|Mothers and Names|
|What: On Mother's Day, some members of the Young Allies gather in the park and talk about family and codenames.|
It is a bright and sunny day in New York city, and a perfect day for kids young and old a like to play in the park. Billy Kaplan has picked a mostly out of the way spot in the park where there is still plenty of space to run in the grass and things are mostly flat to spread out a blanket and turn loose his little brothers. The two little mons...young boys are at the moment not far away kicking a soccer ball back and fortha t each other with all the energy and skill one might expect from 9 or 10 year olds. Billy himself is streatched out on his stomach on the ground pretending to keep a watchful eye on his little brothers with a Nook, a small ice chest, and a bottle of water sitting next to him. With a quick check of the time on his book reader he smiles. "Right, a few more hours still before needing to worry about getting home to go out to eat for Mother's day."
Bright, sunny, cheerful...not things that apply to Eddie right now. He's got a fresh black eye, a few bruises visible, and it looks like his nose was bleeding at some point. Dressed in jeans and a Kid Flash t-shirt, he's on his way to the Terminal with a frown on his face. At least until he spots Billy. He pauses for a moment before walking over to take a seat right next to him. "Hi."
Lor-Zod is in his civvies... still the same clothes that Ben got him weeks ago now, though they're clean. He, though, is coming out of the Terminal. Having probably heard Billy's voice, and then Eddie's, he's heading right for them as soon as he steps out, waving as he's closer.
Terry is... at work. Sort of. While his actual employer has given people the day off, the black-clothed teen along with some of the other couriers around town have been recruited by some local flower shops to try and serve more of their 'last second' shoppers for the holiday. Which is precisely why he's making his way through the park -- one of his usual shortcuts -- with a carefully wrapped bouquet of flowers in his hands. However, the delivery in question /is/ some time away, and those people over there look familiar... so the boy decides to stop his jog only a few feet from his teammates. "Hey, guys. Funny running into you here."
Billy Kaplan turns a smile on Eddie as he gets close, which turns into a light frown and a bit of worry seeing the shape he is in. "Eddie?!? What happened?" Rolling over reveals that along with a pair of random jeans he is wearing a shirt that says 'Ringwraith Black Rider Motercycle club' in fnacy script and has a picture of a Ringwraith from the Lord of the Rings books riding a motercycle. As the others show Billy gives them waves and a small smile. "Hey, not sure about funny. It's Mother's day so I figured one of the better ways to give Mom a day off would be after cleaning up from them making breakfast drag them out to the park and let them have fun." He says them while tilting his head in the general direction of his little brothers.
"My brother and his friends," Eddie answers simply. He shrugs it off though. Billy's shirt gets a squint and then Eddie smiles as he recognizes what a Ring Wraith is. Lor and Terry appearing gets a little wave from Eddie. "Hi g-guys," he offers. "It's n-not that funny. I c-c-come through here every day."
Lor-Zod nods to what Eddie says and adds, "I live here, pretty much." He glances to the younger kids playing with the soccer ball and the back to the others, and asks, "What is Mother's Day, anyway? Don't you honour your mothers every day?"
"It's just an expres-- never mind." Terry shakes his head a bit and later frowns at the mention of Mother's Day. Clearly not one of his favorites, but he's not about to say why. "Good to see you guys /anyways,/ though. I've been keeping busy myself," he shifts the bouquet to one arm and motions to it with his free hand. "I'm sure a certain girl's going to appreciate these when I get them to her." ...and he's going to appreciate the paycheck. He'll leave explaining the holiday to someone else, though.
Billy Kaplan purses his lips at the explination of what happened to Eddie. There is a sharp increase int he smell of ozone around him but he does manage not to do anything, and keeps his mouth shut on exactly what he is thinking with other people around. Billy grins at Lor and nods. "Well I do if I don't wnat to get smacked in the head..." He jokes as he casts an eye over to amke sure his brothers are not getting into any trouble or anything. "But it is a special holiday set up specificaly to celibrate mothers and the maternal bond."
"My mother's dead," Eddie replies flatly. He means the biological one of course. He hasn't quite gotten to the place where he's comfortable refferring to Thor and Sif as 'dad and mom' yet. He smiles at Terry though. "Keeping busy's good. How's you d-day been going?"
Lor-Zod sits down by his friends, and looks to Eddie, blinking at that news but he says, "Oh... sorry." He really doesn't seem to have a clue how to reply to that. At least, rather than asking more about the holiday, he changes subjects, "I got to see Kal... Superman's base yesterday. It's *amazing*."
"Well, in all honesty? It's not usually a great day for me either, Eddie. As long as I keep my mind off of things though, I'm alright." There's a pause as he keys on Lor's statement and sees an opening for a change of subject. "Oh really now? Can you tell us about it, or are you sworn to secrecy?"
Billy Kaplan reaches a hand out to put on Eddie's shoulder in a comforting sort of way. He really needs to learn not to talk about family being apparentlyt he only super hero ever with no seriously messed up stuff in his family. As Lor sits down Billy gestures to the ice chest with a smile. "If you want you can have a drink or a snack, I brought enough for like a dozen people...I figured that might be enough for us for the day." He says 'us' gesturing at his brothers again while making the offer to all three of his friends there. "Dude, Superman's own private base, I bet that really was amazing."
"Don't be, Lor. I'm better off with her g-gone," Eddie replies, frowning. He nods to Terry, giving him a sympathetic look. Billy gets him leaning slightly into the contact and the power booster relaxes as the subject is changed. "Oh man, you mean that ice place Superboy mentioned once. What's it like?" he asks, fanboy mode ready to start.
Lor-Zod nods quickly and says, "I can talk about it. Not sure I'm allowed to say where it is, but I can talk about it. It's huge. It looks just like how my parents described Krypton. It was all ice and crystals, the whole building was made out of them. And he had robots... they were serving food, since it was a party, but I bet usually they help him run everything. He said usually he doesn't have visitors there, he calls it the Fortress of Solitude."
"That's... wow." Terry must admit, he's a little in awe. Another planet represented on Earth? ... at least it seems it's probably on Earth, since Lor said he'd seen it yesterday... but the boy can't be sure of that, either. "Must have been an awesome sight... and who would've thought /he'd/ be enough of a loner to have a Fortress of Solitude." 20 points of respect gained for Superman, since Terry's own apartment is somewhat of a fortress of solitude too. Except considerably less of a fortress.
Billy Kaplan grins listening to Lor-Zod going on fanboymode himself. "That does sound pretty awsome." After a second Billy ends up rolling over so he is laying on his back and staring up into the sky. "I...can kinda see it. I mean the kind of powers he has, throw in being on an alien world, would be enough to make me want to have a place far away from things. Heck, I feel like that half the time now."
"Oh wow," Eddie agrees with Terry. "It s-s-sounds aweome," he murmurs. As Billy mentions wanting a place away from the world, Eddie smiles. He's got something like that although the dark tunnels under NYC and secluded rooftops aren't exactly up to par with the FoS.
Lor-Zod nods quickly and says, "It is." Then he nods to Billy's explanation and says, "That's probably it, yeah. Don't think I'd ever want to be that alone. I don't like /lots/ of people around, but I like some." [Asgard] A Little Drop of Rain grins
"I /definitely/ have times I want to be alone." Terry admits, glancing over to the side. "Not that I don't like hanging out with you guys, but sometimes it's just important to be alone with my thoughts, you know?" ...and most importantly, away from everyone /else's/ thoughts.
Billy Kaplan nods and grins. "It's not healthy to not want to have anyone else around, but everyone does need some time alone." That is part of the reason he is spending the whole day watching his borthers while his mother is off doing whatever it is she wants to do on her Mother's day. "Hard parts always knowing when it's best to be alone or around other people. At least thats why I always get when I start to cut myself off from people."
"We all n-n-n-need both. Believe me...spend enough time alone and you'll r-really want other people around," Eddie murmurs softly, shaking off those memories. He then nudges Billy a little. "Because you c-c-cut off too much," or so he'd heard from Billy's parents during one of his visits.
Lor-Zod nods a little bit, "I guess." Then he says, "In the Phantom Zone, there was only one solid building. One building where everybody was corporeal. One building where time passed, for most people. My parents were usually around there, or someone working for them. I could get away by going outside, I was solid outside. Time passed for me outside. But it was so empty... being that alone is scary."
"As much as I hate to admit it... I'm pretty sure you're right about that, Eddie. Although it all depends on the people you're hanging around with, too... I mean, I know some people who I'd rather be alone for a few years straight rather than be around for a few mnutes. On the other hand... people that who's company you enjoy make it easier not to want to be alo-" Terry stops himself flat when he hears an unfamiliar term, directing his attention back to Lor. "Phantom Zone? ...I'm guessing that's not a fancy arcade, then."
Billy Kaplan sighs just a little and eyes Eddie. Yeah, he knows he tends to cut off people too much when he is in a bad place, one of those reasons his parents while not overjoyed are ok with him bieng a super hero. At least runnign around with a bunch of other powered teens he has friends and is less likely to internalize every little thing. "Your right about that Terry. Would gladly go for decades never seeing another person before having to deal with John Kessler ever again." He says jsut for an instant thinking about the boy that was his own personal tormentor for a good while.
"It sounds like it is," Eddie agrees with Lor. It's not the same as his situation but it sounds to Eddie like they had similar isolated times. He'd give the smaller hero a hug if he were closer and wasn't bleeding. It's just rude to bleed on your friends. Terry and Billy's statements get a firm nod, Eddie definitely not wanting to see certain people again. He just tends to run into them too much.
Lor-Zod looks up to Terry and says, "The Phantom Zone's where I was born. Krypton didn't use the death penalty so on the criminals they thought were too dangerous, they sent to the Phantom Zone. It's... a pocket universe, I guess. People sent there wouldn't ever die, because they were turned into phantoms. Noncorporeal. Fort Rozz was an accident, I guess, a prison that got sent to the Zone whole."
"Oh... wow." That's about all that Terry can say to Lor's explanation, trying to imagine what the younger boy is describing.... and his distaste for it obvious on his features. "That's... got to be even worse than the death penalty, I've got to think. I mean, not even... /being./" He visibly shudders at the thought.
Billy Kaplan joins Terrrance at the shuddering. "Oh, wow that is..." He has no words for the thought of what that would be like. The mental image of being in the phantom zone may have just won out against Niflheim bieng worst place ever.
Eddie shudders as well. "Horrible..." he trails off quietly. "I'm glad you're n-not stuck there anymore, Lor," he says.
Lor-Zod nods a little bit to the reactions, though smiles at Eddie's words, "Thanks, me too." Then he says, "I thought it was just going to be me that got out, that's what my father said. I'm different, because I was born there. But my mother found a way out too. I haven't seen her very much, though, I don't know where she's been but this world's got so much to see, I guess she's still looking around."
Billy Kaplan nods at Eddie. "We are all glad, no one deserves that kind of fate." After hearing that Lor's mother got out as well and is not around he frowns just a little. He does not know much, well anything, about Lor-Zod's family but he could never imagine a mother not being around for their son. "If...you know if you wanted to find her I could help. I am pretty good with the tracking spells."
Eddie frowns slightly. "She g-g-got out but she hasn't come looking for you?" he asks, not holding that in. "And I c-c-could boost Billy up to make the spell even more effective," he offers.
Lor-Zod shakes his head quickly, "No, she came looking for me first, but then went off to do something and I haven't seen her much since. Maybe she couldn't find me, I've been spending a lot of time in the Terminal. But, I bet she's learning about humans. Maybe she's planning something, maybe she's got a mission from my dad too, I don't know. She'll find me again." He's sure of it.
"Well, it definitely doesn't hurt to have those hopes. I can't really help out on the finding like Billy and Eddie can, but... I'll cross my fingers for you." Terry offers, holding up a hand with fingers crossed, only to catch a glance of his watch. "...but speaking of missions, I've got flowers that have to be a couple blocks away in five minutes. I'll see you guys later, alright?"
Billy Kaplan nods and does not really ahve anything he can think of to say to Lor-Zod's reply. Hmm, of only there were a way he could think of to make it possible to get Lor's mom a way to find him without compramising the base security. He does give a wave to Terry. "Catch you later man."
"She probably won't find you if you're in the Terminal itself," Eddie remarks. "There's lead in the walls. No X-ray vision through them," he says quietly. After a moment, he nods. "But she'll fine you for s-sure when you're not in there," he says with a nod. Hope's sort of his thing. "See you later, Terry." Lor-Zod nods quickly and says, "I just have to start coming out more. You guys all go out for school and stuff, I could find something to do." He looks up to Terry too and waves, smiling, "See you later."
Billy Kaplan nods and hmms as he sits up and grabs his water to get a little something to drink. "Maybe we could find something like the school Eddie goes to that you could try, or find something outside of the base you could do during the day?"
"That could work, actually. The place Hawkeye set m-me up at has a program for younger kids," Eddie replies. "Or um..." he rubs the back of his neck. "Emma Frost wants me t-t-to attend her school for...people like us. With p-p-powers. I'm supposed to go take a tour...maybe I could ask about getting a place for you there, Lor."
Lor-Zod brightens at that and says, "I could actually go to school? That'd be great! I don't mind if I have to pretend to be human. I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. Except the name thing. But if there's a school I can be myself, that'd be even better."
Billy Kaplan nods and hmms looking over Lor-Zod. "Well, the school your going to was set up for runaways and stuff right Eddie? So they don't ask too many questions?" He is not entierly sure and wants to make sure. "We could always just make up a name, maybe one close to your real one?"
Eddie nods. "For anyone that wasn't in the normal system," Eddie replies. "I c-c-can help get you set up there. It's only p-part time classes but thhey'll help you g-get a GED."
Lor-Zod smiles and says, "Thanks." He pauses and asks, "What's a GED?" Then he says, "I just want something to do. And, to learn more about Earth, and maybe make more friends. So I don't mind if it's part-time. I learn really fast anyway."
Billy Kaplan grins and nods. "General Education Degree, or something liek that. Basicaly is a a certificate that counts the same as a highschool diploma."
"What Billy said," Eddie replies. "It'd let you apply t-t-to college if you wanted to learn more," he explains. "And get a lot of different jobs."
Lor-Zod thinks about that and then nods quickly, smiling, "I'd like to get one of those, then, yeah. I like my job now, protecting people, but I can always keep doing that too."
Billy Kaplan grins and shrugs. "That, and you might want to try the secret identity thing at some point. I...am not really sure about just creating a new one for you later how hard it would be or how moral but, if you wanted to try living as a human at some point it would help."
"And sometimes, people thinking you're j-just a plain normal person can help protecting people," Eddie speaks up. "Like if you n-n-need to be sneaky or get information without letting anyone know a superhero is around."
Lor-Zod nods a little bit again to that. He looks to the kids and back to Billy and Eddie, "And it'd help protect others too, wouldn't it? If they don't, or didn't, know you were a hero, it wouldn't be good for you if I showed up in costume or something, would it? So yeah, that sounds like a good idea."
Billy Kaplan nods at Lor. "They know, but they are also old enough to know not to tell anyone or say anything. It does help though, keeping my family safe having a secret ID. Also helps keep me kinda sane having them around. As for showing up in costume...I am a bit of an odd case cause I have spells in place that make people don't figure out who my secret ID unless told by someone that knows."
"I live with gods," Eddie shrugs. "And p-p-people tend to just overlook me anyway b-but you're right. For some of the others, not hanging around in c-c-costume or with other costumed people can help."
Lor-Zod nods then, as if decided, and says, "Cool. Can you guys help me with that too? Or should I ask Superman?"
Billy Kaplan nods at Lor. "Sure, we can probably help witha at least some of it. Although Superman probably will be able to help more, he would have a lot more resources...and with the Justice Leauge who knows maight be able to find a way to create a legal identity for you." Or if not a legal one, maybe someone like Batman could help make one that would be as good as a legal one.
"Ben might be able to help without the Justice League," Eddie chimes. "He could get Mr. Fantastic to help us out. And m-make it legal too," he says. "I think."
Lor-Zod nods and smiles, and says, "Ok, I'll ask him. As long as he won't keep calling me Al. I really don't like that name." He grins a bit then, though.
Billy Kaplan nods and then stops, blinks and raises an eyebrow in a pretty decnet Spock impression at Lor-Zod. "Al? I...I do not know if I want to know why he calls you that but I have to ask, why?"
Eddie looks confused too. "Al?" he glances to Billy and shrugs. "Why would he..."
Lor-Zod shrugs, "I think it's after some old guy in a poster in his room. I was visiting him at the Baxter building, and Sue called for him and I don't know why but I guess he didn't want them to know I was an alien, so he looked at that poster and called me Al. But then he called me it again at the team meeting too, when he introduced me."
Billy Kaplan nods and shrugs. "Ok, gonna have to ask him about it." Not that Billy could think of a much better name on short notice, in his place would probably end up calling him Herschle or Schmool like a couple of his cousins. "Well, we can fix that if we go ahead and find a fake human name you can use. Right?"
Eddie nods to Billy, completely lost as well. He knows no Als. "Yeah, we can handle it," he says, agreeing with Billy. "We'll c-c-come up with a human name and a great codename for you."
A couple geeky-looking teens walk by, one of them wearing a shirt with a picture of Einstein on the front, with a quote. Lor points and says, "That guy on her shirt, that's who was on the poster Ben looked at." Then he looks back and smiles to Eddie, "Cool, thanks."
Billy Kaplan looks at the shirt, and face palms. "I should have guessed. Thats Albert Einstein, one of the great mathematicians in Earth history. Or possibly one of them, there is a certain vein of argument that some of his big breakthroughs on relativity and other stuff may have been stolen from others while he worked as a patent clerk or possibly came from one of his ex-wives." He shrugs and then shakes his head. "Alright, lets see. Do you want to keep your name close to your real one or try for something way off the mark?"
"Huh...he named you after a r-really smart dude," Eddie nods a little. He goes quiet as Billy asks his questions, listening for now.
Lor-Zod thinks, and then says, "Better to be far away, it's harder to connect. I won't forget it, I promise."
Billy Kaplan nods and hmms as he thinks for a bit. "Any specific names you like that you know of? Hmm, first ones I can think of that I have always like are John, Michael, Steven, Chris..."
"Chris sounds," Eddie pauses, getting that weird sense that he's heard it in relation to Lor before. He shakes it off like always though. "c-c-cool. What do you think, Lor?"
Lor-Zod thinks for just a moment, then nods with a smile and says, "Yeah, I like Chris. That's a lot better than Al." He smiles a little more as he says, "Thanks."
Billy Kaplan nods and grins at Lor-Zod. "Alright, then Chris it is, now we are going to have to come up with a last name..." He starts before a beeping sound comes from his pocket. He reaches down to pull out a phone and check it. "And that is my alarm. Time for us to go so we can get home in time to get ready for dinner." He grins at the others. "HEY! TIME TO GO!" He yells at his brothers geeting there attention and having them come over to where he is while he starts to gather up the blanket he grabbed. "Sorry to have to run guys."
"You d-d-don't have to thank us, Chris," Eddie chimes. He looks up thoughtfull when Billy mentions last names. The sudden alarm makes him jump and he glances at Billy. He stands up and gets off the blanket so Billy can grab it up. "Bye, g-g-guys," he calls to the Kaplan brothers before looking to Lor-Zod.
Lor-Zod stands too, and waves to Billy as well as they hurry out, "See you later!" He looks back to Eddie as he sits back down in the grass and says, "Maybe we could see what Ben says about last names? To make it up to him for not liking his pick for a first name?"
Eddie sits down as well, nodding. "That sounds like a great idea," Eddie replies with a grin. "M-maybe he'll let you use his."
Lor-Zod grins and says, "That'd be cool." He then says, "So, what about codename?" He thinks and says, "The House of El emblem looks like an english S, so they called Kal-El Superman. The House of Zod emblem looks, remotely, like a Z, so is there a name that starts with that I could use?"
Eddie puts a finger to his chin, looking down thoughtfully. "A Z..." he trails off. "Zero, Zapper, Zazz..." he trails off quietly, thinking. There's a pause as he gets that odd deja vu sense again. "Zenith?"
Lor-Zod thinks about that and says, "A point directly above? Well, I do fly, so that works." He smiles and says, "Maybe, yeah. Could be good." Then he asks, "Do you like that?"
"Well it sounds cool too," Eddie admits, blushing a little.
"Like how I picked my codename just because it s-s-sounded cool. I had no idea what it meant until way later," he says. "I like it."
Lor-Zod smiles and nods, "Ok, cool. I'll use Zenith." Eddie saying it's cool seems to be enough for him.
"Great," Eddie chimes. He takes a breath and looks to the sky. "Let's g-get down to the Terminal. I should get cleaned up."
Lor-Zod nods quickly to that and stands up. He pauses, as something occurs to him, and he says, "Oh... oops... you could have borrowed my power and been healed up in probably just a few minutes out in the sun."
Eddie smiles, standing up as well. "Not without drawing t-too much attention to us when I c-copied you. It's why I didn't ask Billy to magic me healed," he says. "I'll be fine. I only g-got a little hurt. The other guys ended up worse."
Lor-Zod nods to that and smiles. "Good." He asks, as they make their way towards the terminal, "Was it combat training? You said it was your brothers. Or do your brothers fight you for real?" Of course, if he sees injuries like that as part of combat training, his view is probably a bit skewed on what counts as real.
Eddie sighs as he walks with Lor-Zod. "It wasn't training. I saw him and his friends p-picking on some kids and I stepped in to stop them," he says quietly. "My brother's...he's a bad guy. Same as my parents."
Lor-Zod ohs, and then nods, "Well, good you protected those kids. Sorry your brother's like that, though."
Eddie nods. "It's alright, Lor. Nothing to apologize for," he says, holding open the hidden door to the tunnel leading to the Terminal for his teammate and following him in.