2020-07-25 High Above The City


DevotionF_icon.jpg StarF_icon.jpg

Summary: Another Avenger has been found.

Date: July 25, 2020

High Above the City

Rating: PG

The Future - The Underground

Under the streets of New York City there are many tunnels that are long forgotten. There are many dead ends, rivers of sewage, pipes and maybe that alleged alligator. There isnt much light down here and if you dont have a flash light, youll be navigating the tunnels blind. Occasionally there is a bit of light that filters down from a storm drain. For those that dont know theyre there, its almost impossible to spot, but in spaced areas in the tunnels are markers to show those how to get to the mutant haven deep underground which is home to the redeemers and the rebellion.

With the recent attacks on the Mutant Base, the residents that weren't bodily able to fight; or didn't choose to were put further underground as to protect them. Amongst the new living area, it seemed to be a little bit empty; not many people there but it seemed to be quiet enough to at least spend a little alone time.

Alone isn't exactly how Star finds herself, though. With the air so thick with anger, fear, and sorrow, the empath has been spending a lot of time alone and away from everyone else; this has included her young daughter. She just couldn't, in good conscience leave Emory in the care of someone else, though, if she was going to remain in the relative safety of the tunnels. The pair are seated together in the precious light of a candle, mother telling the tiny little girl a story of better days while the child scratches white lines into the floor with a rock, drawing a picture of her mother's childhood; stories that may as well be fairy tales to the little girl. Stories of an uncle and father that Emory never knew. Star doesn't bother to keep the bittersweet emotions she feels as she remembers the two men that she loved most in her life, letting them wash over both Johnson women since they're mostly alone.

The story between the two continues on for a good bit before a ring of light appears in the center of the room. In it, a cloaked figure appears as the light shimmers back off into the darkness. The empath, if she scanned the Harbinger, would feel contentment at the moment, probably a bit of pride as well. The Harbinger is unarmed, only standing there as he slowly walks closer to them. Forgive my flashy entrance His modulated voice echoes out from the mask. But I didn't think that the guards up front would take kindly me to just walking up to them.

Light does not belong in the dimness of the Underground and it has Star on her feet in a moment, placing herself between her daughter and the stranger. Protectiveness and caution flood out from her before she can get ahold of herself, her nostrils widening a little as she tries to get a whiff of what the Harbinger' intentions might be. Pride she can understand; it's rather difficult to find the base, after all. Not as difficult as many of them would wish, but still hard enough that a single person shouldn't be able to walk in as they please. The contentment gets a little confusion from the woman that is usually nothing more than a babysitter for the littlest of children, "What do you want?" She makes no appologies for her abruptness, instead being focused on keeping the little girl peeking around her legs safe.

A soft laugh comes from the cloaked one, his feelings shifting a bit towards happiness and peacefulness before he speaks. I came for you, Star. There're things in this time that are forgotten. That need to be seen by the public. He looks around the room before he looks back at her. There's no reason that he speaks for knowing her name. The Harbingers have been fighting in the shadows. We've shown ourselves numerous times. But, we aren't what the people need. He crouches down, tilting his head a bit as he looks at Emory. Tell me. What do you want most for your daughter?

Star draws herself up to her full, though diminutive, height, put somewhat at ease by the peace and happiness coming from this stranger, "Oh, I'll agree with that. There's too much that's been forgotten." Her eyes narrow at the use of her name, though, "And how do you know that name? Only the people here know who I am." And she was never someone important like Tony Stark. Before this hell fell on Earth, she was just a simple kindergarten teacher fresh out of college. The mention of the Harbingers gets a calculating look and she reaches around to put a hand on Emory's shoulder as the little girl steps up beside her mother, clinging to the woman's legs and still looking like she's half trying to hide. "So what do you Harbingers want with me? I'm no one special."

The question sends a jolt of old pain into her heart and she instinctively looks down at the little girl for a moment, her voice turning tender instead of hard like it has been, "I want her to grow up safe and happy. In a world where she's free to live life the way she wants to with her father there to guide her and show her how to do things. In a world where she's free to live, no matter what accident of birth brings to her as she grows up." The faintest wave of sadness comes from the petite woman, a sign of just how much pain she's in, "A world where her uncle is still there to spoil her rotton…" It seems that the stories she's been telling have gotten her to thinking about her long decease twin.

The figure is silent as he stands up and walks towards Star, holding out a hand towards the woman. I want you to come with me. He looks own at Emory and adds on, She can come as well if you want. And then he goes silent, all emotions nearly vanish from the Harbinger except for a strong sense of duty.

Star is lothe to leave her daughter alone, and it's not likely that the little girl would be able to be peeled from her mother's leg by anything less than a crowbar at the moment, anyway. The empath is torn for a moment and looks down at the wide eyed child for a moment before she bends to scoop her up, "Come on, Em… We're going to go on an adventure…" It's the sense of duty and lack of anything resembling malace from the Harbinger that makes her decide to trust him more than anything else. A small smile plays at the corners of her mouth as Emory's arms go around her neck, her rock still clutched in one fist, and the little girl burries her face against the woman's shoulder. She's been silent, for the most part, since the attack, and that's something that hurts Star more than anything else could. One hand strokes the back of the girl's head and she murmers something in her ear that just makes the child cling tighter. With a resigned sigh, the young mother steps forward to take the offered hand, not ent
entirely sure what to expect.

Once Devotion's hand is taken, a circle of light appears below them. They vanish from the underground and when the reappear; they're standing atop of a building. High up off of the ground, in the city. There're no Sentinels near by, just the sound of the wind as Devotion speaks. It's your devotion to your daughter, to grant her a world to live in that has brought attention from the Harbingers. He turns to the side, letting Star look past him. A box with a longbow resting on top of it; ornately decorated with multiple shades of purple covering the entire weapon. I'm sure you've heard of the Avengers, Star. Right?

Emory just clutches her mother's neck tighter when the light envelopes them, refusing to look or make a peep until Star's hand returns to the back of her head. The empath sighs and gives her daughter calm, the girl's death grip slowly relaxing until she's able to peek up and see something she's never set eyes on in her entire short life: The sky. It's that, more than anything else that gets the little one to finally speak, "Mama, look!" Her mother smiles with delight at the wonder in the girl's voice and gives her a little squeeze, "I know, sweety." The girl is allowed to slide down to stand on her own two feet, but Star carefully keeps hold of one hand so she can't race to the edge and fall.

Her attention returns to Devotion, her spine stiff at the thought of her love for her daughter, her desire that she have a better world to live in, is what brought her to the attention of these heroes; these Harbingers, "Of course I've heard of the Avengeres. I don't know anyone that hasn't heard of them." Her eyes fall on the box and weapon and her hand automatically tightens slightly on her daughter's smaller one, "They're gone. They've been gone for years…"

The Harbinger lets out a soft laugh at the girl's delight. It's also a good chance that I was chosen to find you as I go by Devotion. Devoted to make things right. He moves to the side as that pride comes back; as strong as the sense of duty. They have been gone. But. Iron Man is alive. As well as a new Thor. Vison. And a new Captain America. All of them are alive. There's just one missing. His head looks back over at the box and arrow. Emory, I'm sure your mother has told you stories about the Avengers. Can you tell me. Which one used the bow and arrow?

The faintest of blushes stains Star's cheeks and she nods when she finally learns the name of the man that brought her here. The pride gets a small frown and another wary look; in her experience, prideful people are generally those that tend to put others into dangerous situations. Then he reveals that the Avengers are again getting ready to assemble, "Tony's alive?!" She hasn't seen Iron Man since she was in college and heard that he'd been killed years ago. Everyone thought he was dead… The mention of Captain America gets Emory's attention and she puffs up a little, "I wanna be Captain America." Her voice is so certain that it earns a smile from her mother and Star ruffles the little girl's hair, sushing her quietly, "I know you do, honey."

The little girl grows suddenly shy when she's addressed, but nods to this strange adult, again slipping half behind her mother's legs, "Uh huh. She tells me lotsa stories." Her little brow furrows as she tries to remember who all of the Avengers she's been told about are and finally looks up, though her expression is far from certain, "Hawkeye?" Star's smiles encouragement down at her, but remains silent for a moment; giving Emory a moment to be the center of attention.

A soft laugh, that pride vanishing away before Devotion looks back at Star. She's right. Hawkeye is the only one that's left to rejoin the new Avengers. He walks over towards the box; picking the bow up and resting it carefully on the ground next to it. That's why I brought you here, Star. Your want to make the world safe, not only for Emory but for everyone else. He walks closer to the woman and opens the box; resting on top is Hawkeye's mask. Under that are the bracers, each of them giving a soft silver shimmer before that fades away into the moonlit air. Will you accept it? The duty of an Avenger. To make the world safe. For you. Everyone. Friends. Even your daughter.

Star smiles with pride of her own down at her daughter and ruffles her hair again, "She's a smart girl." That's said more for Emory's benefit than anything else and the little girl almost glows with pleasure at the praise from the one person that means more to her than anyone else in the world. She may have 'aunts' and 'uncles' gallore within the Underground, but Star is still her mother. The empath steps forward, her breath catching when she catches sight of exactly what's in the box and looking back sharply at Devotion, "You want me to be an Avenger?" Her tone says that she thinks he may have a screw or two that are in desperate need of tightening, "Why me? There are lots of people that are much more qualified for something like this than I am."

Then he says the magic words and the woman winces slightly. It seems tha he knows just how to push her buttons, "Alright…" She lifts her chin slightly and steps forward, allowing her daughter's hand to drop, and giving the little girl a stern look that all mothers have; an order to stay put and not move. Fortunately, it seems that she's going to mind as Star steps forward, "Alright. I'll do it." She glances back at Emory, standing with her hands at her side and her rock still in one tiny fist, "For her." Her eyes turn back to Devotion, her expression determined, "I accept. I'll be one of your new Avengers."

Devotion shakes his head. Doing it for her is only piece to the puzzle. Your determination has to be for everyone. To make it safe for everyone during this debacle and after it. He looks over at Emory, before he focuses back on Star; extending the box to her. If she should take it, the Harbinger steps back to where the box originally rested and picks up two more things; the bow and a quiver. You have to seek out Iron Man, I do hear that the other Harbingers are trying to get him to the Underground. He looks back at Star, having given her enough time to change at least. He chuckles softly, You were chosen because of what you hold dear. What you want to do for the world. But, as I said before, doing it for Emory is only the first stepping stone. Now that you've accepted, you're going to have to traverse the whole path to protect the world. Should she put on the bracers and mask, she would feel her senses hone. Abilities come flowing to her mind with ease. Information being magically implanted into her.

Star nods, a small frown forming as she again looks back at the little girl. "From my perspective, if I'm doing it for her, then I'm doing it for everyone. For all the children were born before the world went to hell, for the ones that have been born since, and for their children." She turns again to look at Devotion, "She is the world. She's all I have left since her father was… since he's not with us anymore." Since he became a Hound. She takes the box and kneels with it, still determined that she's going to do this to make the world a better place; to return it to the world it should always have been. Yes, it's a world with flaws, but it's a world where a five year old girl is free to dream of one day becoming a hero like Captain America; a hero like Iron Man and Thor and the Vision… And Hawkeye.

By the time he turns back to her, Star is dressed in the purple pants, top, boots, and white scarf within the box, her daughter at her side as she slips the bracers on and places the mask on her face. Her eyes widen slightly, but she shows no other sign that anything is out of the ordinary, the scarf catching in the wind and streaming behind her, "So where can I find Iron Man? I can probably get him in, if your friends are having a hard time." She's already been instrumental in helping a Hunter defect to their cause, after all.

The Harbinger lets out a soft chuckle. Everyone has their own meanings to their words. Sorry if I misinterpreted. When he turned around, a feeling of accomplishment washes from him before he speaks. Iron Man will be coming to the Underground soon enough. Until then, meet up with Thor, Vision and Captain America. Get acquainted with them before anything. He walks closer to Star and hands her the bow and quiver, offering to help sling it over her shoulder and fasten it. When you meet with Iron Man, make sure to speak with him about getting you some new arrows. I'm sure the arrows that are with you now will be sufficient to deal some chaos to the Hunters and Hounds. But, to help take down the Sentinels, I'm sure that Tony will have something in mind.

Star gives a small incline of her head, Emory's hand once again firmly encased in hers until he approaches. She manages to extract her hand from her daughter's and takes the offered weapons, gratefully accepting the assistance with getting the quiver settled. The instruction gets a nod of acceptance and she straightens her shoulders, turning a determined gaze on the Harbinger, "I can't abandon her, though. If I'm doing this, then I've got to know that she's safe." Safer than the tunnels have proven to be. It was different before, after all: Before she was just a mother doing what she could to make the world a safer place, a more stable place, for Emory and all the other kids. Now she's a hero fighting for their freedom and for the freedom of future generations. The thought of bringing chaos to the ones that have taken so very much from her gets a grin, and not a very nice one, at that, "Oh, I'm sure I can do plenty of damage with what I've got right now, but I'll certainly be willing to use anything he can give me."

Devotion chuckles a bit. I am sure you'll find someone to look after he for you. I can't offer my protection, but I'm sure there might be someone in the Underground that might. He looks around, settling on the distance for a moment before he looks back at Hawkeye. He extends his hand once more to the new Avenger and says, I do think it's time that we get you back home. You've a lot to do in an undetermined amount of time. He looks down at Emory and adds on, What you just witnessed, Emory. Is the birth of a new hero. Then the mask looks back up at the woman.

The newly minted Hawkeye nods thoughtfully, already going over the list of people she knows that would watch after Emory as well as she, herself, would. The little girl's hand once again safely grasped in her mother's, the hero reaches unhesitatingly for the man's hand, "That sounds like a really good idea." Emory looks up at him with wide eyes, though it turns into an expression that questions the masked man's sanity, "She's my mama." And in the child's eyes, her mother has always been a hero. The retort earns a small smile and a very quiet chuckle from the woman and she bends to scoop the girl up again, "And you're my little hero, aren't you, Em." This earns a nod from the child and a little glare at Devotion.

Anyone who knew her mother as a teenager could probably recognize the expression as one that Star would have given to anyone and everyone as the occation called for it.

The little glare causes the Harbinger to laugh softly. She's going to be amazing when she gets older. With that, the circle of light flourishes under them once more before they vanish. Seconds later, they reappear in the Underground; the exact spot where they left. The Harbinger lets go of Hawkeye's hand and nods to her. I'll let you get to the matters at hand. I have to go check in with the others. A soft wave before he turns around and vanishes in another circle of light. Leaving the room once more in darkness with that single candle to light it.

"I certainly think so." Hawkeye nods and ruffles the girl's hair again and gives her a tight little hug. When they appear once more in the Underground, she gives a small sigh of relief to be back where she feels relative safety and lets the little girl back down. Devotion gets a little nod, "Thank you." She stands tall, the candle light dancing over her new costume and casting her other half into deep shadow, "Thank you for this chance to make things right…" As he vanishes, she takes the girl's hand, "Come on, Em. Let's go find Auntie Robin…"

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