Interaction | Daphne Or @Dreamingflowers
It was nice and sunny, barely any clouds and a soft breeze that was just right. Compared to Gotham, Happy Harbor was a much brighter place to live. The buildings were smaller and not cramped together. The ocean wind breathed into the streets, instead of the city smog. Daphne loved it here, it was peaceful and quiet. It gave her room to process all the crazy things that had happened to her this last year.
Her thoughts went back to the mission at La Hoya. She walked further out into the grassy fields at the back of the HQ, her ponytail swaying from side to side. The first hour on comms went great, but her powers turned it into a disaster for everyone. Ja insisted it was his fault too and as nice as he was, he probably pitied her.
Daphne glanced over her shoulder. Her teammate wasn’t there yet. She was early though. It gave her a head start to mentally prepare herself. She kept walking, heading for the clearing they used for combat training. At first she hesitated to accept Ja’s offer to help her learn to control her powers. He asked her the day they got back from la Hoja. Daphne was having a pity party by herself, wallowing and feeling very sorry for herself. If even the Martian Manhunter couldn’t help her, Ja probably wouldn’t succeed either. The day after her solo pity party she realized she would be an idiot to turn down Ja.
She got to a good spot and checked her bag for the snacks she packed for Ja and her. Yup they were still there. Daphne put her bag on the grass. She could probably get in some stretches before Ja got here. She reached down to touch her toes, sucking in her breath, feeling her leg muscles straining a bit.
It wasn’t long before sounds of leaves rustling from the trees could be heard. It was loud and quick, but ended just as abruptly as it arrived. Next it came from the bushes, this time, the sound of a chipmunk’s chatter followed. Surely these sounds could have been merely a coincidence, given her place outside. What couldn’t have been though, was the sudden appearance of Ja floating above her head upside down.
Channeling the power of a Hummingbird’s flight and Owl’s silence, he smiled and waved to her in a way similar to how he did on the jet that day. When they got back, Ja let her have time to breathe and recover. However, he decided that he could try to teach her how to control her power. To be able to build strength on her own with her inner nature.
The words of Viktor during that time really struck a chord with the Jungle boy. Not because anything he said about her powers were incorrect, but it was wrong that he blamed her for their failure. It was wrong in the way he said it, and wrong in the place he said it. Perhaps that harshness was supposed to be her punishment, but she didn’t deserve it. Daphne wasn’t the one that was spotted.
The mission in La Hoya was her first one ever, but only one of hundreds that Ja had been on. He was the one that failed them because of his own weakness of mind. If he had been paying attention, maybe they get more than Alisa’s drawings. Maybe they get more information about the strange car. Bluntly, if Viktor was so adamant about something being said to him, he could have said it himself over the comms. Ja, while understanding of tactics, recognized the rivalry between Viktor and Talon behind the planning. He sensed it even before their staring contest on the jet…His thoughts on that was for another time.
Daphne stood on her tippy toes and interlocked her hands with Ja, pulling him down to the grass. She smiled, now face to face with the curly haired boy. “Did you eat breakfast already, if you didn’t I brought some snacks” She knew Ja loved to eat. It was the least she could do for him, seeing as he was helping her. Besides, Daphne liked taking care of people.
For a moment, Ja was shrouded in darkness as some of his hair flooded his eyes from the sudden wind change. He felt no need to clear it when down with Daphne on the ground now, chuckling playfully instead. When she mentioned snacks, Ja’s smile became more toothy and gluttonous. While he certainly had not missed eating breakfast, he didn’t want to lie to get the snacks.
“Mmm….I had breakfast…but I did not eat brunch yet!” He explained before sitting criss-cross on the ground before her. Pushing his hands from his chin up his face to move hair out of the way, his bright and cheery eyes now visible. “But, I can wait until a little later. I don’t want to accidentally fall asleep during our lesson today.”
“Are you sure….??” Daphne teased, reaching into her bag. She built up the suspense only to come up with an empty hand.
“Okay okay, let’s focus” The teen girl stopped messing around and sat in the same position in the grass. Legs crossed underneath the folds of her skirt. The breeze felt nice on her skin and she breathed in the fresh smell of the grass. Daphne closed her eyes to enjoy it.
She opened her eyes back up and looked at Ja’s happy face expectantly. The maned young man smiled.
“I am sure you have felt it before in your time with these abilities. You feel urges within you. I am not sure what exactly you feel, because mine is the Red. The force of nature that connects to you, is called the Green. My Ambuya, or the american word…grand…ma? Grandma. My grandma taught me that, the Green is what connects all plant life together on earth.” Ja explained, leaving a second to let it sink in.
“So any time you feel something from the plants around you, it is the Green speaking to you. You may not always understand what it is trying to tell you, but that is okay, that takes time, and practice. Today, I just want you to get used to focusing on that feeling. It is still lively outside today…” Ja paused, looking around briefly. Then he pointed out a small patch of flowers in a small clearing between the trees getting some sunlight.
“Close your eyes, and maybe try to focus on what it feels like when the sunlight touches your skin.”
Daphne remembered Ja mentioning the Green weeks ago. At the time she’d brushed it off. Later during her sessions with the Martian Manhunter he also mentioned the Green. He helped her understand the why and how she was connected to this natural force. She smiled encouragingly at Ja’s struggle to find the right English word to express what he meant.. He was doing really great. There was a warmth she saw in his eyes when he talked about his family. He probably missed them, being all the way in America with the team and her.
Daphne narrowed her eyes slightly, concentrating on what Ja was explaining about the Green. He had an understanding of it because he was connected to a similar force, the Red He would be able to teach her things the Martian Manhunter couldn’t.
She glanced at the direction he was pointing at, seeing the small patch of flowers. He wanted her to focus on the sunlight. A little smirk appeared on her face. That was too easy. She could do that with her eyes well closed. Daphne untied the ribbon in her hair and set it down next to her. You could hear a quiet rustle while her transformation spread, starting with her hair and tracing down the rest of her until she was completely verdant.
Daphne opened one eye to peek at Ja.
“Don’t startle me please '' She knew Ja liked to joke around and so did she. Daphne had come a long way with controlling her powers, but having them fail twice lessened her trust in them. She returned her attention to the sun. Daphne could tell she was photosynthesizing because her skin tingled when the light triggered the cells to grow.
“As you are feeling this, try to focus on those flowers I gestured to. To feel familiar with them…”
Ja’s smile shrank just a bit as he waited for her eyes to close back again. For a moment, Ja himself closed his eyes, exhaling and rolling his shoulders. As he felt the Red’s flow through nis body. As much as he didn’t want to do this, this lesson was one he wanted to get out of the way first. Clawing his fingers, he crept around Daphne using the silence of a leopard. Once near the clearing where the flowers grazed the sunlight, he waited for just a few more moments.
Keeping an eye on Daphne, Ja raised one of his clawed hands and he swiped them up from the ground suddenly. Like knives, his talon-inspired attack sliced a few of them in half and uprooted the others in one simple swoop. If done correctly, and if she had the connection to the Green as he expected…
Daphne kept the flowers in her mind's eye, remembering the way they swayed in the w….
“Aahhhh!!!” Sudden cries of pain reached her ears, ripping through her. She covered her ears. The sounds came from further away, like some sort of accident happened in the distance and she was hearing the victims cry out. They turned into a soft distant moaning. Daphne shot up from the ground and transformed back, breaking the connection with the Green immediately.
She put her hand over her chest, feeling her heart beat fast. What happened?
“What happened…?” Daphne looked over to Ja, seeing him with a fistful of flowers in his right hand.
“Your first test, unfortunately.” Was the young man’s reply, resting the flowers on the ground in front of her. “You have a strong connection to them...If not, you would not hear their cries.” Ja paused to let that feeling sink in, his expression soft and almost apologetic.
“As those who have trained me figured out...pain is the easiest thing to recognize…” He let the specific animals of the red flow out for the time being. He placed his left hand on Daphne’s shoulder.
“However, while I will not do to you what has been done to me, it will make you stronger to do these sorts of tests every so often. It will build your inner strength, so that the Green does not hurt or hinder you in the field…” Ja carefully explained, making sure to use the correct english words to convey what he meant. The maned young lion smiled again though.
“You did better than me on my first test. You did not panic…” He commended, eyeing the ground where he placed the flowers.
Daphne smiled. Ja’s words encouraged her. She wondered what he alluded to, it sounded to her that he might have experienced mistreatment in the past, involving his powers. She didn’t know what that felt like, but she did feel for him. There was much more to his smile. Daphne looked down at the grass and picked up some of the flowers, twirling them in her fingers.
“Thanks Ja, it means a lot to me to have someone help me understand my powers better. The meditation techniques the Martian Manhunter has been teaching me can only take me so far. Lately I’ve been feeling like it’s a waste of time. It didn’t help me at La Hoya one bit.”
She looked at the flowers, their simple beauty making her feel better. Daphne changed the subject, glancing at Ja with her warm brown eyes. She reached her hand up and tucked a red poppy in Ja’s curly mane. It stuck there immediately.
“Flowers for some reason are much easier to talk to, I don’t know why. My dad suspects it’s because they’re more social than some other plants. They communicate with bees and butterflies during their short life. Trees are different, they are more independent.”
Daphne shook her head, smiling at herself. “Not that this is useful information to you though”
She retrieved her bag from the ground and held it up to Ja. “Snack time?”
Ja grinned. So far, today seemed like a good lesson day. She didn’t panic AND she wasn’t sad about the first test, as painful as it might have been. Plus, he got to learn more about her when she opened up some. Despite her belief that some of the information was irrelevant, to Ja, it couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Interaction | The Team + The Newbs
Specifically Zachary AKA @Crimson Flame
Location | Sanctuary’s Base Level
Kilamanjaro couldn’t help but marvel at the legendary Batman, even though it wasn’t an actual bat-man. Ja also didn’t sense any animal abilities but maybe that made him more impressive. The man carried himself very seriously and, in a way, reminded him of King Lion. He was somewhat surprised by not being pulled aside after having a hand in the team’s major failure…Though, he supposed that container he found made up for it to some extent. It was a change of pace at least, and one of the many differences from what he grew up with.
In the meantime, he made sure to pay attention to what Batman was instructing them to do next. Infiltrating a ‘circus’ took Ja a moment to process. The word was foreign at first, but it clicked when he thought about Zachy. Whenever Ja watched his videos on the computer, other videos showed up on the side as suggestions, and a few of them said ‘circus’ on them. When he watched them, it was essentially a bunch of silly and fun stunts! Though, given this was a mission, he guessed being silly wasn’t so much to be a part of things.
He also brought up the situation around Hex and Gold Rush, being their teammates’ replacements. Both of them strangely disappeared right after the last mission. Hex disappeared into the realm of spirits, and it made Ja wonder what would cause him to get stuck there. Although worrying, apparently Hex had gotten stuck there before and made it back to the realm of the living. In Gold Rush’s case, Ja had seen a few movies about time travel to guess that something in the present may have changed something in the future. Did…did the team failing the mission mess up the future? Was Gold just gone forever now?
It made Ja sad to think about, but he didn’t dwell on it too long as their new teammates came in. There were two girls this time. The first one, Maya, was clearly a special swords-person. She must have had a lot of skill with sharp things, like Talon did. Ja smiled to her and waved. The other one with the blonde hair on the other hand, made him wonder. She spoke venom, throwing it around the room with each person she laid eyes on. Even their senior and commander, she spoke too with disrespect.
Ja was taken aback by her impression that he had forgotten her name and his smile disappeared. A tingle of fear and a protective snarl rumbled from the bottom of his throat when Daphne approached her. With her more friendly response to the flower girl, Ja’s nerves eased. Returning his mind to the mission, he listened to the others as they discussed potential acts.
It was easy to figure which act would likely suit him; anything related to animals. However, he didn’t know if this particular circus had them, and even then, which ones. Otherwise, he hadn’t a clue what he could do for an act. Zachy had the most experience with this stuff, so it made sense when the others asked him questions. Maya mentioned being a knife thrower, Aleen’a a strongwoman, and he suggested Kassy to be a singing mermaid.
The memory of Kassy’s voice brought a warm and twitchy feeling to his chest that stole his attention away for a moment. She didn’t like singing to people though. Blinking back into focus, Ja returned to the moment and crawled over to the magician. ”Ooo! What can I do Zachy?!”