|EVENT: Justice League Meet and Greet|
|What: The first meeting of the Justice League has been called! Potential members meet, and listen to a spiel from General Thunderbolt Ross, and ask questions. Some choose to leave, the rest are sworn in.|
As the heroes arrive together or on their own at Marjorie Field, they are greeted by an escort in military fatigues who announces himself as Lieutenant Mitchell. The young officer with sharp, neat features, leads them into a waiting room until the rest of the team arrives.
In the stark white futuristic waiting room there's a table adorned with hors d'oeurves and pitchers of drinks. The wait isn't long, however, and Mitchell collects everyone, bringing them up a flight of majestic steps and into a large meeting room.
The circular table in the meeting room has a host of seats around it and a computer console at every station. The center of the table is cut away showing the downstairs area below. Off to the far end of the room is a wall of glass that gives the north eastern view of Metropolis and the Delaware Bay in the distance.
"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming. General Ross should be here shortly for your debriefing. Please make yourself comfortable."
Superman enters the room shortly afterwards and smiles at those gathered, "Thanks for coming, everyone. I hope you like the place."
Having been Called, Thor collected Sif and fly the pair to the Hall. His eyes seem faintly surprised at the sight of the building. He gives the military man a brief nod, Sif a glance, then lets her go so he can follow the man into the building.
It's rather awe-inspiring, the show of technology in this place. Thor's blue-gray eyes scan about as he comes to a stop by the window. His cloak settles about him, arms crossed over his chest.
Martian Manhunter moves into the meeting room smoothly. Even in this gathering he stands out a little...although he is far from the most aesthetically attractive by human standards. Still...he might even be bigger than Superman. The Martian moves to stand behind one of the seats, but does not sit straight away. The building? It's fairly impressive. As is the view. "A good location," he murmurs. "Close enough for accessibility, far enough away from populated areas to give some cushion if we become a target." Make that when they become a target.
"Ooh! Crab cakes!" Zatanna enthuses. She fills a plate with goodies before following Mitchell to the meeting room. "It looks great, Superman," she notes after swallowing down a bite of popover. She flops into a chair and spins in it a bit. Someone has had too much sugar today, or is hoping people underestimate her.
Colossus arrived via a glowing circular portal and is in the metal form anyone who's met him is familiar with. His costume though is different and red, unlike the black he usually wore. Someone has a special JLA costume! He neither eats nor drinks anything and follows the officer to the meeting hall when it's time. "Good day to you all." he greets anyone already there and inspects the seating, looking for a reinforced chair.
As Superman enters, the Lord of Storms looks over and his arms unfold from over his chest. His stormy gaze studies the brunette, head tilting, as if weighing the question over in his mind. WIth a pause almost impolitely too long, Thor finally nods a reply to Superman, "Thine structure is most impressive."
You get used to Thor's way of flying after awhile so when they land the Goddess gains her footing instantly and falls into step with Thor. Pale blue eyes glance up at him for a moment as they come to stop by the window. Her arm automatically links with his and she nods her head. "Always, my Prince." It's only then that she looks at the others gathered and, for now, chooses to remain silent.
Superman approaches each of the heroes and begins to shake hands and make small talk as he circles the room.
Superman nods to Martian Manhunter, "It's also pretty close to Washington. That way if we need to get there or someone from the Administration needs to get here it isn't cumbersome."
A wide grin comes over his face as he nods to Zatanna, "I didn't realize you liked Crab Cakes. Next time I'll have the chefs make more just for you." He's relieved she took him up on his offer. Every team needs a person who can lighten the mood.
As for Colossus, he'll find that all of the seats have been reinforced. Specifically for him, actually. It seems the government has tried to think of everything. Chairs and Crab Cakes alike.
"Thank you, Thor. Thank you for coming, too. It's good to see you here." Superman glances at Sif and his smile broadens, "You must be, Sif. Welcome! We have some drinks. . .I don't think they're up to the quality of your mead, but we've tried.
As Batwoman enters, Superman gives her a wave, but General Ross follows right afterward, cutting off his ability to speak to her as it's clear everyone should take their seats.
After about 10 minutes, General Ross enters with a nod, a curt smile that ruffles his white mustache, and a set of envelopes. His gravel voice echoes through the cavernous room and commands a presence, even in the presence of these powerful heroes. "I trust Lieutenant Mitchell took care of you while you waited." He slips into a seat at the round table and looks up. "Well," he begins slowly. "We all know why we're here. You have been chosen by the President to be the founding members of something we're calling the Justice League of America." He makes eye contact with a few of the heroes. "The set up is pretty simple. This base is the headquarters of the league. To assist you there's a garrison of troops, a small squadron of jets, and a support staff that move at your direction. We leave the budget stuff to the pencil pushers, but a bid was just accepted from STAR Labs to provide the technology we need to get up and running. The league will work alongside such government agencies such as the Pentagon or the Central Intelligence Agency in such situations that there is overlap."
"You'll be welcome to use this facility any time you wish, and there is a barracks here for you to stay when you do. This casa is su casa, as they say."
"Your main focus will be to help prevent large scale problems for the United States. Things the military cannot handle. You'll also serve at the discretion of the President."
"Do we have any questions so far that I can address?"
Zatanna listens to Ross, watching his moustache like it's a magical beast that alighted on his upper lip. "General, if I may ask, will we /only/ be handling US incidents? Or incidents overseas involving US Allies or Interests?" she asks.
Ross nods to Zatanna, "Great question, young lady. The President is very concerned about the threat of this team being seen as an agressor. It's purpose is for defensive measures on US soil only, and peace keeping missions. Certain allies may request assistance, but we don't look to be entangling this team in foreign entanglements."
Since all the chairs appear to be the same, Colossus tests one out by leaning on it a bit to see if it gives then picks one up to check the underside. Satisfied with what he sees, he sets it back down then spends a moment talking to Superman and, once he moves on, studying the others. Taking a seat, he listens to the general then nods at Zatanna's question and the answer. "I would know what exactly 'peace keeping missions' mean. I have heard the phrase applied to sending troops into foreign countries under the direction of the United Nations. I would also ask about humanitarian efforts in the case of such things as natural disasters or extreme accidents."
"Fair enough, Colossus." Ross nods, "In the past it's been used by the Government, I agree, for some less than altruistic means. As it stands, I mean to say that the League will not be used as a measure of war. Only defense of the United States. Now, I don't want to hide anything from you here, Big Man. If Latveria goes hog wild and starts invading all of Europe, we might ask for a hand. But it's important you understand that the group is not going to be used as a political instrument, only as one of defense. In all likelihood, the only time you'll be headed overseas is to help rescure people from Typhoons, Earthquakes, and other natural disasters."
Thor gives Superman a nod as he's addressed. The man's easy going nature makes the Prince smile lightly, and he nods to the offer of drinks. If some are brought, he'll nurse the drink. If not, he won't press the matter. When it's made clear he should sit, Thor moves over and settles into a chair, looking at the table, the gathered people. Colossus he recognizes, and so givse a faint nod. Martian Manhunter earns a slightly lopsided grin: A warrior to a warrior, thou art well met once more, battle-brother. Upon the General's arrival, Thor's eyes move to the authoritative man, giving the mortal his full and undivided attention.
Thor's expression flickers now and again as the General speaks, some of the words not fully parsing for the Asgardian, who's but a couple of fortnights old upon this current Midgard. His lips purse faintly as the reason for his Summons is made clear. He leans back in his chair. One arm folds over his chest, the other balances upon it, fingers reaching up to stroke lightly at his chin in thought.
His eyes glance to each speaker in turn as they speak, mind processing the answers being given. Stormy eyes narrow, head tilting, at being told he'll serve at a mortal's discretion, and so the Thunder God speaks up.
"With the greatest of respect, mortal, I am altogether uncertain that Midgard would allow this arrangement for mine duties are to Midgard first. Where She calls and when She summons, I must go. The whims and needs of thine President and the peoples of this small realm-piece are of thine greatest import, I grant thee, but they are, I'm afraid to thusly see thee informed mortal, not mine own. Midgard hath not yet made clear the extent of mine aid to thee, and as such, should thine assorted heroes require mine assistance, myself and mine Sword Maiden's arms shall be at thy side. I must state here and now that I can not swear to thee mine fidelty nor mine alligence," he says smoothly, deep voice holding respect for sure, but an authority of being a warrior and a prince.
Ross stares blankly at Thor, "Can someone tell me what in the sam hell the Minnesota Viking is talking about?" Lt. Mitchell whispers in the General's here and his mood darkens. "Sorry to hear that, goldilocks. In any event, thanks for your interest. There's the door."
Superman's greeting brings a polite smile to Sif's features. "I am. An honor to meet you." She looks around and then back at the Man of Steel for a moment. "Thank you for your hospitality." Taking a seat at the table next to Thor.
She's silent as Ross starts to speak. As questions are asked and answered. A frown marring her features at a few of the explanations given. Her eyes go to Thor when he speaks, mirroring her own thoughts on things. There's a sense of pride about the woman at the words from the Asgardian Prince. Clearly, they're of one mind on it.
However, when Ross speaks, the Goddess narrows her eyes, barely holding back the growl that threatens to tumble from her lips. She isn't appreciative of such disrespect towards Thor.
Still, it's bitten back as she rises when Thor does. A nod is given to those assembled before she links her arm with the Thunder God's and they makes their way out.
It would perhaps not be a surprise that the Martian asks the question he does, given *what* he is. "Do we have any established protocols for global level threats...when there might not be time for normal diplomatic channels? Given the levels of power in this room and the fact that not everyone who possesses this level of power also possesses the sense of responsibility to use it correctly *and* the rapid development of technology, it might not be impossible for one person or a group to threaten the entire planet. At that point...national borders become rather less important." He's not even going to go to 'alien invasions' right now, but the thought is definitely in his mind. He does glance after Thor and Sif as they depart, understanding their mind even if he does not share it. But he answers only to himself...and thus can place his duty where he wishes.
Ross nods to Martian Manhunter, seemingly happy that the room has restored some of its sanity, "Yes sir, that's correct. In situations of extreme chaos, the President will rely on you to make certain decisions at your own discretion. Way he sees it, giving y'all more freedom will lead to better decisions. So in the event of extreme. . ." Pause. "Mayhem. . .You'll have to act as you see fit."
Batwoman gives a single nod in greeting to Superman as she enters. She glances at the others, little in her expression giving anything away as she takes in each face. She takes a seat just before Ross arrives, nodding with most of the questions asked. Her lips curve in a bemused smile when Thor speaks, her glance shifting briefly to Sif when the man mentions his 'sword maiden'. She quietly watches the pair leave, and waits patiently for Ross to answer Manhunter before asking her own question, "So that's it then? If we have other loyalties, we leave? Its this organization or nothing?"
Ross shakes his head, "Not at all, Batwoman. I don't care if you're the Queen of Prussia, which I assume you're not given that you spend a lot of time in Gotham. But even if you are and you swear allegiance to uphold the laws of this country against the forces of evil, I don't mind if you're a native of Timbuktu. Don't forget, you guys are all about to be my boss. But I have strict orders from the President that your allegiance to the cause must be given."
Ross looks around the table, "Any more questions?"
"What about identities? Are we going on the government books? Getting a paycheck? I'm pretty sure your mail service doesn't come to my house," Zatanna points out with a grin.
"Well I was going to get to that, Zatanna, but you're pretty quick on the trigger tonight and I like that in a young lady." Ross eyes around the room, "The government is looking to ensure that each member of the team is open to a background check, same as any..." Ross's words are cutoff for the first time by Superman. "Absolutely, not, General." He pauses looking around the room. "In all of my days fighting for this country and working with President Abbott, I have not divulged my privacy to him. While I understand that most who work as human resource assistance of Department of Labor statisticians have no problem revealing their social security numbers to you, for us it's a little different."
Ross goes quiet.
"What he said. I mean, I'm a known commodity, but some of these folks have families who can't protect themselves if they get targeted," Zee points out. "Since they aren't actually civil servants, maybe you can have someone you trust, Superman for example, vouch for them?"
This time when it is asked if there are questions, Colossus shakes his head. But Zatanna's question raises a very good point. He's not independently rich, after all but the answer is less than pleasing. At least until Superman cuts Ross off. "This is an issue needing to be resolved now, I am thinking."
Ross leans back in his chair, "Superman, I guess I don't know what to say."
"Say this, General. In 10 minutes we're all going to outrank you in this room. So, it'll be your first orders to call up Wash and let him know that none of us will be divulging our personal information to the government. That's where we draw the line. And, since I'm not much of a politician, and President Abbott and I are pretty close I'm sure he'll appreciate this-I know the heat his administration will take for us not divulging will be less than the JLA folding over an issue so small. If he wants to avoid the Lame Duck title for the rest of his administration, and prevent further tragedies from happening, he's going to know that it's much wiser to play ball than to go home."
Ross stays silent for a long time, eyeing each of the heroes present. "Very well, Superman. But I'm not going to get in the middle of the shit storm if one starts."
"That is an issue." He can give up his human identity...but if he does so, then J'onn has essentially no background TO check. "I, for example, am not even from this planet." A little bit of sorrow, as always when he speaks of his home. Of course, he would be, by far, the best equipped to vouch for the others...and the least likely to be trusted by the government. A paradox, there.
Ross nods to Manhunter, "I'm just the messenger."
Batwoman seems ready to consider Ross's answer, but when he starts talking about background checks she is done. She's rising from her seat already when Superman speaks up, and for the first time since this meeting started, she looks to the Man of Steel with something approaching respect. With a glance to J'onn she returns to her seat, "Assuming that our private identities remain so, and that it will be understood that we will, at times, have other loyalties and obligations, then I believe I am ready to proceed."
"Welp," Ross says, "If the President rejects it, it looks like he's rejecting the league." He sighs in irritation, wondering how he got this detail, but pushes it aside quickly and tries to get back on task. "Two more items. You need to select a leader. I recommend doing a round of nominations and a vote. But however you decide, you decide. After that, Mitchell gives you the oaths, and then I head home for a steak dinner with my daughter in Washington. Capiche?"
"I think that one is kind of a no brainer. The one person in this room I trust and respect unconditionally is Superman," Zatanna says. "So I nominate him."
"I agree." Colossus says, looking at Zatanna as she speaks up and then to Superman. "Superman is the logical choice and the one most of us probably know of best." Not know but know of. "I will also need to see this oath, of course, before swearing to it."
"And I would make no objection to that," J'onn says in his deep voice. So far, Superman has proven competent and it is clear that people are inclined to respect and follow him. Most certainly, the Martian would be ill-suited to the task himself...he's too alien to lead these people.
Nodding once more with Colossus, Batwoman voices her agreement, "He seems like the best choice, the only one everyone in this room is familiar with. And I agree, I too will need to see this oath before I swear to it."
"I nominate Colossus," replies Superman. "I think he's shown just as much, even if he doesn't know everyone here. General, would you be so kind as to read the oath?"
Superman and Ross are apparently already at odds, with the hero needling him just a tad. Perhaps payback of treatment to Ross.
"I," Ross says with his gravel road voice, "And then you say your name." Ross straddles the line between showing irritation and doing as he's told. "swear to always act in the best interest of the American people and to uphold the ideals set forth in the United States Constitution as it relates to my duties here with the Justice League of America."
"I, Zatanna Zatara, swear to always act in the best interest of the American people and to uphold the ideals set forth in the United States Constitution as it relates to my duties here with the Justice League of America." The mage stands up, with her hand over her heart, as she states the oath.
At the nomination, Colossus' gaze snaps to Superman and he stares at him a moment. He might have continued to stare if Ross had not spoken up with the oath and that's very important to listen to and understand. Which is actually a problem. When Zatanna finishes, he says "I... It is not my intention to be difficult but I would ask if I could see a copy of this Constitution so I may be certain I understand all of what is in it. I would not want to give oath with any uncertainty."
Martian Manhunter listens, then nods. "I have no problem with that." Getting Piotr a copy of the Constitution shouldn't be hard...even if there isn't one in the building. He will, for now, let the General answer to that. J'onn himself has read it...he would not be here if he didn't believe in the ideals of the United States. Not always how they are *executed*, but then, nobody said humans (or Martians) were perfect. He glances at Zatanna as she steps up first to give the oath, then more or less copies her, naming himself as J'onn J'onzz. (Of course, that might not be where he keeps his heart...who knows with aliens...but it's the gesture that matters).
For this, Batwoman does stand. To attention. "I, Batwoman," She says, voice clear and filled with something vastly different from what has been in her tone thus far, "swear to always act in the best interest of the American people and to uphold the ideals set forth in the United States Constitution as it relates to my duties here with the Justice League of America." Once finished, she returns to her seat once more and falls silent.
"Not a problem Colossus. in fact, if you look at the console in front of you Mitchell can bring it up in any language known to man. You just let us know." Ross doesn't seem irritated, although when Colossus gets to that part that was taken out about the 3/5ths rule, there's likely to be a discussion. Three cheers for a living document.
Superman takes the oath after Batwoman and sits down promptly. "After Colossus has a chance to take the oath, we'll vote on team lead," Ross says, and mutters something about hoping to high hell it ain't Spitcurl in Blue.
Which of course, just makes Zatanna more cemented to vote for him. She grins and flashes Big Blue a wink.
Colossus nods and suggests that English should be fine. WHile it's not his native language, he is fluent. Once it's called up, he starts reading. Skimming mostly, to begin with. The first ten are well known. Here and there he nods. Occasionally he frowns. Once or twice he glances up at the Americans in the room. But eventually he sits back. Like J'onn, he has little problem with it in theory only in how it's been executed at times. After a moment's thought, he does stand to give the oath. "I, Colossus, swear to always act in the best interest of the American people and to uphold the ideals set forth in the United States Constitution as it relates to my duties here with the Justice League of America." But then he adds "Should I ever feel that I can no longer do so, I shall so inform the other members and then take my leave." That's fine, right?
Ross nods, "Fine by me, Big Man." For some reason, Ross seems to have really taken a liking to Colossus.
Martian Manhunter returns to his seat. He glances at Ross, then Superman. The tension between the two would be obvious even if he was not a telepath (albeit a very polite one). He folds his hands into his lap and waits.
Batwoman waits, her gaze sliding thoughtfully from Superman to Piotr. Her eyes stay on Colossus as he gives an addendum, her her head tilting a little as she continues to consider her choice.
Ross nods to Colossus, "Well, everyone's signed sealed and delivered. Let's just get this leader thing under control. All those in favor of the guy with big muscles wearing metal, raise your hand."
Superman raises his hand in voting for Colossus.
Batwoman alo raises her hand for Colossus.
Piotr just looks at Superman when he raises his hand but when Batwoman does as well, he looks surprised. And does not raise his own.
Zatanna raises her hand for Superman.
Piotr raises his hand as well.
Zatanna adds, "And I also nominate Colossus as our XO."
Martian Manhunter votes for Superman...although it's clear he did think about it. Then he glances at Zatanna and nods to her. Colossus as XO is, after all, the perfect compromise. And makes sure nobody tries to nominate *him*.
Ross nods, "Looks like it's been decided. Superman will be the leader, Colossus is the number 2. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. It's been a real treat." Somehow it doesn't seem like he really meant that. His chopper is out back waiting to take him to DC to meet Betty. Reservations at the Washington Hotel. Good place. You should go there.