is she dawdling. Businesslike, more like. But, then, that's no surprise. The Themysciran Ambassador has a full schedule, but there are some things she sets as a priority. League business is among them.

She passes through the mostly finished corridors, glancing at a couple of automatons working remotely just outside one of the observation ports before she enters the command center itself and finds the Dark Knight there. "Batman," she greets evenly, with a smile. "The station looks good. Not very much longer until it is complete, I think." Her eyes inevitably settle on the footage showing across the screen, and her expression grows a little more serious. "And, perhaps, none too soon."

Aside from being a relatively new member, Sentinel doesn't often come up to the Watchtower. In fact, he actively avoids it since he can't feel the Earth from up here. That means a very limited supply of energy, not that he's ever needed to use it while in orbit. Yet. But when told there's going to be an informal get together for the sake of being social with people he still doesn't know well, he bit the bullet and teleported up. He can't very well learn to work with people he barely knows. "Why do you say that?" he asks, arriving just in time to catch the tail end of Di's comment.

Supergirl's been trying to 'step up' more in the past few weeks; mostly to try and let her cousin have some down time. It may not be successful in getting Kal to shift some responsibility to her, but at least she's making a positive impact in the world. Today, she's stopped by the Watchtower with lots of goals in mind. She wants to examine the League computer files that she has access to here. She wants to lend a hand in the construction here so that the League can feel they can depend on her as much as Superman. And, there's something she needs to talk with some of the senior League members about, if she runs into them. And fortunately, after coming in from a half hour of heatvision welding panels, Kara runs into batman and Wonder Woman. "Hello," she greats them with a pleasant smile. "And good to see you again, Sentinel," she adds as she addresses the other new League member.

"Not very long at all. The few men and women we have up here are mostly just to maintain the work drones. Soon they won't be necessary either." Turning around the Caped Crusader looks at Alan Scott and Kara, "Welcome to the Watchtower, Sentinel and Supergirl."

Diana glances to Sentinel at his question. A wry smile touches her lips and she gestures to the screen. "There is no shortage of work for us," she says by way of explanation. "This station's ability to get us from one part of the globe to the another at speed and help us coordinate activity will doubtlessly be a great aid." She glances, then, to Supergirl and smiles. "Welcome to the Watchtower," she says, echoing Batman.

"Hello Supergirl. Batman." Sentinel says then nods at Wonder Woman's point. Instead of there being something new and dangerous about to happen, it's just the same old song and dance. "Ah, yes." Speaking of getting to parts of the globe at speed, Batman leaves for a transporter after getting beeped from someone down below. "It is a magnificent view but I'll admit to being more comfortable in atmosphere."

"I like it up here," Supergirl says with a smile. She looks out through the main viewport at the Earth suspended in the blackness of space. "It's quiet out in orbit. I can think. I can see my new home, good parts and bad parts both. It's relaxing." She turns back to Sentinel and Wonder Woman. "I'm glad I ran into you, Wonder Woman. I…sort of have a request." Kara bites the corner of her lip and looks a bit nervous about proceeding. but she knows that Diana will always be patient and hear her out. "I know I'm just a new member of the League, but I have a friend in Metropolis. Stargirl. She's been a hero for a long time, her step-father's a hero himself and I was wondering…would you mind meeting her to talk with her about joining the League? She really wants to but is kind of unsure about how to ask for membership."

Diana gives an empathetic smile to Sentinel, "I am, too," she admits. But, as long as she's still within reach of Gaia's spirit, she's not completely helpless. Her head cants, however, as Kara makes her request. "I do not mind at all," she replies. "We are always looking for strong additions to the team." 'Strong', of course, meaning skilled, courageous, willing, and hero in the best sense of the words.

"It never hurts to explore possibilities." Sentinel agrees and turns away from the window out into space. "One thing I've been wondering about… Where did the technology for all this come from? Teleportation is not exactly common and, to my knowledge, not something anyone here brought to the table." Though that latter is half a question.

Supergirl smiles at Diana, nodding in appreciation. "Okay. I'll tell her and we'll schedule a visit to the Embassy sometime for you to meet her. If that's alright?" Kara is fairly sure it is, but it's only polite to double check. When Sentinel asks about the technology, a little proud smile is formed on Supergirl's face. "Some of it's Kryptonian. The forcefields for the landing bay. Some of the data storage systems. The energy system. My cousin has given some of our technology to the League to put it to good use. Nothing too advanced by our home standards, but maybe a few decades ahead of the tech curve on Earth."

Diana smiles at Kara's pride, even as she nods to Sentinel. "It's not a widely known technology, no," she agrees. "I, however, do not know all the details." Her people actually are fairly advanced, even by modern standards. Their technology is simply less intrusive and obvious than most other places. Then, to Kara, she nods. "Of course, that will be fine. I will always make time for you, whenever I can." And, presumably, for her friends. Truthfully, for anyone in the League.

Sentinel nods to Supergirl. "I was assuming that was the case. And some is home grown, no doubt. It's just the teleporters that are a little surprising. Very Star Trek." And kind of cool. Since they're instantaneous, he doesn't have to worry too much about being cut off from the planet so might even visit orbit more.

Supergirl nods to both Sentinel and Wonder Woman. "I'm not sure if the teleporters are ours; it seems to be different than Kryptonian technology. But, regardless, I'm glad that some of my home lives on in a small way here. My cousin and I have been discussing if and how quickly we should share our technology with humanity, and I think this is a good first start."

Again, Diana nods. "I think you're right," she agrees. "I have found even we, on Themyscira, are wary about sharing our resources too quickly or too freely, in case it is misused. And, yet, we still need to do so in order to encourage trust and good will on both sides." It's a conundrum, to be sure.

"I'd be very wary about what to share." Sentinel warns, sounding quite serious. "No matter what the intent of the technology, if it can be turned into a weapon, it will be. If only a part of it can he adapted into being a weapon, it will be. And even helping people grow food in places where there's never enough doesn't mean it'll prevent famine. It just means they'll continue reproducing beyond the capacity of the ecosystem to support them. The Law of Unintended Consequences will be put into play no matter what."

"Which is why we're doing it slowly," Supergirl says with a nod to Sentinel. "Humanity has to be ready to accept some of the things we want to share. It needs to…well…" Kara struggles for what to say that won't be offensive here. "Mature," she finally decides on. "It's going to take some time, but the inspiration that the League and my cousin and I try to exemplify will spread. And someday, humanity will make Earth into a paradise. Maybe with a little help from our technology."

"We can hope," the immortal Amazon replies, a wry smile on her face. She's fairly certain she'll be around to see it. Certainly, she hopes she will be. And she hopes it will be sooner rather than later, but her experience out here in Patriarchs' World has taught her not to expect miracles — though they do still happen. She gestures to the screen, now, however. "Given the issues we face, right now, I am not ashamed to use whatever edge we can get. I think it is past time we attempted contact with Subterranea, and I am wary about leaving international crises such as the conflict in Ukraine or similar to organizations such as SHIELD. They do not strike me as working entirely for the greater good, but for some hidden agenda, instead."

"The hidden agenda can often be summed up in the phrase 'us verse them'." Sentinel suggests. "And the definition of 'us' can vary depending on who's making the decisions at the time. I suspect it doesn't include Subterranea no matter who it is. They'll need to be brought into the greater definition of humans before that happens."

Supergirl listens to the conversation between Wonder Woman and Sentinel. And she doesn't like the truth that Sentinel is bringing up. The Girl of Steel stays silent, though. Instead, she just turns back to the viewport, looking over Earth. And feeling cold with the knowledge of just how easily she and her cousin could go from an 'us' to a 'them' in the eyes of humanity.

"They're not the only ones," Diana notes in response to Sentinel's words. Her people are considered outsiders as much as the Kryptonians, for all that they have a terrestrial origin. 'Magic' and 'the Gods' are well outside accepted norms, any more. So, she can feel Kara's unease… and entirely understand it.

"I have had occasion to become acquainted with an ambassador from Nova Roma, a city-state who wishes to have its independence from Brazil recognized by the international community. And my experience with the UN has proven time and time again how terribly difficult and costly equitable compromise can be. The best we can do is work to set good examples and guard against those who would do otherwise."

That's easier said than done but Sentinel just nods. "Though that does raise the question of just to what lengths we should act in order promote our opinion of the collective good. If, theoretically speaking, the UN decides Subterranea is a threat to the entire world and should be destroyed down to the last person, do we step in and take on the world?"

There's really no debate to Sentinel's question in Kara's mind. "Yes," she says quietly. then Supergirl turns back to Wonder Woman and Sentinel, a determined look on her face that even batman might find impressive. "Yes. I don't care who I have to face. I don't care what the rest of the world considers me. I don't even care if I'm now the greater threat. I will *not* stand by and do nothing to stop a genocide." There's a lot of anger and pain in her voice, and some tears are welling up in her eyes. "If the nations of the world choose to eliminate an entire race of people, then those nations aren't worth protecting. Life is what's worth protecting. No matter what."

"Supergirl is right. We cannot condone genocide," Diana says seriously. "That said, we need to be both willing and able to look at all sides of the situation. If Subterranea turns out to be a threat to the world at large, that threat must be stopped."

She shakes her head lightly. "I am a warrior. I do not believe in murder or indiscriminate killing of any sort, but there are times when there is no other option. Batman, Superman, both, however, will tell you differently." She glances to Kara. "I do not think I am overstepping when I say that. They both believe in the sanctity of life above all else. And while, philosophically, I entirely agree with them and will always seek the peaceful solution, the solution that does not lead to needless bloodshed, I will not shy from the consequences of battle."

A soft, rueful chuckle escapes her, somewhat humourless, but not critical. "The question is not a simple one, however. If we state we believe in the sanctity of all life, that all life is sacred and that genocide must never be perpetrated on any sentient race, where will that leave us if we face a race that is unmitigatedly evil? There are demons that walk this earth who would like nothing better than to devour and destroy all humanity. If we are humanity's protectors, would it not make more sense to kill them all and eliminate that threat. Yes. I believe it would. But, that would be genocide, which I cannot condone. So, I would prefer a solution that amounts to stopping them, rather than complete eradication. And, yet, evil should not be permitted to endure."

Again, she shakes her head. "A long answer that essentially amounts to: I do not know, Sentinel. It depends on the situations we encounter. But, I will pray we always err on the side of freedom and justice and mercy, rather than impose any dictatorial edict upon the world. That, I think, is the more important guide to our actions."

"Or an alien invasion." Sentinel adds to Diana's demon example. "But my question wasn't really wondering about Subterranea in general. I was asking more whether or not we set ourselves above the governments of the world to decide what is right for the people of the world as a whole. Do we, as a group, have a right to - or the balls to - tell them 'no'. And stop them. An interesting question I think and one that might actually happen so it's not purely theoretical."

"There are always ways," Kara says quietly. All of this talk hits her closer to home than anyone in the League; even Superman. "When it comes to threats, we have more than enough power to end a military threat to humanity without loss of life on the opposing side. If the actions of a government threaten humanity, we expose it. We tell the truth and make sure that the people are informed of just what is going on." Supergirl turns to look at Sentinel, her face a mixture of sorrow and anger that she's managing to keep under control. "I have no faith in governments, Sentinel. They're necessary and many times they do what is right and protect their people. But ultimately, the government is not the people; even in America. I know what can happen when a government values stability and the status quo over the good of the people. My father and uncle had monitored shifts in Krypton's tectonic plates that would lead to the planet's destruction. They warned the Science Council, Krypton's government. And the Council tried to silence them. The Council didn't want to believe, didn't want to investigate. My father and uncle were labelled radicals and anarchists, threatened with prison if they tried to share their findings. And it was the Kryptonian people that paid the price for our government's folly. Billions dead, only myself and my cousin surviving because we were rocketed away. So no, I don't fully trust any government."

"We do have the strength, between us, this is true," Wonder Woman replies. She's fairly confident of it, given the two Kryptonians and her own gifts, never mind all those added by the others in the League. "But we cannot use that strength indiscriminately. Still, Sentinel, your question is not out of place. There are governments in this world that mistreat their people daily in abominable ways. For example, my own nation diametrically opposes the oppression of citizens in many of the cultures in the Middle East. There are those among my sisters who would like nothing better than to march against them and force a regime change to one more in line with our ideals." Though to be fair, even Amazon ideals are a little skewed. Most of them do not so much believe in the equality of women and men, as Diana does, but rather in the superiority of women over men… which has occasionally been problematic for the ambassador. "Yet, we cannot. Such actions will not force a change of heart, but will, rather, encourage them to cling to beliefs we consider misguided and harmful. It will not bring peace to the region, merely a different reason for war. So, my answer to your not-so-theoretical question can only be thus:"

"We will always be guided by our own understanding — our opinion — of what the greater good is, but we must always be temperate in how we 'encourage' others to see our point of view. Were the UN to take a stand we find untenable, I believe we will need to oppose it. But, I also believe that they will have supporters capable of opposing us, and we should never forget that, never assume that we are the greater power or even the righteous power. Any such conflict will not merely be a disagreement. It has the potential to become a war, and war should never be entered into lightly. All other avenues of compromise and resolution should first be explored. If it comes down to it, however, I will take whatever stand my conscience deems necessary. And I will expect members of the League to do the same — even if that means they must disagree with me. And I will doubtlessly weep at any battle that results, but I will not shirk my responsibility in it, regardless."

Sentinel reaches out to grasp Supergirl's shoulder. "I'm sorry to hear that." And it does explain how she and Superman suddenly showed up out of nowhere. "And believe me, I have little faith in any of this planet's governments as well." He does, after all, read the news. Daily. In depth. Including that which never makes it to air or in print though he has people to make the majority of those decision, his is the final word. "I don't disagree." he tells Diana. "I just wanted to know where we stand because I'm fairly certain it's a question we're going to face more than once. We're also going to be asked to intervene by one government or another and need to decide if we should do so or not. And it's not going to be an easy choice whatever our final answer is."

The sympathetic gesture from Sentinel brings a light smile to her face. She's reminded that even for all the ugliness that humanity shows, there are still more good humans than bad. "Thank you," she says to him. "And, please…it is not general knowledge that Superman and I are not human. We would appreciate if this knowledge remains secret for the time being." With all the other discussion, Supergirl remains quiet, letting Diana and Sentinel debate. "In the end, I trust you enough, Diana to follow your lead in such a matter. I've know you long enough to know that we have a rather similar outlook on the sanctity of life and how to go about protecting it." She smiles at Wonder Woman, starting to feel a little bit better.

Diana nods to Sentinel's response. That he agrees is a good thing, though she'll not criticize anyone for holding a different opinion to hers. She turns, then, to Kara and reaches out to lay a reassuring hand on her shoulder. She gives a light squeeze, before letting the hand fall away. "I will try to continue to be worthy of that trust," she smiles. "I hope you find a home here, for all that it can never replace the world of your birth."

"We'll just have to play it by ear when it happens." Sentinel states. When, not if. "And I won't let anyone know about you or Superman." he assures Supergirl. Not even if it would be the biggest front page story in a decade. "But now I need to get back down to Earth. I can't feel it at all and not knowing if it needs me is making me a bit nervous. I'm not sure a major emergency would be able to reach me up here."

"I'm trying," Kara smiles to Diana. "The main step is that I have good friends now. It makes things much easier." As Sentinel prepares to leave, she nods her thanks to him for saying he'll keep the secret. "Stay safe, Sentinel. And have a good day."

"Inevitably," Diana agrees simply with Sentinel. The best laid plans…and all that. She smiles at Kara's words. "It does," she agrees. She knows, after all, what it's like to be a stranger in a strange land.

She nods, too, however, echoing Kara as Sentinel declares his need to depart. "I understand." She, too, is tied to the Earth in subtle, mystical ways. "I look forward to seeing you again, Sentinel. Good hunting."

"And to you both." Sentinel: exit stage left.

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