|Stranger In A Strange Land|
|What: Terra helps repair some holes in the ground in NYC, only to be accused of stealing jobs!|
Terra is ever busy fulfilling her duties, helping the Earth in many different places and many different ways. Today she took flight on her floating rock over Manhattan, and over on section, she couldn't help but notice all the holes scattered about the ground. Recent storms, underground work, and constant construction do leave some areas in a state of disrepair. But fear not, being the ever helpful superhero that she is, Terra swoops down and while floating on her rock--not at all drawing attention to herself of course--she starts to mend the ground, by pointing at it and doing gestures with her hands which the ground seems to mimic, as little by little she starts to close off gaping holes.
All right, so there's some odd things that can, and do happen in new York City. Heck, New York City itself can be considered an odd thing when you just stop and get down to it. After all, a giant concrete jungle on the Hudson, with such a large and varied population, and of course its history regarding crime... yeah, it can easily be considered more than a bit odd.
With that said, there are people in the city who act as its protectors. People who try to help out. People like Karen Starr aka Power Girl!
And right now, Peej is flying down one of the roads, flying a standard patrol. Or at least she is until her hearing catches something... Something said by a coupld of the guys not too far from Terra who are watching her.
"Look at that!"
"I bet'cha she's not union either! dang costumes, not only wrecking our city, but being scabs and stealing our jobs too!"
Talk about a little bit of a hassle... this wasn't something Roy could just look out for. And even though he was off-duty, and it -really- wasn't his jurisdiction as an agent of SHIELD, Roy intervenes, approaching Terra with a grin and a "Hey. You know, there're people who do this work, that's how they make a living. You, uh.... you realize you're taking money out of people's wallets when you're doing their work for them?" It was one of those little concessions to reality, that superheroes -helped- their economy just about as much as they caused insurance premiums to go skyhigh. Dirty little secret, swear to God, not something that people -usually- think about, and certainly not Roy Harper, except for the times he had to go job-hunting...
Terra seems oblivious to the fact that what she's doing is essentially stepping in on the territory of other people's livelihood. She ignores the comments murmured around her, not once expecting they are aimed at her, but once Roy comes towards her she stops a moment to look at him. "Huh? People that fix broken ground? But it was broken...I just healed it, I didn't really mean to take anybody's job." But when the conversation progresses and Terra gets the impression Roy is accusing her of stealing, she leaps down from her rock and glowers at him, "hey! That's a lie! I didn't steal from anybody!"
And between the familiar voice, the fact that the person is saying in essence the exact same thing as those bozos were, and the girls reaction to what was said...
Power Girl frowns. And she heads over towards the... 'talk'. In fact, she ends up just hovering above the pair as she says, "Is everything all right ma'am? Agent Harper?"
"Oh hey, I wasn't saying you were -stealing-, just that they're not getting paid for the job if you're doing their jobs for them," Roy says soothingly, hands up in the air. Certainly -not- messing with someone who could manipulate earth like that. Well, not much. "But with the economy the way it is, people could use..."
And then Power Girl swoops down, and Roy looks up. Well, whoa. "Power Girl, right?" Can't forget those memories. There's a brief grin. "Haven't seen you since the first zombots outbreak. No, nothing's wrong, just that she's taking care of street repairs. Which really isn't her job, so..." A shrug, as Roy looks towards Terra. "Right?"
"I'm not ma'am!" Terra calls up at Power Girl when she hovers above them and joins in the 'conversation', "I'm Terra! And everything is not already, because this guy," Terra points accusatorily at Roy, "says I'm stealing and all I did was help mend the ground!" Terra's face is all contorted between anger and shock, never having expected to be accused of stealing. She then turns to look back at Roy, "you should apologize to me!"
3... 2... 1...
Cue Power Girl facepalming.
Why is she facepalming? Maybe it has to do with the way those words are being tossed around, she's kind of reminded of what she went through back when she first came to Earth? Maybe.
But for now, there is a glance at the (aparently) younger hero as she says, "All right... Terra. Sorry." before she glances at Roy.
"And Terra, Agent Harper here is not trying to be mean or insulting. he's actually voicing a valid claim that actually /could/ get you in trouble since there actually are people who get paid for doing what you're doing."
Rubbing his chin, Roy ponders. "You're new around here, are you?" he says, not unkindly, but at least firmly. "Look, let's start over. Please don't do other people's work for them, they get paid for this, and they won't get paid if you do their work for them. If you want to help..." Roy ponders this, before sighing. "Well, we can call up City Hall and see if you can get a contract for this."
"You are?" Terra seems quite surprised, having expected Power Girl to take Roy's side, and this kind of leaves her off guard. She looks confused, and shifts her gaze from Power Girl to Roy, wondering if he'll agree with Power Girl. "But...I'm not taking money, I'm just fixing the damage!" Terra is now even more confused, she thought Power Girl was coming here to help her, and now she suggests Roy had a point. "So...should I just leave those holes in the ground?" Terra nods at Roy's keen observation, doesn't take a genius to figure that one out after all. "Look, I have a mission, I have to look after the Earth...and holes in the ground are not good!"
And here's where things get a bit... Thorny (as if they weren't already).
"If the holes are an obvious danger to others, then yes, your fixing them is a good thing." is said as that bit about 'looking after the earth' bounces around Power Girls head. "But if they aren't, then you probably should let others deal with them. After all, that's what they're paid to do."
Then she pauses, and glances at Roy as if to silently confirm that she feels Terra is 'new' as well.
"If that is your mission though, I have to ask... Do you think you have to fix every little thing that is wrong with the Earth by yourself, or can you, and are you willing to do the bigger things that others can't, thus leaving little things like this to others who can fix them?"
Rubbing the corners of his eyes just above the bridge of his nose, Roy decides to just forego the 'how everything is connected' thing, because this was making -his- head hurt. "What she said," Roy passes the buck, at least for the moment. Women could talk womenlanguage, let Power Girl deal with it. As long as she stopped fixing things for thr moment.
Inspecting the hole, Roy whistles. "Nice job, though... if you're going to be a contractor or something for the city, charge higher hourly rates."
"So...I guess this 'job' they have is their duty? So I mustn't interfere with their duty? That makes some kind of sense, I guess," Terra furrows her brow as she considers this explanation offered by Power Girl.
Whirling around to look at Roy, Terra takes on what can only be seen as a direct rip off of the ideal of a superhero, as she exclaims while holding her hand aloft, "I am Terra! I will protect the Earth, everywhere and anywhere! I can do anything that is required! I will not fail!" Though Roy's last comment leaves Terra with a quizzical look as she breaks her heroic pose while squinting her eyes at him, "hourly rate?"
Yeap, definately 'new in town'.
Power Girl just stares at Terra as the younger woman does that, before she reaches up and just massages her temples for a moment.
"Terra... Stupid question. Are you from another player, another universe, another planet, or something else? And please, don't take that as an insult or the wrong way..."
And yes, she lets Roy try to explain the hourly rate bit.
"But you could say that making small repairs is their duty."
"Wow... you're like... Canadian, are you?" Roy shakes his head at the pure optimistic joy of that Superhero. "Although Canada has money. Hourly rate is... well, what you're paid by the hour, though..." He glances back at Power Girl. "If she has no idea what it means to get paid, she's -got- to be from another universe, or from someplace where there's no media."
Roy ponders that, before throwing his hands up. "Right. If that's the case, I've got to get you a card or something -before- some idiot start screaming about illegal immigrants again..."
Terra looks a bit awkward at Power Girl's question, looking around her nervously, before bursting out in an afterthought, "I didn't say anything like that! You can't prove it, I'm from...from...the Earth!" Terra doesn't really do a very good job of lying, alebit one could claim she is very much from the Earth, well within the Earth. But then that's the part she's trying to keep secret, and she's already failed! How could this Power Girl be so clever? Terra is at a loss, unaware of what she did wrong to stick out so obviously.
"Canadian?" Terra considers Roy's suggestion, maybe she should use that in the future when people ask her where she's from. "I could be," Terra remains non-commital, if she's lucky maybe that answer would be good enough. "I'm not illegal, I'm a hero, I uphold all that is right!"
"Common. Cultural. References." is said as Karen glances at Terra, as if that explains eveything. All though at Roy she does roll her eyes and shakes her head.
"It's all right though, you could say that I've dealt with others who were in the same boat before."
"Probably some Canadian colony -somewhere-," Roy mutters, at the look Power Girl gives him. "Or Switzerland. They're like, really neutral people, right?"
To Terra, Roy grins. "Great. I'm guessing you're -not- an American, at the least, so... just talk to someone at the UN, they'll give you paperwork, then you can do whatever... just don't pull any crimes."
There was a brief pause. "You learned English watching Sailor Moon, right?"
Terra looks timidly at Power Girl, feeling like any minute know she'll call out her secret somehow, even though there's no way Power Girl could know. Nobody is supposed to know about Strata! But Terra has a weird feeling that Power Girl can look into her mind, naturally not realizing how careless she's being to pretty much boast the fact she's not from around. "Even if I've never been on a boat?" Terra asks Power Girl at her latest quip.
At Roy's stating outright that she's not American, Terra nods reluctantly, "yeah...I guess that's true. Where do I find this person I have to talk to?" She asks before crossing her arms and giving Roy a not at all amused glower, "I told you already, I don't do crime! I'm a hero! And if I never been on a boat, how can I be a Sailor? Obviously, I never was on the same ship with Sailor Moon."
A glance is shot directly at Roy from Power Girl. It's a bit of a warning. A 'Don't egg her on' kind of thing, before the alternate universe 'maid of might' glances back at Terra.
"By 'common cultural references', I mean you're not recognizing them. You speak the language fine, but the little things that people take for granted, be it a pop culture reference in the case of Sailor Moon, or the older but still common cultural references in the case of 'in the same boat'."
Yes, Karen is showing off her communications degree a bit here, but she does have a point. And she doesn't even point out that 'in the same boat' is a reference that is common in not only the US, but also Canada, The UK, New Zeland, and Australia too.
"That's the big thing giving away that you're not exactly from 'around here."
There's a brief sigh, as Roy pulls out his cell. "Excuse me," he says. "You got this, Peeg? Explaining these things to people not from this dimesnion give me an headache. I'm gonna call this in and see if I can get some help..."
Stepping away, muttering something about -not- letting that girl anywhere near 'My Little Pony, Roy makes a call. "Hello? Listen, I got an alien..."
Terra pouts when Power Girl explains it ever so eloquently, and then sighs, "that's not good...where do I go to learn these common cultural references?" Terra asks, as if somebody opened a school for just those things that she can waltz into and be fine in minutes. At least she recognized the fact that Power Girl is a good person, and may well be on her side. It would be good to have someone she could relate to on the surface world, she has been quite lonely since taking the role of Terra.
"Noooo," Terra rushes at Roy as he mentions the world alien, if he's not quick enough to react, she'll literally scream into his communicator, "there's no alien here! Everything is fine, you can go home or stay home if you're there already!"
It looks a lot like Power Girl is fighting the urge to yet again massage her temples at Terras question.
"There isn't any easy way to learn them. They tend to be things that one learns as they go along. But not knowing them tends to make you stick out." is all the clarification that Karen offers regarding 'learning' those references, before she shoots Roy yet another look.
"Agent Harper, please stay." is said to him, even as she shifts her attention back to Terra at that whole 'alien' nit.
Yeah, she could say something, but she doesn't. At least Peej doesn't just yet.
The look Power Girl gets when asking Roy to stay is more along the lines of "just what are you offering me to stay and deal with -that-?", but that's only a fleeting glance, before Roy is fending off an alien attack. "Whoa, whoa whoa... what? Wait, I'm talking about illegal immigrants and... are you -actually- an alien? Chillax, take a load off your feet, I'm just..." Oh lord.
"Agent Harper? Are you having trouble?"
"Look, I'll call back later... all's clear." Click.
"Look, uh... just... let's get off the streets and uh... Power Girl'll buy you a cup of coffee or something..." Roy says, quickly putting the phone away.
(And sometime later, Roy would realize, giving Terra a cup of coffee was where the real trouble began...)
"Could you please teach me?" Terra asks Power Girl as she explains there's no real easy way to learn them. But after she's gone after Roy to scream at his communicator that there are no aliens here, she blushes, realizing she miss-stepped again. Well, her violet eyes might be a bit of a hint if her behaviour wasn't enough, but she really didn't want to put more of a spotlight on her quesitonable origin. "Errr...I think maybe I should go," but at the offer to go with Power Girl, who was nice to her, Terra lights up, "Power Girl can teach me those things she was mentioning."
Yes, odds are coffee is where trouble will start. But as Roy makes a sugestion that Terra go wuth her, Karen... Winces.
"I can try." is said to terra with a slight wince, before she glances away.
"I guess first we'll need to find out where to start though."
"You girls do that. Call me when you can get her situated and I'll help get her registered before she gets deported or something," Roy says, fingers twitching as if to make a call again. Sticking his hands in his pockets and glancing around, Roy grins. "If you need help..."
Just like that, with little understanding of what he has just done, and any potential revenge that Power Girl might send his way, Roy condemned Karen to a new best friend in Terra. She may not know it yet, but Power Girl is officially Terra's best friend as of now for the sole reason she took her side, at least seemingly, while Roy was accusing her with lies. Terra hurries along Power Girl's side, "it's okay, we can start at the beginning!"
- Fade to black