How It's Going to Be
Roleplaying Log: How It's Going to Be
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

The Titans meet to discuss their resistance to registration, the need for a new hideout, and the sanctity of Taco Tuesday.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: December 02, 2018
IC Location: Titan Tower, NYC -- Operations Room
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 03 Dec 2018 05:11
Rating & Warnings: PG-13 for some language
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2ND

TITANS TOWER

Only a few weeks ago, the Titans had led the charge to push back the Heralds of the Elder Gods, had struck a decisive blow in ending the demonic invasion of New York City. Only a few weeks ago, they'd been the conquering heroes, New York's favourite superhero team.

But then, fear had won the day. After everything that had happened over the past few years, invasions and bombings and all manner of mayhem and chaos, maybe it's not so surprising that something like the metahuman registration act would pass. Maybe it's not so surprising that parts of the civilian population would latch onto it with verve and immediacy. Even with the registration deadline still months away, that the Titans as a group had made no move towards registering when the Avengers had put them in a precarious position. S.T.A.R. Labs would withdraw their official support. The city would want their island and tower back.

And so Red Robin had made a choice that might be termed 'drastic'.

"…So that's why we're going to abandon the Tower for now," the Red Knight explained, sitting in his chair at one end of the (impractical) T-shaped conference table in the Tower's operations center. It had his logo on the back over his head, just like everybody else's chair. "If they get rid of this registration nonsense, then we can come back home, but until then we're going to go underground. I already have a backup site waiting for us," of course he does. "We're going to have to take everything out of the Tower that doesn't belong to the city or S.T.A.R. Labs. Computers, equipment, everything. The T-Jet, too. If they want their building back they can have it, nice and empty."

The table was covered… In a prodigious spread of tacos of every type and taste, even though it wasn't Tuesday at all. That just showed how crazy things had gotten, how things had broken down. Taco Sunday? It was madness.

Ordinarily, you wouldn't be able to pry Kamala off a spread of tacos, but the whole idea of the Titans having to leave New York City makes her stomach tight. Ms. Marvel, uniformed and masked as usual, runs her fingers back and forth over the arm of her chair, biting her lip and saying nothing for the moment. Instead, she glances up and down the table at her fellow Titans. So many painful implications. She's not looking forward to talking to Captain Marvel about this.

"What will this mean for New York?" she asks at last. "If trouble comes here, do we just ignore it?" From the sound of it, that's a big ask.

Superboy half-reclines in his posh Titans chair, clad in (iconic) black S-shirt and worn denim, a somber sort of tension etched onto the Dude of Steel's face. He stretches one arm behind his head, scratching lightly at his midnight crown as he listens to Tim lay it all out.

The Law has always been a larger concern to Kal-El than to Kon, who takes a more gut-check approach to Truth and Justice, with appropriately more chaotic results, but the turn in sentiment against powered beings worries him… even with the clout the 'S' still carries. "I guess it's better than making them choose between turning a blind eye or sieging the Tower."

It's far from a glowing endorsement— but Kon doesn't like /any/ of the options on the weird-ass table. "You'd think one of these days people would figure out they can't deal with assholes by oppressing an entire group." Deep— and terribly naive. Superboy lets out a confounded sort of slow sigh. And makes a taco. "Hell no we don't ignore it. We do what we always do." The Hero Thing.

His plate stacked with tacos with one more in each hand, Impulse has been making way through his second (or was it third?) helping as he balances precariously at the edge of his own chair. That's mostly because a large pink bulk of fur occupies the majority of it, Clawmy having gotten used to just throwing herself into her usual spots from when she was only pug-sized and completely disregarding the fact that she was now in fact the size of a mountain lion. She'd already helped herself to a few tacos and now is having a cat-nap.

Delicious as things are and famished as the Titans' resident speedster claimed to be, he's been enjoying the food quietly for the most part. His thoughts are in and out of the current conversation although running parallel to the subject. At least he seems to be tuning in enough to hear the decision being made. Reasons-wise, he's not all that surprised. He would have been more so if Red Robin had decided to actually go with the registration act.

Nodding as he chews a mouthful of chicken taco, he however looks unusually serious as he glances over at Kamala and Conner before looking to their team leader again.

"And where are we going to go?"

THE NIGHT OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT

Nico Minoru checks twitter.

Twitter is on fire.

Nico Minoru puts down the phone and opens up her graphic design software.

NOW

"I know I'm being a little paranoid, but this is probably why they stole the primary from Mr. Nobody," Nico Minoru says, before waving round her taco.

Nico is wearing work jeans (which means they actually resemble jeans instead of artfully decayed fabric) and a T-shirt in ash gray with a black font statement midchest: 'unregistered.' She has a box of similar shirts in a range of colors near her.

She digs in as she looks at Kamala and then towards Superboy. "That's ideal, but, yeah," she answers Kon, before taking a deep breath and letting it out.

"If there's something that would be super hard to move onto the jet, let me know, if we can get a place set up?" Nico ask-says to Red Robin, before settling back. Impulse is raising a really good question which Nico cannot answer.

She does instead say to Ms. Marvel, quietly, "You want a shirt? I got a bunch of different colors and sizes. Just tell me which ones you think look best, alright?"

Taco Sunday was madness. Not that she was complaining. She could have tacos any day of the week.

Zatanna Zatara is running late and with good reason; when the doors slide open to let her in, she's dressed in decidedly not goth attire, though she remains clad in black. A dark violet silk blouse is tucked inside a cigarette skirt that ends just above the knees, worn with black stockings, stilettos, and…a blazer? She's even got a string of pearls around her neck, her hair swept up in a neater coiffure than usual. Overall, the witch looks more like a corporate intern than her typical self. She's even carrying an attache case.

What is happening?! The apocalypse was nigh!

She even looks a little harried, but the fact that there are so many tacos on the table brightens her expression. "Oh thank god, I'm starving," she says, moving as fast as her four-inch heels can take her towards the table. "I was dealing with lawyers all day. More on that later…where are the baja fish ones? Please tell me there's some left."

Dick is no longer an active member, although he's on the honorary roster; there's no chair for him, no awesome poster on the wall (did Tim take those down? lame). But obviously he's been filled in, and likely on Tim's request, he makes his first appearance in the tower in years. He stands off to one side near his successor. Those he's kept in touch with likely know he's now working on the other side, but it's obvious that old allegiances hold. He's in costume, for one thing.

"Just so it's clear, I'm not here to lecture anyone or even you talk you out of this. I know there's a lot of… different feelings about registration and how to deal with it," he offers, after some opening remarks. "But the decision's made and this is how we're dealing with it, so I'm just here to support it. Some of you may have seen some materials I sent along; there's footage I took at the courthouse protest for you to review, and even some information on the Strategic Response Group - that's the police division you'll be dealing with if it actually comes to it."

He pauses a moment. "If this plan works you shouldn't bump into any trouble now, but you may well have difficulty operating in the city going forward. Also there's intel I gathered on the counter-protestors, some of whom are associated with radical anti-metahuman groups."

"Beyond that, well, let me know if there's anything more I can do to help." The last is aimed directly at his adoptive sibling. "Otherwise I'm just here for the free tacos." He flashes a smile.

"Put everything that belongs to STAR Labs in a pile in front of the Tower."

Cyborg doesn't sound happy. About the move. About STAR Labs pulling their 'funding' card. About being in this situation in the first place. This has not been a good time. Normally, spending time with the Titans equals out to being some of the best moments of his life. Having this conversation, though, is not one of those times.

Cyborg listens to the Reddest Robin drop that knowledge. He has a pile of tacos in front of him that he hasn't touched and probably won't even. Not like he actually needs to eat. Does he? His life is a strange one. It's been years and he's still trying to figure out how he functions. How he lives. If he's actually doing either or is he doing neither. It's all very complicated. Just like his life.

Cyborg raises one of his hands. Unfortunately, he doesn't get to have cool clothes on because he's a freaking /cyborg/ and he's stuck looking like a damn Cylon Exoskeleton. So he doesn't get to have a cool wardrobe. He does shift his hand into a large cannon that starts making a charging up sound. "Pile it up and I'll take care of the rest." Even his optic glows a bit brighter at the thought of destroying all of STAR Labs' equipment. Stick it to the man, man!

Amid the discussion, Raven has been silent for some time: hood off and displaying short, choppy hair with bright magenta ends, her eyes stay closed, her body still as a statue at her place around the T-shaped table. Between tacos and questions, the feelings that rise from the other Titans have become more of a focus for her than what is being said in the moments following Red Robin's plan for leaving the Tower.

Like the others, she has her concerns. Because most of those thoughts are spoken for, she doesn't voice them. They all know how to bounce ideas off of each other, know how to lend a hand when someone needs it. They're doing what they can on such short notice.

They're all worried. Angry. Frustrated. Maybe even…sad?

It's Zatanna's entrance that allows Raven a break from trying to keep the degree of worry in the room to a tolerable low, and she's grateful that some of the Titans are more…lenient in being honest with their emotions. As cool as she looks, it's all been taking a considerable toll on her. All of it.

Sad?

Yes, Kori is very sad.

Absent her usual exuberence, even in the presence of MANY tacos, Starfire's demeanor reflects the gravity of the moment. She wears her sadness openly, like every other feeling. The city has turned its back on them, and now they prepare, in a way, to do the same. To accept it all and be branded outlaws.

"Is there… not anything that can be done?" she finally wonders, spealing up with a sense of soft appeal in her voice. "This all feels very wrong, and perhaps we are now making it worse. Are we not… must we not obey the laws here?"

Despite her feelings, her voice is not as loud, her suggestion not so vigorous as it might otherwise be. They have HAD the conversations already, the discussions, the debates. She knows the answer. What she speaks now is just… some lingering, dying hope.

And maybe it is not strange, in that particular state, that she looks first toward Tim, their leader, for answers, for reassurance… but then up past him, toward his elder counterpart.

She hasn't even touched the tacos.

"Okay. This is a serious situation. I understand that. But, right, I need to get this off my chest. So first of all. First of all…

"What is the deal with the Taco Not-Tuesdays lately??"

This is, of course, Spider-Man's first and greatest contribution to this meeting of titans. And Titans.

Things have been chaotic at best in New York City. Moreso than usual. And that's really, sincerely saying something that is probably not even remotely good. 'Stressful' does not quite begin to quantify what Spider-Man's situation has been like since registration starting coming into full effect. So, he does what any good Spider-Man would do:

"Seriously. Taco. Tuesdays. Sundays are for sundaes. Am I like, the only one who pays attention to the schedule? Seriously!!"

Fall back on old habits. They're a helpful distraction from the stress.

(It should also be noted that he is holding a sundae spoon, which is because he is committed to the bit and not because he was seriously expecting sundaes and is now incredibly, seriously disappointed (obviously))

But the others are talking and Spider-Man, from where he sits (technically) in a far corner of the ceiling (tables are for suckers) listens, with his spoon and his plate of sad taco disasters and his slowly dawning frown that creases at his exposed lips, mask half-rolled up (for taco disaster consumption). White lenses whittle down into squints.

"What? No. I'm not leaving New York City alone. What? There's like — okay, you guys can do whatever you gotta, but that's like — my home," he insists, after a moment. "I mean, it's not like the police were my biggest fan anyway, so it should just be business as usual, right? Except like, less Fugitive and more 1984, I guess." Lips purse. Just a bit. "Oh man JJJ is gonna have a field day with this. Oh my god. Ughh."

Those looming threats forgotten for now, though, the arachnid vigilante turns his attention towards Red Robin, lips parting to speak — but Starfire's words distract him, for a moment, and those lenses seem to readjust in a manner almost like sympathy before he shakes his head. "… what's the time table looking like for this, exactly? Like… is SHIELD going to come Sith Empire all over our front lawn tomorrow or what?"

It wasn't like Zatanna to be late to things, though it was like her to make a dramatic entrance: Bursting through the door looking like she'd come over all corporate might count for that. Even Red Robin has to doubletake at the way the Princess of Prestidigitation looks, his mouth hanging slightly agape.

"Uh, there should be," Red Robin tells her, a complicated jangle of emotions moving through him, before he also indicates a couple boxes on the table. "Also there's those donuts from that Mexican place you like."

What? He got some for everyone, not just her.

Honest!!

Several very important concerns are raised, which draws the Titans' leader's attention back to the group at the table and in one case on the ceiling, even though there is a chair specifically set aside for Spider-Man, it has the spider logo on it and everything, so that's very hurtful. Even without being an empath, or a rigorously trained detective, it would be obvious that several of the group are upset. It would be obvious to somebody in a coma that Starfire was distraught, and conflicted. So.

So.

"Who said we were leaving New York?" Red Robin asks, putting on a lopsided grin he doesn't quite feel as he gestures, activating the holographic projector and conjuring up a 3D blue-light model of… A mall? It looks like a mall.

"The Titans aren't leaving, we're just going underground. Doing things the old-fashioned way. Guerilla heroism." It's pretty much the way he's used to operating anyway, since whatever connections they might have to certain members of the GCPD, Gotham's vigilantes don't operate with the sort of public face other superhero groups might. "Nightwing's info will go a long way to helping us out here," he adds, with a gesture towards the Titans' original leader. "We're going to keep helping people, without compromising ourselves. The only downside is, we're going to be working out of Long Island."

Plus probably winding up hunted by the police. And SHIELD. And the DEO. And…

"Anybody who wants to register themselves is free to do so, I can't ask you to act against your conscience. But you know, Starfire… Something like this is only the beginning. Next they're going to want to know what makes every metahuman tick, running tests, taking samples. What if they decide you're too dangerous to be running out loose? Half the people in this room could level New York in an afternoon if they wanted to. The only thing we can do is show people we're better than that. That we're going to keep helping and saving lives even if we have to break the law to do it."

The argument about how destructive metahumans could be, he well knows, could be used against his position, but to him it's clear that once emboldened, 'registration' will only get more draconian. Illegal aliens and refugees from the future and people with useful, weaponisable abilities? They'll wind up disappearing.

"As for a timetable, the official deadline isn't until March, but we're getting out of here ASAP. Once it becomes clear we're not going to play ball somebody's going to come for us. We're too prominent a test case for them not to."

"The Mistress of Magic is rebranding as the Wizard of Wall Street." Kon observes in complimentary, if goofy notes. He never lets the weight of a situation stop that. "We told Bart not to clean out any one protein." So in theory, there's still fish. The levity is like the tacos: keep morale up, keep strength up. It's a lesson that Impulse and Superboy have always taken to heart. It's definitely not stress-eating; it's super-metabolism eating. It's definitely not a front of confidence in a tense situation, either.

"Trashing everything sounds great…" The Dude of Steel agrees, casting sympathetic eyes to Cyborg, his blue-and-red shades perched on his Kryptonian brow. "… might undermine the whole peaceful heroic protest thing, though. Unless Zee thinks we have a lawsuit we can win…" Kon's tone dares for hopeful. That would be a beautiful and poetic new source of funding.

Spider-Man draws a smirk from the Kryptoclone, "Tacos don't have to register and abide by scheduling mandates from The Man." Which both rebutts the pertinent argument, and /maybe/ implies that whatever happens— Parker won't be alone heroing for the people of New York. The biased perspective lends itself well to being impressed by Tim's further presentation, and Kon-El's initial response is simply an affirmative nod, and a small smile cast to the Red Knight.

There's a reason the anti-authority crew flocks to the red bird's banner— and it's times like this that Superboy is proudly reminded of it. "Lots of laws are, and have been, really screwed up, Starfire. Everyone's got to follow their conscience— but if you start treating every powered being like a time-bomb, everything's going to go shit-side up." Beat. Recollection of recent history visible on Superboy's face. "… more shit-side up."

"It's probably a drop in the bucket at this point, compared to various damages to the city," Dick adds, glancing over at Cy when he gets that predictable look in his eye. Yes, it's an artificial eye, but he still damn well knows what it means when it starts glowing like that! "But they'll definitely bill you for any STAR equipment that isn't accounted for. And possibly toss in some minor charges. Vandalism, destruction of federal property." His tone is plain and factual, and there's a not toward Conner as he makes the same point.

"Keep in mind that you're not dealing with the usual kind of villain-logic here. The government is looking for leverage. That's what registration is about. Criminalization would have been a step too far in the face of what everyone *knows* we've all done for the city, or even the wider world. But with this kind of legislation, they set up a rules framework, and basically dare you to break it."

He doesn't point out that they're precisely taking that bait.

"So going forward, remember that they're always going to be looking for angles. You're going to be operating outside, and maybe against the law, as vigilantes." He can't really toss stones on that one. Or batarangs? "Some of you may be used to it, but it is a change. There's been leeway before, legal gray areas. They're closing them."

"Basically, even though you've decided to basically them the finger, its still in the team's best interest to keep its nose clean, as much as possible. Kori's-" And there is just a pause here, a heartbeat's worth, as he meets her gaze when she seems to address the appeal toward him. "-Kori's right that you don't want to let them turn you into criminals. And for some of you, for her, Cy, Conner- the consequences could be a lot more dangerous. So play this smart."

And as Tim adds that they have personal options, he nods along. "Its honestly easier for us to go on about this, because we slide in under the bar. The stakes for us haven't changed a whole lot. For some of you, they've gone way up."

"History has a really bad history with registering people. Some of us have… families, lives outside of our work that could be in danger if someone knows who we are." But Ms. Marvel's giving Kori a kind enough smile when she says it. Being mean to Starfire would be like kicking a very sweet, very orange puppy.

She leans over, though, to look over Nico's T-shirt and the box of more she has. Again she's torn — how much of a fuss should she make? How bad would it be for Ms. Marvel to run around wearing a shirt like that, let alone Kamala Khan?

"…Size small," she murmurs. "In red. The really bright one."

And then Red Robin lays his plan down, and a smile finally starts growing over her face. She looks between him and Nightwing, leaning forward, then reaches out with one hand to snag one of the still-wrapped tacos and super-extend it toward Zatanna. "There's some fried avocado, too," she says, a little more life entering her voice. "And elotes." Her other hand snags one of the super-spicy chicken tacos, unwrapping it almost absently. Grumps and sulks can last only so long.

"Sounds like we're going to have a lot to learn from you," she adds. "I really don't like breaking the law. But I don't like leaving people in the lurch, either."

Nico turns her head to see Zatanna coming in in her extremely normcore style and clacking in on heels that even Nico must respect. She bites into the remains of her own taco, which was, hopefully, not the last Baja one. This may depend on Impulse.

Nico's emotional state has been a mix of low key anger and anxiety, with the anger being above the water line. She has known enough about Raven to try to keep a lid on it.

Spider-Humor means she stifles a laugh and throws a shirt towards him. While chewing, she gives Ms. Marvel a thumbs up, rummages in the box, and presents a cherry-red shirt with a flourish to hand over. "ethically sourced" she manages to say clearly despite a half-full mouth, which is probably her metahuman power.

After finishing her taco, Nico speaks. "I'm gonna be the one who says, yeah, actually, this is dumb. /At best/ it's dumb. There's probably something behind it. Do you," and here she looks towards Dick, "do you have like, any leads there?"

Nico then half-laughs and raises a hand. "Also I'm Nico, great to meet you. Thank you, for helping us out."

("You can also have a shirt but I think you're gonna be fighting Cyborg for the Ls.")

"Clawmy snagged a few fish but I managed to keep her off the rest," Impulse assures after Zatanna's voice and different look click into one in his head. At least when it comes to proteins, he keeps clear of fish usually. More so when it's in sashimi or sushi form, but he knows his teammate's preference. He just can't completely argue against a giant pink, hungry cat.

"I'm for grabbing sundaes after this if you are, Spider-Guy." By the time this meeting is done he'll be hungry again anyway. And who can forget dessert? Dessert makes everything better.

Part of him is relieved that they're still going to be hanging around the city. He'll have to do that in general and intended to regardless, although not quite under the masked guise. With Red Robin's warning of their working underground, the speedster smirks a little. It sounds dangerous, and it probably is. While part of him sympathizes with the others in being sad that after everything, this is the course of action that the city's decided upon, he won't deny there being a thrill of… a challenge? He's not sure how to put it. They can definitely do without it, but if they've gotta do things this way, well…

"Ugh, Aunt Iris didn't bring me from the thirtieth century just so I could get plugged in again for more lab testing here," he snorts, leaning back and then jerking forward again with the sudden yowl in protest from his cat. "-sorry Clawmy…"

As Nightwing offers his own advice Impulse nods again. "…it still sucks though," he murmurs. They're not the only ones working around the law, poking about for loopholes though.

"I'm fine with going underground," Raven speaks after a pause, barely audible even if the noise level set by her peers has dipped in volume. "I see no point in registering. The people are already taking advantage of their so-called superiority over the 'strange' ones. Having them listed only targets them further."

A hand lifts, contemplatively rubbing her temple the more she thinks about it, the more she hones in on the emotional level of the room itself. Remain calm and the rest will follow through. Maybe. A look cast in Nico's direction is gratitude for giving the emotional assist. "Whatever we do, it will remain as a statement left open to interpretation. Irritating as it is, people love to villify those who are different in their eyes."

"Bah. Humbug."

Cyborg's response to not being given the blessing to blow everything that belongs to his father up is to pull one from the bowels of Ebenezer Scrooge. It's December. He might as well make his angst topical at the very least.

Shrugging it off, he makes sure to fade the charging of the cannon out as it turns back into his hand. He leans back in his chair even more, not really getting comfortable so much as just being tired of dealing with all this already.

"Instead of destroying property, I guess I can put these hands to better use." Cyborg reaches out to grab a holo-copy of the holo-mall and drops it down on his side of the T-able. He's already let his angry optic glow fade to something a bit more constructive as he starts flicking, plucking and swiping away at the now editable holo-mall that he's got nearby.

"Oh hell yeah." There's a half-smile that Cyborg lets free as starts working on redesigning the holo-mall. He's already marked at least nine walls for demolition.

"Should we give the NYPD a way to get in contact with us? Like, I dunno, maybe put a spotlight on their roof?"

Shots Fired?

The Wizard of Wall Street Comment gets such a face from Zatanna towards Kon-El, her tongue poking out at him. His comments are sound, but for now, all she has for a reply is: "I'll get to that after Red's done," she promises.

She fills up a cardboard box with two fish tacos, and takes the one Kamala hands her with a wink, a smile directed at Bart with a murmured 'thanks', and the same to Red about the donuts, and moves to take a seat on her chair. She has no codename, but the one assigned to her is apparent - it's the one with the double Z's on the back. And the first thing Zatanna does upon finding her place is to kick off her stilettos and rub the ball of her right foot with her fingers. There is frustration on her features.

It has less to do with the fact that they all have to move - and seriously, whoever enjoyed moving? - and the fact that the state of things in her world are in a present state of so much flux that she can't even appreciate Nightwing's normally distracting presence, or how the other athletic male bodies in the room look in their clingy costumes (or in Cyborg's case, all that clingy metal plate)…as if the last several weeks have effectively sucked the joy out of her normally wondrous and complicated world. Even her endless supply of rocky road in the Titans' fridge tastes like ash, these days. There's a quiet, grousing noise as she takes a bite out of her taco, and finishes it in record time.

A plastic cup full of orange soda slides across the table as if by magic (ha ha get it), towards her waiting fingers.

Ice-blue eyes turn towards Cyborg, a flash of concern on her features; not just at the words, but at the tone, fragments of deep-seated frustration embedded within them. "Nico, Raven and I can probably help with the transportation of goods, at least. We just need to know where, and a picture would be really helpful," she tells Tim, already calling up the information that Dick had sent through their digital network in her personal screen, to take a quick look at the footage and the files. There's a visible frown on her features at those pertaining to the law enforcement body.

And no sooner does she ask for a visual aid does she get one. She leans forward to look at the hologram and…

…is that a mall? It looks like a mall.

"…how did you even find an abandoned— nevermind, I should know better than to ask." There's a look flashed at both former Bat-proteges.

She falls quiet again when Nightwing commands the room's attention, and by the end of it, she sighs, and settles her drink down, scrubbing the side of her face. "That's already happening, even with the registration deadline being months out. The looking for angles bit. The new law is new, so I know at least one precinct that's trying to test out sting operation methods in preparation for all of this. That's why I was with lawyers today, to get a better idea as to what we're looking at. Matt Murdock of Nelson & Murdock is a friend of mine."

There's a glance at Spidey in the ceiling, whom she had dragged with her to meet him, once.

"They told me that unless there's a predisposition element, those sorts of operations - that is, baiting unregistered metas to intervene in any situation - treads on entrapment, and that's definitely actionable. Unfortunately since the law is so new, from Matt and Foggy's perspective, it's likely that they're going to bend police procedures to fit the narrative…like, the fact that we're so dangerous warrants that kind of thing. They pointed out to me that's why the first few months of this are going to be crucial, because this is when precedents are going to be set and they need to be in front of it, or else it'll be a slippery slope into things getting worse. It's that reason that I agreed for them to use my case to start on it, but in order for this to go away for good, they need something big. So I said I'd tell my team to keep an eye out for something that might fit the bill."

Nico laughs as Cyborg proposes a /searchlight on the roof/. The very idea.

Then she looks at Zatanna again. She explains something at some length. Nico shifts in her seat and leans back and says, "So do you mean like they're going to stage muggings to try to get people like Spider-Man to intervene? Like bait cars, but for being a superhero?"

"Yes of course, you are right. You are my only family here, and I want above all for you to be safe, and your own loved ones also." No more than Ms. Marvel can kick the orange puppy can Starfire try and tell any of the others what is right to do in the situation.

The bulk of what she has to say, as is no surprise, falls upon the pair of Robins, past and… Red?

"I have experienced such things before," she admits to Tim, as he conjures the shadow of the greatest dangers of the registration program, images of doctors and labs, machines and tubes alive in her mind's eye, unreadable in her empty green eyes, yet displayed openly by the expressiveness of her face around them. "And I do not wish to suffer them again. But I wory for what Dick says… that by hiding from them, or acting against them, I will spur on their anger. That I may make it worse for everyone."

She shakes her head, a flicker of thats strange fire coursing through her hair as it moves.

"While I am not from this world, I understand the… motivations at work here, even if they cause me great sadness. In many places, outsiders are feared, and treated with cruelty, or people are mistreated or enslaved because of what they are. Sadly, Earth is not alone in such foolish biggotry. As an alien, I am their greatest fear."

Accepting the situation as it is, she seems lost for further argument, nor any suggestion that has not already been made. "I will do what you think is the wisest course." It's hard to tell if she's speaking to Tim or to Dick. "I just hope no one in the city is made to suffer, for the caution and secrecy we are forced to adopt." With that said, she seems to put aside her worries. "If you need anything heavy carried, I am happy to do so. It should not be any trouble."

Now she starts claiming (many) tacos. That's a start.

An abandoned mall. Spider-Man's head tilts at the display, looking briefly perplexed if the scrunch of lenses is any indication.

"What the heck is that??"

Because malls are dead like the dinosaurs. Get it??

"—Ohhh, a mall! Like in that really old movie, Mallrats!"

And thus, with perfect timing, is a shirt thrown at him.

"Agh!"

With a snap of the wrist, the wallcrawler snatches that shirt out of the air. He dangles it in his single-handed grasp (plate of tacos, you see) to the inspection of his scrutinizing stare. "Huh," he utters, lips pursing just a bit. "Well, it's pretty straightforward." And with that, he starts to put it on over his costume with a slight shimmy of limbs; how he manages to get it one without dropping or getting tacos everywhere is hard to say.

Spider-Magic, perhaps.

But once that shirt is on, Spider-Man's attention is once more on that holographic representation. One hand pressed to the wall behind him, he braces, and then flips nimbly away from his perch. He lands nimbly upon the tabletop — and then immediately begins fiddling with the model, just like Cyborg.

"Hey, no, I need that wall — look, what about this one? And I could install some like, web cannons here or something — hey, we're not losing all your ridiculous cash flow, are we, Red, because I've got some ideas and—"

And fiddle with it he will continue to do, until the others begin to speak once more. His attention shifts even as he works, from Dick's more moderate words — the implications not entirely lost on him — to Zatanna's explanation about the situation. She glances his way; the webbed vigilante's lensed gaze thins for a brief moment, before he looks away, back to the hologram, tugging his mask down over the lower half of his face once more.

"I… yeah," he says, after a moment of hesitation, fingers curling just a bit amidst a swirl of holographic information. "Maybe we're just gonna end up making things worse. I dunno. If we do — if I do — I'll take responsibility for that. But right now, this is… this is the only thing I can see that makes sense to me. You know? So it's what I have to do. I have to keep helping people. If they want to think I'm a criminal because I didn't sign my life away on a piece of paper…"

Beneath his mask, Spider-Man frowns. He holds back his tired sigh.

"… I can handle that, as long as I can keep people safe."

A second passes by.

"I'm registering Taco Tuesdays, by the way. Just so you know. And Sundae Sundays. This will not stand. Okay??"

"…No."

Ms. Marvel looks over to Kori, speaking softly. "Not that I want to tell you what to do, but. But you should do what /you/ think is right. It's the only way to move forward. Not," she adds, "that that's always an easy thing to figure out." A beat. "Usually I ask Captain America what he would do," she admits.

Of course, Nightwing's not wrong.

For one, he's right that what the Titans are doing could very well be taking the bait - though any course but the team registering would be. He's also right that the two of them at least, not being metahumans, are the least affected by all of this. They're used to operating illegally, and they could simply go back to mainly working out of Gotham, which was far from the jurisdiction of New York's registration laws. For now.

Maybe it's the pessimist in Red Robin, assuming the worst case scenario. That registration was only the beginning. That eventually it would spread, deepen.

Unless it was nipped in the bud, and soon.

"Okay, good. We want to keep the relocation as quiet as possible, so we're going to be depending on you three a lot," he says to Zatanna, Raven and Nico. His joke to the former about them getting matching jackets floats into his thoughts, unbidden. "And yeah, you too, Starfire. Cyborg, Superboy and Spider-Man as well… The four of you all bring the strength, so a lot of the tote and carry is gonna fall to you. Maybe Ms. Marvel? The other thing is that we're going to want to keep the new base hidden. Cyborg, none of us can beat you on hologram tech, so I'll need your help keeping the place visibly hidden. Deputize whoever you think has the technical know-how to back you up. If at all possible I'd like to keep the place, you know, magically hidden too." That part is a bit beyond him, so he'll just have to trust to the Witches Three when it comes to it.

"Nothing about what we do is changing. We're going to keep helping people. Keep making sure they're safe from all the stuff that's not going to wait around for the Avengers to get their permission slips. But we're not going to antagonise the authorities if we don't have to. There are still going to be people on the inside who are also on our side, and we're not going to give them cause to change their minds."

Spider-Man's comment about the taco tuesday chaos gets a wry - but secretly agreeing - look from Red Robin, before he looks to Zatanna as she talks about her legal experiences.

"Barnes' lawyers? They sure like to piss powerful people off, huh?" He sighs a bit, sagging into his chair. "Shit-side up is right."

Wiser voices than Kon's say, by and large, what needs to be said. The proud expression goes to concerned at Nightwing's warnings to somewhere between intrigued and confounded as Zee gets into the legal ramifications of the situation and unfolding law. He may have been on to something— but that doesn't mean the Kryptonian hybrid entirely understands what he was onto.

One thing is for sure: He sticks by his assessment. Wizard of Wall Street. She gets a wry wink for her initial rebuttal, and by the time the explanation is finished? Superboy's covering his confusion with a very smug smirk. This, too, gives way as Kori further clarifies her concerns— and it tilts Kon's perspective once more towards the quietly conflicted, pensive and out of his depth.

"Falling in line could make things worse, too. The trick is standing up without picking fights with the wrong people." Which feels terrible inadequate, even to him, in terms of any sort of functional plan. "I mean they're going to be starting enough trouble without looking for more with us, right? Maybe if we keep disarming as much of it as we can…"

Like some of the others, his very existence is outside the law. Stranger than strange. It doesn't stop the whole thing from being an uncomfortable and alien experience to the cloned alien, though. So he compensates. "Tote and carry I can do." Via TACTILE TELEKINESIS. Kon-El knows what strengths he brings to this team. Case in point: "Third for Sunday Sundaes. After we eat tacos. Every week."

Having finished off the tacos he'd had in hand, Impulse pushes back his plate, still about half-full and untouched. So they've got their game plan basically set. All they can do is prepare and be ready, which isn't much fun, but it's better than nothing. He doesn't like the idea that they might be screwed either way, but not doing anything just isn't an option.

"Hey, if groups that work in New York call for outside help, then does the registration stuff apply to them, even if it's temporary?" he asks, snatching at the question that floats into the forefront of his thoughts then.

"…also, what do you want me to do?" It sounds like most everyone else has their marching orders so he's peering over at Red Robin to see if he'd just missed his.

Raven listens, nodding at Zatanna's findings. A new place and lawyer terms? Well, it's a good start. She's also fine with doing some heavy lifting whenever she can. Relocating their equipment via the power of three will be a cinch, more or less.

She then glances over at Spider-Man, tilting her head slightly. "It does make sense to try doing much of the same while trying not to aggravate the general population." Unfolding her hands from her lap, she reaches, fingertips brushing to take the nearest taco from its taco herd. "A small gesture, but significant to those who still see us as friend and not foe."

Her nose wrinkles, however, more in thought than in opposition, as Kon suggests disarming potential threats of violence thrown their way. "It's possible. From what I can tell of this group, we can manage being passive to a certain extent." She shrugs as she starts to take a bite of her food. "Not full-on doormat, I mean, but enough to shut a door in their face if they dare to try."

"That all looks really slick, by the way," Dick has to admit when he sees Tim's mock-up of their new digs. Maybe he'd gotten a email version, but the real (ok, real virtual) deal is a bit more impressive. He also can't help but walk over to get a better view as Cyborg starts playing with the mock up, blasting fake walls. He misses this, in a way.

"Legal representation is a great idea," he echoes from his new position, coming around to Zatanna's comments. "She's right about how the police are going to handle this." He should know. "The law is something for the courts, but basic uniforms and especially the kind of special teams they're going to deploy? They follow their direct superiors, the shift commanders, captains, the seargeants on scene. And those guys? They're looking for promotions, so it's all results-driven. They're going to have numbers to meet: unregistered arrest quotas to pad, vilgante activity stats to bring down. They're going to be motivated to make a show of enforcing the new law, and they might get aggressive."

There's a cold pause. "You do not take that bait." He lets it hang, now walking further around the table from Cy's spot.

"You're all pros, and I know that you'd never want to do harm while you're trying to help. But it's easy to get lost in the moment, and that sometimes, things happen. Or sometimes, well, we get angry. We're human, after all-" Somehow he's timed it, making it to Kori's end of the table just as he says this, laying a hand on her shoulder. "-Or Tamaranean." Which, as 'losing cool' goes he is fully aware is about a hundred times worse. The look she gets is meant to reassure her, since she obviously needs it, but also to remind her of lessons she had to learn way back when they started out.

"I guess I'm droning now," he admits, looking back at Tim who is clearly bringing things to a point, "just be smart."

There is a final point he moves to, however, between Zatanna talking about her case and Conner about the 'end game.' "It's true, you can't be passive. Eventually, you're going to have to fight it the legal way, otherwise the law never goes away. That's the play. You just want the moral high ground when you do it. Also, good press." A glance to a certain Spider, because you-know-why. "So anyone with good media contacts, public-facing identities you can leverage, that's not a bad idea either. You've got fans, people rooting for you. Keep them invested, so the constant drone of 'unregistered individual does blah blah' on the nightly news doesn't replace your story. Be the heroes, together."

Like bait cars, but for being a superhero?

Kon-El's wink gets a smile, and when Nightwing agrees with her about legal representation, she gives him a thumbs-up, her mood improving judging by the way her expression lights up a touch. It doesn't take much - at least for the first few minutes of this, she feels more like an asset than a liability.

"Pretty much exactly that, Nico," Zatanna replies wearily, all of her tacos consumed as she leans against her own chair, absently rubbing her fingers against her nosebridge. "And like D— like Nightwing says, this isn't the kind of thing that'll be affected by how effectively we kick ass, unfortunately. We're going to need the support of the ones who know the system and who's willing to fight from within, that's where Nelson & Murdock come in. The more metahuman cases they receive, the more they're going to get ahead of this thing to make sure that the law doesn't strip off more than what's necessary. The plan is, eventually, to get the Supreme Court to make a ruling - it's an ambitious plan, and it's huge, but they're not wrong, either. Apparently other states are trying to get similar legislation passed and pretty soon, there won't be any loopholes left, and no place we can operate freely. But if they can get the highest court in the land to strike down something like this, it'd be a more permanent victory than anything we can do on the ground and just by ourselves."

She takes another drink of her orange soda. "They're trying to put together a legal defense fund as well. I pledged what I could and if they want me to sit on the board, I will." There's a glance over at Tim. "I also told them I could introduce them to certain other affluent friends if they need more, and they're interested in meeting anyone who would hear them out."

"What are we going to do for the people who aren't us?" Kamala's polished off her taco in what would be record time if she wasn't in a room with a bunch of other young people with the metabolisms of T-rexes. "There's a lot of mutants and metahumans in New York who don't have the luxury to move. The crackdown's going to come first on the lowest — people who look really different, people who don't have the money to fight back. Nelson and Murdock can't take all of their cases." She doesn't want to say aloud what she's thinking, what she can see in their near future: a big huge public crackdown, mutants arrested, and people like her who really can't /stop/ themselves from trying to make it all stop.

"Whatever the answer is," she murmurs, "it's not appeasement. Giving in a little just leads to giving in a lot."

"Just because you're a wallcrawler doesn't mean you need that many walls." Cyborg's response to the Spider of Man is one that comes with a tone that the two of them probably know very well. The back and forth between these two when it comes to tricking out stuff and design is par for the Titans curse. "Fine. You can have your wall but this entire section is off limits. I'm putting a full size basketball court back here. Or maybe the training room. Hrm."

Cyborg can't even figure out what he wants to do so he looks up when orders are tossed in his direction. "Not a prob, Rob." Cyborg looks back down at the holo-mall and starts putting in notes for holographic emitters, temporal displacement blend-discs and various other things to be used for hiding purposes. "I mean, do you want this thing to move? I can make it move. I've never made an entire mall move before. Please tell me you want it to move." Cyborg needs a project to throw himself in. Obviously.

Another glance at Spider-Man, "See this area out here? I'm thinking Web Mines. Nobody's taking a step onto our turf without getting webbed to hell and back and again. What say you?"

Cyborg leans over the holo-mall that's being torn apart by the tech-heads. "… Drones. Where we're goin' we're gonna' need… drones."

The words of Starfire echo in Nico's head. She reaches for another taco to stifle her responses, which are complex and which she immediately pulls into herself. Stable enough, though.

"I figure if this makes things worse, quote unquote, it's going to be the fault of people who set it up," Nico says, perhaps to be contrarian. "K," she answers Spider-Man as she crunches into conventional beef.

("You know Captain America?" Nico asks Ms. M.)

Then Zatanna and DNightwing explain matters in more depth. Nico attends while she finishes off taco two(seday).

"What do you do if they decide the other way?" Nico asks - her own turn to be dire perhaps. "I mean I know there's like, legal precedent that it's okay for - oh wait, that's like the Federal government, right? So not the /states/. Probably. Unless they pass a law. That's inspiring," Nico concludes, not sounding inspired, slouching back with a rueful crunch.

She is looking at Kori again as the last taco motes disappear. She seems to be weighing asking something for several moments, but then decides elsewhere. "We should probably get friendly with the people in Mutant Town, yeah," Nico says.

By this point, Kori's mood seems to be improving, if marginally. Kamala's urging, too, seems to touch her. "Yes, you are right. But I trust my friends. What I wish is to stand with all of you, and trust that together, things will improve.

And as might surprise few who've been around the team a bit longer, her mood seems to improve a /great/ deal more with Dick's pep-talk, and the personal touch that comes with it. Not all of that may have to do with what is going on here, exactly. But in a time of diffficulty, it means everything for her to be close to the people she loves.

Nonetheless, she doesn't miss the implication that /she/ will be the one that messes things up and nukes a cop car (which, to be fair, isn't out of the realm of possibility), and after beaming a very warm smile up at Dick, just as promptly lifts her nose slightly in an affected display of insult. "Hmph! Perhaps you do not realize, because you have been away doing… whatever other things, but I am quite capable of controlling myself."

Mostly.

Zatanna draws her attention as she discusses their legal battle, then, albeit not so much for that part. "If there is a fund, I will happily contribute." As highly as she's paid, 'Earth currency' doesn't hold all that much attraction for her, in the scheme of things.

And then its off to being distracted by silly things, like Cyborg's suggestion of a moving tower. She floats up out of her seat for that one. "Oh, that sounds most wonderful and fearsome." She floats back down a moment later, and considers Nico's own words. "Perhaps you are right. However, I must be realistic about all of this. I would be happy if there was a time when being an alien did not frighten many people, but I know that it will be the case. I wish only that… I could address that, make people understand the love I have for the planet that has given me refuge, and the dangers it must prepare for… as a united world."

That's not at all ominous.

"First of all: Impulse and I are getting sundaes and anyone else can come too but we're not having post-taco sundaes, that's not a thing. … except this time. I guess. I mean — ugh, shut up."

Spider-Man will never let it die. Not ever.

Troubling thoughts, however, call for distractions if only to have the time and brainspace to truly mull them over. Thinking too much, that's his problem — and now he's thinking of all the ways this could go wrong. All of this. For him, for the team — for metahumans in general.

And all the ways they might end up contributing to that.

They're worries he never finds it in himself to voice. The webslinger instead works over that design template, engaging in a heated discussion about walls, ("I don't need that many walls but I need that wall, it's like, super essential, I'm serious") to training rooms ("Oh yeah, uh… how are we gonna like, move all that mud out of the Mud Room, that's like — mud's not — you know?") and everything in between ("Maybe we can finally get that Titantron prototype working-??") because it helps. Because, believe it or not, it's important. Because right now, maybe they need a little bit of levity.

He knows he does.

He's going over web mine placement by the time Robin (the younger) stats giving out orders. A thumbs up is shot off in the Gothamite's direction, a "You got it, chief!" chimed off in a slightly-too-chipper tone. But when Kamala points out those who aren't them who might be in trouble, Spider-Man pauses. Lenses thinning into contemplative slits, he crouches down on that tabletop, the concern in his thoughts only vaguely reflected in his mask as he rests hands in his lap.

"… It's not just us out there. I'm sure of it. There's gotta be others who aren't gonna register, right? Other people we could get ahold of. Maybe try to start a network or something, to look out for the people who can't look out for themselves." His thoughts instantly drift towards Mutant Town as he rubs the back of his neck. "But we can't… Nightwing's right. We gotta keep level heads, don't do anything — anything kneejerk. The whole world's watching. Maybe I can… I've got a line to Mister Stark. Maybe I can see if he can do anything to help."

Silence passes from the wallcrawler for a moment, as they talk about funding Nelson & Murdock. He awkwardly clears his throat.

"I've, um — I've got a Subway Club Card? Would that help? Do they want that?"

"Because I don't want it."

Really. And he might expound on why, if not for Kori's inspiring speech. And then that one part at the end, about the unknown approaching horrors or whatever. He quiets, for a moment.

"Well that was really touching until the end there and now I'm kinda scared."

Slow thumbs up……. here.

As a new slew of different emotions bob in and out of balance, Raven does her best to concentrate…on eating. It's not as bad as it seems. Everyone has an opinion and the reality of the situation still stands, but there has been some turnaround. The weightier feelings have lightened, but the more things are explained and discussed the more it sort of sits.

She won't be surprised if she gets another headache before the meeting finishes.

"…Who cares if it's cold, ice cream sundaes sound good right now," she mutters under her breath once she's done with her only taco, clearly still paying attention to everything while getting sidetracked.

"Sundaes do sound good," Red Robin agrees, albeit reluctantly. The way things are going even he could use some ice cream, and all usually the only ice cream in the freezer that doesn't get devoured by Impulse the second it gets bought is that carton of Rocky Road that's marked 'Zatanna's', and probably turns you into a stoat if anyone but her opens it.

Impulse, of course, wants to know what his job in all of the preparation is, and it's honestly tempting to say 'to not break anything' but no, this is a team meeting, he needs to be diplomatic. He needs to present at least the appearance of being cool and confident and utterly in control, because that's what a leader is supposed to do.

"Impulse, you're in charge of getting whatever doesn't need super strength to carry. And you can fill in with the other projects, okay? With your speed we can be done a lot faster than we would be otherwise."

There, see? Much better. The serious law talk produces a faint frown from the Red Knight, but of course he can see the point of all of it. Just winning in the court of public opinion won't be enough… They need something decisive, something that will put the registration movement on ice. They need…

Money, from the sounds of it.

"I'm sure we can figure out something," he says, rather than directly acknowledging the 'affluent friends' thing since he does still have a secret identity from at least a few of the other people in the room. "The team funding shouldn't be a problem, at least, and this legal defense fund…"

And what about the people who don't have the options they do?

"That's the reason I restarted the Titans in the first place, you know? To help metahumans, especially younger ones, who might have fallen through the cracks. We're not going to leave them hanging if we can help it, though I'm at a loss as to how to make inroads with Mutant Town, it's not like any of us are mutants." He's pretty sure, anyway. Who knows where Spider-Man's powers actually come from?

Like the wallcrawler, Red Robin is left a bit bewildered by the ending of Starfire's inspiring speech. His mouth opens once, then closes. Then it opens again… Nope, closes.

"So, uh… Sundaes?"

"I'm sure they'll be glad to have any support you can contribute, Kory," Zatanna tells the displaced alien princess. That, and part of her can't wait to hear about Franklin Nelson's reaction for when a supermodel walks in his office.

You're welcome, Foggy.

As for sundaes?

Well, when did she ever say no to ice cream? Look at the way she's scarfing that galaxy donut. Her sweet tooth is on fire today.

Nightwing's pep-talk is over at this point, having concluded (very stylishly, he thought, even for him!) on that 'together' line. Which leaves more casual chit-chat about the tower clean up effort, tacos and the days when they can and should be eaten, robot shopping malls, and the like. The usual stuff. Oh, plus the legal defense fund and Zatanna apparently making doe-eyes at overly privileged Wayne boys? Well, that one's a gimme.

"I'm pretty sure we can all help you round up some influential sponsors and supporters," he answers in bat-vague. "There are people on all sides of this, but I'm sure many are still going to see an infringement on the rights of any one group for the dangerous precedent that it is."

Translation: Batman mistrusts abuses of privacy, authority and personal autonomy not personally committed by Batman.

After that, he falls into more casual chatter. "I'm sure there will be others," he agrees with Spidey. "The protest made that pretty clear. The briefing I sent over has the facial recognition ID-lookups from it, if you want to check it out. I wouldn't discount people who do register, either. Some will be doing it out of fear," and there's a reflexive glance down to Kori, who he's still standing near, "but still looking to reverse the system if they can."

As for hanging around for sundaes and general nostaglia, he seems game, though there's definitely a kind of melancholic look he gives the building. "Star, you coming?" Once more, for old times sake.

"I want in," Nico tells Peter but then she put her attention on Kori then. She takes a deep breath -

And stops abruptly.

"Are we going to get invaded again soon?" she asks Kori, with a tone of curious flatness given the dire topic. Her hands come up. "Actually don't tell me; not right now, it'll ruin the ice cream. Unless it's going to ruin the ice cream while we're eating it anyway."

She finally looks at the layout projection, though she seems to have no big direct input other than some searching for the navigation arrow that tells her which way is north.

As she does this, she steals another look at Red Robin. "… Yeah," she says to him. "Thank you. I'm sorry I'm being grouchy about all of this. Like I'm on board I just wish it'd, like, stabilize, I guess."

Back at the map, Nico says, "I'm glad you guys all know so many people. I'll see if I can find cool mutants to organize with."

The attention Kori's comment seems to garner only earns a slight tilt of her head and a confused look in response. "Friends, did I say something… strange?" Is discussing the horrors of an infinite universe that definitely mostly wants to kill you not proper table manners on Earth?

"Oh. I am not aware of an immediate plan to that end," she answers Nico, who actually makes her curiousity explicit. "However, there are many species who would consider this planet a target, given its primitive technology. The concentration of metahumans provides some defense, but might itself also prove a motivating factor for conquest. Many races, such as the Dominators or Psions, are fascinated with genetic research and manipulating of metagenetic sequences and-"

She would go on like this, probably for a while, but something comes up. They're going out for ice cream! She looks up to Dick, and there are very nearly stars in her eyes: "I would like that very much."

Impulse is already out of his seat, all set for a Sunday sundae run. He pats his cat as she blobs the rest of the way into the chair to fill it completely, his hand pausing as Kori mentions Dominators. She's sure getting a stare from him then.

"….errr, yeah! We got this! But now it's ice cream time!"

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