No Heavy Breathing

Summary:
August 9, 2014: Tel and Keith have a moment.

Titans Tower and beyond


Characters

NPCs


Mood Music:


~We actually have a headquarters.~

Up on the rooftop, a cheshire cat is pacing, hands behind his back. The construction going on didn't bother him much- he's worked construction before and isn't a stranger to the cacophony.

This is definitely getting too real, he feels. It was one thing to go out on odd nights and put some goons in their place. It was a think he could do with his new-found powers and identity. But everything had happened so quickly- the bank, Flash, the 'recruitment', and here he was… on top of a tower that overlooked the bay, part of a team.

A team who would likely accumulate enemies, the more it fought. Was this something he was ready to commit to? How was he going to keep up with everything, when there was a job to keep in order to keep food on the table and a roof over his head.

"Now that's a fine mess I've gotten myself into, haven't I?" he mutters, sitting at the edge and sipping his sparkling water.

A few hundred pounds of construction materials, all with a faint blue glimmer, float upwards in front of Vorpal followed a moment later by Tel. "Afternoon." he says and gives the supplies a light push so they move to a spot in the center of the roof. At that point, Tel adjusts the gravitons so the pull of gravity on them is just enough to get them to float downward till they land with a gentle thump. "Figure I'd help carry." he explains. "Save them some time."

"You definitely know how to make an entrance," Vorpal remarks as he watches the materials land in the center. "That's awfully nice of you. You must be appalled by the primitive construction methods of this age. I imagine it's probably faster and more efficient back home?"

Well, he's curious. And as long as he doesn't ask about Big Important Things that could change the timeline solely by knowing them, he figures it's safe to ask about the more menial things.

"Technology has advanced a bit in almost a thousand years." Tel agrees. "It's kind of amazing you can do so much without it and that all those ropes and cables don't break all the time." Cranes and pulleys and everything; death traps waiting to happen. Coming to a landing on the ledge, he sits down next to Vorpal. "Nice view from up here."

"Yeah. Better than my apartment's view. I have a nice uninterrupted glance at a brick wall across the street." Vorpal grins and takes a sip from his bottle. "How goes the search for a way home? Anything yet?"

At the question, Tel glances up at the sky a moment before shaking his head. "There's nothing I can do to get home. Time travel isn't one of my powers and I'm not Brainiac to invent something. I can only wait for them to come get me. If I can talk to Superman and ask him to tell them in the future, and get my name mentioned often enough…" He shrugs. "They should have been here already. That they aren't means something is wrong."

Tact isn't a superpower, unfortunately. After a moment of awkward silence, Vorpal says "I'm sorry." He reaches out to put a hand on the other's shoulder. "… for what it's worth, it's not all that bad around here. Any time after the invention of penicillin is a good time to be alive in." A realization. "I know you had loved ones back there, though. Can't really say anything that makes that part any better."

"Well, they're used to me being on one planet after another." Tel says after giving Vorpal a quick smile. "It's not really all that different. I'm trying to think of it as just being assigned to another sector." Though without the ability to communicate with them. "And it won't be forever. The Science Police will insist they come get me."

Except they'd be here already if that was the case. But he doesn't want to burst Tel's only bubble. "In the meantime, you should get to know the place while you're here. Have you had much of a chance to go out at all?"

"I've flow around a bit. Came across a ground traffic accident and helped the medics get to the injured." Tel says. "They're not computer controlled." As if Vorpal didn't already know that.

"We haven't had a lot of luck with AI just yet. Tony Stark has JARVIS over at the tower, but the technology leap to incorporate that into systems and services citywide is some years away. Safety considerations and all sorts of things that need to be tested first." Vorpal turns to look at the bay, grateful for the odd breeze here and there. Summer was not a happy time to be covered in fur.

"So, you know where I came from. What about you? Where did you get those awesome powers?"

"Random chance." "Tel explains. "I'm from Earth, unlike most of the Legion or the Academy. I just happened to be born with powers. It's still not very common though it's probably more so than it is here. None of my ancestors had any powers listed on record and those go back a few hundred years so it's not inherited."

"Randomness is responsible for a lot of things. How I became what I am, for one. So what was it like, growing up in the future?" Vorpal grins. "Did we ever get those cool hover boards they've been promising for decades now?"

"How was it growing up in the past?" Tel counters. "Hoverboards? They're around but not very popular any more. There's air cars and space travel and aliens. Some very good people, some not so much. It can be a complicated, dangerous place. This might be a nice vacation." Like roughing it in the mountains.

"Well, before or after the internet?" the cat counters. "It's been… interesting. I was born around the time the internet was first becoming a 'thing'. Things are changing very quickly. It's not a bad time… there's war and there's a lot of horrible things, but when you think about the Dark Ages and how razing cities and villages was more of a daily thing back then, plus plague and all those other nice things… we're actually much better."

He takes a sip of the last of his water and sets it aside.

"So what motivated you to be in the Science Police…" and he has to ask, "… and is that a standard uniform?"

"I didn't want to be in the Science Police." Tel explains. "I want to be in the Legion. After I graduated, I went to the Legion Academy which is like a training ground for potential Legionnaires. That's where I met Jed and we got married. He was turned down by the Legion though and joined the Science Police instead. About a year later I decided I was obsessing about the Legion too much and left to go join him." He shrugs. Long story made short.

"I see. Perhaps that's the best attitude to have. I didn't particularly want to be in a team, and I'm not sure I should be in one… but that aside, I certainly wouldn't dare audition for the Justice League. That's where the Big Leagues play, you know. I'm more or less the waterboy." Vorpal grins at Tel.

Tel shrugs at that comment. "Everyone has their role in a team. Invisible Kid and Phantom Girl weren't super strong or able to control fire but they had their place. Why wouldn't you want to be here with all you can do?"

"I'm just not sure." Vorpal brushes his hair back from his face. "It's one thing if you've got an established life or you're independently wealthy… or if you get paid to do this. But I've got a shoebox of an apartment I'm always one paycheck away from losing. I'm not even the real Keith O'Neil, so I'm more or less at it alone. This is all very noble of a goal, but I've gotta eat somehow, y'know? I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to manage."

"Neither am I." Tel admits. "Right now I'm letting whoever's financing your group provide it all for me but that can't be a permanent thing. Maybe I should hire out as construction and transport things up to the top floors. That should save them money, I'd think."

Vorpal smiles. "That'd be a good idea. Hey, if you go with it, you'd be welcome to share my apartment. Between two people, paying the rent shouldn't be as hard as with one. I've done construction work before, too. Granted, I don't have that kind of power."

"They're building quarters for people here." Tel points out. "Why are you going to live elsewhere when you can do so here? Isn't that one of the benefits of being part of a team?"

"The downside of that is that I have to walk around in the fur coat to stay in my secret identity. It gets hot." Vorpal smirks and leans back, back flat against the rooftop and feet resting on the edge. "I like having a space where I can be… well, whomever it is I technically am. Not the superhero, not the freak, just myself. It's not that I don't trust the other guys… but they're teammates. They're 'work' people, you know?"

"You showed me and you only just met me." Tel points out. "Why can't you be yourself around them and put on your.. whatever you call it for when you need to? Alexander doesn't seem to worry about that either." No one in the Legion or Academy bothered with secret identities.

"Yeah, but you're not from around here. You're like me, in a way. Technically speaking I'm only six months old, as souls go. And I'm not sure I want Raven knowing my self. She already hates this version of me, it'd be nice to be safe from her barbs when I choose." He smirks, that part obviously is said half in jest. "But you'll notice the Flash doesn't reveal his identity. Alexander? He's a god, he has no reason to fear anybody coming after him or his family." He drops his voice "… it's not very likely, but just in case I ever find someone I like… it'd be nice. Keeping them safe from it all, I mean. The more people who know who I am, the less likely that happens. You get to know, but you're the only one so far. Disoriented time travelers get one free."

"Well, it's your life." Tel agrees. "You need to live it the way you think best. But maybe you should talk to the others about that kind of thing. If they're building places to live, they must expect at least some people to make use of them. If nothing else, it would save you credits and give you less of a worry."

"oh, right, they're dollars here. Unless you're in Europe, where it's the Euro. In England it's the Pound Sterling, and the latin american countries have a bevvy of currency, and the exchange rates all over the place are crazy. But 'Dollar' should be fine for you here." The cat shrugs. "I just… want to experience things I've never had a chance to experience. And hopefully keeping people safe from the side of my life that will include potential villains in spandex and a desire to eviscerate me."

He looks at Tel from his position. "Have you seen the rooms?"

"They're… not done fully yet." Tel answers. "Like the rest of the building. But I assume they'll be functional and able to be personalized by whoever's living there." Which will most likely be him, at least for a while. "I'd caution you to be patient though. You'll have lots of time to experience all the things you want to so factor that into your decisions."

"Actually, I don't know that for certain. I'm not sure how long I'm supposed to live. Remember those moments where the universe 'forgets' me? I hypothesize that one point or another it could be for real." Vorp sits up, grinning. "So I can't pretend like I'm going to stay around forever. At this point, if I see a chance… I'll take it, 'cause it could be my last." Something strikes him as funny, and he smirks. "Which is silly, this worrying about the apartment and everything. I should probably break the lease and just move here, that'd be one less financial worry and it'd leave me resources to pursue… other things. Yessss. Good thinking!" he rubs his chin.

Tel just nods. He had no horse in the race so was just giving his opinion. It's up to Vorpal to decide on how to live his life. Still, he does add "It would make it easier to be friends with the ones you work with too. I can't imagine having to hide who you are from the ones you entrust your life to."

"People do it. Like I said, Flash keeps his identity close to his chest, and I'm sure there must be a good reason for it."

He pauses. "So what is it that you do when you're not out there policing science and saving the universe? Any hobbies?"

"Not the universe, just the United Planets." Tel corrects. "Well, I did always enjoy traveling. There are many fascinating places to see on all the planets in the UP. The ones with hostile atmospheres especially. Without an oxygen nitrogen atmosphere, flora and fauna can get strange and different gravities means different planetary formations."

"That sounds amazing…" Vorpal says with some yearning in his voice, "You're a regular James T—— wait, you're not going to get the reference. Actually, I should show you some of our sci-fi shows. Beast Boy was in one of them when he was young… you'll probably laugh yourself silly at all the inaccuracies."

"Sure, that sounds like fun." Tel thinks for a moment and looks at Vorpal. "Have you ever been in orbit? Would you like to?" As many times as he's traveled through space, it's never lost its appeal.

Vorpal goes from a slouching position to sitting bolt upright, looking at Tel with wide eyes. "What… you mean it? You can?… could I?"

Tel stands up and grins down at Vorpal, holding out a hand. "Come on. We can't stay too long since the air will run out but it should be long enough."

Springing to his feet quickly, Vorpal takes Tel's hand eagerly. "Alright! Tell me what I have to do and I'll do it!" He looks extremely eager, almost delirious.

"Stop breathing heavy." Tel says. There's a faint blue glimmer as he manipulates the gravitons to negate Earth's pull on them and they both start rising into the air. They quickly pick up speed and he concentrates them in front of them to form a forcefield and shield them from the inreasing wind resistance. Once the air starts to thin uncomfortably, the forcefield widens and encompasses the two of them, trapping air inside of it as well. And then they're in orbit with the Earth below and space everywhere else.

Breathing heavy isn't the issue at all for Vorpal, but breathing at all. For a few seconds, he forgets to even draw a breath as he looks down at his home.

"Oh…" tons of movies nowadays have shots of the earth like this. He's seen it hundreds of times in photos from NASA and even photos from the shuttles and space stations. But that was from the comfort of the theater, or his own home. The enormity of it all is inescapable when you know you're seeing the real thing. It's blue and massive and incredibly old, it was there before he was born and it'll be there long before he is gone, unless something happen.

He sniffles a little but tries to hide it. "… oh."

Tel's long past the 'oh' stage but he still enjoys the view and gazes out into space quietly as Vorpal looks his fill. "It never loses its magnificence." he says after a bit and uses his powers to flip them one hundred and eighty degrees. Now instead of having Earth below them, it's above and suddenly looks even bigger. Perspective is everything.

Talk about sensory overload. Vorpal continues to be at a loss for words, taking the view in. He's finally remembered to breathe, happily, and exhales softly.

"This is the most amazing thing that's ever happened to me."

"We can do it again." Tel tells him, anticipating the disappointment when they're forced to leave. He's keeping track of his own breathing and how it feels. It's inexact but he's had a lot of practice in using his forcefield in space and he'll err on the side of caution. "But yes, it is pretty incredible. Soon it'll be a much more common thing than it is in this time."

"It'… feeling a little shallow." Vorpal comments on his breathing. "Sorry… I think I breathed too deep for a few moments." He apologizes, making sure to get a last good look before they have to go back.

Tel nods and they begin flying up to Earth. As they hit atmosphere, he shapes his forcefield to better cut through the atmosphere and once the air is breathable, he lets in fresh air. "It's even better when you're not near a planet and just floating in the middle of infinity." Something that he's most likely not going to be able to do as long as he's stuck in the 21st century.

Vorpal breathes in, filling his lung with fresh air as they descend. He's quiet all the way to the tower, though when they finally land and he lets go of Tel's hand, he grins at him and gives him a hug. "That was… you've made my week. Month. Year. Whatever, that was amazing. Thank you for showing that to me."

"You're welcome." Tel returns the hug but then starts floating upwards. "I'm going to go for a flight. I'll be back later. If you don't change your mind about living here, let me know and I'll help you move your things." Lifting a hand in farewell, he flies off faster than he went with Vorpal.

Vorpal waves at him, "I think you've convinced me, it'll save me money." And then something buzzes in his jacket pocket and he frowns, taking his phone out. "… and speaking of which, I have to go to work in an hour. Have a fun flight!" The Cheshire waves and with that, he jumps off the side of the building, passing through one of his Rabbit Holes. He makes his way across the city that way— it's not as fancy as flying, but if you're a roller coaster junkie, the gravitational changes are just swell.


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