What Dreams May Come Visiting

Summary:
August 27, 2014: In the aftermath of the Big Bird's visit, Changeling and Vorpal are visited by dreams. Including Power Girl.

Titans Tower

A lonely island is chained to the nearby rocks of Staten Island, and on that island, a Tower darkly dreaming waits for night.


Characters

NPCs

  • The Pointless — Doom, Dead, Dope, Derp, Drip, Damp and Ditz
  • Dope's Circus of Dreams
  • Baba Yaga's Hut by special arrangement with the Soviet Cultural Attache Case

Mood Music:
Dream a Little Dream of Me


############################### EVENING #####################################

The sun is setting on a rather busy day. After dropping Gar's sleeping behind on the bed of the room claimed by the green/red marvel, Keith returned to his human shape and went about bandaging his ankle.
An hour later, the smell of food wafts through the common area as a redhead with a slight limp and an ankle brace walks down the corridor with a tray bearing a portion of beef tenderloin steaks with mushroom sauce (ten minutes to cook!), a small cup of greek yogurt and a glass of water. He doesn't know much about shapechanging (outside of what he does), but he guesses that when meta-exhaustion sets in, some nutrient-rich meals might help the body's recovery.

"Hey, sleepin' beauty?" He says in a moderately soft voice as he pushes open the door and enters the room, "Food's here."

-

It feels very strange sleeping as Red Gar. The dreams are never quite right, the sense of being someone who was tortured into his power rather than going through a much longer, occasionally goth-angsty childhood, this is unnerving. In the dream, Red says to Green, "You should learn from this shit. I'm keeping your memory of parents, dude, even if you stop coming here."

"Sure, just don't take all of 'em," Green says to Red.

In the background, a chicken-footed house is dancing across a field looking for a giant beanstock, because the beans are its natural food. Seven black-clad and bizarre creatures wander past, stinking of clove cigarettes, sweat, ink, and ennui. It makes both of Gar nervous, they're not supposed to be out where you can see them, but apparently they are … concerned … about the melted walls of the canyon that this island and its T-tower sit in.

The black-clad creatures all stare at Red and Green and say, in unison and disharmony, "TSK! TSK! TSK!"

Fortunately, the smell of steak and mushrooms sneaks into the dream and it vanishes into a puff of random symbolism. Gar sits up.

"Dude, you cooked for me. That is so awesome. Are you having some too?" He sits up on the bed, and the room swims a little and his stomach makes that noise that wolves make when they're fighting over food.

-

"Let's get you fed first," Keith says, sitting on the bed and fiddling a bit with the tray to get the little legs to come out so he can set it down on Gar's lap. "How are you feeling? I thought I'd let you recover for a bit before waking you up. Gave me a chance to take a shower and bandage up."
He pats Gar's left leg, "I figured you'd probably be either exhausted or starving after turning into a creature capable of swallowing a horse."

-

"Thanks. How's the ankle?"

Not capable of waiting for an answer with food there, Gar starts eating steak and mushrooms, using half of the greek yogurt as a dip for the meat. Because fake-Russian food is good, even if there isn't any paprika or wine involved. The water, he drains. Sorry. Breathing fire is dehydrating.

"So much better. Hey, what happened to Big Bird?"

-

"Sprained, I think." Keith slides up on the bed and crosses his legs, tracing his fingers around the swollen ankle. "I should've been more careful, I've sprained this ankle before back when I was training in Black Tiger. I guess it's my weak ankle, but then again going barefoot probably counted against me." He leans back on his elbows.

"Big Bird eventually flew away after going all Dalek-speak. He couldn't deal with the sketchy nature of the place, I guess."

-

Gar decides that it's probably just as well, not having a messiah-bird sitting on the roof.

What does it mean, Messiah on the Roof, who drivels every night and blathers every noon, how can we get this bird to go away in a minimally martyred way? The sound of peppy, klezmer-infused broadway musical comes from the shadows under Gar's bed. He abruptly raises his legs onto the bed because whatever that is, who knows if it's going to bite. This doesn't keep him from taking another bite of beef and following it with mushroom-and-yogurt.

-

"… things are getting weirder and weirder around here," Keith mutters, and slides up next to Gar and looks at the glass. "If we can't get Wiccan in time, I worked with Zachary Zatara a few nights ago… maybe we can bring him around and see if he can do some weirxorcism or something of the like?"

-

Gar hands the plate to Keith, and bends forward, peeking under the bed. He lifts the edge of the dust-catcher.

"Close de door. You iz let out de light," a thickly-accented, deep male voice says.

"Sorry," Gar says, letting it drop back.

"S'a'right," the voice returns.

"Keith? Why are there dreams under my bed? Was my brain leaking or something?" Gar asks.

-

"I don't know. All I know is that now there is very little difference between my dreams and my waking time, and I'm not sure that's a good idea." Keith quips. He looks at Gar next to him and says rather wistfully "— though not all dreams are that bad…" he says.

~Be a little more discreet, for crying out loud~
~He's too busy with the little Broadway production under the bed to notice~
~You'd be surprised.~

"So I take it that there's a mini production of Fiddler on the Roof going on under your bed? Maybe a tiny Zero Mostel could provide entertainment for dinner," Keith says, making light of the strange happenings around the tower since Wiccan opened that hole in reality.

-

"I can't remember… I was talking to Red, and we saw something weird … but it all went away when I woke up. I think, something or someone was trying to figure out what happened here," Gar says. "They were going 'tut, tut, tut' in unison, like a chorus of little tiny british schoolmasters."

He leans over to lift the dust cover again — in a different place — and there's tiny circus sounds, the classical organ music. In reverse. And possibly upside-down, if that's a possible thing for music to do. From under one's bed.

-

"Then I suggest you finish your meat before it transforms into something and gets away," Keith muses, rubbing his ankle absentmindedly. "… four, five months ago I was working in a warehouse with nothing more unusual in my life than some extra bills snuck on me by my phone company. Now I'm surrounded by superheroes, I'm sitting in bed next to the ex-Beast Boy, and I'm in a tower that was destroyed, but which was undestroyed by magic… and as a consequence reality is very much a subjective concept in the immediate area…" The redhead smirks. "And I turn into a Cheshire cat by walking through mirrors. I'm still waiting to wake up in an asylum one of this days and find out that this was all just some huge delusional episode."

Outside, the sun finally begins to set, and the automatic lighting in the tower activates slowly, illuminating the T-shape.

-

Good advice! Changeling literally wolfs down the rest of the meat, transforming his head for a moment. This isn't really something he was known for doing much of, earlier in his career, but he seems comfortable with it lately.

"C'mon, I'll wash the dishes and we can see if there's a videogame or something. Long weekend coming up," Gar says. Of course that probably means something weird will happen involving some crazed lunatic, because the Rogues Gallery guys just can't stand to let a hero have a holiday off.

-

"Right, that's a good idea." Keith nods and slides off the bed, giving the bottom a wide berth. Just in case tiny klezmer bands under the bed did something to your toes.
"So, er… do you spend a lot of time with people outside of, you know, the team?"

Wait, too vague.

"I mean, is there some— "

Wait, too obvious!

"What do you do for fun?"

Inside his head, both cheshire and human slap their foreheads. He grabs the tray and glass and begins to mildly limp towards the commons after Gar.

-

"Fun? In Soviet San Diego, you do not have fun. Fun has YOU," Gar says, in a very bad accent. "No, honest, I train, because that cartoon show they did about the Titans, total fiction by the way, except that the Beast Boy character was almost as cute as me. Anyway, he got old and bald and fat in one episode, and that is not a good look on me. Bald only looks OK in eagles and vultures."

He looks around - kitchen already clean, so apparently Keef cleans up as he cooks, the weirdo, but he can take the plate (already licked apparently-clean) and the soap-dispenser-scrubber and go after the germs. And it doesn't take long to do the rest.

"OK, your turn to be carried, limpy-boy," Gar says, picking Keef up to carry him to the gaming chairs. They have a good view of the outside.

"So other than training, and doing 21 hours a term for my degree, I pretty much slept and ate. All work and no play made Gar a dull boy."

-

So, apparently a tower was blown up. Though she wasn't available to look into it when it happened, the news of the event at least reached Power Girl eventually. The blonde heroine finally has the time amidst various other things she has had to keep up with both in civilian life and in her super-heroic one that she can swing by and see what's up. As the red-white-and-blue streak closes in on the structure, observing from the sky, she sees that lights are still to appear all up and down it. Further, it doesn't appear to be very blown up. She spotted that literally a mile away, of course, but she decided to take a closer look. «Not sure if the reports were false, if something weird is going on, or if they just have a REALLY good construction crew.» she thinks. Either way, she should probably pay a house call and meet 'the neighbors'. Asking them directly is more likely to achieve results than hanging around outside waiting for something to happen.

With x-ray vision she at least sees that there are people in the tower to answer the door, so she descends, feet first, and lands lightly at the base of the tower. Hopefully close enough to be spotted, but not close enough to trigger any defense systems. She'll wait there with her hands on her hips for 30 seconds. If she doesn't receive a greeting, she's going to walk up to the door and knock. Or whatever.

-

Keith lets out a little yelp, but settles quickly to being carried. "Twenty one hours a term… Mein Gott im Himmel, were you insane?" He shakes his head and smirks, putting his arms around Gar's neck for balance as he's carried. "— I wanted to go to college, but… well, mom's sickness kind of drained anything my parents had saved up for my future… and it didn't help her in the end. It's probably not that important, though… I'm not sure what I'd study. I've never been particularly exceptional at one thing or another. Maybe I was born to do this stuff —"

The readhead turns his head in the direction of the door as the system announces a visitor. The security systems aren't fully online yet.

"If that's Amanda Waller again… I quit."

-

Gar puts Keith down on one of the chairs, a taller one with wheels rather than the short rocking-blob with the speakers in it, and heads for the door. He peers outside through the camera and says, "Do you know any six foot tall women with killer bodies, white leotard costumes, blue gloves, and red off-shoulder capes?"

He presses the button. "Greetings. Welcome to Titan Tower. I assume you're not Amanda Waller or one of her cadre of urban-renewalists?"

-

"Hey, there!" the visitor responds in a friendly tone, giving a wave towards whatever camera there is (there may even be more than one, but inspecting the structure of the tower probably at least clued her in to where one of them was). "No, just your friendly neighborhood Power Girl. I heard there was some sort of disturbance out here. Things don't seem very disturbed, but either way, I thought I'd pay a visit, introduce myself, and see if you needed any help." She smiles winningly. "Also, I don't know who Amanda Waller is, but if she's still at large, then a little explanation might help with tracking her down."

She pauses, then drops her gloved hands to her sides, as she says, "Of course, if this is a bad time, I can come back during the day."

-

"Leotard… red cape…" The young man thinks for a second, and then pipes up when he hears the name over the speakers "Holy shit, Power Girl! I've seen clips of her, she's seven shades of awesome and a few hues off kick-ass." He looks around for a few seconds "Let her in, I'm going to the kitchen to walk into the refrigerator."
Because that is the most normal thing he could have said. He wheels himself out on the chair squesqueesqueesqueesquee and, after a few seconds, there is a purple flash that comes from the kitchen. Out comes Vorpal, the purple cheshire cat, hero tights and all. With a brace on his right ankle. "I still need to have some semblance of a secret identity outside of the tower, you know."

-

"Come on in," Gar says, pushing the button to admit a visitor. This is still the most ridonkliously stupid-complicated security system, in terms of having too many buttons and stuff. The door opens to a short hall that leads to a sort of pleasant lounge area, with a small kitchen on one end, and a complicated entertainment system on the other, with some views of the bay. It's got 'guest-comfy' seating, but it's not as luxe as the private games-and-television area. Also, it's less cluttered and in much better decor.

"Would you like something to drink? We have beer, but I can't vouch for it - Flash buys the worst stuff. But we also have sodas and sparkling water and plain water and coffee or tea."

Gar tries to remember if he was ever taught proper host-manners. Nope! Not much use in the jungle for a six-year-old, and later the adoptive parents were … strange … about that kind of thing. Oh well. Surely the Cheshire Cat knows something about it.

-

Well, things seem to be going good so far. Welcomed in as she is, Power Girl accepts the invitation and heads inside. Finding herself in the lounge-like area after leaving the entrance hall. It is indeed a very nice place to welcome guests in, but that isn't really why she's here, so the blonde focuses on the kids. And an interesting pair they are too! She already waved at the camera, but she offers another now that she's meeting her hosts. At the offer of refreshments, she shakes her head. "No thanks. I've already mentioned my name, but I don't think I know either of yours. Would you do me the courtesy of introducing yourselves, so I don't have to resort to 'you' and 'you two'?" She grins and tilts her head to the side a bit. She can do the social part of this just fine. If they want to make sure she's comfortable before explaining the situation, awesome.

On the other hand, even if they don't want to talk about what happened to the tower, she can at least establish friendly relations. Heroes don't need to have adversarial connections with each other, really. They might not all have the same idea of how to deal with bad stuff, but they're MOSTLY on the same page about actually doing so. Working together is often necessary to tackle the world's problems… Even for the super-among-the-super. And that means not being a jerk. Even so, she is marginally surprised by the seeming youth of these two. But hey, she's mentally a lot older than she is physically, and age isn't a measure of heroic ability, so no reason to judge a book by its cover.

"And," she raises a finger. "Should I keep an ear out for anyone else coming around, if you thought I might have been this Waller lady?"

-

"Oh please, please, do come in!" Vorpal is now in full Martha Stewart mode, limping somewhat from his sprained right ankle. His demeanor is the complete opposite of adversarial — until very recently he was an ordinary citizen, after all. "This red guy over here is Changeling," he says, reaching over and ruffling Gar's hair with a smirk, "And I'm Vorpal. We're just part of the team — there's Phobos, Raven, Wiccan, and of course Flash. It's just the two of us here right now… please come in," he continues making encouraging motions towards the comfortable chairs- it's a miracle he's not peppering his speech with 'It's A Good Thing'.

His eagerness drains a little when Waller is brought up, to which he simply adds "It's… a long story, but Waller is apparently some sort of government spook. Has impunity to do whatever she wants to and is untouchable. Seems to be involved in shady operations, and she doesn't like metas. That last bit is a conclusion I drew from the fact that she tried to invade us with a stealth team, and when that failed she basically ordered a missile strike against us. Nearly got crushed to death by the crossbar."

He pauses, "That's the little stroke across the top of a 'T'," he says helpfully. He hadn't known that until the Tower had been built and he was trying to describe it. Then he came across a typography anatomy book. Man, people had terms for just about everything.

"Er… sorry, I'm yakking all over the place."

-

Gar gets a pitcher and puts ice and filtered water into it anyway, leaving it on the sideboard where it can be gotten. He also pours himself a glass, because he's still a bit dehydrated from being too many dragons.

"So, I guess that one of the newer members of the team is something of a wizard. He … basically, made it like the attack hadn't happened, which has had some interesting side effects. If you notice people following a big cybernetic space bird around like he's the Bird Messiah, that's some sort of reality mash-up, for instance," Gar says. "So… do you know any good lawyers? Because, I'm pretty sure we need to sue this woman. Although at the moment, the patch may interfere with our evidence."

He takes a big drink of water, failing utterly to be subtle or suave.

A faint sound of circus comes from down the hall and up one floor and makes his pointed ears twitch.

-

"Ahh, a whole team then." Seems the 'working together' thing is already covered. Doesn't mean she isn't still willing to help out, but at least it seems as though this group have each other to rely on. That eases Power Girl's worries a bit. "Nice to meet you then, Changleing, Vorpal." She nods to each in turn. At the description of Waller's actions, a bit of weariness leaks onto PG's face. She says dryly, "Ah-hah. That type. I've run into people who think they're untouchable before — that they can't be held accountable for their crimes." A certain guy whose name starts with 'L' and ends with 'ex Luthor' comes to mind, for instance. "They're usually wrong. I'm sorry to hear about the injury, however." She looks at the brace with a frown. "I'm assuming you already got proper medical attention?"

She moves to take a seat as indicated to instead of standing around. She doesn't know how long she'll be here, but remaining on her feet like a goon could be taken as rude. She leans back a bit and crosses one leg over the other. When Gar explains about the tower, the blonde arches an eyebrow, sits up a bit straighter and puts her feet back on the floor as she gazes around. Magic, huh? She has like eight different kinds of vision, but she still can't see whatever spectrum that stuff operates on. Strange sounds are definitely picked up, but she decides not to focus on them for now. "I can ask around, but you're right, magicking the tower probably messed with any chance of making a case. Not only did you kind of remove the evidence, but now the opposition — if we could even get this person into court — could just claim that the entire thing could have been a magic trick. If you can remake reality so something never happened, who's to say you couldn't have made it happen to begin with?"

She holds up her hands in a 'wait gesture' and says, "I'm not saying you did, but that's what they would probably say. Either way, regardless of what government protection she may have, she seems to lack the subtlety to keep doing this sort of thing without leaving behind evidence. And I know of someone who is a really, really, REALLY good detective." Though he doesn't know HER in this universe, so that might make getting his assistance a bit more complicated. "I'm not sure if he'll agree to help, but he can probably track this chick down. Though, I will ask… How did you find out her name? Usually, black ops government types try to keep their identities secret, use codenames or aliases, and so on."

She is putting off asking a question that came to mind as soon as she heard 'magic' for a little bit longer.

-

"Oh, this?" Vorpal looks down at his ankle, "It's ok. Don't really have, uh, insurance" or money "but I know how to treat sprains, so it'll fine. As to Waller…"

"Well, in this case, she is legally untouchable. Can't be sued, can't be brought to justice. Trying to sue her would probably end very badly for us, to the tune of assassinations or more missile strikes. As for her name… she shouted it to us, defiantly, and told us to remember it. That's how brazen she is…" The cat sighs, "Which indicates that she is -that- untouchable. This tower was financed by the government of Sweden, you know- the United states' strongest trading partner and an ally since the Treaty of Paris. And she ordered a military strike against it as if it were nothing at all."

Vorpal rubs his ankle. "This woman's dangerous. Bad news all around. To get away with something like that, she must know where at least one mass grave is located. We dug up information on her by going through one of Phobos' contacts- underworld ones, so to speak."

There's a little rumbling sound coming down the corridor. In turn, a little mouse riding a motorcycle and three tiny clowns on top of miniature horses race through the hallway, and disappear into the kitchen.

"Yeah, ignore that," Vorpal says, waving dismissively. "Magic."

-

"Nobody is untouchable," Gar says.

He pauses, a cold prickling up his neck as the things from that dream he was having, escape into the kitchen. There's a hissing-growling noise from behind the refrigerator, and the mouse and the clowns and the horses go racing back into the hallway, a faint "eeeee!" … something made of far too many slightly hairy multiply-jointed, multiply-forked stick legs with eyeballs at all the forks, scrabbles out from behind the refrigerator, stops in shock at the sight of Vorpal and Changeling and a stranger and it thump-smash-skitters back behind the refrigerator, making odd scrambling noises off into the distance, somehow. Changeling sighs, fatigued patience.

"It's harmless. It only eats mice," Changeling says, and pours more water. His hands aren't trembling at all - he's been much scarier and creepier things. But he's tense.

"So anyway, it's a good thing this is Labor Day Weekend."

-

"Yeah, well, just because someone does something and isn't stopped doesn't mean it's legal, and just because someone in the U.S. government throws a lot of firepower at some young heroes doesn't mean that everyone else in the government approves. And, most of all, no matter how untouchable she thinks she is, that isn't going to stop me from trying to find a way. Even when — Even when Superman has had to deal with a certain guy with more money than an entire country that he can throw at any problem that comes his way, eventually those who desire and abuse power screw up in a way they can't slip out of." She almost said a bit more about her relation to Superman than is public knowledge. She doesn't much care if that gets out, but she'd rather ask him first. He didn't have a problem in her own universe, but… This isn't her universe.

She nods in agreement with Changeling, and then looks down at the floor for a moment. The commotion with the mouse and the creature and so on, however, quickly has her gaze brought back up, squinting at them. "Well, thanks for taking the time to talk to me, and it was nice meeting you, but I have someone I may have trouble tracking down who could help follow up on all this… And some persuading I'll likely have to do when I find him." She rises to her feet and then pauses. She is not as unsettled by the magical creatures as Changeling, but she recognizes, at least, signs of a lot of tension from body language. "So, your said this magic has sort of… Distorted reality. Is there any danger that might come about from it? Either to yourselves or others? Even if the distortion itslef isn't going to hurt you, I don't want to think about some Evilomancer or something deciding to use the distortion to summon an Elder God or a Death Star or something. I think you all have been through enough without additional baddies stopping by to ruin your weekend."

-

"Do not worry about me, Power Girl," Vorpal rises as she does, "I'm a creature of chaos magic. As for Gar…" he looks over at Changeling and touches his hand, "Maybe you should spend the night at your dorm," Vorpal says to Gar, "Just so you can have a good sleep. I'll call Zachary Zatara or Wiccan to see if they can do something about it."

Granted, he liked the idea of Gar sticking around, but not when the Tower was basically assaulting him psychologically. He would have to wait until a better time in the future to ask him what he wanted to ask him.
Damnit.

"Just… be careful, Power Girl. Don't get into deep waters on our account. But I hope this isn't the only visit… I know the rest of the team would love to get a chance to meet you."

-

"I think, so far, it's OK. Nothing has been directly hostile to us, just, different. Like, I'm normally green, not red like this," Changeling says. "And I need to find whatever got loose from that dream and tell it to get back where it belongs."

He nods to Power Girl, "Thank you for coming by. We appreciate the help."

Now what would cause that kind of … oh. Being impossible creatures, a lot. Probably the reason. Well, not going to be doing that tonight, too soon.

He escorts their guest to the door, and then says to Vorpal from there, "You sure you wouldn't rather stay at my dorm tonight too? It's probably safer."

-

"Trouble seems to find me no matter what, but I'll keep as safe as I can in this line of work," she says. Not quite reassuring, but better than lying. Power Girl makes her way to the door, with escort, and then once she's outside gives a final wave before taking off into the sky… On a course for Gotham City. This is going to be considerably less pleasant a visit, she thinks, than the one she had with those nice, polite young heroes.

-

"She is so awesome," Vorpal mutters as he waves at the quickly receding blur. It takes a few seconds for Gar's question to register, before he looks at him.
"Er… wha? Oh!… s-sure. Let me change back into my human shape and leave the security running. Flash'll turn it off in the morning when he comes in."
He does his best to not seem completely giddy. He fails a little, though. But only a little, because his limp prevents him from running over to his room to gather a change of clothes (and change back into human shape), so he makes do with a regular pace instead.

-

Gar slaps the fridge before opening it. (Scurry, scuttle. Hiss.) He reaches into the fruit bin and pulls out a couple apples, and waits for Keef to come back. The little tiny smrt cr is actually parked on the island, today, because the road is dry for the moment. The trip to ESU isn't all that far.

And back in his bedroom at the Tower, the circus winds down, and packs up leaving only some tiny elephant poo and a note that reads, "TSK! TSK! TUT!"


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