Birth of a Tower or How Frida came to Love Wally West

Summary:
August 1, 2014 A master thief and two superpowered allies aim to steal the crown jewels of Sweden, but Interpol has laid a Titan-Sized trap!

Stockholm Palace

The home of the royal family of Sweden


Characters

NPCs

  • Andre le Blanc
  • Clock King
  • Dr. Light
  • King Andreas of Sweden
  • Frida Gustavsson in name only

Mood Music:


STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

Other Titans are on other tasks; the murders in Brooklyn are apt to take a lot of the team's energy. Yet, crime still goes on, and so does the fledgling group of young heroes determined to make the world a better place.

This morning the Titans were contacted by Interpol after the international police organization intercepted intelligence relating to the upcoming theft of the crown jewels of Sweden. The email, sent allegedly from one Andre le Blanc, hinted at such a move at the Stockholm palace early in the morning of the next day.

Knowing that le Blanc tends to run in supervillain circles, Interpol seemed intent on bringing in their own agents in hopes of defending the theft and apprehending the master thief.

A private jet was sent for the trio of Titans, and everything seems very professional. Far more professional than Vorpal's apartment where Wally was sure he saw a cockroach. Very clearly the Flash would have been able to run across the water, but that didn't seem very team-friendly.

Within a few hours they're in Stockholm, within the palace, and in a meeting room. They're given refreshments, and since they're Americans (at least mostly) and because they're young, they've been given pizza and soda.

During the trip across the ocean, Alexander was rather subdued. The fellow didn't fidget nor display any hint of nervous energy. On an international flight that sort of thing is unnatural, he just spent his time looking out the window though he'd engage when spoken to.

Once they made their way to the waiting room, Alex considered his surroundings warily. The pizza, for now, is untouched. He does avail himself of some water and stalks the perimeter, looking a touch mispleased at something but being polite enough to not give it voice.

Billy Kaplan was thrilled and rather overwhelmed when he was contacted to help the Titans. THE TITANS! Sure, they were new, but he knew of the Flash, he figured it had to be official and important…and it was far better than the bloody, nasty murder scene at that random apartment in Brooklyn.

He's still mad at Teddy for that.

So, solo, he left the house, magically donned his costume, and met up with the others only to find that they were going to Sweden.

"Uh. I think I need to call my parents."

Some excuse was given and he managed to get a couple of days or so's grace from their parental bugging. He did mention not having a passport though, but seemed fairly sure that he was 'not the droid they were looking for'. For most of the trip, he was practically bouncing in his seat and trying to engage the other two in conversation. Barring that, he was happy to talk to the Pilot. With the arrival of pizza and soda, he happily ate. Noticing Alex not eating anything, he asks, "Aren't you going to eat? You won't have any energy…" like a good, Jewish Mother.

Billy's mention of the passport gets a wave of the hand from Interpol. This group wouldn't be stopping in customs, and if Billy decided that he wanted to stay permanently in the great northern nation, the commanding officer sort of figures that Sweden would welcome him with open arms. Once notified of the plan the government and the royal family both were over the moon to have superheroes on their soil.

"Phobos," The Flash says with his feet kicked up on his table and his head tilted to the sun of Ares, "What's your troubles, man?"

The Flash slides over some of the pizza towards Billy, making sure he's tried the one with Kebab meat. The pizza here is different, but the Flash digs it.

The pale young man looks askance at Billy, faintly gleaming red eyes meeting his gaze with that level calm. Alexander doesn't have a uniform as it is considered. He wears jeans, t-shirt, a blue ESU backpack but nothing as formal nor stylized as Flash's. But those seraphic features of his, the golden hair, the classical beauty also lends something terribly unique as well, easily identifiable in the few shots of publicity the Titans have had.

A faint smile flickers to life as he considers the two other men and lifts his chin as if reminding himself that a team means having people to shoulder burdens with. "I have a task I need to tend to, but it will require some measure of effort." He does step towards the pizza, availing himself of a slice and lifting it in a small salute towards Billy. He takes a bit, chews, swallows. "My father has a sort of rite of passage thing he wants me to complete."

Billy Kaplan is 18. He'll pretty much eat anything that's put before him. Pizza is, however, forgotten as Phobos meets his gaze. Red eyes or now, he's entranced for at least a few seconds. The salute with the pizza slice sort of breaks his enchantment and he gives a little shiver and reaches for the kebab pizza, "What sort of 'rite of passage thing'? It doesn't conflict with what we're doing here, does it? Because…that would be kind of weird. And it would make you the villain…which would kind of suck."

The Flash nods a few times, recalling his own rites of passage he was put through by his mentor. "I hear ya man. I hear ya. But being famished won't help." He gives an upwards nod, "Is this something like, tonight? Or just something coming up? I'm sure you'll be aces, bro."

*

Unseen by the prying eyes of those despicable heroes, Andre le Blanc places a device in the doorway of one of the rooms, having already entered unbeknownst to the authorities. With the flick of the button a contraption lets loose and diffuses the red security lasers in a new patchwork that allows le Blanc through without causing a ruckus. He leans over his shoulders. "Mes amis, allons." With him, two costumed figures step through into the hallway, just meters from the side room that houses the jewels.

"What did he say?" the Clock King asks Dr. Light.

Dr. Light merely shrugs, "No clue. Let's get this over with."

The trio descend on the room.

To answer, Alex waves a hand. "Twenty first birthday sort of thing. I have some suspicions, but yeah." It's clear he's loathe to answer about it as he continues to munch on the piece of pizza. He takes up a spot near a sidewall away from the door and with a nice line of sight of possible approaches.

"Thing is, my pop has a tendency to be a total packager sort. So if it is something then it's _something_." As he says this he looks thoughtful then continues the path of devouring for the pizza slice.

TThe next instant, however, his brow furrows slightly. A faint flicker of an image entering his thoughts. An image that displays several forms in rapid movement, a hint of danger. Lifting his chin he says quietly, "Something's up."

"Are you going to be told what that 'something' is or is it one of those 'Figure it out and then you'll be congratulated for finishing it' things? Billy quickly polishes off his kebab pizza slice and is reaching for another (where does the skinny kid put it?) when Phobos gives the warning.

Even he pauses and then stands, taking a moment to thinks. He then raises his hand over the meeting room table and softly chants, "ShowTheCrownJewelsShowTheCrownJewelsShowTheCrownJewelsShowTheCrownJewelsShowTheCrownJewelsShowTheCrownJewels" and he actively tries to focus on actual accessories.

"I'll go check it out," The Flash says as he gets to his feet. Before anyone can protest he's gone in a whir of wind, red, and yellow, blowing a group of napkins all over the room.

The Flash erupts in the hallway and things are looking good. He looks as though he's going to clip le Blanc and allow Billy and Phobos to take the other two, but something strange happens. Something not good.

It's similar to when baseball or tennis players hit the ball. There's the coiling, the setting of feet, the backswing; all of these things need to take place before the ball arrives. Even the swing starts early and Wally never sees it coming. His focus is all on le Blanc, not realizing that the other foes are much more dangerous.

CRASH!

The Flash goes sliding across the tile floor and smashing into the wall, leaving a bit of a crater in his wake. Dr. Light cannot stop laughing.

For a moment Alexander just kind of looks at Billy, on eyebrow quirks as he asks the silent question, 'Did he just ditch us?'. But that question will be resolved later as he drops the crust into the pizza box and then starts to move towards the doorway leading out into the hall. As he moves he unzips his backpack, sliding a pair of long-bladed single-edged daggers in wooden sheaths, one light and one dark. He holds them light in his hands and steps out into the hallway, a decidedly dark frown starting to find its way onto those otherwise seraphic features.

Well, he's not going to be left alone here! Billy dismisses the vision, seeing that the jewels are currently safe for the moment, and moves to follow Phobos, his ragged cape billowing behind him. He has no weapons and is more than a little nervous at the enormity of this task, but this is what he's been wanting to do for a while. There is a quick look about the Palace to see what's around and what the building in this are is made of…just in case…before he steps a little closer to Phobos, "I have an idea." With that, he gives a flourish of his hand, announces, "To the vault!" and just disappears.

He probably should have been a little more specific as he finds himself -inside- the vault, surrounded by the jewels they're trying to protect.

"Well, crap."

While the Flash is still trying to clear the cobwebs of a concussion he received, Dr. Light steps forward as he sees Phobos and grins madly as he raises his hands to the sky.

KAPOOOOOOW!

A blinding force of light emanates from him, designed to distract and disorient the son of Ares and making it impossible to see!!!

Meanwhile, Wiccan is on the other side of the vault where things are peaceful. There sit the jewels in their barricade. One might ask why the Swedes were so willing to leave the jewels there. Why not just leave them?

Perhaps they just like some excitement!

Stepping around the corner, Alexander's features darken all the more. One moment there are figures there in the hallway… the next there is brilliance of light and dancing globes of color dancing in his gaze. With that same preternatural calm he closes his eyes dropping low into a half-crouch while he swings his arms to the side, unsheathing the blades with a snap of the wrist at the last moment as his arms cross his chest in an X, the twin hard wood covers flashing across the distance aimed at where he remembers where Dr. Light's eyes were in that last moment.

His features darken, flickers of shadow swirling around him like black tendrils as he lifts his voice to a growl. "Now would be a good time for you to star running."

Wiccan looks at the jewels and somehow manages to resist reaching out to touch the items. After a moment, he looks to the door and twists his lips up in thought. Taking a 'power stance', with his legs hip-width apart, he raises his hands once more towards the door and begins another incantation. This one is, "NoOneCanOpenThisDoorButMe" repeated over and over. He's not going to let the bad guys win…no way!

Le Blanc has worked with Dr. Light enough to know when to close his eyes and when to make a run for it. After the lights have faded, the Master Thief from France is at the vault trying to pick the log with his myriad of tricks. The zings and whirs of the combos spinning and spinning and spinning is heard intermittently through the sounds of BATTLE!

As the sheathes come towards Dr. Light, his horrific laugh bellows once more. The sheathes are incinerated into nothingness from his powerful blasts of energy. Stupidly, Light begins to stalk towards Phobos, severely underestimating his opponent.

The Flash, now to his feet, tries to attack Clock Master at super speeds, but with a grace unheard of an unexperienced by the Flash before, the CM knocks him once in the gut and once across the brow, sending the Scarlet Speedster down to his knees.

As Dr. Light approaches, Alexander turns his head to the side and just so. It's not as if he's never been deprived of his vision before. There was the time he was six and his father threw him into the basement with the flesh-eating beetles of Horus, those were fun times. It became important to relax, remain calm, listen.

Even as the aspect of Phobos swirls into being around him, the shadows growing darker, the gleam of his eyes still visible behind closed lids as a muted glow. His voice lifts again and he says quietly, "Mistake."

He hears the steps of Dr. Light, the laughter, the click of boots on the floor, the tink of lockpicks in a lock, and the rapid-fire whump-whumpf-whap of Wally rejoining the fight. It's enough to give him a mental image of the conflict along with his memory of the hall's dimensions. Suddenly he is moving.

Darting forward and to the side, even as Dr. Light might blast away. He zig-zags, breaks to the side, running along the wall to end with a flip that flashes past the villain. There's a flicker of silvered blade aimed at the villain's shoulder as he says quickly. "Flash, swap targets." Perhaps they've trained enough for this to work. Perhaps not.

Even as he hears the locks whirring and clicking, Wiccan trise to put more intent and drive into his words as he tries to hold the spell, "NoOneCanOpenThisDoorButMe!" It's changed over and over in the hopes that the magic will weave itself and be yet another level of protection.

The Flash winces and strains to get up, "Yeah." His voice is full of pain. "I think that might be a good idea." He digs a toe into the ground and launches himself past the Clock King and just out of reach of another shot from that cane.

Light dodges the attack from Phobos, but it puts the man on his back foot, just as the Flash whirs in with a knockout punch to the back of the head that is lucky not to crack the helmeted man's skull in two places.

Le Blanc shakes his head in frustration as all of his tricks fail to work. Seriously, if he was able to get through in some of the hardest French, British, and godforsaken Swiss vaults, how in the hell can he not get in here? This place was strategically picked specifically because the vault was going to be easier to open. What. In. The. Hell? Or, perhaps, Sacre Bleu!

As Light is taken out, that leaves Clock King and Phobos staring down at each other. One is quick, superhuman in a precognition sort of quick, while the other is strong.

Le Blanc can see a shadow behind him, one with lightning bolts for ears. As he turns, he sees a ziptied Dr. Light with fists pointed in towards himself. As he continues to rise his sightline, he sees red. Then a lightning bolt. Then a smiling face.

"Do you think," the Flash begins, folding his arms over his chest, "we'll get to meet the Swedish Swimsuit team while we're here?"

Le Blanc drops his lockpicking equipment and it clangs loudly on the tile.

Squaring off with the Clock King, Phobos grimaces with features that are now more shadow than man. He brings the blades up, now able to make out the cane-wielding man's silhouette. His jaw sets and he snarls abruptly, "You seem terribly underequipped to face a child of War." The capital 'W' an almost palpable thing as waves of utter terror lash out at this insect-like creature that dares to stand against him.

A wrought iron blade slashes out, scarping sparks upon that cane almost disdainfully. The two men engage in a flicker of motion, cane parrying and parrying as the Clock King is pressed back yet the man seems unflappable. There's a slash, a turning twisting thing that is more technique than strength and the King can barely parry. Suddenly Alexander snaps, "This isn't fair, here take one of mine." And suddenly a blade is flying at the villain's face. It is blocked with a resonant clang only for now to have Alex close the distance and slam the pommel of his remaining blade into the Clock King's temple. Felling him.

The clicking and whirring has stopped. The muffled sounds from the other side of the vault door seem to have stopped as well. Wiccan stops his chanting and moves over to press his ear to the door before he places a hand on the inside handle. "Here goes nothin'…" is murmured as he attempts to see if his spell even worked.

The latch clicks and the door opens without any issue. The young mage really can't help but grin as he steps out to see the foes defeated. Smirking smugly at the villains, he offers, "You know, you really should see those crown jewels sometime. They're pretty spectacular."

Closing the door behind him, he turns and begins a new incantation, "OpenOnlyForPeopleWhoAreSupposedToBeInHere". That seemed to be the best way to remove his previous ward.

And that is why Le Blanc couldn't get in.

Kicking the lockpicks out of the way, he offers, "Magic Beats Lockpick," before he grins at the others. "I think it's safe to say we won."

With all three of the would be burglars now incapacitated, the battle is won. The jewels are safe, the Kingdom is at rest, and the Titans are heroes again.

Interpol makes their way in soon after things have wrapped up. Though not as sophisticated as the SRD in the States, they have their own protocols on how they handle such things. They also have their own generous reward systems, pitched into by European nations.

*

At the press conference held by King Andreas, the three Titans heroes who saved the jewels sit awkwardly behind the tables flanked by his Majesty himself. The King gives an eloquent speech regarding the importance of heroes in society, how fighting for truth and valor has not been lost on the new generations, and how every generation steps up to take on the dangers of the world. He intimates that he's extremely proud of these men who came to his country to help for no other reason than to help a people not their own.

"As a token of the appreciation for your bravery, the Kingdom would like to prepare for you something befitting of all great superhero teams, past and present. Because these men have already turned down a money reward, the crown and parliament have decided to donate 10 million Krona to help build an off shore headquarters. This is in addition to the reward for capturing Andre Le Blanc, the Clock King, and Dr. Light. Simply put, Titans, we won't take no for an answer. Moreover, while such a headquarters is being built, the Swedish government has offered to allow the Titans to use a portion of their office at the United Nations for their activities."

The Flashes eyes get real, real big until someone from the King's entourage whispers in his ear that one Krona equals roughly 15 cents.

"1.5 mil is still a lot of cash, yo."

*

As the trio leave the large doors of the crown, the Swedish press mob them, making it difficult to get to their car that intends to take them to the airport.

"I don't care what the papers say, rumors of me and Frida Gustavsson being in a relationship are extremely kind of false!" the Flash proclaims.


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