The Hall of Just Some People, Nobody Special, Why Do You Ask?

Summary:
February 9, 2015: Falcon runs into Kara (almost literally) while getting used to the Javelin's controls, and tells her more than he should before he realizes she isn't in the JL:A loop.

Avenue of Tomorrow

The Avenue of Tomorrow is the central thoroughfare running through midtown Metropolis. It is the hub of many scientific research centers including branches of WayneTech and Stagg Enterprises. The busiest intersection of the avenue revolves around Metro Square.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:


Sam Wilson is in a city he doesn't know, part of a team he just joined, and dealing with unusual new responsibilities at his job. If anyone needs something comfortingly familiar, it's the man otherwise known as Falcon.

What he gets instead is a test flight in one of the JL:A's shiny new Javelins. Experimental propulsion, alien technology, and an operating range beyond anything on Earth: there is absolutely nothing in the world less familiar and comforting than a Javelin. Unless it's a Javelin that is currently caroming through the Metropolis skyline, snapping back and forth between collision-avoidance autopilot and woefully inexperienced manual control. Sam has stealth systems engaged, so the panic in the streets should be limited, but the panic in the cockpit is enough to make up for it.

"ShitshitshitshitSHIT—" he barks, narrowly avoiding one skyscraper, only to need the autopilot to cut in and weave him past the next one. "Airbrakes, airbrakes, gotta find the airbrakes…" He reaches for a button and taps it tentatively. The afterburners fire, kicking the craft forward at maximum speed.


For Kara, there was no more sense of familiarity. One day she had been an ordinary girl, the next she had been thrust into a new and unfamiliar world. Everything about it was strange, from the scent of the air to the taste of the food; even the customs of the people at times made little sense.

Flying above the streets of Metropolis her cape fluttering in the wind behind her, she catches sight of the Javelin flying what might be described as erratically between skyscrapers.

Speeding up she tries to match the velocity of the aircraft, approaching it at alarming speeds; although she had finer control of her flight vectors than an aircraft. She was about to catch up to the Javelin, but then those blasted afterburners fired, "This is going to be fun…"


'Fun' is not the word Sam would use to describe his situation. He's knocked back in his seat by the sudden burst of speed, and barely manages to avoid clipping the side of another glass tower by banking hard right. The maneuver chews up altitude, and soon he's low enough to have to worry about the sky-bridges connecting some of the buildings in the City of Tomorrow.

"God DAMN art deco and whoever came up with it," the born-and-bred New Yorker curses, pouring on a little more thrust and nosing just over one such bridge. He passes close enough that the structure is rocked by his invisible passage, leaving those strolling casually along it to wonder what caused such a sudden gust.

Of course, he's only invisible to eyes without Kryptonian sensory range, as he quickly realizes when a proximity alarm starts to beep. He glances over at a point-defense display — Supergirl he doesn't know, but the blue bodysuit and flowing red cape is a dead giveaway as to who her closest Earthly relation might be. "Oh my god, this is so embarrassing," Sam moans.

Now that he's not thinking about it, of course, his hands revert to muscle memory and find the air brakes immediately. Forward thrust dies and hover engines activate: Sam is bounced forward in his chair, and if Supergirl was tailgating, it could end up even worse for her.


A piece of art deco; a large stone gargoyle shakes loose from its perch high above the streets threatening to fall as the jet passes by. It may have fallen, but luckily Kara is there to secure it back to the perch; using her eyes to do a little spot welding that is definitely far more secure than the original design specs!

Racing towards Sam and the Javelin, Kara spares a quick glance over her shoulder to make sure nothing else has been knocked loose in the wake of both of their passes.

The airbrakes worked?

Kara looks forward just in time to see the jet stop in mid-air in front of her, she narrowly avoids an impact and performs a feat of aerial acrobatics to steer around the plane.

Taking a deep breath she waves towards the hovering jet, calling out, "Fly much?" She has a smirk on her face.


Sam's forehead is resting against his palms, his elbows on the edge of the control panel, as he mumbles in response, "You have no idea." He's really just muttering to himself, but it occurs to him after he does so that this superhuman might have sensitive enough hearing to pick up on what he said regardless. With a deep sigh, he taps the switch to open the ventral boarding ramp and stands up from the control chair. Might as well welcome her aboard and make his embarrassment complete.

When Kara comes aboard, she'll find a spotless, spare interior and a contrite-looking man in a silver-gray flight suit and red-tinted goggles. "I swear, I'm not trying to wreck anything," he's quick to say. "I just need practice."


Kara takes the cue and boards the aircraft, landing gently upon the deck plating, "You don't need to convince me, it looks like you could have done more than enough damage if you wanted to."

Falcon might not recognize the significance, but for Kara, it was the first time she had been the one to extend a hand in greeting first, "Kara Zor-El. Sometimes people call me Supergirl, I hate it for the record."


"I'll call you Kara, then. Great to meet you," Sam answers with a broad grin, accepting the handshake in a friendly way. "I'm Sam Wilson, or Falcon — I like 'em both." It tends to work out that way when you get to pick your own title. "Sorry, the JL:A just got these new aircraft and I'm sort of the flying guy, so I figured I should get used to them before I have to use 'em in a crisis." His enthusiastic expression dims for a moment. "It's… trickier than I expected." Which is to say, he's normally a natural at this sort fo thing.

It might strike Kara as odd that Sam just assumes she already knows what the JL:A is — or she could correctly guess that he's assuming she knows whatever Superman does. How she reacts to that assumption is up to her, of course.

"So, if you don't like the S-word, I gotta ask: why dress like Superman?" Sam asks, crossing his arms indicating her distinctive outfit with a nod. "It's a pretty distinct look, y'know?"


"Hmm, I've never actually tried much flying outside of well, flying so I mean, at least you're doing better than I would?" It might not be reassuring but Kara tries a little. Pointing at her costume, she explains, "It's not really that we're dressed the same, what you call an S on Earth is the Symbol for House El on Krypton, it also has other meanings." She seems to grow a little sullen after mentioning Krypton.

"Have you ever worked with Superman?" It seemed like Sam and what seemed to be her cousin might both belong to the same group, so it was worth asking….

…even if she really had no idea what the JL:A was just yet.


"I'm pretty new — haven't met him yet," Sam admits with a slight shrug and an apologetic smile. "So don't feel like you're that late to the party. I've been up to the Watchtower and bumming around Metropolis for the past few days, but he always seems to be off fighting a forest fire or something. I'm sure we'll be officially introduced at some point, though." This suggests that they are part of the same group, but that it might be quite a large group.

Sam reaches out and taps a wall control, shutting the boarding hatch, and then waves Kara forward into the cockpit. "C'mon, let's get this thing set down before a bird runs into us or something." He always did have a soft spot for birds. He moves to the control seat at the nose of the craft and keys in a course for the Hall of Justice. He keeps his hands on the controls, trying to get a feel for the ship's responses, but doesn't take over. No need to make himself look ridiculous all over again.


Kara settles down into the cockpit, feeling just a little nervous to be a passenger rather than the actual object that was flying; it just somehow seemed safer to be the one flying faster than mach three all on your own.

"So the Jay-El-Eh, it's dedicated to helping the people of Earth? I'll confess, I don't know a whole lot about it, I haven't exactly been caught up on all the Earth-stuff." The confession from Kara is honest enough, aside from vague descriptions and meeting members of groups like The Titans and X-Men, she felt fairly in the dark.


These days, Sam prefers flying under his own power, too, but the Javelin has him beat in range, carrying capacity, top speed, and ability to not suffocate in orbit. He figures he should keep his bases covered.

When Kara admits she doesn't know what the JL:A is, he turns to glance at her, looking a little worried. "Wait, you didn't know about us? I figured if you were both from the House of L, that would make you his sister or something, and…" Sam trails off, turns back to the controls, and groans, "I am so going to lose my security clearance."

The Javelin's autopilot brings it in for a smooth landing at the newly constructed Hall of Justice, a skyport opening to admit them and then closing protectively over the ship. The landing ramp descends from the hatch Kara used earlier, and Sam unbuckles and heads aft. "Oh, well. No point trying to hide it, now."


Whatever Kara sees, she's sure it's impressive; especially for Earth, "Well, we haven't exactly had a chance to speak much but he is my cousin." She follows Falcon out of the ship, looking around and making note of her surroundings for later, "I hope you don't get in trouble, it was an innocent mix-up after all."

Her cape flutters behind her as she walks and she asks, "So, is this place some kind of fortress to watch over Earth?"


"That's the idea, yeah," Falcon answers, leading her onto the tarmac and then into the interior of the Hall, with its gentle arches and open architecture. "We're putting together a group that will combine people with all sorts of advanced skills and knowledge, to protect against threats all over the world. With the blessing of the United Nations, we'll even be sort of official — allowed to go into all sorts of countries without breaking the law or escalating conflicts. It's… a lot of responsibility." He doesn't sound entirely certain of his place in the organization, but he does seem confident of its good purpose.

Suddenly, he grins. "Technically, I don't think I can get in trouble, exactly. The group doesn't even officially exist yet."


Some of it goes over her head, but the Kryptonian girl catches the gist of it even if she didn't precisely know what the United Nations were for example.

Kara looks towards her hands and explains, "I've had such great power since I arrived on Earth, without a real focus to use it. This sounds like somewhere I could be a lot of help, the chance to be part of a team and make a bigger difference around Earth so it doesn't end up like Krypton…"


Falcon, for his part, isn't sure exactly what happened to Krypton. Superman has never been particularly verbal about it, and it's too abstract to planet-bound earthlings to make much splash in the media. But he recognizes the tone in Kara's voice as one of loss, and decides not to press her for details, letting her share at her own pace.

"I can't speak for the whole organization, but I, for one, would welcome the help." She was relaxed and level-headed, even with his ship near crashing, and those are qualities it's always good to find in someone as undeniably powerful as a Kryptonian. "I can put in a good word for you, no problem. Do you have a phone number or some way to contact you."

He pauses, smiles, and puts his hands up. "Purely an innocent question, promise."


"Embarrassingly enough, no. I haven't even figured out how to begin fitting in on Earth since my arrival except to punch the living snot out of the bad guys when they pop up and let the authorities deal with them afterwards." She gestures around the facility, "Between you and I, I'm going to guess that you guys could probably track me down if you wanted almost anywhere on Earth. I'm guessing we Kryptonian's stand out."


Sam laughs. "That you do," he agrees. "It sounds like we may be able to help you out, too. Give you a place to stay and set you up with some basic Earth amenities — a phone, a TV, a few less conspicuous outfits. You'll still get to do the punching part, though. Lots and lots of punching." He fishes in his pocket for his wallet, from which he retrieves a Stark Industries business card. "In the meantime, here — it's my office number, but I've got it forwarding to my cell whenever I'm in Metropolis. You may not have a phone, but you may be able to borrow one in a pinch."


"That all sounds pretty great in comparison to what things have been like so far." She wouldn't really get into what being an E-T Hobo Superhero was like, it wasn't always the greatest experience. Kind of like backpacking through the worst parts of Europe when the Soviet Union was still in control bad.

"I'm sure I can manage that somehow, the getting in touch part. How will I know to contact you?" Kara didn't want to be some kind of weird Kryptonian Stalker, even on her planet they had the equivalent of phones and calling Sam at all hours could get awkward potentially.


"I was in the military," Sam assures Kara with a smile. "I'm used to being pulled out of bed at all hours. It won't be a problem, don't worry."

The truth, though he wouldn't like to admit it, is that he doesn't sleep all that well. Chances are that a late night call would only interrupt restless channel surfing — or the kind of nightmare that he would rather wake up from, anyway.

"I can even take phone calls on this thing," he says, tapping his goggle headset and forcing those thoughts aside. "And if you need a place to crash…" He hesitates, but then pulls his phone out of his pocket and taps in the address of the mansion where Kate is hosting several members of the JL:A. In seconds, he has an orbital image of the place, which he assumes will be the most convenient way to give its location to a flier, and has shown it to Kara. "God knows we've got rooms to spare."


"Well, that's fancy." Kara remarks about the goggles, although she had to confess she knew very little about the military back on Krypton or here on Earth except that it tended to produce both the very worst and very best examples of men and women alike.

"That sounds like an offer I'll take you up on. Hopefully, Kate? won't mind, because I'm going to admit I haven't really slept in an actual bed since staying with The Titans one night and it was way better than, you know!" She avoids explanations again, thank god for self-cleaning fabrics and all.

"Thank you again Sam, this all means a lot to me. Would it be alright to call you a friend?" It might sound weird to ask, but in reality, Sam had been seemingly nicer and more open with her than really anyone she had met.


After a second to process the question, Sam breaks into an aw-shucks grin that would do Captain America proud. "Of course you can call me your friend," he answers, his tone almost teasing. "Wouldn't be much of a superhero if I spent all my time being suspicious of everybody I met, now would I?" The word feels a bit odd; Sam hasn't really called himself a 'superhero' before. Saying it seems to brighten his mood even more, though. "Kate's great. You'll get along just fine," he assures her. "Let her know you're my guest if she asks, but if you just tell her you don't have a place to stay, she'll probably offer you one anyway."


Kara smiles brightly, maybe one of the first real smiles since she arrived on Earth, "It sounds great."

She gestures around the hangar area, "Is there any special procedure I need to handle or anything before I leave here? I'm guessing as an unauthorized visitor, I shouldn't be loitering."


"Nah, you'll be fine to leave however you like," Sam tells her. "We have security measures in place, but I've vouched for you, basically. You have the run of the public areas and can leave whenever you want."


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