Present Company Excepted
Roleplaying Log: Present Company Excepted
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Continuation from Tumble in the Dark: Starfire has called Raven, expert on all things creepy, to examine Myrkr and help him deal with his powers.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: January 09, 2020
IC Location: Hell's Kitchen
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 18 Jan 2020 07:26
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [*\# None]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* OOC Time: Fri Jan 17 21:09:41 2020 *

* * *

Earlier in the evening, Starfire was on monitor duty at the T-Mall when an alarm sounded: a hit on the police band, multiple cars dispatched in Hell's Kitchen. When it was not immediately resolved by a man in a red suit, Starfire soon flew to investigate. It is not long after when she gives a status update on the Titans communicator: that she's engaged an unknown but supernatural threat, and requests someone pass the situation on to Raven if she doesn't receive the call directly. Her report is not panicked, but then again, this is Starfire, whose pride and confidence as a warrior is matched only by her strange lust for mustard.

Presumably, all goes well, as she gives another status update a few minutes later: "Situation seems resolved. I had the assistance of a robot-man who is not Tony Stark, and the human cultists on the scene have all been neutralized. But the initial… hostile? Does not seem very aggressive. I have him in custody on the building next door. Be advised police now entering the initial address." The latter portion of the report reflects the bitter reality of the Titans as true vigilantes, at present, operating in defiance of New York's registration laws.

And so that leaves Starfire, with Myrkr, on the roof of an adjacent building (Dick would surely approve of the brooding-appropriate venue), watching as the police surround and move into the original warehouse. There will be bodies for them to find - there was no time to remove them - cultists and drug dealers in some altercation she doesn't fully grasp. Her costume shows damage, several claw-like tears with lacerations beneath, but nothing that seems life-threatening. "I have contacted a friend who may be able to help. Do you remember what happened inside?"

* * *

Myrkr sits, his jacket and vest missing its sleeves, like they got burnt off. The arms thin and emincated with purple hand shaped bruises on his forearms, the wrists blistering from burns. This is not accounting for the other bruises and perfect thin scars left by surgery that are left to view. The face mask is down to show pale skin with thin lips, flecks of blood covering bruises on the face. The goggles still left on. He winces as he looks at his arms before looking down at the scene.

His face solem as he goes to speak, stops, then continues "I-I-I *breaths* remember-r pieces…s-s-selling s-souls for s-s-shadows…w-w-wanted me *lips move as he's speaking, yet no sound before he coughs, stopping with an akward pause before continuing* D-Don't k-k-know what h-h-happened next…r-ritual." he says softly, like he's having trouble speaking louder and hides his face as much as possible, a turning head motion showing that he's glancing towards her every once and awhile "S-sorry…" he says shamefully as he makes a motion towards her wounds. His hands going to his hea as he coughs up some spittle, obviously scared/upset.

* * *

She doesn't get the message. Not right away, of course; between the first message sent to the Titans and its follow-up resolution from Starfire, Raven has been preoccupied, going through another one of many countless meditations to center herself. Calming the heart and mind is key, and keeping it that way matters.

But there are always outside nuances that tend to nudge past the protective mental barrier she has set up for herself, things that she can sense, things she can feel: someone shaken, ashamed, quietly overwhelmed by recent events —

Her eyes open as she immediately picks up on the frequency, shifting from her floating seated position to stand inches off of the ground beneath her feet. "Not Tony Stark? That's…new. But if he helped, I suppose that's a good thing," is the first thing she says before drawing in a breath. Her brow then furrows.

Cultists. There are still cultists about, but they seem to get away quickly.

"…Well done, Starfire," Raven adds after the pause, receiving the coordinates and readying a portal in less than a few seconds. "I'll be there shortly."

There is some curiosity about the hostile that isn't really a hostile. Precaution, as well. Both go hand-in-hand once the portal on the other side opens up, letting the hooded figure slip through noiselessly at a safe distance away from the other Titan and the injured Myrkr so as not to scare the latter. A slow, drifting approach probably doesn't help, but she tries. "How bad is it?"

* * *

"Do not worry, you did me very little harm," Starfire responds to the the apology, a mix of that same warrior pride with a genuine effort to unburden him of any guilt over the incident. "I will heal. We have a good bit of moonlight, tonight." How the topics relate might not be so obvious to Myrkr, but the woman seems reassured nonetheless.

As for the rest… she doesn't give any immediate reply to the retelling of events that the young man offers, seeming instead to just mull them over while they both wait. Once she knows that Raven is on her way, it seems premature to bother with too much in the way of guesswork on the topic! So she waits for that tell-tale black void, somehow darker than the night around them, that heralds her teamate's arrival.

Despite the circumstances, she bears a friendly smile when the cloaked figure does finally make her entrance. "Raven! It is good you were able to come so quickly. I am glad." She steps slightly to one side, lifting a hand to indicate the young man standing with her. "I am not sure of his condition. He was… possessed, controlled? Or out of control? I don't know. He appeared as a creature, different than he is now, shadows with some kind of skull for a head. I was forced to subdue him, but not violently. His powers seem shadow-based and some wide-dispersal starlight weakened him without requiring greater harm."

A beat, and she adds: "The robot-man helped too, with some floodlights. I am not sure where he went." The mysterious not-Tony.

Turning to Myrkr, she adds, "This is Raven, my friend who may be able to help. Please do not hesitate to trust her, she knows the darkness well, yet is kind."

* * *

Myrkr tilts his head before looking at the moon, as Raven gets closer he immediately turns his head, and somehow going paler as he looks at her, stares? Its hard to tell with those goggles. He groggily stands up and goes to stand in front of Starfire for a moment before she shouts out to her in a friendly way. In which he responds with simply sitting down again as he relaxes, all the while watching Raven, head tilting left and right, nose twitching like he's smelling something.

He looks up towards Starfire to nod as he stands up shakily again before holding out a hand "N-Nice t-t-to meet you…y-y-you may c-call me Myrkr." he says softly, small purple lights flickering for a moment under the goggles.

* * *

The warmth in Starfire's voice (including her whole being) is manageable and a welcome change of pace to the cold of late. As the Tamaranean Titan introduces her, Raven gives a subtle nod in greeting to Myrkr. Although her features are obscured in shadow, she assesses the young man, never once betraying any thought or impression of him once she's close to them.

"You've had a harrowing time, Myrkr." She cuts to the chase, her whispered tone even as she goes over what her teammate has said. "I'm sorry you had to go through such an experience. Things would have gone differently if Starfire and that…robot-man…were not there to help."

And she doesn't mean to sound distant. Starfire's on the nose about her being kind, but she plays it off as she normally does, lifting a hand to shake Myrkyr's so not to leave him hanging. "You certainly do have a darkness about you. But before we all get further into that, can I at least take care of your injuries?"

* * *

No one can hide their inner goodness from Starfire! She continues to beam happily as Raven joins Myrkr, shifting off a little further to make space for them, while also observing the whole thing with a certain curiousity. Raven's healing is a familiar (and very valuable) asset among the Titans, of course. What she can do for the young man beyond that is less certain, and what leaves the alien woman with whatever worries as she watches the pair. In the meantime? well, now does seem like a good time to go over some of the details a little more.

"When I arrived, he was in that… shadowy beast form as I described. There was some evidence of fighting already, some criminals who may have simply been using the warehouse, but also those with hoods." Hoods are usually a bad sign, present company excepted! "I believe one of them even said something about capturing or controlling him." She pauses, as if digging through her thoughts. "There were also some… symbols? On or around him. They faded near the end. I have little knowledge of their meaning, but if they were trying to capture or control him, perhaps they were part of the effort."

For a moment, her brow furrows, pondering some problem in the whole description. "Perhaps you could get an image of them, either from me or from him."

* * *

Myrkr has an expressionless face, but a small pulse of purple along his scar lines give him away "I-I-If it w-won't hurt you M-Ms. Raven." he says, starting out with a normal tone of voice that drops almost into silence. He takes the hand, and it seems he's squeezing hard, but it feels mostly like a baby squeezing in strength then it does an actual man, despite the fact that what muscles he has are bulging weakly.

He would glance towards Starfire before looking away, taking a deep breath to calm himself "The….s-symbols?" he asks before shaking his head "B-Bindings I think…l-like chains." he says, the last part said in dread, his voice going echoy for a moment before he goes silent "A-Aplogies…b-but w-why a-are you h-helping me?" he asks curiously, with only a subtle hint of a cornered skeptical fear someone might have if left with no choice.

* * *

It may have been a trick of the lack of light, but it looks like Raven smirks at that hood comment. "No offense taken. Cults are strange and they try to control a power that is greater than them, one way or another," Raven explains, glancing up at Starfire. "They're idiots in that respect, biting off more than they can chew. They probably figured Myrkr was an easy target." She looks back Myrkr's way. "No offense."

But bindings sound about right, from what she can recall. Symbols are big in cults, especially if they know what they're doing with them. "The bindings may not have been strong enough…?" An idle thought aloud, but one that refocuses on the teenager after he asks why she is going out of her way to help him.

Her answer is simple.

"Why not?"

She shrugs his wariness off, raising her hands halfway to concentrate on healing his wounds, choosing to take his pain so that he can at least regain some of his bearings without having to worry about the current state of his physical body.

* * *

While Raven's simple answer is enough to validate Starfire's claims of the dark daughter's goodness, and to settle why they might intervene to help him, it is a topic the alien woman is willing to spend more time with. "There are many reasons to do so, and as Raven says, few reasons not. I could see from the manner of the fight that something was not right about it, and once you had stopped… you did not seem especially fearsome?" And here she even echoes her friend, with a grin: "No offense."

"And you are not alone in experiencing something like this," she goes on, her tone warm with understanding. "Many of us have faced such situations, in one form or another. I was once a slave and made, among other things, to fight for the amusement of those who held my chains." Then, glancing toward Raven, she adds, while somewhat dodging the specifics, "And we have seen twisted cults who meant to turn us upon one another, or to draw upon someone's powers and abilities for evil ends."

"Besides, if you prove to be further trouble, I will just turn things up from 'light show' to 'vaporize.'" Kori grins. This is a joke! Mostly.

"If they were trying to bind him, could his efforts to resist have caused him to lose control as he did?" Just as quickly, she turns back to the more serious matter at hand, still only really able to go on guesswork. "The ongoing concern seems whether any permanent harm was done, if he will have control going forward… and if there are any more of them still out there."

* * *

Myrkr sighs "N-None taken…I-I'm quite weak l-like this." he admits as he moves his arms around, a small smile at the lack of pain "T-They are c-cult of s-shadow, a-abuser of the s-shadow realm's p-powers." he explains in a stampering manner, pausing as Starfire verbally stabs him again. He shrugs "I-I d-don't know…I-I k-know I have…control, now." he says before looking at his limbs, then back at the two girls with a small reassuring, but nervous grin "I-I heal fast, and yes…*talks with no sound, to which he takes a deep breath and tries again* there are." he says before looking at Raven "W-would you n-need to see the…other form?" he asks her before looking around, perhaps abit more aware.

* * *

And you are not alone in experiencing something like this

Even as Raven stays silent to finish her work, Starfire's words ring true. They all had problems, but they have each other to rely on to get through the worst of it. She's also granted some relief in knowing the Tamaranean doesn't overstep in telling exactly what each Titan has dealt with long before the Registration was added onto the pile. The poor boy seems new to all of this, so it's for the best not to heap more things onto his head.

The healing ends as quickly as it began. Less pain, maybe even a little more calm and clarity is present to put Myrkr at ease for the time being.

"…I would think so," she replies to both, lowering her arms so that her cloak swallows them back into the blackness. "Whenever anyone fights back, it's harder to make them obey your commands. But if he also learns how to control it so that he remains conscious of what he's doing, he will."

Her gaze shifts from Starfire back to Myrkr at this point, canting her head slightly. "You don't have to do that if you're not feeling up to it," she answers softly. "I don't want you to force yourself if you're not ready."

* * *

It seems Starfire is of a like mind in terms of that next step, nodding along with Raven's suggestion, as well as the caveat that goes with it: "If you feel that you can do so, without causing yourself excessive stress or harm, it would be instructive, simply so that Raven can get a better grasp of your situation. But do not push yourself if it is too difficult. It has already been a trying evening."

Regardless of whether he is up for it, the whole situation does seem to remind her of a more… mundane set of concerns that may be at issue. "Do you have a place where you stay?" she wonders. "Or any friends or family that will be worried for your absence? In the short term, I can help find you somewhere, if it is necessary."

Rising slightly from the roof, she hovers to get a look back down at the other building, watching the police, and surveying what damage the whole thing has done to the structure. "I will ask Robin to take a look as well," she muses. "It is a large building and it seems unlikely they will do too much clean up of the scene tonight. So there should be something he can get a look at after they've taped it off. Even if you are well now," and she glances back over her shoulder toward Myrkr, "We do not want these people coming for you again… or for anyone else. There is nothing more you remember about them? Even a small thing may help."

* * *

Myrkr nods as he begins to take his goggles off before taking a seat "I-I don't think it should be to bad." he says with some confidence, his eyes a gray-blue. His look goes blank though, almost like he took a blow at the mention of friends or family. He recovers quickly and his lips beginning to move as he attempts to answer the question. He looks confused as he continues to try to answer with out any sound coming out no matter how hard he tries.

His face quickly switches from kinda fearful to simply to someone who can't hold it in anymore and just starts crying. Its silent though as the scar lines, eyes, and mouth begin to glow purple "All dead…no one left…made slave." he chokes out in an actual loudish tone, almost like he's choking on the words as they come out. The purple glowing splutters and dims, yet still remains as he sits there. Hand going to his face "All dead, they killed them, my real parents were them, they made me this….thing! *gestures to himself shakily as his breathings picks up to hyper ventilating* Friends? What friends! They were my friends! I don't wanna be this, you could be working for them! Who can I trust? Why why why." he says franticlly before it drops off into silence once again despite the fact his lips are moving. The purple color starting to pick up again with shadows, including their own starting to move slowly towards him.

* * *

They've been on the same page for the most part. Raven is a bit astonished by this, but she shouldn't be surprised if she and Starfire had a similar train of thought. From what Starfire suggests, Raven agrees; if Myrkr doesn't have anywhere to go, then they will try to assist as much as they can. And if they come up short, contacting Red Robin is good for advice and feedback.

She is about to say something else when Myrkr chooses to change back into the form he initially struggled with, allowing her lips to seal as she observes the sudden emptiness in his gray-blue eyes, the discoloration in his skin, the contorted lines deepening across his face.

A wellspring of emotion overflows, like an invisible wave washing over the hooded figure as the words spill out of the teen's mouth.

Fear. Pain. Betrayal. These feelings stay at the surface at an angry roil, blaming the ones he trusted most.

She feels all of this. And she understands.

She is the counterpoint, maintaining her composure all the while as he lets loose. Manipulating his emotions is a last resort, but it appears she won't be needing to do it now.

The accusation among the teen's ranting does not go unnoticed. "Trust is difficult to come by, and I know you can't trust us. Not yet. This is a lot to take in and no one is blaming you for feeling the way you do…"

* * *

Starfire, for her part, is not the empath that Raven is, an actual conduit for emotion.

She… just has a /whole damn lot/ of the normal kind. And seeing the poor kid start to crumple totally breaks her heart. Her empty green eyes go extra wide, and she promptly swoops down from her hovering position, forgetting whatever survey of the building, or worrying over sending batkids to go sift through wreckage for clues (as much as they love that stuff!). And while she might be a little cautious of actually descending and squishing him in an alien bear hug, she lands close at his side, reaching out a hand to toward his shoulder, a gentle gesture.

"I am sorry," she murmurs, without bothering to expand on the details. Do they really matter, when they add up to such an overwhelming total?

"And Raven is right, of course. We must earn your trust, too. All we can ask is that opportunity. For now, I will find you somewhere safe you may stay, and what you will do then is up to you," she offers. Remaining near, she nonetheless withdraws just a step as she takes out her phone, swiping through some addresses. She can't really put him in the so-called 'halfway house for hotties' that she did with Gwen (how many young heroes is she stashing?!), but in her fast-lane life among the humans, there's always someone with an empty place while they vacation here or there.

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