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Melissa listened to the rest of the introductions and didn't envy Stark what he had taken on with this group. A more disparate group of people she couldn't imagine and she knew it would take a lot of time and hard work for them to work together. With her experience working with the other heroes in Star City she wasn't worried about her own ability to work with this group but she didn't know if the same could be said for the others as some seemed particularly independent or a little...unstable. But she wasn't one to judge given her background she knew how hard their lives could be and how easy it was to fall off the rails.

She smiled at the others as they finished introducing themselves and then watched as they each began to play with the nanomachines that seemed to give them whatever they wanted. Melissa was a little unnerved by designing her own room but she figured she shouldn't have been surprised given this was Tony Stark. Hesitantly she reached out to her own swarm reminding herself that they were not bugs and weren't going to swarm all over her. After a few moments of experimentation, she realised that they were very user friendly and even a non-techhie like her could manage them. Being a visual thinker she closed her eyes for a moment as she pictured what her perfect room would look like and once she had the image firmly in her head she began to use the machines.

First the floor, she chose a white wood floor and then made the walls a deep red, her favourite colour. Next she added a large double bed with red and white bedding and lots of pillows. For other furniture she chose a wardrobe, a dressing table with large mirrors and a desk all in white wood. Plush red rugs added by the bed and dressing table added softness as well as comfort, she chose a red beanbag chair for the desk and another one for the dressing table. Shelves along one wall would hold her music books and matching shelves on another wall would hold her fictional book collection.

She added several fittings to the wall in between the wardrobe and desk where she would hang her guitars of which she had several. She liked collecting them as well as playing them. Satisfied she finished and turned back to Tony remembering she had something she needed to talk to him about.

"Were you able to do that upgrade we talked about?" Melissa had discussed the idea of having easier access to both her suit and harness. Tony looked at her and it was a look that clearly said. 'You know who I am right?' She smiled. "Sorry probably a stupid question."
"It wasn't exactly a challenge." He said pulling something out of his pocket. "I actually modelled it after my own earlier designs except that these contain nanotech which will make the suit materialise on you at will."

Melissa stared at him in surprise, she'd expected to have to carry or wear something that stored her suit but this was..."Damn that's awesome. You sir are a genius." She said with a grin, he chuckled but didn't bother to deny it since he actually was a bona fide genius.
Melissa did her best to pay attention as Stark said his piece. It wasn't him she found boring and she didn't disagree with a thing he said. They did have to rely on each other when out in the shit and you couldn't rely on someone you couldn't trust, someone you weren't sure would have your back. It was just that she'd heard it all before, many times. Green Arrow liked to talk about it, A LOT, he was big on working as a cohesive team and recognising the need for no secrets. Though she often thought he was a hypocrite given some of the things he'd hidden over the years. But still, he meant well and tried to keep them together and on the same page.

She had to admit she was pleased that Ashe, at least tried to make amends even if her effort was a little off. But her crack about the symbiote had her bite back a grin. Yes the other girl seemed unpredictable and a little aggressive but she also had sarcastic wit that she could appreciate.
After Ashe had spoken and no one immediately spoke next, she sighed and decided to get her own introduction over, she wasn't looking forward to parts of it but better to get it out in the open.

"So I guess I'll go next. So I'm Melissa Lance or Songbird and I'm from Star City. I work with Green Arrow and my adopted dad is a cop. But my real dad is..." She paused as the usual shame and regret hit her in the gut. Shame at who her father had been, a well known criminal, and regret of how things had ended up. "My real dad was Eli Gold and up until I was 12 he trained me to help him with his criminal activities. He called me Screaming Siren. He was killed years ago and I have been working since with heroes. So there you have it, me in a nutshell. Former criminal turned wannabe hero. Its a work in progress." She shrugged and smiled wryly. "But don't worry I won't steal anything, we'll except maybe all the hot water."
Melissa watched the other people's antics with a mixture of amusement and exasperation. This was who she'd be working with? She couldn't decide which of them bothered her the most.

No...the kid definitely bothered her the most. Not that there was anything wrong with him, she just didn't particularly like the idea of relying on a child to watch her back. Plus she never really knew how to behave around them, not surprising really given how she'd pretty much skipped the child phase altogether. Another thing daddy dearest was responsible for.

She had no idea what to make of the guy who suddenly became a lot bigger and a hell of a lot more ugly. She'd maintained her usual relaxed demeanor with an effort when all she'd really wanted to do was either hit it or leg it and she still wasn't sure which of the two she would have chosen. But since it seemed content to just stand there and look intimidating she held off on the running or fighting...for now.

She was confused and a little concerned about the guy who'd basically had a meltdown at an inanimate object. Sure elevators weren't great but she'd never felt the urge to go homicidal on one, but then maybe the guy knew something she didn't about thw true evil of elevators? She smiled slightly at that. Next up under her observation was the girl who looked like she might have a heart attack any minute, not helped by having real...no fake...real ish water? Dumped on her.

Then there were the two in their hero costumes which she couldn't help thinking was a bit overkill. But she couldn't deny that the guy in the white suit looked pretty damn good in it. Obviously connected to Black Panther in some way given the whole feline theme he had going on. She wondered if he was from Wakanda, she'd always fancied going there someday. Maybe he'd invite them all for a visit one day? A girl could hope.

The hero aptly named...Hiro had some sort of metal suit though she couldn't quite see the power ranger that the girl who apparently couldn't stay still for more than a minute, had called him. Still it was an impressive getup and she made a mental note to ask him about it later. She wasn't a big fan of tech and was always worried that if her harness got damaged she'd not know how to repair it but between Stark and this guy she thought that might not be a worry any more.

She was debating whether to say something, anything really to calm this shit show down but was distracted by coffee. She stared down at the cup the girl, Ashe?, had handed to her. She took a cautious sip and found it was actually sweet enough for her tastes.

"Now that." She grinned at Ashe. "Is a useful ability. Who needs to order delivery when we have you." Her tone was light, teasing, taking the sting out of the sarcastic words. She raised the cup deciding she liked Ashe. "Thanks, I pretty much live on caffeine and get real grouchy when I'm low."

She looked at the others gathered around. "Well shit, I thought I'd mixed with an odd crowd back in Star City." She looked at Stark."I don't envy whoever you've roped in to train us into the perfect superhero team."

Stark raised an eyebrow. "Oh? Doubting your teammates already Songbird?" He emphasised her code name, perhaps to see if any of the others recognised the name.

"Nope, I was actually thinking that I know how teenagers behave especially teenagers with powers. Hell some of the pranks Speedy used to pull on me..." She grinned in memory. "There were a few times I thought Green Arrow was going to shoot us both out of sheer irritation, and that was just two of us."
Greetings:)

I sent you a pm but figured I'd reply here as well. I'm really interested jn this and I am a huge fan of the regency period!
Melissa stared out of the bus window with a jaundiced eye, many others on the bus looked out eager to see the city for the first time, but not Melissa. She supposed it was a nice city, at least in parts, but it wasn't her city. She wasn't homesick but she did feel somewhat out of her depth, Star City was her home, the city she knew every inch of and whose criminals she knew and understood. Sighing, she stood and inched down the aisle following the line of passengers disembarking.

While she waited for the driver to hand her the luggage she had brought with her, a single suitcase since she was accustomed to travelling light, she looked around the bus station. It sat in the heart of the city and in every direction there were tall skyscrapers with huge crowds of people walking between them. She wasn't particularly concerned about getting lost, not only because she was confident she could figure out the lay of the land but also because she doubted there was anyone in the city who didn't know where Stark tower was.

Retrieving her luggage she glanced at her phone and decided she had time to grab a coffee on her way to the Tower. The hours she'd spent on the bus had been exhausting and she was in serious need of a caffeine boost. She knew she could have flown here but a woman in costume carrying a suitcase wasn't the smartest move when arriving in a city she was unfamiliar with. With a snort of humour at her thoughts, she crossed the street to the Starbucks she had seen.

A short time later she was walking down the street towards Stark Tower taking grateful sips of her coffee, large caramel latte with extra syrup and coffee, which they'd actually gotten right for once. She'd decided to walk since her legs felt stiff and cramped from the bus journey and it wasn't a bad day for it.

As she walked, she thought back to the conversation that had changed the direction her life was on...

A MONTH EARLIER

Hell that hurt! She winced and pulled herself up into a crouch, she peeked her head above the car she had landed near Crashed more like A hail of bullets hitting the car quickly had her pushing those thoughts aside. Her earpiece bleeped and she tapped at it to answer.

"Songbird where the hell you'd go?" The voice of Roy Harper, aka speedy, asked in irritation.

"Sunbathing topless in the middle of the Caribbean."

"Very funny, seriously where are you?"

"I got jumped by some gang idiots." She paused. "Gang idiots with guns."

"Do you need backup?"

"I know how much you like rescuing damsels in distress but I can handle it."

His chuckle filled her ear. "What and deny my chance to be your hero?"

She rolled her eyes, ducking as more bullets were fired. "You're never going to get a girlfriend with cheesy lines like that. Now shush, I'm trying to concentrate." She tapped the earpiece ending the call not giving Speedy the chance to finish his sentence.

She debated her best move, confident that she could take them, just as she was about to make a move she saw two of the goons go down. Frowning she looked around and saw an arrow strike the man who had come over to check on his friends. A fourth arrow struck a car beside the two left standing and exploded causing them to be sent flying.

Hearing no more sounds of gunfire or movement she saw the gang members were all down. Cautiously she rose to her feet and began to hum a single note, a shimmering purple energy beginning to appear as she did so. She approached the men on the ground and knelt beside the closest. She recognised the arrows and sighed.

"Let me guess, Speedy called you." She said to the man now walking towards her. "I told him I could handle it."

"Actually he didn't." Green Arrow said. "I came here to talk to you."

Melissa frowned at the serious tone of his voice and his too casual body language. "What is it?" She asked for once serious.

Green Arrow saw her concern and reassured her. "It's nothing like that, everyone's fine."

"So why do you look like someone whose pet just died?"

"Nothing to do with this, just had to deal with a lot of idiots today." He said. "I came here to talk about an offer I received on your behalf."

"An offer? Shit, if its a job offer from that new club in the Glades...I can explain that."

He raised his eyebrows questioningly and she sighed. "It's not from the club is it?"

"No." He said with a grin. "It's from Tony Stark."

"THE Tony Stark? As in avengers Tony Stark?" She looked bewildered. "What could he want with me?"

Green Arrow leaned back against the side of a car."Seems your actions here in Star City caught his attention. He wants you to join a new team he's putting together, a group of younger people, that will be trained as a team.

"Like the Avengers?"

"Similar though youre not ready for the big leagues yet."

She eyed him for a few moments. "You think I should accept don't you?"

He nodded. "We both know that you've learned as much as you can from me and Star City. Think about what you could learn from him, a former avenger and a genius on boot."

"I'll think about it."


PRESENT DAY

It hadn't taken her long to decide as she always felt a drive to do better, to control her powers better. And where best to do that than with a member of the Avengers. She finally reached the tower and told the receptionist in the lobby who she was. "Ah yes, miss Lance. He said to let you straight through. Just use one of the elevators there to take you up to the lab, the button is labelled."

As she rode the elevator upwards, amazed at how comfortable the machine was, she felt nerves in the pit of her stomach but she ignored them and as the elevator door opened, ensured she wore a confident smile. She was pleased to see that she wasn't the first to arrive, a kid with the strangest hair she'd ever seen, was already there as was someone dressed in a white costume that reminded her of Black Panther.

She herself wore black ripped skinny jeans, knee high black boots, a royal blue sweater and a black leather jacket. She was wearing multiple necklaces and earrings and her hair was in a long braid.

"Hi." She said to the other two. "Don't suppose either of you know where the coffee machine is?" She shook her coffee cup. "I'm in dire need of a refill."

I'm sorry but I'm going to have to pull out of this, I already have a lot of rp's and I didn't realise how busy my work would also get.

I hope you guys have fun :)
I'm really liking the variety of your ideas. I'm particularly interested in either the curse of the goddess (original version) or a fantasy or sci fi harem rp.

Drop me a pm if you'd like to chat and...Purple!








Ash was debating on hanging up moments after she pressed dial. She wasn't so good with people these days after all. Most tended to find her weird at best and just plain nuts at worst. But lately she'd been realising that she lacked human friends, she loved her animal ones of course but she was still human at the end of the day.

When she heard Jiang answer she mentally thought fuck it. It's too late now. She took a deep breath."Er hi Jiang, yes it's Ash."She paused as a particular bird passed by with a greeting. " I'm sorry if this is a bad time? I just wanted to call and well...tell you that I tried to help sort out that mess at the Gala last night but didn't really manage to. What I'm trying to say is...sorry for my part in messing up your Gala especially since it was a fundraiser for my line of work."

Man she really was crap at apologising. But she comforted herself that Jiang knew her or had known her in the past and no doubt remembered her somewhat lacking social skills.

Jiang chuckled softly and smiled gently at the sweet awkwardness of her friend, making her wonder why she hadn’t contacted the woman sooner. ”It seems a theme this morning for people to apologize on behalf of the Gala disruption but it wasn’t your fault Ash, you have nothing to apologize for. At least Mr.Price seems to be taking the reins and the trouble off of my hands, caring for the fundraiser which will continue to assist in your line of work. I really should find a way to thank him….”, she stated before a playful and mischievous grin pulled at her lips remembering the way the two had been captured by each other. ”…or perhaps you should thank him and discuss the matters in my stead. I am unfortunate out of sorts this morning due to poor judgment and I cannot think of another who would cherish and protect the aspects of this fundraiser more than you. I’ll let you think about my offer though and while you do, why don’t you tell me about you? How have you been?”

Ash appreciated Jiangs understanding but found herself blushing, damn her pale skin, when Jiang brought up Oberon. She groaned inwardly remembering how caught up with him she'd been. Of course it'd be noticed but at least Jiang wasn't someone she'd worry about using the knowledge against her. When they'd spent time together before, years ago when Ash was still learning about her powers, Jiang had always been honourable and kind to her.

She finally said. "Well I have already tried to reach him but I think he's been busy with the aftermath." She grimaced. "I certainly intend to thank him...if he wants to talk to me again that is. It's complicated." She said with a sigh.

Absently, she stretched on the branch balancing with ease, working out the kinks in her back."Well, where do I start? It's been a while. I live in New York now and work at the Bronx Zoo. I share a house with my brother but honestly?"
She paused debating, then came to a decision.

"Honestly, I've been mostly alone. It seems to get harder, not easier to blend in with other people. As my abilities have grown so has the connection with nature. Some days I wonder if I'm more of an animal than human." She lightly dropped down from the branch and settled back against the tree.

"But you're not doing so well this morning, I can tell, we can chat more when you're feeling better if you'd prefer?"

”Hangovers will do that to a person. I’ll survive though so don’t worry about me, I’m more worried about you.”, she replied with a concerned tone and a frown etched onto her features. Jiang felt as if Ash were a person struggling against the current, head just above the water and searching for a line of safety. She hoped that she could help the young woman in overcoming the feelings brewing under the surface, ones she herself struggled with at times. Guiding others was never something she believed to be her calling, one of the reasons she had not stayed around the Sanctum when the offer was presented so long ago. Friendships were always fleeting just like loved ones and Jiang felt herself out of practice but she would do anything to help someone else.

”I know what loneliness is, more than most would understand and the struggle on how to conform to the conventional. In my vast amount of years, I have found that blending in with the crowd is not worth the time or effort even if that is the realm in which I live. To be beautifully unique is a gift and yes, while some might view that as a negative or fear what they do not understand…the bottom line is, there will always be people out there that are openly accepting and welcoming. What I mean is, do not try to blend in with the norm, embrace who you are and accept that compared to most you will always be different. Try to find those that can appreciate, admire, and love you for who you are regardless of if your actions seem strange. Animal instinct or not, powers or not, you are still you. No one can take that away or change who you are and if they care about who you are as a person, everything else will fall into place.”

Ash was touched by her words, Jiang truly was a good person, she'd accepted Ash without any qualms back when they'd first met and still did so now.

”Thanks Jiang, I think I just needed to hear that from a friend. So how have you been? What have you been up to since we last saw one another?”

”Happy to remind you anytime you need to hear it. As for what I’ve been up to, what can I say, a bit of mischief, mayhem, and some marvelously good times. I’ve acquired a few businesses, sold some, invested, adventured, partied, played vigilante and villain. If anything you could say I’m trying to occupy my time since I’ve done most there is so it would seem. Can I ask you something? I know this is kind of going to be a random question but I need someone else’s perspective. Do you believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt? Offering chances even if they don’t seem like the best idea? Or would you cut your losses and play it safe?”

”Well that depends...I used to be someone who gave people the benefit of the doubt, that tried to see the good in everyone. But after what happened to me...in Africa...with those gunmen and then being given the spirit of nature. Well...it's harder now to see the good in others. I think you should go with your instincts. What are they telling you?”

”I am not sure I should trust my instincts. They have always led me astray in these matters and right now, I mostly feel lost and confused. I guess I don’t really have to make a full decision yet and could just take it how it comes. I appreciate you taking the time to listen, Ash. I know it is horrible to say but it’s nice to see someone else trying to see the good in others but struggling to do so. It makes me feel like I am not alone even though I wish you didn’t have to experience those feelings or the events that happened to you.”

Ash smiled wryly at her words, it gave them something in common at least. Still...as much as she tried not to, those bloody memories kept trying to surface.

Shouts and screams...pain all over her body...men laughing and more pain...more screams and then silence

With a wrench she pushed the memories back into their dark corner of her mind. The primal side of her wanted to roar, to hunt and to kill but she pushed that down too. She feared giving in to the beast whenever she thought on the past. The primal side was intent on blood and death during those moments and she honestly feared what she was capable of. Realising she had been quiet for too long she took a deep calming breath.

As the silence stretched on, Jiang knew that she had messed up. It seemed that for all her years, social interactions were still not her forte and especially not hung over since that was now two conversations that had sour points to them. She wanted to apologize, take back what she said or even distract the other woman from her thoughts but she didn’t know what to say. If anything, she might make the problem worse at this point so she patiently waited for Ash to speak.

”I know Jiang, it’s okay. Listen, if you ever need to talk or just need someone to provide you with a distraction just give me a call. I’ll leave you to deal with the hangover and I’ll speak to Oberon.”

”I’ll try to keep in better touch and I will remember to reach out when I need someone but don’t forget that works both ways. I might not be the best conversationalist but I do care about you. If you ever need to talk or if you want a place to go where you can fully just be yourself without judgement, I am always here and my door is always open. Oh and Ash, don’t let the things you want get away from you. Take care and I’ll talk to you soon.”

Ash hung up the phone feeling better after the call. Even better, she now had a reason to contact Oberon again. Not wanting to call again in case he was busy, she settled on sending him an email (she couldn't find his personal one so settled for the one listed under his company)

Hello again Oberon,

This is Ashlyn from the Gala last night. I hope I'm not overstepping my welcome but I wanted to contact you after things went chaotic.

I just wanted to thank you for your assistance afterwards and I also pass along the genuine thanks from the hostess of the Gala, Miss Jiang. She was very grateful for your aid and contributions. I hoped perhaps, that we could meet and discuss other possible fundraising endeavors? As I remember you shared my passion for helping nature heal.

My contact details are below and I hope to hear from you soon.

Ashlyn Blackwood

Ps. I'm sorry for running out on you last night.
PPs. I'm glad you're okay


She stared at what she had written and debated deleting it. Was it too formal? But would less formal not be appropriate? Irritated at herself for worrying over something so small, she pressed send.

Diana wondered if anyone had any manners in the city as she watched the Young woman walk off. Diana had thought perhaps the two of them could discuss what had happened but clearly the woman wasn't interested. Sighing she turned to head out of the alley and saw a cat approach. At first it looked like any other cat but then she saw it had two tails. Clearly a magical creation of some sort. The cat dropped a letter and she picked it up curiously.

She held the pearl in one hand as she read the letter. "Perhaps I will get answers after all."

She did as the letter instructed and dropped the pearl. Moments later she was no longer in the alley. She looked around trying to figure out where she had been transported to.
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