Post by Kori Anders on Jun 22, 2011 14:43:12 GMT -5
Kory sat in her prison cell, once again, head hung low. It had taken a day for them to discuss what to do with her, and yet another to allow someone close enough to her to allow her to touch him. And that man had been a brave scientist. Also very friendly. But he wasn't in charge of her captivity.
No, the person responsible for that appeared to be the scary woman who walked with the stride of either a noble or a soldier. Kory had learned she was part of something known as "the Air Force," a military unit in charge of most of the flying war machines in America. And America was the name of the country she was in. And the state was Arizona. Kory's own linguistic ability allowed her to understand what these terms such as "country" and "state" meant, sparing the woman further explanation on such matters.
The woman, of course, had her own questions to ask. They were asked rapid-fire, and in a manner that convinced Koriand'r that the woman was seeking to intimidate her. And although Kory had been raised to fear no one- she was a princess, after all- the woman was doing a remarkably good job.
Of course, she had spent the last two years of her life being raped and tortured. So Kori wasn't really a tough nut to crack. She wondered if it would have been better to have simply died in the crash rather than continue this sickening existence of living in continuous fear at the mercy of her captors.
Post by Shayera Hol on Jun 22, 2011 15:29:42 GMT -5
Compared to Thanagar, the technology on Earth is, well, pathetic. Nothing that a Thanagarian as well trained in espionage as Hawkgirl can't crack, and she's taken to hacking into the government's computers from time to time to keep an eye on things. Not for any bad purpose, but because that was often the best way to find out about matters someone with her talents can help with when it doesn't get reported in the news. Naturally, when they started discussing an alien who had crash landed on the planet, Hawkgirl took notice.
And when she discovered that they were holding her captive without there being any information about the alien being hostile, Hawkgirl got mad.
She may very well have been subjected to the same thing herself except, well, she was trained in how to introduce herself properly to a new planet. She'd established herself as a largely positive force before anyone thought to capture her. That, and her reputation for also being very powerful is about to come in handy yet again.
"It doesn't matter how I know that she's here. What matters is that I know that she's here and that you have no reason to hold her. Unless you simply have a problem with aliens - you don't, do you?" Hawkgirl said to the woman who'd appeared when she's shown up at the facility and asked/demanded to talk to whoever was in charge. The woman was obviously used to being intimidating, but in Hawkgirl she had met her match. Especially when the only thing that the woman could see of her face was the narrowed eyes and displeased slant to her mouth.
Relenting just slightly, she adds, "Actually, I'm here to volunteer my help - if she's a threat, I'll be able to handle it. If she's not, who better to teach her how to live on this planet than someone else who had to learn it? Either way, I'm more qualified than anyone in this facility. But if you continue to keep her here, I'm afraid that I'll have to complain about it to... well, everyone." Having said that, she folds her arms in front of her and waits for the woman to give in. Once you know how a particular culture operates, knowing how to get what you want from them is easy.
Post by Kori Anders on Jun 22, 2011 19:37:58 GMT -5
Kory raised her head at the sound of shouting. This could be something that was extremely good for her situation...or extremely bad. It really depended on who was doing the shouting.
Or, the shouting match might have absolutely nothing to do with her. You're not the center of the universe anymore, Koriand'r. Haven't been for some time, in fact.
She felt her hopes rise as she caught more of the conversation:
"It doesn't matter how I know that she's here. What matters is that I know that she's here and that you have no reason to hold her. Unless you simply have a problem with aliens - you don't, do you? Actually, I'm here to volunteer my help - if she's a threat, I'll be able to handle it. If she's not, who better to teach her how to live on this planet than someone else who had to learn it? Either way, I'm more qualified than anyone in this facility. But if you continue to keep her here, I'm afraid that I'll have to complain about it to... well, everyone.
Was she the subject of the conversation? And why was it that the speaker seemed so bothered by the idea of prejudice against aliens- was it possible she was one as well? She had only seen humans in this facility so far.
She breathed a sigh of relief when the angry woman stated that she would ascertain wheter or not Kory was a threat. She wasn't safe yet, but she was convinced that if someone gave her a chance to prove she was no threat she could do so. After all, she was no longer princess of Tamaran...she was just a lonely, scared teenage girl who was lost and far from home.
She saw the door swing open and she wiped the tears from her eyes as she stood up.
Post by Shayera Hol on Jun 22, 2011 21:23:35 GMT -5
Just as Hawkgirl suspected, her argument works. One simply has to reflect upon the amount of media attention that she could get if she really wanted it; there's no way that they'd manage to cover it back up again. And she did have a point: the only reason that they seemed to be holding onto the girl was because she was an alien who might be dangerous. And that reasoning just isn't going to fly if explained to someone who happens to be a very dangerous (if benevolent) alien herself.
Of course, Hawkgirl has no idea who this alien she's 'rescuing' could be. Though she's doubtful that the girl is anyone she needs to be afraid of - partly because she knows that this country's military is rather xenophobic, but also partly because any alien that is so strong and aggressive to be beyond Hawkgirl's skills is probably too powerful to be restrained by present human technology. They certainly wouldn't be able to hold on to her without her consent unless they managed to separate her from her mace somehow.
Still, Hawkgirl looks sharply at the girl when they open the door to the cell for her. She doesn't go inside - small rooms have never agreed with Hawkgirl, and it's already narrower than she'd like in the corridor even though she'd never let on about that - but she stands in the doorway as she says, "Hi, I'm Shayera." It's probably best to start off simply.
In her own way, Hawkgirl is rather scary herself. It's actually somewhat intentional: while she feels no conscious need to be intimidating now, being able to give off that feeling was a part of her training. Even if it weren't for the large mace attached to her belt, it's obvious that she's a warrior just by the way she stands. And her helmet doesn't make her look very friendly at all, especially with how carefully she regards the girl. On the plus side, the wings quite obviously growing out of her back prove that she can't be human.
Post by Kori Anders on Jun 22, 2011 21:44:28 GMT -5
Koriand'r took in the imposing figure before her. Armored and with that heavy metal club that was quite obviously a weapon. She looked human, except for the wings.
But the wings were key. Kory had read about a race of beings that were known for their wings and their skill with rather primitive forms of weaponry. What were they called again? You're...Thanagarian? I've read about your people," she said. She moved forward, but wasn't sure what the correct gesture to use to accompany an introduction. Perhaps none? She already had enough people on edge.
"My name is Koriand'r of Tamaran. My ship crash-landed on this planet. I seek refugee status, if such is possible on this planet." She felt like her brain was finally working. Yes, refugee status. That was the term.
She hesitated, then decided to risk asking a question. "You speak the native language of this planet. Have you been here long?"
In truth, she had many more questions to ask. Since she had been mainly focused on not dying when she landed the Psion spacecraft, she hadn't had time to perform a full scan of the planet she was crashing onto. She hadn't known much more than the fact that the planet was habitable. And even if she had, the sensors could only tell so much about a planet if it there was no galactic database entry for it. Sensors couldn't tell you what kind of government existed on a planet or about the customs of the local inhabitants.
Of course, Kory was the one here to be interrogated, so she held off from further questions. Besides, the woman's polite introduction didn't necessarily mean she was on Kory's side.
Post by Shayera Hol on Jun 23, 2011 0:03:24 GMT -5
Hawkgirl's mask hides the raised eyebrow at the girl's first question. Given the distance between Earth and Thanagar, it's a bit of a surprise to her that the girl would know of her kind. But then, when Koriand'r introduces herself, she supplies the reason. "I've heard of Tamaran," she comments, though she can't recall much about the planet right off hand. It seems that their two cultures at the very least bumped into each other at some point. Something to ponder over later.
For now she gives the girl's captors, who are lingering a respectful distance away from her, a disapproving frown when Koriand'r claims to be a refugee. They're holding someone so young, mild-mannered, and claiming to be a refugee like this? Just when she thought that she'd finally come to terms with how barbaric this planet is, they've hit a new low.
"Unfortunately, humans are a very primitive - they've only recently experimented with space travel and have no policies in place for anyone from other planets. The very fact that there are people on other planets is a new thing to most of them," she explains, half-turning to give the people behind her another glance, "They're disgustingly xenophobic because of that." And Hawkgirl doesn't mind saying so right in front of a whole group of them, apparently.
Looking back at Koriand'r she answers, "I've been here a few months, though I was fortunate enough to meet some civilians first - they aren't nearly as bad as the military. That's why I'm here: I'm been able to establish a level of trust with them, so when I found out they were keeping you here I thought that I'd use my influence to convince them to be reasonable. It's not the policy of this country's government to hold a refugee from another country this way unless they are known to be dangerous, and it therefore shouldn't be their policy to hold a refugee from another planet this way either." And she's betting that they really wish that she hadn't told Koriand'r that, but that's just too bad.
With any luck, this incident will prompt the government to put the laws they need in place, and what she's saying will be remembered when they do so that the laws are reasonable ones. But for the moment, Hawkgirl can't worry about what the laws will be while Koriand'r is secretly being held here for no good reason.
Post by Kori Anders on Jun 23, 2011 12:47:37 GMT -5
Kory could feel her body beginning to relax for the first time in days. She wasn't sure if that was truly wise, though. Should she feel relieved? On one hand, she appeared to have a friend in Shayera. On the other, however...Shayera had just said that the natives were extremely xenophobic, and she could tell from her exposure to the humans that she had no chance of being mistaken for one of them. Although they appeared to have similar physiology, her skin was orange and her eyes a green that didn't seem to occur naturally in humans.
As much as Kory liked being seen for who she was, she wouldn't have been against using a holographic image projector if that was what it took to fit in on Earth. But she wasn't carrying one of those, so it seemed a moot point.
Of course, it occurred to her that all of her musings were based on the assumption that Shayera could be trusted. After being betrayed by her own sister and subjected to rape and torture, she yearned for someone she could trust more than ever...and yet found herself reluctant to trust others at the same time. Shayera could very well just be the carrot that her interrogators intended to use.
On the other hand, what did she have to lose? If she refused to trust Shayera it was quite obvious what her fate would be...more of the same and who knew what else these people wanted to do to her.
"Am I free to go, Shayera?" She bit her lip. "I mean...free to go from here? I have no knowledge of this planet and would appreciate a guide." Her voice was faintly hopeful.
Post by Shayera Hol on Jun 23, 2011 23:59:09 GMT -5
Koriand'r isn't the only one who has trouble 'fitting in'. Hawkgirl may look more human-like, at least during those rare times she takes her helmet off, but there's just no hiding her wings. Even a holographic image projector would be of limited use to her because it could only make her wings invisible and they're large enough that they wouldn't remain hidden even so. But then, if there's anyone on the planet that knows how to manage to work with that problem, it's Hawkgirl.
At Koriand'r's question, Hawkgirl nods and says, "If you want me for a guide, I expect you to listen to me and do what I say until I'm satisfied that there really is no reason to worry about you. But I promise that will be a lot better than staying here. Is that fair?" She'd at least give the girl freedom to move around, an opportunity to prove herself, and though she has questions she'll be a lot nicer about asking them. Perhaps like the difference between being in jail and being on parole.
Then Hawkgirl looks back at the humans and asks, "If I take her with me, will any of you object?" While she does feel free to simply barge in and make demands, in the end she's not about to follow through with this if they try to force the issue. While she could simply bash her way out of here with the girl right behind her, she's not prepared to sour her relation with the government - that would set her mission back, and her mission is much more important than Koriand'r. Successfully completing her mission as soon as possible could save this entire planet, after all. And handling this situation with restraint when she doesn't have to could turn out to put her into a more favorable light.
Post by Kori Anders on Jun 24, 2011 13:51:54 GMT -5
What Kori could recall of Shayera's people was that they were a harsh but honorable people overall. And really, just about anything would be better than being kept in captivity yet again. She nodded in response to Shayera's terms. "That does seem fair," she allowed. And she really did need someone to guide her around the planet. A basic familiarity with the native language would only be so helpful. She needed to know much more than language in order to survive on this planet without getting into further trouble.
One of the military muttered something into what must have been a portable communication voice. Kori heard her interrogator's voice come back faintly. The man nodded. "She's free to go with you, Hawkgirl," he said.
Kori visibly brightened, even though she knew she was a long way from being safe. This Shayera could simply be trying to manipulate her to her own designs, after all. She pulled her wrists apart, shattering her metal bindings and causing them to fly into opposite sides of the wall. "Sorry about that," she said, noting the embarrassed looks on her guards' faces. She had suspected that she could break free of the cuffs for some time, but there was no need to panic the native inhabitants of this world.
Post by Shayera Hol on Jun 24, 2011 16:15:51 GMT -5
When Hawkgirl gets Koriand'r's agreement she nods, though she does have some small worry in the back of her head that the girl isn't as innocent as she appears - unlikely, but it would be really bad for her if she's wrong. But then, it's always good to have a little suspicion when first meeting someone. At least, that's what all Thanagarians are taught.
Waiting patiently for the human's reply - the slowness of having to consult with one's superiors is something that she's all too familiar with - Hawkgirl simply says "Good" when permission is granted. She'd hate to have to go through additional measures to get her way in this; that would have required some level of diplomacy and she hates that.
She looks back at Koriand'r just in time to see the girl break her bindings, and she smirks. Well, that's a good sign that Koriand'r's not being deceptive - even Hawkgirl figures that had it been her she would have broken the bindings. Probably wouldn't have run away after doing that, but she'd have at least shown the humans that she was remaining in their custody by choice. Of course, she has a very different background than Koriand'r. "So much to learn," she says to the guards when she sees their embarrassment.
But her attention now goes fully back to Koriand'r and she says, "Let's get out of here. I want to get home before nightfall, and St. Roch is a long ways from here. Can you fly?" And as she says this she turns and starts leading the way back the way she came, eager to get out of this cramped building and back outside where she belongs.
Post by Kori Anders on Jun 24, 2011 19:44:24 GMT -5
Waiting for approval to leave with Shayera- or Hawkgirl as one man had called her- had probably been the most stressful moment of the day. If they had refused her request to leave she honestly thought she might have lost it and started flinging starbolts everywhere. She was tired of being a helpless captive to other people. She realized her knees were shaking and she had been holding her breath.
She was startled when Shayera asked her if she could fly. It had been two years since she had the opportunity to do so. Had it only been two years? Despite her fear, the faint edge of a smile crept over Kory's face. She was going to have the opportunity to fly again!
"Y-yes," Kory sniffed, blinking back tears of joy. There had been times in her sister's dungeon where Kory had honestly thought that she would never have the opportunity to fly again. Now it seemed she was just minutes away from soaring in the open air. She allowed herself to believe that she might really be about to experience freedom.
Post by Shayera Hol on Jun 25, 2011 2:20:23 GMT -5
Hearing the stutter in Koriand'r's voice, Hawkgirl glances back at her and quickly measures her expression. Tears of joy when asked if she can fly? What has this poor girl been through? But, not being one to show her softer emotions very much, Hawkgirl merely says, "Good! That means I don't have to carry you for three hours." Not only will Koriand'r get the opportunity to fly, but she'll get a really long one. Actually, Hawkgirl could probably do it in two, but she doesn't like to tire herself out if she doesn't really have to. She just hopes that the girl can keep up with her - she's not a slow flier at all. Well, unless you compare her to someone like Kal-El.
The thing about having an extreme dislike of closed-in places is that it gives one the tendency to remember the way back out of them whenever you go into one, and Hawkgirl finds her way easily. As she leads the way, they pass by a couple of surprised looking military personnel and one of them whispers to the other "That's Hawkgirl" though Hawkgirl doesn't seem to pay it much attention until they're out of earshot and she comments, "Lesson one about living with humans: they fear what they don't understand. Which means that they will be afraid of you until you're able to help them understand you. That can be very quick with some individuals, but with the masses that takes a long time. They're only just getting to know me. But you'll see when we get to St. Roch that most of them are very nice people when they're not worried you'll kill them."
Some might say that lesson would be obvious, but it's not necessarily true of all aliens - Thanagarians figure that they can defeat anything they don't understand until proven otherwise so they're quick to accept things they consider unusual, but it takes a lot longer for them to go from 'accepting' to 'nice'. Or sometimes even 'accepting' to 'non-aggressive'. Fortunately, both by personality and because of her mission on this planet Hawkgirl is much faster than most.
By the end of the lesson they've reached the outside doors and Hawkgirl immediately jumps into the air as if she can't stand remaining on the ground any longer, happy to once again be somewhere she can spread her wings. Secret government facilities aren't known for being roomy, and roomy is what it takes for Hawkgirl to feel comfortable. But she flies in a tight circle, obviously quite at home in the air, waiting for Koriand'r to join her before she'll proceed.
Post by Kori Anders on Jun 26, 2011 21:20:23 GMT -5
Kory saw Shayera glance at her as her voice faltered. She thought she saw a flash of pity or understanding or something for a second, but it was gone far too quickly for her to be sure that it was anything more than her imagination. It wasn't unreasonable to believe that Shayera could empathize with her, however. She was clearly able to fly herself, and no doubt the loss of that ability would be just as wounding to Shayera as it was to her.
Her mind was able to translate the time unit Shayera used into something that was understandable for her. However, it was only because she had figured out how many hours were in a local day that she understood how long Shayera was talking about flying for. She could access the language of other beings, but not even the most basic forms of other knowledge those beings might have.
Which was why Shayera's aid was going to quickly start coming in very handy. Kori nodded. She was surprised that the trip would take so long...but didn't dare voice anything that might be seen as a complaint.
Plus...she was getting to fly. At least, she hoped. Learning how to fly was only slightly harder than learning how to walk for a Tamaranean, but Kori had no knowledge of what being deprived of sunlight for so long might have done to her abilities. To her relief, she lifted off the ground and into the air without a hitch.
She gave a short sigh of awe mingled with relief, and performed an experimental barrel roll when she gained sufficient altitude.
She follows Shayera into the air. Seeing how quickly large objects shrink to a small size, she feels a moment of panic and drops several feet. She reminds herself that she can do this and arrests her fall. She meets up with Shayera, rising to her height.
"I'm okay," she assures the other woman. "It's just been a while. Lead on."
Post by Shayera Hol on Jun 27, 2011 9:14:32 GMT -5
Watching as the girl follows her into the sky, Hawkgirl experiences another moment of annoyance at watching someone fly without wings. Not that she doesn't like her wings - in fact, they're quite the attractive pair of them by Thanagarian standards - but they're such an inconvenience on this planet of ground-bound humans that being able to fly without them strikes her as cheating. But then, all the complaining about that in the world won't change it so she lays that feeling aside.
Instead she focuses her attention on watching the way Koriand'r flies, and she experiences a nervous moment when she sees the drop, but it doesn't reach her face before the girl has recovered. Though that tells her something: Koriand'r's powers of flight are thought-based. Interesting. She simply nods to the explanation for the lapse and says, "Let me know if you have trouble keeping up."
Hawkgirl's cruising speed when she isn't in a hurry is roughly that of a jet airplane and that, plus the distance they have to cover, is the reason this trip will take so long. They'll be crossing more than half the country on the way. And it's a big country. One she's reached her preferred pace, Hawkgirl looks over at Koriand'r and says, "So, tell me about yourself." Which is probably quite the switch from the way Koriand'r was questioned before. Not that Hawkgirl won't eventually want the answers to questions that the girl probably doesn't want to answer too, but for now she'll be happy with whatever she's willing to say herself.
And actually, besides simply wanting to know what she's getting herself into as far as volunteering to help her is concerned, Hawkgirl is mostly asking because this trip will probably be pretty boring if they don't talk. Especially the first part since they probably won't hit any more populated areas for awhile.
Post by Kori Anders on Jun 28, 2011 15:08:14 GMT -5
"Speed shouldn't be a problem," Kori assures her guide, not wanting to be a burden. "I just haven't been out in the sun a whole lot, and I require solar energy to fly." She also suspected her momentary loss of flight might be tied to self-doubt. After all, she simply thought about flying and it happened. Was it possible she could block her abilities in such a manner?
Kori was hesitant to answer Shayera's question at first. True, it had been a friendly request, and she hadn't asked her to confide anything too personal, but...there was so much of her life that had been full of pain as of late. She wasn't sure what she could say without bursting into tears. And she did not yet dare confess her heritage...she didn't yet trust Shayera enough to tell her she was a princess. Well, former princess. She had no subjects now.
"What do you wish to know?" Kori asked. "My life was not very interesting until recently. My planet was invaded by a militant organization known as the Citadel. I escaped and landed here in a damaged spacecraft. My people...they are all either enslaved or dead."