Hunting For Rain

November 9, 2014: The Titans call on some of their allies to look for help in finding Rain.

Central Park

Where Squirrel Girl runs a racket.



  • Squirrels

Mood Music:

«Meet me in central park @4PM. Need to talk to you. »

Keith hated texting cryptically like that, but when he texted it it had been on the heels of the revelation and a whole lot of chaos after Stryker.

At midday he sent the GPS location of where he'd be to Booster and Bobby. By the time he gets there, the redhead has a hard time staying on the bench, occasionally getting up to walk around a little around the bench and sitting down again. He'd also told Gar where they'd be meeting, in case he could swing by.

At least the location was a nice one. For a few more weeks, anyways, before the cold made it too unbearable to meet here casually without the need of overcoats and hats and things that would scream 'super spies meeting at a park'.

Hopefully, Keith was not counting on discretion. Booster Gold arrives looking shiny and groomed as if he were camera ready, because in truth he is always camera ready. This might be his mutant power. He drops out of the sky and lands lightly a few feet away from the bench, announcing his arrival with a cheerful, "Hey."

Changeling is, amazingly enough, free to meet in the park, having stopped at the lab to feed the slime molds and their cousins the undergrad lab monitors. He decides to join Keith … secret mission? Of course. A green squirrel in a trenchcoat, porkpie hat, and cowl under the hat, walks up to the bench.

"Psst. Is this the place?"

Bobby does not need a coat to be comfortable in the cold but such things tend to draw attention and much as he lives openly he does not particularly wish to do that. So he waits in the Park. It's midday and they're close enough to the DCI building that he hasn't felt the need to bring anyone else to ensure that this all goes well.

Booster GOld is not the name that comes to Keith's mind when the word 'discretion' is mentioned. The man glows, for crying out loud, so a stealthy meeting was out of the question. Not that one was really needed, but- "Hey, Booster, thank you for coming!" Keith says, rising from the bench when he is being addressed by Green Secret Squirrel. "This is the place, alright. Does that make me the mole? 'cause I don't look good in a fez. At all."

He grins, though, welcoming the touch of humor since he had been thinking about the problem constnatly. To Bobby, he gives wave "Hey, thanks for coming as well. I'm sorry about the cryptic text, but I had to get a few things organized in my mind at first. I've called on Booster because he's been an ally to the Titans before… and Bobby, since we're on friendly terms with the X-Men, maybe you can give us a hand." The Titans had fought the Upstarts side by side with the Red Team… and Keith came (albeit somewhat late due to en-route Hydras) to the grounds to be part of the defense team.

"I'm afraid one of our number has been kidnapped. Taken right out of her home by a rather formidable opponent. Do any of you know Rain? A young witch- has a little cat with a … trenchcoat?" If he weren't who he was, that last phrase would have sounded completely nuts.

Booster nods to Keith and Gar, greeting them with, "Hey, dudes." He turns and offers a handshake to Bobby, saying, "Hi. I'm Booster Gold, it's cool to meet you." He then listens to the issue, the reason that Keith called together this meeting. With a shake of his head, he says, "I don't know who that is, no. I'd be glad to help, though, if there's anything I can do…"

"Cat in a trenchcoat? How absurd," GarSquirrel says. "But if you do know her, well, we're going to have to get her back because there's no way we're going to let someone who thinks a green sequined swim suit is formal wear kidnap our teammates, and we need help because we'd like to offer other people the chance to get in trouble along with us."

"If she was present at Berto's mixer I know her. Otherwise, I can't say that I do. I don't know many magic types." Illyana… Rachel… that's about it really. For all it gets slung about actual magic really is rather rare after all and Bobby isn't in the habit of seeking it out. "So you need help mmmm? Care to fill me in?"

Magic is rare, indeed. It just so happens that, through some sort of fluke, the Titans are swimming in it- Raven is a given, plus two Zataras, now a Rain, and of course, a chaos-magic cat. "Like my boyfriend the secret rodent so eloquently explained," Keith says with a smirk, "She was kidnapped from her own home by Namor. Poor Captain- that is the cat- couldn't tell me much, but from his testimony and what Zachary Zatara told me, apparently Namor…"

A pause, "Yes, Namor, kidnapped Rain. Because, apparently, he is trying to get at Doctor Strange. Now, don't ask me how one thing leads to the other. Maybe living underwater for that long liquefies your brains… but as you can see…" Keith spreads his hands, "While the Titans are equipped to deal with a lot of threats, the kind of power that Namor wields is… considerable. If we're going to try to go for a rescue mission, we need heavy hitters, and unfortunately Wonder Girl is currently on leave… so we've got magicians, we've got Robins, we've got a master of animals, and a master of hairballs… but we're going to need more muscle if we have to march into wherever it is Namor lives and get our team-mate back."

"Isn't Namor allied with another country?" Booster wonders, rubbing his chin. "I'm actually unclear as to uh, the status of Atlantis in the current era. Of course she needs to be rescued, but my big concern is whether this rescue mission will involve us invading another country. That could cause a huge political mess." He spread his hands a little, in a sort of shrug. "I'm still happy to help, of course, but I feel it's kind of important to know the details ahead of time."

"There's two Atlantises, I think - or twenty. It's like "South America" in some ways, or "Europe" or whatever. And Namor already invaded US, back in the summer," Gar-the-squirrel says. He sees another squirrel approaching and shifts back to his human form, wearing a comfortable long-sleeved sweatshirt and jeans. Wouldn't do to attract the attention of Squirrel Girl, and all these Central Park guys are on her payroll.

"Namor was in the news yeah. I remember reading that attack on an oil rig in the summer. And if that's the case, then your first problem is going to be how to get him underwater. Or how to get him to come out of the water if you can't." Bobby isn't a tactical mind but he is rather good at solving problems. "I can ask some of our folks. I'm sure Sunspot would love to help. Magik's rather busy these days, I'm not sure where Metal is and… well we could see if Cypher has any bright ideas but he's not exactly a combat power house." There are other X-ers too, and he can reach out to a few of them. Storm might come, as might Kitty or her boyfriend.

Keith says "That would work, I've seen all of them in action and we'd be honored to work with any of them… how about Phase? Is he still around?" Because he can think of a lot of uses for a phaser. Two phasers, when you counted Kitty? Awesome. He smiles at Booster, "And your help is always welcome, Booster. At this point we should name you honorary Titan, for all your pains. Now… the thing is, we need information on where Namor could be. That's the trick. Can anyone think of anyone who might know? I mean… he left a message for Strange, but it's in Atlantean. And, unfortunately, I took French in highschool."

"French is still in current use?" Booster Gold actually seems interested in this as a fact, rather than trying to make a joke. "I nearly did a class in that but ended up going with TwenCen English as my dead language of choice." Glancing upwards as he thinks, he muses aloud, "The oceans aren't as big in this era but they're still big. It'd take a long time to find something just by searching around." He looks over at Gar, then. "I don't suppose you can talk to fish when you're in a fish form?"

"I already tried to talk with Tempest, and he's not reachable," Gar says, pretending to ignore Booster On Languages. Tempest? Who's that? Why, AQUALAD, cough choke, one of the early teamies with a name even worse than Gar was stuck with. He was in town a few months back, but he got called back to Atlantis by King Arthur… and you had better believe that at least Gar had a field day with that one …before he could connect with the Titans or form a separate team or whatever it was he was doing. Called back, because NAMOR was being an aggressive doodie-head and attacking the surface people with a giant monster.

"I could go visit directly but the chances of getting distracted or tossed in Undersea Jail are pretty big." Yes, there is Undersea Jail. It's like Space Jail, only wet.

"Actually yes… well, someone who can find out anyway…" Bobby frowns, wondering how to get in touch with her. He's got a good way to do it but… she may be upset when he does… "Mera. The queen of the other Atlantis. And Arthur, the King. If I make a big enough iceberg out in the Atlantic one of them will probably show up to investigate. And they might be able to help…"

Record scratch.

"Mera? Redhead? Constant expression on her face like someone is holding a small turd right under her nose?" Keith asks. Oh, yes, that was the name of that woman at the Cemetery, asn't it. "And no, Gar, no getting into jail. I don't think I have enough clams to post bail."

Booster waves his hand. "What are the chances that this can be negotiated peacefully, by the way? If you have someone attacking you, then generally have a reason." He lightly folds his arms across his chest. "I'm not saying Namor's reasons are good or bad, but he's probably not doing this randomly. You said he's trying to get Doctor Strange. If there's any way to figure out why, we might have an easier time with this. Especially because… if we have to fight this guy on his territory, I'd bet he won't be alone. And while I can do fine underwater, how about the rest of this task force?"

Gar looks horrified at Iceberg Proliferation Phone Message. "Bobby, please, don't do it that way, Tempest's Artie's kid, and Artie's NOT NICE about that kind of thing, and you'll throw off the whole Global Weather Trend thing if he's having some Us Time with Mera and doesn't pay attention to the Up There Weather."

Apparently one or two Ice People may have done this in the past with unfortunate consequences too.

Bobby shrugs a bit. "Well unless you can speak whale or maybe hack the SOSUS net, you may have a hard time getting ahold of them. Not exactly like they have phone numbers."

Keith, to his credit, resists the Finding Nemo whalespeak joke. "Namor is not a man of peace. He is an entitled self-righteous dick. People like him will concede to negotiations is if the other side has the capability of trouncing them."

Keith ponders something. "I saw a man with Mera over at the Cemetery a while back. Had a spear. Threw lightning, too. He seemed to know Mera, and I think Oracle managed to get in touch with him when that rampaging demon… you remember, Booster?" he looks at Booster.

"It could be worth looking into. If he has a way of getting to Mera.. or of Oracle has a way of contacting her?"

"… I bet Oracle could hack into the SOSUS network," Booster comments quietly. "I do remember, Keith, although I didn't talk to him. I'm sure you could ask Oracle, she seems to know everyone. Anyway, I'm not saying we should show up and be meek to Namor, just that it's a good idea to try negotiations first. If you try to clobber someone as your first move, it makes it really tough to get them to talk to you agreeably after that."

"I can speak whale, but they don't talk about the Atlanteans. It's like they don't really notice them. Or any of the other deep-sea humanoids. Also, last time I tried to have a conversation with a whale, I got the ten hour 'who was your great great grandmother' diatribe. Even from the dolphins you get that kind of thing," Gar complains to Bobby. Well, that and the 'hey babe, wanna boogie'. Not unlike the legendary Hospitality of the Elves, dolphin hospitality seems to involve exchanging fluids amidst dancing and talking about really complicated genealogy. He peers over at Keith and Booster talking about Mera. When did the Boyfriend become such a diplomatic magnet? Awesome.

"Not that I disagree with your friend over there…" Bobby nods to Booster. "But for the sake of balance I should point out that you need to weigh the benefits of negociation with the risks of your team being percieved as a target. You know the common wisdom: appear weak, invite predators. I'm not saying I think that if you talk to the guy that kidnappers will come out of the woodwork." Because honestly, they won't. "But you should probably consider it at some level." Between having their old base blown to hell and this? Well, word spreads fast.

"Well, aside from the fact that they've already taken one of us. Granted, he doesn't know she is one of us, because we haven't done the whole announcement thing yet. But we definitely do not want to seem weak. Which is why I'd rather have enough firepower to make him shrink in his speedos a little when he sees us, and make him far more receptive to our negotiations. Which, honestly, should be 'Give her back, now.'"

Keith crosses his arms and leans back on the bench. "Honestly speaking, Raven could easily make him turn the water yellow around him, because he may be strong… but he still has a soul. However, I don't want to put that much pressure on one team memeber. Especially since it's so very painful for her." Not to mention dangerous to the entire world, should she ever lose hold of her demonic nature. Namor would be the least of their worries then "Both of you make good points," he nods to Booster and Bobby, "We'll take any help you're willing to give us. But I do think Bobby's point on weakness has merit… when dealing with Namor."

"What do you think, hon?" He says, turning to Gar. He was the rookie playing at being a team-member, Gar had far more experience than Keith's eight months of heroing.

"We're already going to be at a disadvantage if we go into the water. And I get it, I know some powerful people think that talking and negotiation are a display of weakness." Booster Gold spreads his arms a little in another shrug. "But he took a hostage, which means he's into the idea of playing a negotiation game. I mean…" His hands lift and drop in a vague, almost disappointed gesture. "Where I'm from, the people in power don't allow that kind of option. They stopped being open to negotations of any kind because they didn't want to set a bad precedent. It worked, I'll give them that much." He falls quiet for a moment, rubbing his chin. "Not in a good way, though, just my opinion."

This seems to be going in a very strange direction. Gar frowns and scratches his head.

"Wait. Bobby, Booster, are you trying to advise us to try to negotiate with the guy who sent a LEVIATHAN against the surface, or to talk to my friends' Dad who may or may not be able to do something, but probably not or he already would have, or is this a 'don't negotiate with terrorists, bomb the hell out of them' moment? Because at the moment, what I want is to get Rain back safely. That's going to be our primary goal, and I don't expect Namor to just hand her back because he isn't even thinking we have anything to do with it. He's all about the blackmail Strange to get … Wait. What could Strange have that he wants? And if so, how do we keep him from ever getting it? And realize, nothing we do is of any interest to this Namor doofus unless he knows about us. For him it's all about his blackmailing Strange."

"Has the guy actually demanded something? I mean she's not really a hostage until he has. She's just a kidnapping victim… and people do fairly awful things to kidnapping victims for crazy reasons all the time…"

Bobby shrugs. "Oh don't get me wrong, I'm not a master at any of this kind of thing. I'm a lab rat who makes things cold. I'm just suggesting that this is a case where, secondary to getting Rain back obviously, you really need to consider how people will percieve what you've done. Not Namor maybe but others. As for what I think you should do, you guys know the situation better than me. If you think the best way to get your friend back is to talk then just talk. Otherwise your options seem pretty clear. Do you want me to put a call out to the X-Men? If I do it's gonna be for muscle. We don't have many diplomats or negociators with us. Er… well, I can think of one, actually. That's about it."

Keith exhales a little, and closes his eyes. "He has said something to Strange. He left a message in Atlantean, which none of us can read, and Strange is in some mystical fairyland fighting goodness-knows-what, so we're a little short on the 'demand' side of the ransom. He did send a Leviathan, as Gar observes… so we've got to assume we're dealing with a man who is as well-balanced as a stoner on a pogo stick in a wind tunnel." He opens his eyes again.

"None of us are diplomats, and the only one Namor would respect would have to be Wonder Woman… and I do not have the cojones to ask someone who basically comes from an entirely different land and who has no rooster in this fight to intervene because… it'd be kind of rude." Plus other reasons, like embarrassment.

"Who is your diplomat, Bobby?" Keith asks, because he can't leave a stone unturned.

"Yeah, I think Bobby and I are on the same page with this," Booster says, returning to his casual stance, arms lightly crossed over his chest. "I have no problem with using brute force against this guy. My concern really is for Rain, and my worry is if we just lead with an attack… if we can't pull that tactic off cleanly, that may endanger her further." He is quiet again, looking up at the sky, before he adds, "And anyway, it's how Wonder Woman would do it. Talk first, and if it becomes clear that talk isn't an option… kick ass."

"I don't believe it is how Wonder Woman would do it," Gar says. "I believe that she would first make sure that he did have Rain as a prisoner, and determine whether it was possible to get her out without him realizing it. And if so, she might, if he seemed trustworthy, negotiate, but if not, she'd distract him while someone else went in to take her out. OR, she'd go in herself while someone else did the distracting. She's a peacemaker, but she's far from a fool, if she's anything like the Amazonian Princess I knew. I also think she'd make sure that the person who GOT the ransom note was available to act on it."

Gar's slowly forming an idea, which may or may not be the right idea. At least he'll ask the Titans first.

"A woman named Storm. I can't give you her real name for obvious reasons but she's the one person I can think of off the top of my head who might be able to match Mera at sea." Though not in the sea. Both are quite literal forces of nature. "Even Storm, though, would be at a disadvantage under water." He pauses. "There is one other option I can offer. Talk to my girlfriend Nancy. She can put you in touch with a group who can absolutely bring enough heat down on any given spot to make most folks think twice about this kind of thing." The words 'Orbital Bombardment' tend to make an impression on folks, though given their interest in secrecy and the decidedly non world threatening nature of this problem, Bobby's willing to bet that they'd only resort to that if the place were remote enough. Fortunately, most places in the middle of the ocean are.

Keith looks at Gar. "I can hear the gears grinding under there, you know," He says, giving his boyfriend a hair tussle. "Storm. Nancy. Okay…" Keith looks at Gar, "You take one lead to follow, I'll take the other, and somehow end up meeting in the middle somewhere?" he grins, "And dragging poor old Booster into the mess as usual?"

Keith looks at Bobby, "Give us their contacts and we'll do the contacting thing, and then… scheming."

Booster tilts his head as he looks to Gar. "Keith said that Doctor Strange isn't available to act on that note. I've gotten the impression that we already know Namor's not trustworthy. The only real negotiation we could make in this situation is to explain to him that Doctor Strange is not available and maybe he could return this young woman since it's pointless." He lifts one hand, palm up. "If he's a jerk, he won't go for it. Sneaking in may honestly be the only real option to get her back, and that'll rely on getting enough useful intel. This is going to be tricky to pull off without causing a huge incident."

"And sneaky and tricky are my two middle names," Gar says. "Well, not really. I don't use my middle name. But it should be. Anyway, yeah, I'm thinking, we need to know where he's got her, assuming he's got her, and that goes back to getting help from the OTHER Atlanteans. I can manage in the water. Booster can for a while. The purple cat guy, not without different magic. So we need something. Wish we still had that mini-sub thing we had for a while, but it went back to the guy who was having us test it."

Gar looks at Bobby. "Which contact is this, someone named Nancy Girlfriend? She's not related to Doctor Girlfriend, is she? Who does she know that I need to get help from?"

"Keith's met her. She was with me the first time he dragged me out here to meet Clown Lover Boy." Yes, that is Robin's official name now. "But her name is Nancy O'Neal. She runs a shelter for victims of human trafficking out off the I-95. It's secluded for a reason but if you tell them I sent you, things should go okay. I spend a fair amount of time there so you may see me there anyway. But talk to Nan regardless and if she thinks it's appropriate she can put you in touch with…" Bobby doesn't want to give out Koriand'r's proper name, but they appear to want someone… "She goes by Starfire, I hear. And she's got dangerous friends." And, as previously mentioned, a ship. With guns.

"Aha! My long-lost relative!" Keith says. O'Neil. O'Neal. Same tree, different fruit. It could happen. And then he stops.

"Starfire? That sounds… exotic. And burninating." It also might sound familiar. Or maybe he's thinking of Frostfire. Or Firestar. So many Firy and Starry names… He looks at Gar for a clue.

"Oh, Starfire," says Booster, as if he knew her, or at least knew of her. He shakes his head a little, and says in a quiet tone, mostly to himself, "I should've taken a class in Cetacean when I had the chance. Who knew it could have come in handy."

"OK, out on I-95, gotcha, and Nancy O'Neal, gotcha, friend named uhm Starfire."

Gar looks up at Bobby as Booster repeats the name, and gives him a steady, one-eyebrow up halfway STARE… "You wouldn't mean the lovely golden-skinned flying girl with the green green eyes and the name like a lovely spice, would you? One of my former teammates from the earlier version of the Titans? The one who got in the papers because of how she learned English from Robin? She's back? I thought she went back to Tamaran."

He almost mutters, "How is your pod-greatmother-sister-twice-removed" at Booster but, well, he lacks the appropriate organ to make that noise. At the moment.

"I don't know where she's been but yes that sounds like the same person, only I'd say 'woman' rather than girl. Nan told me she slapped a guy hard enough to break his jaw once. Anyway yes, that woman is back and working with an assorted group of unusual people." Bobby quirks an eyebrow himself and then adds. "Small Galaxy."

Keith gives Gar a look. "You mean that gorgeous lady who was in the previous team and you had a huge crush on?" Green eyes go into Danger Danger Will Robinson mode, and he grins. "Hmmm, I think that both of us should look up your old team-mate. I mean, she's your friend, so she's bound to remember you fondly, and I should be there because I'm one of the new Titans and say 'hi' and all."

Totally valid reason, yessir. Absolutely and completely. He gives Gar a grin.

Booster laughs, now, just seeing the look on Keith's face as well as the red-headed man's tone of voice. "I hope I get a chance to meet her. I don't know a whole lot about her, just that she's a pretty fierce warrior." He tries to get the smile off of his face, with middling success. "Anyway. Despite my arguments about methods in this, I'm still in to help get your friend to safety."

GAME: Miss America Chavez has set the pose order to Keef/Boo/Garf/Bob

Gar rubs his jaw absent-mindedly. "She does that."

He looks at the sky, thoughtfully. Things must be different if she has a ship this time.

"Well, you know how to get ahold of her now." Bobby chuckles. "Go impress Nancy. Or her 'Brother Wolf'… or there are a few others. I'm not privy to the whole roster." The ice nerd looks up with Gar but for a different reason. Scary to think that kind of firepower is just up there somewhere.

Keith looks up as well. "… I've never been on a starship before," he says very, very quietly. He reaches for Gar's hand. "… there is no way in hell you're going to meet Starfire without taking me. I'm not missing out on getting to see a starship!" He has heard starships are meant to fly. He wants to see this for himself.

"I like getting the chance to speak with exoplanet people," Booster remarks cheerfully, floating up so that his feet are a few inches from the ground. "A lot of them know Interlac. No offense, but TwenCen English gives me a headache, sometimes. Nice meeting you," he nods, to Bobby. "It'd be cool to meet some of your teammates, sometime. Gar, Keith, you know how to get ahold of me. Keep me posted."

"It's supposed to give you a headache," Gar says cheerfully. "It's why we're all insane in this timezone, otherwise the world would never get blown up and you wouldn't exist. Have a good one."

Now that he's done playing with Booster's mind, Gar nods to Bobby. "Oh, Fenris knows her too. He knows everyone though, I think… I'm not sure whether it's good or bad that the apocalypse wolf is so friendly."

"Er… Fenris?" Bobby blinks. The norse death wolf? "Nevermind. Don't tell me. Okay, so…" Bobby eyes Keith. "I think she's involved by the way. And do you want me to do this? Contact the X-ers that is?"

"Bye, Booster! We'll keep you up to date, don't worry!" Keith waves at the Golden man, and then turns his attention to the others.

"If you could, Bobby? It's always better if someone offers voluntarily. Our teams are supposed to be friends, so I don't want to demand anything, just ask if anyone is up to it." He stands up from his bench. "I think that pretty much covers it. Gar and I are going tux-shopping after this and food afterwards. I'd invite you over… but I don't think you need to be subjected to a montage of me trying on different duck suits. Right?" He grins at Gar.

Gar quacks convincingly, shrugging. He's at least going to get a good dinner out of it, after making sure Keith gets appropriate clothing that fits.

Booster is starting to fly away, but Gar's comment makes him pause. He looks very serious when he turns back, floating just above the others, and he says, "It isn't always an explosion due to war. The event itself can change, but it always happens, otherwise this timeline couldn't be this timeline." And then he waves, and soars into the sky.

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