|What: In the JLA Headquarters, Zatanna fills Superman in on Mojo, he fills her in on Krypton, and they discuss Uzbekisan building a missile silo.|
Superman hunches over some monitors in the meeting room inspecting them intricately. Over the past few days he's been working non-stop trying to get this place up and running and doing his rounds in Metropolis. He even took a few weeks vacation from the Planet just to stay afloat. As someone approaches, he can hear them, but is focused more on reading about details of a missile silo being built in Uzbekistan.
Zatanna is off-duty but she clearly slept at the Hall last night. She's in the government issued sweats and t-shirt with the shiny new JLA logo on them. Her hair is mussed, she looks groggy, and she has some weird red marks around her mouth. "Supes," she greets, cradling a large, JLA-logoed coffee mug in both hands. The government spared no expense.
The Mistress of Magic peers over Kal's shoulder at the monitor blearily. "Tell me that's a farm and they're going to store grain in that thing," she mutters at the sight of the silo.
Superman smiles immediately as he realizes it's Zatanna Zatara. As she enters, he reaches back to rub his face. He, as compared to the lovely lady, is wearing his normal full suit regalia. He has a white one he wears to formal things, but he's a pretty standard guy. "Thank goodness you're here." Zatanna always seems to brighten his spirits abit. "You have no idea how dry this i..." Superman stops midsentence. "Did you make out with Elmo again?" His face softens, "Are you okay?"
"High tech duct-tape put on my mouth in some crazy alternate pocket dimension by Jabba the Hutt's internet-savvy cousin who was putting on some insane version of the Summer Olympics with kidnapped athletes and spectators." Zatanna smirks, because she knows that sounds way crazier than making out with Elmo. "I was lucky enough to be spectating. J'onn was stuck dealing with exploding shot puts, javelin throws over shark tanks, pole vaulting over a tentacle monster, and running through a minefield. We won't even mention the herd of angry cybernetic rhinos that chased him through the 400 metre dash, or the electrified hurdles, and long jump over a pit of giant poisonous snakes." She waits to see the look on Kal's face, because it should be photo-worthy.
Superman's face: Mouth open slightly, tongue on molars, eyes peering in confusion, eyebrows tense, nose wrinkled, hand rubbing forehead. "Wait. What?"
Her iPhone comes out. ||SNAP!|| Picture taken. Totally going on the bulletin board in the galley. Yup. Zatanna smiles. "I wish I was kidding. J'onn can confirm. This guy was called something," she rubs a temple, "Like in the Austin Powers movies," ponder. "Mojo, that was it. I'm not all too sure where we were, but Robin managed to get the tape off my mouth and I got us all home with a spell. That kid, I'm telling you," she huffs.
The coffee sloshes over the side of her cup. "Me and Bats are gonna have words about his boy. He shoved an icepack down my shirt! Granted it was to short out the tape but still!"
Superman sits back, sighs, and shakes his head. "Well, Robin is another issue. I have some problems with him myself, frankly, but that's another matter. Was everyone okay? Is there a way to get back? Is this still a threat? Do you have thoughts on how we should prepare?" Superman stands abruptly waiting for an answer and moves off toward a cabinet.
"I could try to get back with a spell, but since I really don't know where 'back' is, it'd be more dangerous than I think it's worth. I half think it was just a shared hallucination or something. I mean, Deadpool was there competing, and that new Titan, the fuzzy one, Wildebeest? The only way I got us back was to send everyone to the location they were at noon yesterday. I was hoping we were all brought there at the same time or within a couple hours. I might have left people there. I hope not." Zee frowns at the thought. "I don't remember being taken. Last thing I remember was getting my mail here."
Superman winces, "Not a lot to go on." He comes back towards Zatanna with a tube of salve. He opens the cap and runs some on his finger. "Here, sit still." Gently he puts some of the salve, if she lets him, on the sides of her mouth. "This is an anti-inflammatory. Not as good as what I keep at my headquarters, but it'll do for now." He looks at her as he's applying, "Have you got anything we can go on? Anything else you can think of? It sounds that this person is extremely powerful."
Zee sits and patiently lets Superman apply the ointment. She winces a little at the tenderness of the skin but doesn't stop him. "I wish I could remember more. My memory before I woke up there strapped in a chair with that gag on is a little foggy. It seemed like it was being broadcast on TV? But clearly not on TV here. It was the most bizarre thing, and that's coming from /me/." Zatanna has seen her share of bizarre.
"This sounds as if it could have really been bad. I'm glad you're alright. If you wouldn't mind preparing a report, or asking Manhunter to as well, I think everyone needs to know about this and we need to work on it during our next meeting." Superman finishes and puts the cap back upon the tube, setting it on the table. "Well, between the salve and the red, I just want you to know that you look ridiculous. So..." He uses his superspeed and tries to grab her phone to take a picture of her. "Turnabout is fair play."
AGH! Zee's expression is hilarious when the photo is snapped. She looks utterly horrified mingled with a good level of mortification. She sticks her tongue out at Kal after and snorts. "I am totally making J'onn do that paperwork." She hates paperwork. She reads voraciously, writes magical stuff, but work writing? Blech. She takes back her camera and sips her coffee. "What about that?" she asks, nodding at the missile silo.
"Sorry," Superman says and slides the phone over to Zatanna. "I needed a bit of a pick me up after tonight." Superman looks over his shoulder, "What that? Oh..." He looks back to her, "Missile silo in Uzbekistan. After the cold war a lot of the soviet 'states' ended up getting a lot of the nuclear arsenal just by the way the lines were drawn on the map. The uzbeks look like they're building a new silo and I'm paying attention because I'm hoping it's not going to have a warhead in it. Not sure why I'm tying my stomach in knots over it, since we couldn't do anything about it anyhow." He exhales in frustration, "Call it a characater flaw."
"After tonight? What's going on Supes?" Zee asks, looking concerned about him. She settles back in her seat and eyes him with that look she gets, where she is gonna stare like that til he spits it out.
Superman sighs and shakes his head, "Personal stuff. Alter ego drama. That sort of thing." He shrugs his shoulders. "Got called a liar by someone I cared about for a while. And it bothers me because she's right."
Ok, that gets the most enormous, unattractive snort from Zatanna. It's comical in its intensity. "Oh puh-leeze. You being called a liar is like me being told I have ugly legs." Zee smirks. "What, because you aren't telling someone your civvie ID? Really? Would this person expect an undercover cop to tell them that? It's part of your job, not a real lie. When the truth is a danger to people you care about, then it's your duty to keep it under wraps, big guy."
Superman shakes his head, his curly bit of hair dances over his forehead. "No, that's not it." He takes a breath and looks back at Zatanna, "I've...well, people are going to find out someday anyhow, and Martian Manhunter....well." Superman purses his lips. "I'm an alien. I was raised here. But I'm not human, despite how I look. And I've kept that a secret from people. And I got called on it by someone who knew."
Zatanna slowblinks at Kal. "And?" Like it's no big deal to her. Mind you, she hangs out with the likes of John Constantine, Swamp Thing, demons, ghosts, and lives in a semi-sentient house in its own pocket dimension. Him being an alien is no big deal. "This surprises people? Really? Like the flying and laser eyes and being able to punch through a building would make them feel better if you WERE from Earth instead of just saving their asses day in and day out?"
"I don't know," Superman says. "But I've always wanted to keep it quiet out of respect for my adoptive parents, and I didn't want people to be afraid. In any event, it's come between someone and me and it's been a tough night."
Zee gets up and she moves behind Superman's chair so she can lean down and hug him from behind. "If someone can't accept you for you, and accept your wishes and needs to keep things under wraps, then they aren't really your friend. They are clearly more concerned about other things, than about you. That isn't caring, Supes. It's selfish. Not wanting to advertise you're not from here to the world, risking that people might be afraid or misjudge you and threaten your ability to keep them safe isn't wrong. I know you. I know in time you'll let the world know, but I'm guessing first you want them to know you absolutely have their best interests at heart?"
Superman holds Zee's arm around him for a moment before releasing it. "Yeah. This girl...I've known her for about four years. We...It's tough to explain. But she's a writer, and I think you're right. I think she values the scoop more than she values me."
"Lane?" Zee asks. It's obvious as hell really. She's the one who gave him his name. "She's a reporter. She really expects a super hero to tell them her secrets? Hell, her father is military. Even if you could trust her, it'd just make her a target, Superman." She shakes her head. "I don't know squat about your relationship with this woman but, trust your instincts. You're one of the most honest, sincere, good people I know. So I'm betting if you just be you, things will be for the best." She smiles and dares to try and ruffle the hair of the Kyrptonian. "So what planet are you from? Like Pluto? I'm still mad they un-planeted Pluto. It could use the good press."
Superman doesn't move as she musses his hair, instead he just smiles. "Krypton, actually. It was destroyed. But I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment on Pluto, even if that's the little boy in me speaking. Scientifically it's..." He chuckles, "It should still be a planet. I don't care what science says."
"Krypton? Never heard of it. Go figure. I've heard about about 300 different hell dimensions, but not where Superman came from." Zee shakes her head and chuckles. She sits back in her seat again. "So tell me about it. Was the sky green? Did everyone fly there? Did anyone bother wearing clothes if you all had X-Ray vision?" She grins, listening eagerly.
Superman chuckles, "No...we actually get powers from yellow sunlight. So, it's a lot different. Before the planet exploded, their sun was read." He shrugs his shoulders, divulging more information than he has to anyone other than his parents. It's nice to be able to confide in someone. "My true father was a scientist there. He...believed an apocolypse was coming and tried to warn people. Like Noah here, people laughed. So, he sent me her to be sure I was safe."
"Wow, so you're the last? I'm sorry, Supes. That has to be hard. I know what it's like to lose your family." Zatanna reaches over to give his arm a squeeze. Then she ponders. "What about Supergirl? Superboy? Are they from Krypton too or just using the name?" she asks curiously, before she goes off on a tangent again. "A red sun. That's wild. So if you don't have access to the Earth's sun, is that a problem for you? I only ask because I was planning a JLA dinner party at Shadowcrest and, well, there is no sun. It's night always there, and it's definitely not Earth."
Superman shakes his head, "No, it'd be fine. It takes a long, long time for my powers to dissipate." He tilts his head, "Well Supergirl and Superboy are long stories. I'd let them tell their pasts to you. But they are my family."
"I'm glad you're not alone, then," Zatanna says with a sincere smile. "And I'm glad your family is here to help keep people safe. The world is changing, Superman. Everyone in the mystical community can feel it. And I think Thor said something to the effect of being called here because of things building up when he said he couldn't join us. We need all the help, all the defenders, we can get."
Superman nods faintly, "And thats' why we're here at 3 in the morning talking about missile silos and Mobos." He stands, "Thanks for the talk, Zee. I really need a break. I'm going to go flying for a while."
"And I need to go work on my makeup techniques because I am not going out looking like I have cold sores all over my face, yuck!" Zee grouses. She gets up, gives Supes a peck on the cheek, and saunters off with her coffee.