In Defense of Earth

September 4, 2014: A chance meeting on a rooftop brings together the first step of a VERY long-term plan.

Gotham's East End, a truly seedy area

A rooftop of a battered old apartment building in Alleytown, with attendant vents, ducts, and the like.



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Mood Music:

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Two nights ago, an avianoid entity stumbled upon a quasi-abduction of scientists from a cleverly disguised lab facility within the East End. Corvinus then encountered a most powerful entity, one capable of apparently matching the powers of Earth's Mightiest Hero. After a brief discussion — in terms of cosmic time, at least — it had managed to at least convince the entity to consider 'pay' and 'peer incentives' and 'family benefits'.

At the end of that conversation, the strange entity had attempted to do something to the ancient avianoid's memory.

Now, after a couple of days of dealing with other matters, it has returned to the rough area of the crime, seeking anything that might point to where that strange human went to.

For the moment, it flies about a hundred feet above the tops of the decrepit apartments of Alleytown, watching for anything amiss.


That birds-eye view is perfect for catching those lurking on the roofs, the shadows offering cover from those on the ground. An alleyway in Gotham brings a flash of movement, a streak moving across the roof, to lean against a chimney. Her hands rise, pushing the cowl off her head, revealing a purple mask, concealing her hair, concealing her face.

A shaky seat taken on that chimney pot, and in a moment, her gaze rises upwards, absently seeking the signs that Batman is out and about. Instead, she finds an avianoid entity, a huge wingspan overhead, and she stares. Then, her hands rise, lifting the cowl over her head once more, the blackness merging her into the shadows a little better. A strange entity reluctant to be seen.


That wasn't the least bit suspicious, now, was it?

The bird-thing descends with a slow spiralling turn, crossing over three adjacent buildings on its downward path before finally alighting upon the roof that it saw the figure blend into the shadows. The partner saw something like this recently. At the warehouse for the mentally damaged. The… 'Arkham Aslyum' which apparently caused its partner some actual nightmares after the event. That was a novel experience that the ancient creation would prefer not to repeat.

Its landing is on the other end of the roof as it glances over in the direction of the shadowy spot.

"This one would greet one."

It's not a whisper — for whispers would draw attention. No, this is a quiet tone that is almost inaudible over the creak of aged fans and vents and ducts.


The stillness of the figure on the roof is still, studying the landing creation, her blue eyes narrowing behind the mask. "Well, that just depends on which one you plan to greet, doesn't it? I mean, it could be the one over there, or this one, or…" Snark, pure and simple, delivered in the tones of a teenaged woman, and she steps forward, her arms folded across her chest. "What do you want? Did you get her out of there?" He is recognized, and in turn, knows that she recalls the name of his boss, his partner, the very rich, very influential woman with him.


"This one would not insult one's intelligence by speaking to a vent cover."

The bird thing takes a stride forward, with micro-metric precision avoiding loose vent pieces and the like.

The tone is serious, but not chiding.

"The partner was able to succeed on that aspect, and extends his thanks to one for one's timely intervention and efforts. Query: I will, it's the Rules?" The last bit was repeated in a voice similar to the strange cloaked woman's voice from the previous encounter.

"This one is expressing interest and curiosity in one's… operating parameters."


Her chin comes up, her blue eyes narrowed, and the defensiveness in that pose notches up a million. "I don't kill people. Those are the rules. We don't kill people, the good guys." The reply is abrupt, defensive, and her lifted chin sets as her face firms beneath the mask. "Your friend already explained to me why that is dumb and stupid and I should leave the play to him, because he is willing to leave bodies on the floor."

Anger marks the tone, clearly and loudly, a mixture of complex hurt and pride, "The Batman told me, you don't kill. If you kill you are turning into them, you aren't those guys." Paraphrased, very heavily, into teenager.


The bird-thing hops a bit and claps its hands together a couple of times but is mindful not to make too much noise.

"This one applauds one's restraint and self-control. Even this one, under certain circumstances, is not immune to reactions of lethal force. This one would humbly become one's student, as the role of a teacher is to learn from one's students, and the return as well."

When the someone 'else' is mentioned, the avianoid stops its almost giddy childlike reaction and drops back down into a far more serious stance.

"That entity is no friend of this one. That entity showed up in the partner's apartment with a weapon of mass projectile hurling ready to engage. It was only the barest of margins that we managed to avoid the destruction of the partner's studio and the surrounding building.

Corvinus pauses for a moment, then tilts its head.

"This Man of the Bat sounds wise, however. There is a Storm coming. All will be needed in defense. Even the most hardened of criminals may have what is needed to defeat the Storm. To simply eliminate potential allies for the crisis as a matter of expediency is foolhardy."

That… is rather odd, now, isn't it.


The narrowed blue eyes and the posture don't change, the defensiveness at high levels before she tilts her head the slightest amount. She moves slowly then, letting the cowl down as she selects a chimney to perch on, her legs dangling after she jumps to reach it. "Thank you, I think… You want to be my student? Mine?" The doubt in her voice would be obvious to any human at the least, and she lifts a shoulder, "How about trying for friends?"

His next statement, that draws a snort from her, "He seems the type to turn up with a weapon to prove his point." Subtext, thy name is Spoiler, and perhaps should not be written in neon letters suggesting someone is compensating. "A storm?"


"This one would be friends to all who would accept wisdom and enlightenment, carefully cultivated in a personal and direct fashion. It is presumptive to assume that one route is the proper route."

It tilts its head. "It is an honor to share learning between a student and a teacher, for in so doing all gain knowledge and move forward."

"This one was told by the entity that it was arriving from a place called 'Syria', and after correlating with local data sources verified that indeed, it is a hotbed of violence and activity. Still, that is no excuse to nearly give the partner a…. wait one… partner term… 'heart attack'."

"Indeed a Storm. This one is partly responsible for it starting. This one must help end it."

How… enigmatic.. Buddha Bird.


An elbow rests on her knees, the perch becoming more comfortable as she crosses her legs, her thoughtful expression under the mask, before she speaks slowly, "Real friends tell their friends when they are messing up. I don't know shit, not enough to teach anyone, I'm still learning." Her fingers curl around her cheek, her thoughtful expression puzzling over him. "If we're going to be friends, you need to chill. You need to be a little …" A wave of her free hand, and she continues, "More informative, a little helpful in the facts, you know? What storm? What did you do?"


"The first step to Wisdom is to realize that one knows nothing. From this foundation, one can build the greatest of frameworks. Such a perspective is refreshing if a bit daunting and one should be glad to have it."

"This one is calm and operating within normal conversational parameters. Stand by. Information exposition, loading."

The avianoid pauses for a moment, then clears its throat.

"Many, many epochs ago, this one volunteered for a tasks the Creators had available. This one was to bring to the Client People of Thanagar Wisdom, Enlightenment, Guidance."

It pauses, and shifts a bit.

"This one was unsuccessful in the educational efforts, for this one had only the original instructions given to it via the Creators. The concept of alternate beliefs, different paths was not available."

"The Client People were a great deal more martial than the Creators anticipated, and utilized the knowledge I shared with them to construct horrific weapons rather than pursue peaceful ascension."


She listens, her eyes sober through the mask, her fingertips drumming on her cheek, and then she nods slowly, "I, not this one, that works way better for you. You're rocking the humanity thing. More than kill-them-all boy." She straightens slightly, using her hands as she speaks, animation lighting up the body language at the least, "People do that, they go to war. I know, in history, they said that always happens. We're the client people? Or somewhere else? Who are the creators?"


"This one refrains from using the singular pronoun for respect to the student. This one would not distract from one's education. The error has been noted and will be corrected for in future retellings. This one, as one can see, is not Human. One's partner is, this one is not. It is… partner term 'complicated'."

It cracks its head back and forth a couple of times.

"War has not always been a constant in this universe. Long ago, the Creators established a vast and enlightened series of peaceful worlds. The term is ancient, and the closest term in Terran languages would be — Archaeopean." It pauses as if it was trying to parse that a few times.

"The Client People of Thanagar were of similar build to the Creators. The Creators reached out to them, hoping to bring them to Wisdom."

It pauses while it considers the question of Earth having the Client People.

"This world has beings of Enlightenment and billions of different ways of seeing how things work. This is a far cry from the Client People, or most other worlds in this galaxy. They were lost for a time. Then this one picked up signals that they were reaching the level of space-flight. This one will undoubtedly become a target if they reach here. And they will, in time."


She shakes her head, indicating the confusion before she speaks again, slowly, "Which student? Me? I don't get what you are trying to say, I really don't." She leans her chin on her hand, her eyes narrowing slightly, as she studies him slowly, thoughtfully. "So, lemme see if I get this right. These creators were some sort of overlords who made it all peaceful until they spoke to some guys from Thanagar…" She pauses to check, and to catch her breath for an instant, "So you think these people, the warlike ones, will turn up here and kick our asses?" Teenagers, the masters of summary, and she gives him a long look, weighing him up, before she shrugs. "Well, I guess what we do is we learn. We figure out what they know, what they can do and then we kick their asses back to the medieval times."


"One would be the student, yes."

Was that a hint of snark snuck in there?

"Fifty percent certainty within the next ten years if they are unaware of this one's presence, one hundred percent certainty if they are aware of this one's presence within the next five years, based on current data. This is why every single defender is important, for this one cannot extrapolate with data available what offensive, defensive, and miscellaneous technology the Client People may have. Based on an exceptionally rough estimate, this one estimates subdual of most current conventional forces within forty-eight hours, with most deterrent methods being ineffectual against the defensive technology that was present when this one encountered the Client People last."

Or, in other words, nukes might not work on them.

"And now one understands why the quest for Enlightenment is important. Not just for the kicking of behind, but also to grow as an individual."


The flicker of a grin moves the mask and she uncurls from her perch, jumping down, waving her hands as she speaks, "Alright, we can do this, we can totally do this." She takes some steps towards him, speaking rapidly, "Alright, so we need allies, we need friends, so we can all get it together to make it obvious Earth is all defended. We need to show them we're strong so they don't even rock up." She offers her hand to him, her blue eyes studying him, "So we are it, the first of the defenders…"


The bird-thing moves its right hand in mechanical precision, almost as if it were a fluidly moving machine carefully evaluating every motion before cautiously pressing the hand to the one offered. Its obsidian eyes match the blue eyes staring at it.

"In secret, we defend. Our paths may take us down dark roads and methods one may not consider, but remembering always the burden of Enlightenment and the consideration that we don't know what the ultimate solution will be. We start slow, we take our time, we build, we grow, we learn. It may take many local years to make this happen, but we start it here, first, by keeping our eyes open to any sign of this threat."


Her hand in his, she stares up at him, the moment abruptly becoming serious. "Agreed." The word is soft, quiet and she suddenly grins, lighting up her blue eyes, "Enlightenment, here we come." Then she adds softly, adds slowly, "Where do we start? I mean, I don't know that much, I don't even know what I don't know." She shakes her head, a tiny hint of blond hair slipping from under the mask.


"The first step is already taken, for one acknowledges that one knows very little. The next step one must take is a personal choice. Learn from that which one normally would not. Take the lessons the world offers, and expand on them. This one recommends a log or journal. And the most important part… patience. Partner terms 'Rome was not built in a day.' "


"You want me to blog about it?" The amusement in her voice is obvious and then she grins again, "The first step is the most important, 'cause without that, you aren't moving." She reclaims her hand, giving him a nod, her face thoughtful for a moment. "Yeah. Look me up sometime soon. Do you have a name or anything? I never caught it." The step back makes it clear she is going, about to leave.


"This one is known as The Corvinus. This one can be contacted via electronic and telephonic means. This one will suggest not blogging about the situation, as such will be monitored by any entities observing our culture and may decipher any cypher one wrote it under. This one suspects that one will be 'in touch' at some future point and anticipates gaining wisdom before then."

"Have a great, safe evening."

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