January 2nd, 01:20
Sector 34, High Earth Orbit
Despite over a decade now of dealing with every little insane thing the universe at large could ever hope to throw at him, and thinking himself quite hardened and/or numbed to the general madness of his life, Duncan had to admit-
Between the collection of polygons from his childhood made real at his rear, the sudden (and enthusiastic) appearance of Moe’s kid and now suddenly the arrival of a talking alien puppy who was also a shark and
a Blue Lantern but also had a name that was a homonym for ‘Cute’... this was turning out to be a weird fucking day.
Still, he kept a lid on his own little internal Zoeyisms
for the moment as he returned Saraka’s greeting.”Nice ta meet’cha, Saraka.”
The Kryptonian, said, extending his hand for a shake. ”Good to see Moe’s kid is in good hands.”
...And it was about that moment that Champ realized that he, on instinct, had just tried to shake hands with a quadruped— Something that probably didn’t even have that very concept due to not having actual hands.
Though his smile didn’t crack, there miiiiight
have been a tiny bit of internal screaming at that.
Formal introductions were always Custos and Verra’s thing for a reason,
Saraka, for his part, didn’t even notice the faux pas. In fact, his natural emotional connection to the Ring kicked in as The Champion offered his hand, forming a bright blue grinning shark face above Saraka’s head. Extending a fraction of his power, the Cho’Athan formed a hand-like construct and met Champion’s shake with one of his own.”Indeed!”
The alien said cheerily as the trio and their tethered ship plummeted towards the Earth. ”And it is an honor to practise shaking ‘hands’ with one of your planet’s mightiest heroes! I hope I’m doing it right!”’Oh, God, if I bring this little guy home, Mako will literally snuggle him to death.’
The Kryptonian didn’t dare say out loud.
While Champ and Saraka traded words and a handshake, Preston was far too busy trying to comprehend the widened scope of his abilities and power. With the blue light connecting to his own green, Preston felt like he was using five lantern rings at once.
While the smallest bit of worry had resided in Preston as he made his construct around the ship, long gone were all of those worries. His constructs had been fortified, and his will was given a little extra something
to it. “INCREDIBLE!”
A wide grin and a great laugh came from Preston. They had this. They could bring this ship down safely. “Let’s get this down there!”
At Preston’s enthusiasm, Duncan was quick to speak up as he finished up his hand-hardlight-shake with the Shark Pupper. Having gotten a bit of a read on his friend’s son in the past half-hour or so.”Hey, uhh… one thing real quick there, Kiddo.”
Champ made a point of interjecting before
the young Lantern could get ahead of himself again this time, indicating back towards their now extremely
shielded quarry. ”Would ya mind opening your barrier up a bit so I can brace against the hull? Might not be a great idea to stress-test the limits of your new abilities by having me play the part of the airbrake against them.”
Not to say he wasn’t impressed
with the new Lantern, mind you. But the Canuck was
acutely aware of himself...
And always made a point of planning ahead just in case.“Right, right…”
Preston had to keep himself level. While the newfound power and link to Saraka was certainly something else, he had to remind himself of his years of training on Vespasi.
A Champion sized hole appeared on the front of the construct, a little larger or smaller than the real thing since Preston was eyeballing it, but he could just change it if need be. “If that’s everything, I don’t think we should keep everyone in suspense. As your legendary historical figure said just before doing something incredibly stupid yet daring, Yippe kai yay mother fuckers.”
At that, Duncan just sighed. Somebody
had been using his DVD’s as educational aids for aliens again... ”Goddammit, Grim.”
January 2nd, 02:40”Alright, guys, just a few ground rules before we hit Dvergrheim—”
Somewhere over the North Atlantic
Champ said over the open channel, perched cross-legged atop the bridge and letting the Lanterns do their thing now that the danger of burning up in orbit had passed. ”One, do not, under any circumstances, crouch, kneel or otherwise make an issue of their height… unless they crack a joke about it themselves, and even then yer playing with fire.”
Shifting slightly where he sat and tapping a few buttons on his gauntlet, he continued.”Two, they will show up armed— magitech axes, big damned arc-drivers, all that fun stuff— don’t worry about that either. They bring that stuff with them everywhere.”
The Canuck stood up now, still staring down at his wrist-mounted computer. ”Three; if they hand you a drink, ya knock it back it and you don’t ask questions. They’ve had wars over shit like that before.”
Finally lifting his eyes up from whatever the hell he was doing, Duncan finished.”Any questions?”
Saraka listened intently to the ground rules laid out by Champion, by the sound of it he would rather like these Dwarves. There was one concern though.”Yes, I have a question. I am naturally quadrupedal. Does that count as making fun of their height? Will they think I am crawling? Because I lack the ability to stand on two legs.””You’ll be fine. They can tell the difference.”
Champ replied with a little snort. Though he tacitly left out the part about Dwarves having dogs, too. ”Yes. Should I match their disposition? Or should I stay quiet and let you handle this?”
Though he was focusing much more on the task at hand, he had enough help with the ship to siphon a little focus to Champ for any last minute questions before they landed this ship down on the ground.
He knew nothing about these people that they were going to be meeting, so it seemed to be the best play for someone a little more acquainted with them and their social rules to handle most of the interactions. Preston would just sit tight and make sure that everyone went as smooth as possible.”Eeeeh, ya don’t wanna seem like a wallflower to these folks. That’ll just encourage them into goading you into some crazy shit.”
Duncan explained even further, turning his head towards the younger Lantern ”Ya don’t wanna try too hard to fit in either, though; That’ll either encourage them or piss ‘em off. Either one can land ya dead, hungover as all hell with your head in a toilet or, on occasion, engaged.”
Duncan paused at that, suddenly looking very
worried.”Also, rule four— Their women don’t have beards. Don’t ever make that joke.”
Admittedly, the context was almost certainly lost on this gaggle of aliens, but it needed to be said either way; The Dwarven terror campaign against Peter Jackson was not something he was gonna be forgetting any time soon.
That was a lot
Duncan’s concerns mostly passed over Serene’s head. It wasn’t out of any sort of discare or anything, merely that the idea that dwarves in this world weren’t “normal” size or that there were things to really worry about, seemed more or less foreign to her. She’d mostly rested during the approach, only stirring in her command seat as Duncan spoke up. Her attention was most focused on when he spoke of their weapons. She’d pulled her hood up earlier, if it hadn’t already been up, to help with resting, so it hid the faint, almost predatory like smile that crossed her face. It wasn’t borne from maliciousness or evil intent, quite the opposite. It’s just…
...To Serene, she loved technology. Sure it made sense on the grounds she was a technomancer, not that anyone knew that...yet, but it went far further and deeper. Dragons are natural hoarders in most universes, and she wasn’t any different. But instead of hoarding gold, she collected what she deemed valuable. Gold was nice, but best used to make up other things, such as to help conduct electrical energy and the like. No, she gathered art, music, video games, but in general, the works of civilizations were her playground. So the smile? It came from her sheer desire to absorb information, to study, perhaps even touch these creations of the dwarves. But she caught herself, she couldn’t give into temptation. Not when she still didn’t know the status of her own treasury, of her own collection of relics and memories. Her eyes grew wet for a moment when a slideshow of memories shot through her mind, only to be shoved away. Finally, finally, she spoke up, her voice relaxed, calm, refined, but again without the haughtiness that one might expect, had they known her bloodline. “Any races they’re known for having beef with, or being distrustful of? Besides anyone who insults them, of course?”
It was her only question for the moment, she had others, but it was best to know if she’d have to “hide” herself further. A pair of points at her shoulder blades itched, she knew how badly that pair wanted to stretch and flex, but not yet. Not until she was certain of things.
The so-called Lion of Nova Scotia’s eyes pitched downward for a second, his Kryptonian hearing picking up on something… odd, in his mystery recuee’s voice. He’d refrained from using his x-ray vision to get a look at her earlier, half out of respect for her privacy and half, admittedly, to avoid the not-so-gentle razzing his mum’s AI would’ve given him about the act. But still, having only been separated by a few feet of hull during this whole descent, he had
been listening in on what was going on in there the whole time, if only out of his mere proximity than any actual intent.
Truth be told, he still wasn’t entirely sure what to make of this ‘Rockwoman’... But he gave her the benefit of the doubt.
‘Sides, there was more than one reason they were going to Iceland of all places; Namely that if it turned out they’d accidentally brought some sort of Super Space Hitler
planetside, it would be very
easy to nip that one in the bud right then and there with all that Dwarven guns and gusto about the place.
the world’s token good guy. But if the past decade or so had taught him anything,
it was to always have a back-up plan.”The Fae out of Ireland tried their hand at invasion once or twice. They got the traditional Dvergr welcome, and haven’t made a go at it since.”
Duncan explained with a little bit of a shrug. ”Though, outside of that, the odd skirmish with the Atlanteans and a few colourful words about the ‘Bird Men of Thanagar’, I’m not privy about any other standing grudges they’re holding onto.”
With a slight bob of his head, he added-”Aaaand if there is, we’ll all find out very quickly as we run like hell.”
The War Birds of Thanagar. That was something that Preston understood. Another spartan race of rigid, militant souls with a penchant for space exploration and a bit of conquering. Not only had Preston had the pleasure of meeting one or two, but he also had many stories from his father about them.
“Well, the major plus that we have is that the three of us can fly. If things do go bad, then we should be able to escape with relative ease.” He certainly hoped that it wouldn’t be the case, but as they neared the ground little by little, he couldn’t help but think about the people that he would encounter down planetside.”I estimate that at our current rate, it shouldn’t be much longer until we touch town. Once we start lowing a little more, we’re really going to need the Champion to act as our break.”
Good, this worked in her favor. Not in any sort of negative way, merely that Serene could at least assess this wouldn’t turn into an alternative prologue to the Hobbit. Or that there was a version of Smaug she needed to beat into submission. Assuming she could manage without the bulk of her treasury...if her worst fears were right. Oh well, she let out a soft sigh, mentally checking her energy levels. She’d be fine for the moment, but hopefully the locals had good food, or took magic pizza as currency, assuming the box hadn’t been lost all that time ago…
Already she was performing calculations in her head. Time needed to repair the ship, to replace certain lost components, certain fightercraft she’d lost, or could use on the planet, as well as possible tactics if a fight began. She didn’t want a battle, not at all. Furthermore, she was also considering a permanent base of operations, perhaps something like her old fortress...perhaps. In the end, she placed the thoughts to her side again, and refocused on the matter at hand. “I understand, the more information I have, the better it’ll help me to figure out my place in this world, if that makes sense.”
Perhaps there would be confusion at her choice of words, but Serene had her reasons, primarily towards just ensuring her own survival, and doing the right things. She simply gazed forward now, both of her mismatched eyes seeming to glow, but it was probably just a trick of the light. All she had to do was wait, and hope for the best.