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With This Ring (Young Justice SI) (Thread Fourteen)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Mr Zoat, Jan 27, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Uncomplicated Good Works (part 9)
    Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    12th December 2012
    06:55 GMT -5


    Kal-El nods. "Sounds like things went well, then."

    "I achieved my political objective. But that wasn't the point. Would you have done that?"

    "I…" And I'm rather pleased to see him think his answer through better than he used to. "I wouldn't have handled it quite like that, no. But I can't say that I've ever had to deal with something quite like that before." He looks mildly constipated for a moment. "Do they really eat people?"

    "You did read the report I wrote-"

    "Good Lord, yes."

    He smiles as he says it, but it's more than a little strained.

    "-where I said they were number three on my hit list? Also, I'm glad that you're reading my reports and appreciate the effort you've made to improve yourself."

    "I'm not sure that came out quite right, but I'll take it."

    "Normally I'd.. just ignore that jab, but… I do actually mean it. I don't want you to think that I'm going to hold a grudge forever or anything. If you hadn't started reading reports then, yes, we wouldn't be having this conversation, but you're too good a person to reject sound advice."

    "Alright." He nods. "Thank you. What happened next?"

    "Xalitan isn't enlightened, but he's reached a level of skill where we're calling his training a success. Dox wants him to go to the front lines so that we can better assess exactly how much better he's gotten, then he'll form part of our training cadre. We've already circulated documentation to the rest of the Corps on what we did, so hopefully the ones with the most initiative will use that to improve their own training."

    "Ah, good, but I meant 'what happened next to Chugragah'."

    "With a heady combination of fear and gratitude, the Strand Elders acquiesced. I brought the Queen over the next day, they had a fairly civilised chat about how to switch from an import economy to an export economy, and they were kind enough to hand over all of the contact information for their merchant contacts."

    "The slave traders."

    "Yes."

    "I realise they have it coming-."

    "No." I shake my head. "No. I left that to the Green Lantern Corps. They're not major military powers and can be handled by police. Besides, I'm trying to be less violent at the moment."

    "Blue Lantern mentioned something about that. That… Seems like a big departure for you."

    "It is."

    "Were the Justice Society International really that bad?"

    "No. But for me, there's no distinction between wanting an end and wanting the means. Like… I imagine that if you really had to kill someone, you'd do it, but you'd probably feel bad about it afterwards."

    "I'm… Not sure what you mean by 'had to'. I suppose there are some things… Some fights where I couldn't risk holding back. And if that happened, then… Yes. I would feel bad about it."

    "That's not what I meant. But okay. The point is, I wouldn't. Usually, that requires all sorts of mental hoop-jumping or actual psychosis. For me, it doesn't. So if I think an end is worth going for, I don't worry about the means. Morally, I mean. Obviously I worry whether they're really the best way to achieve that end."

    "That's a little worrying. Are you still talking to Guy and Dinah?"

    "Not in the therapeutic sense."

    "Do you think maybe you should?"

    "No. As a result of my exposure to the orange light, my thought processes are too different from human baselines for a normal psychiatrist to apply their knowledge to. My point is that the JSI showed me that something I thought was desirable might not be. They were a well-organised world-spanning superhero organisation, ruthless when it was useful to be and friendly when it wasn't. They were exactly what I was advocating for."

    "And it didn't look so good when you saw what it was actually like."

    "Exactly. It probably achieves more good in the long term… Or even the medium term." I shake my head. "But I still don't want it, so I'm having a bit of a rethink."

    "That sounds like a good step to take. You certainly gave me a few things to think about. It's nice to know that you're not so set in your ways that you can't take a step back."

    "Right, so I've got a request. You're probably the.. second most Golden Agey superhero I know. It's not an approach that comes naturally to me, and I'd appreciate the opportunity to study how it works for you."

    "You…" He raises his eyebrows. "Want to be my sidekick?"

    "Yes."

    "Oh. I… Wasn't expecting… 'Second most'?"

    "Captain Marvel is the most, but I'm concerned that I'd have an undue influence on him."

    "What about Diana? Or Alan?"

    "Both killed people during World War Two. Also, they both like me more than you do."

    "You're a… A lot to take in."

    "Says Superman."

    "I work pretty long hours."

    "I make my own hours. I can spend my entire day in Metropolis without any difficulty, just hanging around until 'a job for Superman' turns up."

    "You realise that you being here is going to mean that there won't be as many of those as usual?"

    "Prevention is better than cure. Look, if you don't want me to hang around, that's fine. I get it. I've got far too big a body count to act surprised. But I'm.. strongly considering changing my modus operandi by addressing the behaviours that concern you, and will happily follow your directions."

    He takes a slow breath.

    "And you'll do what I say."

    "I've dealt civilly with unrepentant Nazis, the biggest arsehole in my Corps and serial killing cannibals. I can follow instructions from you. As long as it's not something stupid like 'get a civilian identity'."

    "No, I think the boat already sailed on that one. Alright. I've got things to do-"

    Go to work, which isn't something that he's going to mention in the open. Even if Lex Luthor almost certainly knows, plenty of other intelligent criminals in Metropolis don't.

    "-right now, but I'll check in with you in a few hours. Okay?"

    "Certainly. Thank you for this opportunity. I'm sure that I can find something productive to do while you're away."

    He exhales slowly then nods, before turning and flying away.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2022
  2. Sceptic

    Sceptic Critical Irrationalist

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    A few hours later:

    "What did you do?!?"

    "I found something productive to do, of course."

    "Argh!!!"
     
  3. Lord Ernest

    Lord Ernest At the End...

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    Hahahaha! Somebody pinch me, please. This should be hilarious!

    Good for Xalitan, but I would totally advocate to promote him officially to Honor Guard, to show the rest of the Corps with a defined rank how advanced he is. At the very least after his stint in the front lines. And it will also communicate that the Illustres' methods are definitely effective and not mysticism and mumo jumbo.

    I would like to know how Xor's fellow trainees are taking his advancement in studies and how they are progressing.
     
  4. Handlewithcare

    Handlewithcare Versed in the lewd.

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    "This is a job for Superman and his trusty sidekick, Orange...!"

    "Solved it"

    "...oh"

    Later, in the hall of justice

    "How about team names? I was thinking...Superfriends!"

    "No"
     
  5. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker

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    ...Honestly? If he were in that situation, Superman would probably have tried to punch or catch-and-throw the shells back into orbit. He might not have succeeded, though, especially given his lower power levels in this universe...

    More than likely, but it's still a skeevy idea to think about. Reading about it is a lot different to actually witnessing the results.

    And why do I picture the reports reading like these chapters, minus any incriminating thoughts OL might have? :confused:

    OL doesn't do compliments all that well, sadly. They're often backhanded.

    And at least Superman is trying to improve himself. I fancy some of the League are still running on their old methods.

    As if OL would particularly care, when he's so proud of his student for levelling up? :D

    I expect more than a few of them are going to be out of business very shortly. And likely imprisoned too.

    Naw, OL isn't going to go after them himself. That's scrub work, not an Illustres' job.

    And Kal-El's probably bracing for the inevitable explosion. Kind of expected when OL is involved in... :confused: Pretty much anything.

    Heh, easy to assume, isn't it? Most of the Leaguers would be morally opposed to that kind of all-powerful organisation, honestly.

    Admittedly, in that particular case, he felt so bad that he began to suffer from dissociative multiple personality disorder...

    I'm not sure Dinah would appreciate the scale of some of the things OL does, and Guy's Enlightened perspective would be... different.

    I mean... He's broken in a useful way. Do you want to mess with that? It'd be like getting Batman therapy.

    Very much a lesson in 'be careful what you wish for, you might get it...'

    Honestly, if his goals weren't so far-reaching, he'd likely be a lot more mercurial. Worringly so. :oops: Like Larfleeze-classic.

    Well, since you have an opening, what with Kon shifting into more of a Wonder Boy role, Mitchell not yet ready for prime-time and Kara not overly interested in the job...

    Don't take that as an insult. After all: Second place works harder.

    And I doubt the Wizard would appreciate OL 'corrupting' Billy with things like realism or self-doubt.

    Never have truer words been spoken. :oops:

    And how much sleep does a Kryptonian actually need? Honestly, an adaption akin to a catelepsean node is something I'm amazed kryptonian bio-engineers didn't add to their species.

    Though there will be more people looking up at the sky and going 'what's that?'

    Better than leaving him in the wind, I suppose. :p Who knows what he'll get up to left to his own devices?

    Says the young man known as 'Cake Man' to most of humanity. There are probably tribes in the deepest depths of nowhere who would recognise him as 'Cake Man'. :V Even if they didn't have the foggiest idea what a cake is.

    Ooh, that's going to be awkward. OL hanging out in Lex's city? The man will be chewing his teeth going paranoid over his presence.

    Heh, I can imagine him praying 'Oh, lord, please don't make me regret this...'

    Heh. I wonder, how many anti-Superman plans will OL foil just by being here in the next few days? I bet more than a few of Superman's rogues will be reconsidering their next caper... And the Light will probably be very wary, especially. Never mind the media going crazy speculating about things, until OL gives a frank interview to the Daily Planet...
     
  6. BR549

    BR549 This is filth! FILTH!!

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  7. Sojiko

    Sojiko Getting sticky.

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    I really love the way this conversation flows. And how Superman's personality comes across in little details. Nice.

    "how"
    I think that should only be said once.
     
  8. Vaermina

    Vaermina Experienced.

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    The best order he could give...

    A month without your rings for an Orange Light detox...
     
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  9. Akshka

    Akshka Wait, am I lost?

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    ah shit
     
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  10. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Thank you, corrected.
     
  11. Old Knife

    Old Knife Not too sore, are you?

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    Ohh boy. He's so streesssed. Can't even imagine what's going through his mind.


    And why does this feel like the calm before the storm?
    Specifically, I'm worried about the OLC creating Alpha Lantern levels of horrible unintended terrible people with Paul's skills but none of his common sense?
     
  12. Darko

    Darko Connoisseur.

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    Ohh, this will be a hilarious buddy cop scenario.
     
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  13. Duke Long

    Duke Long Know what you're doing yet?

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    It was previously spelled ‘Chughraghahh’.
     
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  14. Darko

    Darko Connoisseur.

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    Like Paul said, aliens that have never even heard of Earth will know about the cake incident 200 years from now.
     
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  15. Darko

    Darko Connoisseur.

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    Clark probably mispronounced it.
     
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  16. FreeGod

    FreeGod If you see a God on the road fuck it!

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    OL hanging out in Metropolis is likely to drive Lex a little crazy. Because all of Lex's fear and paranoia about Superman are at least partly true with OL.

    OL is likely to see more new anti-orange lantern weapons in the next few days than the reach will make in the next few years.
     
  17. BR549

    BR549 This is filth! FILTH!!

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    Alternatively, Lex will approve of OL.

    Since there's all of the power...and it's NOT in an alien.
     
  18. Old Knife

    Old Knife Not too sore, are you?

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    IN this timeline isn't Lex already neutered because all the other geniuses are getting subsidies and alien tech to play around with?
    Vs
    Grayven!Luthor who has control over Earth's Spacefleet?
     
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  19. Steelplaza

    Steelplaza Custom Title

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    The status quo in this timeline is that after multiple interactions, Orange Lantern made a strong pitch to Lex Luthor to abandon his supervillainous ways and truly work for the betterment of humanity. Luthor was tempted, but ultimately unable to let go of his paranoia and arrogance. He remains a member of the Light. The SI considers him pretty much a lost cause at this point and retreats to "icy politeness" in their interactions.
     
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  20. jonasquinn

    jonasquinn I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Ughhh, I’m trying to enjoy this ploline but it’s really doing nothing but annoying me

    It just feels like an excuse to justify OL making stupid decisions and not being as capable as usual while diluting one of the key elements that make him such a unique character. Like I said before unless this arc ends with OL deciding that conventional heroism is all well and good but not for him and he can’t really afford it while leasing a war it’ll have done a lot of damage t9 my ability to enjoy this story
     
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  21. Ganurath

    Ganurath Apologizes For Nothing

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    I sense a Gotham Spree sequel in the works.
     
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  22. BartlettMagic

    BartlettMagic peekaboo, you fucks you!

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    100% agreed. does the OLC even have an Honor Guard yet? it would be quite honorable to be the first and best example.
     
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  23. Ardy

    Ardy Not too sore, are you?

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    I wonder if either Paul or Grayven are going to recruit Thessaly, Earth needs magic users willing to teach and he recruited Kalmin so an ancient high-tier magic user, part of a coven that actually scared the greek gods, and is able to live a quiet life for long periods of time seems like the perfect manager for the Kordtech Department of Magic and Making Physics Cry
     
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  24. Bud-E

    Bud-E Stand up so I can push you down!

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    I think she might work with Grayven but I doubt she'd be as receptive to Paul. For an ancient and mysterious witch, she's all about force so any diplomatic attempts will likely be met with hostility and malice.
     
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  25. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    No. The most she's getting is a reference as Circe uses her name.
     
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  26. Threadmarks: Uncomplicated Good Works (part 10)
    Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    12th December 2012
    15:23 GMT -5


    "Do you kids-"

    The cluster of children standing around the power transformer look up in astonishment.

    "-own that fence?"

    "Superman?"

    I frown slightly. Alright, I haven't bothered actually researching the statistics on the whole 'broken windows' thing, but I can't help but think that this isn't an efficient-.

    That's not the point.

    "That's my name." I can hear him smiling as he says it, arm folded as he comes in to land. "Listen, kids. I can understand wanting an outlet for your artistic talents, but electric substations like this are dangerous. There's enough power in these wires to give you a serious injury."

    In Gotham, even today, I'd give even odds that they'd be pointing the cans at… Say, Batman, with the aim of temporarily blinding him so they can either escape or stab him. But with Superman the children are lowering them or half-heartedly trying to hide them behind their backs.

    "Sorry, Superman."

    "Not as sorry as your parents would be if you ended up in the hospital. Why don't you kids head home?"

    Eyes downcast, the children head out through the wooden gate and back onto the street. Kal-El watches them go for a moment, then looks up at me.

    "You mind fixing the gate?"

    I nod, scanning… Huh. The padlock is lying on the ground, still connected to the hasp. Looks like the screws just pulled out of the wood of the gate. A little odd, but over a sufficiently long period of time…

    I repair the structure of the gate, reattach the lock mechanism and close it up.

    "Do you think it's worth putting netting over the top?"

    "No, that should do it. Kids will walk through an open gate, but mostly they won't break into a place like this."

    "Unless they kick a ball over." Hm. "I could add a sign outside with the number to phone if they do kick a ball over?"

    "That's a thoughtful idea."

    There's a glow of orange as it appears.

    "So what's your mobile number again?"

    He looks mildly amused. Very mildly amused.

    "We call them 'cells' on this side of the Atlantic. And I think the Metropolis Power Authority would be the people to call. I wouldn't want to disappoint someone because I was fighting a monster when they wanted their kite back."

    "Yeah, okay."

    "Do you do home repairs as well?"

    "My maintenance is really more perfective. And I don't like cheating tradesmen out of the business. Unless you want something interesting done covertly that they couldn't do?"

    "No, I was just making conversation."

    "Because while there's no such thing as kryptonian proof, my time with Kara has given me insight into kryptonian resistant. If you and Ms. Lane are planning on having children, you might find it advantageous to make sure they won't wreck the place."

    He looks slightly awkward, perhaps remembering collateral damage from his own childhood.

    "I'll keep you in mind. What did you think?"

    "It probably wouldn't have occurred to me to mention their parents."

    "Not going to say that it's not a good use of my time?"

    "Ah… It's not, but given the time it would take from noticing they were in here, to phoning the police or Power Company, and them sending someone, it's actually pretty reasonable in terms of efficiency."

    "And..?"

    "And?"

    "Guy told me it was usually worth asking you what you weren't including in your first answer."

    "And… It's worth expending quite a lot to keep you motivated and on an even keel. Good social bonds are an essential part of a person's psychological wellbeing, human or kryptonian, and this sort of activity makes you a part of Metropolis's community."

    "I suppose that's true. I hadn't really thought about it in those terms before. I mostly just think of it as 'being nice'."

    "And that's exactly why I'm here."

    "I'm.. not sure why that's so hard for you."

    "It's not. It's just that I'm aware of all of the things I could be doing instead of being nice."

    He folds his arms across his chest. "Such as?"

    "Fighting the Reach. My presence would reduce the fatalities amongst N.E.M.O. forces significantly in any fight I involved myself in. Dox prefers it if I stay as a reserve so the Reach can't develop a counter to me as easily, and so our side doesn't get dependent. And I can't fight them all by myself. But it would mean a lot fewer people on our side dying in the short term. Maybe even on the Reach side, if I can disable ships without destroying them more easily than anyone else on our side."

    "Can't do much about Apokolips, but the Dominion and other parts of the Spider Guild are good targets. Or I could track down Sinestro. Killing or capturing him would improve relations with the Green Lantern Corps and stop whatever he's planning. Or just find a random planet trapped by Avleb's Wall and gives them a few bleed torsion generators to get them started."

    "I'm sorry, what's that?"

    "Avleb's Wall? That's when a planet doesn't have enough accessible fuel for industrial civilisation to develop."

    He nods. "I remember you bringing up the concept in your talk. I just didn't know the name. Are they common?"

    "Yes, very common. Honestly, I've.. sort of wondered whether Krypton was in the same place before the Vrang arrived."

    "Krypton didn't have a fuel shortage."

    "No, but your forebears might have needed technology more advanced than they could develop without it to access it. Technologically sophisticated technology took off on Krypton after the Vrang were defeated. I know the official history says that that happened because everyone saw the necessity, with a few rogue historians implying that it was copying Vrang technology that made it possible for it to happen so quickly. But-."

    "But it might have been fuel." He nods. "Because they brought in mining equipment."

    "Yes." I shrug. "But all those children might have gotten electrocuted due to their own foolishness while I was busy saving billions. So what's next?"
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2022
  27. Cuchulin

    Cuchulin Versed in the lewd.

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    Saving the kids is good PR and it's very likely that the kids as well as their parents will have a more favorable opinion of Superheroes in general which helps all Superheroes a little bit. Those little bits add up and help keep any hostility by the government or others at bay.
    So, it could very do much more in the long term for Superman and league as well as perhaps the universe than many of the other things OL talked about.
     
  28. thebishop8

    thebishop8 Umm, ackchyually...

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  29. Bigking321

    Bigking321 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Dang. That is a incredibly bad mindset.

    I'm now expecting him to duplicate himself a billion times so he can save as many people as possible. Otherwise he might not be as efficient at saving people.

    He could be saving billions of people instead of spending time with his girlfriend. Oh wait. He actually cares about that. I guess the billions can die while he's on a date. That's totally fine.

    It's a very confusing world view where people you don't care about personally are a utilitarian numbers game but the instant he actually cares the number game doesn't matter.

    Kinda horrifying.

    Selective utilitarianism? Bad stuff.
     
  30. Handlewithcare

    Handlewithcare Versed in the lewd.

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    Relevant SMBC

    It's really hard to make these kind of long term judgement calls.

    But as OL so rightly realised: I think at their powerlevel it comes down to how dependent you want a society to be. Do you save a child from every injury or do you let them burn themselves to learn to not touch a stove?
     
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