|Welcome to the Legion - Part 2|
|What: Grodd speaks to Amora, Nocturna and the Chained Man about the Legion.|
Grodd sits thinking inside his headquarters. It isn't supposed to BE his headquarters. So far he has lot of 'maybes' but not many 'yes'...the whole thing needs a certain level of critical success in threshold to achieve what he needs. There is a minimum level of data points he has to identify in order to figure out what 'it' is, but he is patient. The second round of invites has gone out, and he has received some expectation. He will see what happens. Still, if he liked Bananas, he'd be eating one right now for something to do. Instead, he sets the grapes down and examines the monitor. A white dot alights.
Nocturna is cautious. The strange invitation that reached her bore investigation. She has, however, decided to treat it as if it were a trap, and enter using all her skills. She will act like it as a theft, but one where she can not get information on the security system.
She works her way slowly past the myriad of sensors and traps, using all her skills and equipment. Whoever set up security is good. She has to use sticky pads to cling to the rood to get over presser sensors, and has to use mirrored glass to deflect lasers. Then there are the motion sensors...which cannot sense her but she disables them anyway. Eventually she makes her way to the center of the maze and enters.
There are ways to get past security... and then there are ways to get past security. A green puff of mist appears, billowing with the scent of roses. From it appears Amora the Enchantress, Asgardian goddess and sorceress. "Grodd." the beautiful woman says, though she has never directly met the ape. "I will give you a bit of my time to convince me that being here is not a waste of it."
Grodd nods to Amora and Nocturna. "Welcome Enchantress and Nocturna. Time is money and I am honored by your presence." Awfully diplomatic talk from the ape, especially since among some such talk might be viewed as weakness. Or is it a bid of strength? "An impressive display of skill Nocturna. Of course, your techniques cannot avoid my telepathy, but every other defense was bypassed. Impressive indeed. Amora, I do not have magic...which is why you would be very helpful here. Welcome to the headquarters for the Legion of Doom. I am prepared to speak of what I can do and what I propose...but before I do...why don't you tell me what it is YOU want, so that I can give you specifics rather than hot air
Nocturna says, "There are two things I want, I want to maintain my standard of living, which is quite high, and I want a challenge, because there needs to be more to life than just existing. To do this, I steal for commission. It would help to have a regular patron to tell me what they want stolen, and perhaps a good distraction or two so I can get away when heroes come after me if I am stealing something large," Nocturna says. The problem with immortality is boredom, that is why she steals as much as the money, of not more, and is why she uses human skills to do it when possible.
"What I want is, honestly, beyond you." Amora says. She snaps her fingers and beverages are served. Blood, warm and freshly drawn for Nocturna, in a low ball glass. An ale from Gorilla City for Grodd. And for Amora? A crystal wine flute filled with a liquid that exists in a color not yet invented by humans.
"And I did not come here to tell me your desires. I came here to hear what you called me here for. Not to join an organization as poorly named as the Legion of Doom, I would hope."
Grodd takes the ale and raises his glass and addresses Nocturna first, "A regular patron we can easily be. A network of associates is what I have in mind. And a challenge? Oh that can certainly be provided. My own machinations alone would push your skills to the limit."
He looks at Amora and thrums his fingers on the table, "A challenge it is. Tell me, Enchantress...something you think 'beyond my means' and we shall see if I can get it. The name is..." he shrugs and grins a bit in a way that only a Gorilla can, "it is meant to embrace the sterotypes the 'heroes' assign to us. Short of Darkseid, none of is truly 'evil' we just do not subscribe to the narrow morality of those such as the Justice League or the Avengers. I am amenable to suggestions. And while I do not know the specifics of what you want, I suspect there are things that are beyond your grasp, or you would not be here, even if you don't think it likely we could achieve them."
Nocturna states, "Evil is a definition question. If, for example, one defines evil as failure to perform your function in the grand scheme of things and then one says one says that I am a predator, whose job is the cull the human herd of the unfit, then I am evil for I do not fulfill my function."
She says, "I acknowledge society would consider me evil, for I take without producing. I am nothing more than a Parasite, really. For what else is any thief. I am honest about what I am..."
"When you have lived ten thousand years, Grodd, and you have looked into the mysteries of the multiverse and you have have supped in the great halls of Asgard..." Amora smiles as she takes a sip of her strange, shimmering beverage, "... then and only then you may comprehend that which I seek. I am here because it might amuse me. I suggest you do so."
The rattle of chains echoing through the halls act as fanfare for The Chained Man as he steps up to, and through one of the doors leading into the large, circular chamber, each of ten chains writhing organically over his arms, under his robes, and around his neck. He looks around the room with his single visible eye, "...Certainly better equipped than most places I frequent..." He admits, his voice deep, and clearly altered from behind the mask to sound deeper and more menacing.
Grodd nods to the Chained Man, "Welcome. And yes, it is well equipped. And it will be better equipped still by the time we are done. This is Nocturna and the Enchantress, who you no doubt already know by reputation. Please, have a seat." He would offer a beverage, but suspects Amora might do that.
There is a moment of silence as Grodd decides to do EXACTLY what is asked of him as a small hologram of Thor in a Tutu begins to dance back and forth, "Imagine the humiliation of your enemies..."
A large joker style anvil falls on him and several of the avengers, "Or simply their elimination...."
There is an image of Nocturna stealing something from the Gotham Museum when Batman shows up. As he does, so does Grodd and Manta. They quickly dispatch the heroes. "Imagine careful planning working your way instead of random intercession of those who arrogantly assume they are better than you..."
There is a countdown of a bomb sitting in the city, "Imagine that instead of the bomb being deactivated at the last minute..." a group of villains all sit in the headquarters and remotely activate it while thirty seconds are left,"The trap closes and the distraction is taken care of. Everyone here has an agenda. And so long as that isn't 'world conquest' or 'world destruction', there is no reason we can't work together to make all this happen....and it can. Nocturna shrugs, "Killing is easy, generally speaking, but it causes great tumult among the normal humans. As powerful as we are, by sheer numbers they can eventually overwhelm us." That is why she hides the extent of her abilities, why she runs rather than fight, even if she could win the fight this time eventually exposure would get her killed again.
"Interesting." Amora says. "Clever, even. I suppose you could be a valuable... distraction under the right circumstances." Amora doesn't conjure a drink for the Chained Man. After all, the Chained Man wears a mask. She sips her's again. "Though you are overplaying the "we are merely free thinkers dealing with unenlightened, morally superior cretins" part. Grodd, you are a murderous animal and traitor to your people. Nocturna is a thief. You are, by the interpretations of the majority of Civilizations, criminals. Trust me. I've seen them all. Lie to the world if you wish. Don't lie to yourself."
The Chained Man turns his attention first to Grodd, to watch his little display... then toward Nocturna, "...Using 'Midgard Civilizations' as an example... Those who rebelled against Great Britain during the War for Independence in America were criminals... Until they won. Being a criminal doesn't mean you aren't right, nor does it mean you have to be destined to lose."
"Funny you should say that..." General Grodd shows an image of a peaceful and prosperous Gorilla City. Then a dark wave of...SOMETHING...hits it, and cracks erupt, many of the tree buildings collapse....there is fire and absolute destruction. Thousands dead. "I WAS a renegade. Then something...someone...in the three cities attacked my home. Now I am ruler. Now Gorilla City is MINE. Who do you think built this?" He waves around with his hands, "That is my agenda. That is my purpose. While their total destruction would be nice, I will settle for making them suffer. And thus I have plenty of reason to help all of you.
Yes, Nocturna, they are in numbers superior to our own. That is why we shall use them, rather than enslave them or kill them. What point does that serve? They could kill themselves or kill us....and very well might before they are through."
He looks again at Amora. "We can and will be valuable. And I am a murderous animal, but I'm not a HUMAN. The things they dream up to kill each other, no Gorilla, not even me, would do. There is no crueler creature on the earth. And that is no lie.
Chained Man....yes, the victors write the history books. And I intend for us to ultimately be victorious. Just not with marching armies or orbital mind control lasers or the like."
Nocturna points out, "The Revolution would never have happened if the Hapsburg kings had been raised in England and understood the Rights of the English. It was George the Third ignoring the rights enumerated in the Magna Carta that was the primary problem. Mind you, part of what happened was caused by the greed of certain trading companies, who objected to increased regulation."
She realizes that not everyone is going to know what she is talking about. She says, "In nature, few creatures are cruel, and fewer are destructive. Humanity is both, but it is also capable of greatness." "Actually, much of it happened because one of my pets went absolutely insane when I was done with him." Amora says with a negligent shrug. "That happens, from time to time. They fall apart when I'm not there to control their every thought." She sighs at the foolishness of mortals. "Actually, in nature, every creature is cruel. The brain releases chemicals to cause pleasure when they kill. To reward them for surviving. Anyone who believes that not to be true? Hasn't watched a cat toy with a mouse."
"Those things would be ultimately unnecessary, and perhaps detrimental to my own goals." The Chained Man says, when Grodd mentions the mind control lasers and armies. "Though armies are certainly a useful tool." He turns his attention to Nocturna, "Perhaps. But even so, they were criminals, and when they won, they stopped being criminals. Now they're a relatively powerful political and military force." He finally turns once more to Amora, "I suppose, since I know who the two of you are, I should probably introduce myself formally... I am The Chained Man... Currently listed by the U.S. as a terrorist. I'm afraid I know very little about the two of you... I've been busy with my own agenda the last several years."
Grodd says, "I am not averse to creating Armies. And any creature is capable of being evil. And any is capable of greatness in their own way." He nods, "And why don't you tell them of your own agenda Chained Man?""
Nocturna is only vaguely known, and that not generally by name, "On the street, those who know how to call me seek the Night Thief. The heroes who have faced her have sometimes called me the Smoke Thief...and some have learned I can apparently turn into smoke. I have even aided heroes, if they pay me for it."
Amora says nothing. She watches, amused, as the other "villains" talk. Her eyes, a green no human could ever hope to emulate, flicker from Grodd to Nocturna to the Chained Man.
Finally, she stands up and stretches her rather long legs. "I'll consider your idea, Grodd. It might be a nice diversion."
Grodd says, "I am not above helping you do this Chained Man...so long as it is not directly the legion involved. We can find a place acceptable to you as a trial. I already have a short list of several in mind. And it might be possible. Especially if it involves furthering some of Enchantress's rather...interestingly obscure goals. We'll need her I think." He hands the two of you keys, "These will open teleportation gates back here. Do not let the key be stolen. I shall be in touch. Communicate with me if you need me in the interim.""
Nocturna shrugs, ruling others is not her thing, though some Vampires in the past have ruled kingdoms, "No matter what their abilities, some people are not suited to rule. I suspect those who have both the ability nd the desire to rule others may already do so, through puppets and other tools...so they are not the targets of those who seek to depose rulers." She adds, "If you need something stolen, let me know. It is what I do."
"The goal is a long term plan. It will certainly see changes as flaws are worked out." The Chained Man suggests, "As for stealing... I'm sure I'll have use of you in the future..." one of The Chained Man's chains slither free of his robes to take the offered key, before slipping back inside again. "Until then, there are many, many things that I'll need to do to set up for my future plans. Specifically, removing certain heroes from the equation, who could potentially get in the way. Specifically non-superhuman heroes... though anyone who can't eventually be won over could potentially be a problem."
Grodd says, "I hadn't meant to bring this up so soon but, in my efforts I have determined that there is ...SOMETHING..." he points to a holographic display of heroes escaping death traps or having near death experiences,"Something preserving them. I am not averse to killing them. Gaia knows I want to smash the Flash..." he crushes the wine goblet Amora summoned earlier to dust in his palm, "But there is 'elimination' and then there is 'elimination'....they are all problems and I will discount none of them, but some are more prone to 'adventures' than others. Some couldn't care for anything out of their own backyard, and some, if we were to find some minor country for you to start the empire of your imagining Chained Man, those heroes might need to be given...encouragement to do something elsewhere. Let me begin to seek weak spots, some place where we can make our mark known....and go from there.""
The Chained Man nods once, "Very well. We'll seek out weak spots first, then strike when the time is right." He concedes, "Luckily, I haven't had any major heroic enemies since I've arrived in New York... Which means I'm open to helping you with yours."
Grodd nods, "Well I'm always welcome to have someone help me with the Flash...the real one or the one that just wears the suit. I'm inclined to have that be a rather early team up, but I think having Nocturna steal something...prominent...might also be an excellent way to make our introductions. The research will take time but not too much time.
"I'll have to do my own research on this Flash. Perhaps whatever we have stolen could be something we can use against The Flash. Either of them. Then it'd just be a matter of luring them to their doom."
Grodd considers, "There are certain rare materials that I could use to construct weaponry of a more advanced kind. Money is not a problem for me, but there are certain things that only human governments or heroes possess that would be quite...useful.
Nocturna notes, "I have met the Flash, one of them at least. He and the girl archer he was with figured out that I escaped as the smoke. It would be a good thing to truck and punish him."
Grodd says, "Trick and punish we can do. Whatever *IT* is that is protecting them can't stop suffering. And I intend to inflict quite a bit of that."