Summary: Power Girl and J’onn J’onzz become acquainted.
Location: JLA HQ, Monitor Room
Power Girl really hates magic users- evil ones, at least. They remind her she's not completely invulnerable, and that maybe, just maybe, having backup to turn to might be a good idea. At least the burn on her leg is healing rapidly, and looks more like a mild sunburn would on a human. She won the fight, at least, and there's a new Unholy Gauntlet of Something-or-Other in the League's trophy room, which seemed like a better place to take it than her apartment. With that taken care of, she's decided to make a quick stop in the monitor room, if only to see if there's anything that might benefit from her attention. Or if there's coffee.
"Hello, Power Girl." The voice is deep and sonorous, rolling across the room just prior to her entrance. The speaker is revealed as the Martian Manhunter, known to the League as J'onn J'onzz. He is hovering in front of the bank of monitors in a classic meditation pose, his legs crossed and hands placed on his knees. He doesn't turn around immediately, instead concentrating on a satelite view of a police standoff in Virginia. He's read the JLA file on her, of course, but it's fairly thin at this point, so after he makes sure that the police are experiencing no difficulties, he turns away from the monitor and faces the newcomer. "We have not formally met, I believe. I am J'onn J'onzz."
"There are a lot of people I haven't formally met," she admits, giving the screens a quick glance. "You can call me Karen. I'm sure it's in the file." And really, not terribly hard to figure out, especially to telepaths. "I figured it was time to start showing my face around here more often. Now that I've gotten the most awkward part out of the way." Her surface thoughts drift to her first-cousin-one-reality-removed.
"You've met with Kal-El," J'onn states, nodding. "I imagine that conversation was interesting. He spent so long thinking he was the last heir to Krypton's legacy; I am glad that events have conspired to prove otherwise." J'onn unfolds his legs and touches down, standing on the floor. He offers a hand to shake. "I admit, I find your story interesting. To be not only an heir to a dead planet, but exiled to another universe entirely must be very difficult."
"It's... surreal, to say the least," she admits, taking the offered hand. "The similarities seem to be stranger to me than the differences. I think it might almost be easier if nothing was the same at all. Like I told Kal, it's not the easiest to be surrounded by people you know who've never laid eyes on you before."
"Perhaps" J'onn replies, shrugging lightly. "But speaking as one who arrived here from an entirely different world and culture, after spending most of an adult life there, it can be horribly disorienting. Not to discount your own discomfort," he hastens to add. "And if you need anything at all, please do not hesitate to call on me. Even were you not a member of the League to which I have dedicated myself, I would not wish you to go about accomodating yourself to this world without assistance." He hesitates for a moment, before asking, "Did I have a counterpart in your world?"
Power Girl nods. "There was, yes," she confirms. "I didn't know him quite as well as some of the others, but I'd say on the surface, you're more or less identical. Which makes sense. Everyone else here seems a little younger, even Kal." She smiles a bit. "If I could shapeshirt, I wouldn't let myself get too grey-looking either. Unless the senior's discount somewhere was /really/ good." She's joking. Mostly. "I appreciate the offer, too. Someone who's had to learn the history of this world themselves wouldn't be a bad person to call on when I'm confused about something. There are a lot of people here I /didn't/ know back home."
"I like to thing that I age gracefully," J'onn replies with some amusement. "I believe I am already one of the biologically oldest members of the League. The benefits of a Martian physiology. I had hoped that my counterpart in your world was absent, perhaps as a sign that Mars avoided its fate. Ah, well," he says philosophically. "It seems that many of our members are having to adjust to a new world. Captain America was recently inducted, and he has to fit into a world that has passed him by unknowingly for decades."
"Maybe we should form a support group," she notes, a little more dryly than she intended. "He's one of the ones I didn't recognize," she says of the Captain. "I met him, not long ago. The media kind of glossed over Stargirl and I being there, understandably so. He's good, someone I wouldn't mind working with again. Reminds me a little of Kal. A lot, actually. Maybe it's just the manners."
"The League has many fuctions," J'onn states calmly. "To the normal men and women going about life, we are defenders and guardians, protectors from unimaginable threats. To the members, however, we are a team and more, and we do what we can to take care of our own. In a way, the League does act as a support group." He smiles gently. "Yes, the Captain is a genuinely pleasant individual, and he does rather remind me of Kal-El. I have yet to work alongside him, however. Or you, though I expect that will change. I feel a certain kinship for Kryptonians. We have very much in common."
Power Girl thinks for a moment, then says, "anything that managed to get both of our attentions at the same time, J'onn, would either be very scary, or very screwed," she says, looking amused by this. "Probably a mix of the two." She nods, "maybe we ought to make a point to work together some time. I could probably use someone more level-headed than myself around. Especially if the media shows up..." she makes a bit of a face.
J'onn chuckles. "I am not quite as photogenic as some of the others, but I can be diplomatic when I must. Unfortunately, with anti-alien sentiment rising with the anti-mutant movement, I try to stay in the background. But, yes, I would love to partner with you at some point. I often hold back, sometimes more than I should, and it seems like you would be more than capable of shoring up that weakness in an offensive." He grins.
Nobody +fingered you.
"Holding back is probably something I could learn to do a little better," she admits, thoughts of property damage dancing in her head. Although at least half of those buildings would have been destroyed even if she hadn't been there! And she's never hurt a civilian. Now, there are some criminals with hefty hospital bills thanks to her, but it's not like any of them didn't deserve it. "Mutation is another thing we didn't have a lot of back home. The whole... mutant rights issue, anti mutant stuff... entirely new to me," she notes, thoughtfully.
"It's a worrisome issue," J'onn admits. "I've been attempting to keep tabs on the latest developments. Spontaneous genetic mutation towards a superhuman state is not an unknown phenomenon. Martian once went through a very similiar phase in our development. But if the hysteria and prejudice grows unchecked, it will have a devestating effect not just on modern society and culture, but also the safety of the planet. Often, the Justice League is the first and last line of defense for this planet against the many hostile threats the universe has to offer, and our membership is almost entirely composed of aliens and metahumans, with a few exceptions. If we lose our operational freedom due to a turn in public opinion, it could have dire consequences." The Martian sighs a bit and smiles ruefully. "I apologize for the lecture. It is simply an issue that has been weighing on my mind."
"A lot of the sentiment has been from the same, very loud people. If they had quite as many supporters as they claim, President Hundred wouldn't have been able to campaign, nevermind be elected. But it's still enough to worry me sometimes, too," says Power Girl. "I'd consider some sort of... public commentary on the subject myself, but the last time I tried that, it didn't work out so well." She then adds, "although the lawsuit's at least been cleared up." And it gave at least one cable comedy news show a clip they still show to this day. Sometimes with very amusing sound effects.
J'onn chuckles. "I caught the clip in reruns. Very amusing, though if anyone asks, I gave you a lecture on the responsibility of maintaining a positive public image. I have likewise considered a public statement, but I fear that inserting my presence into the issue would cause more problems than it would help resolve. I am the least human member of the league in appearance, and using my shapeshifting abilities to appear more human could fuel their paranoia. It's a fine line to walk."
"Of course. And I offered to make a public apology, but they turned me down." Because she's obviously so remorseful about the incident. "It might be one of those things better handled by Kal, or our newest member. They're both a little more well-liked by the public than either of us. Of course, if Green Arrow is anything like the one I knew, if he /hasn't/ given his two cents to anyone, I'd be increadibly surprised." Back home, he was like Bono with archery skills and no accent.
"Green Arrow can be quite opinionated, yes," J'onn confirms agreeably. He glances around the room and heads back for his chair, gesturing to one nearby. He glances at her costume. "So, you are related to the Kal-El of your world, but you do not bear the shield of the House of El. Was this a concious decision or did the insignia not survive to be remembered on Earth?"
"I didn't want to be seen as just Superman's female counterpart," she answers, taking the offered seat. "I wanted to make my own name, as opposed to being seen as riding his coat tails... or bright red cape, as it is," she answers. "And when I came here... I didn't want to draw too much of his attention before I was ready." Truth be told, she's still not sure she /was/ ready, but felt he had a right to know who she was.
"I see," J'onn replies, nodding slightly. "A commendable attitude. It is easy to seek the shelter offered by an iconic presence. It is much more difficult to stand on your own and demand respect as an individual on your own merits. Myself, I did not go public until after Kal-El. Though I had been on Earth for many years before he arrived, I did not feel that human society was ready to know of my presence amongst them."
"I also look a lot better in white than I do blue," she jokes, cracking a bit of a wry smile. "Given what I've read of the history of metahumans here, I can't say for sure that I wouldn't do the same if I'd been in your situation," she tells him. "At least, not on purpose." She /has/ had one or two close calls in her civilian identity.
J'onn laughs quietly. "White is a good color," he says simply. J'onn -is- a male, though he is still not human and thus has managed to keep his eyes above her neck for the entire conversation. "So, while you are here, do you have any questions? I know that this world is both familiar and unfamiliar, and as I said, I am more than willing to give any help I am able in making your transition as smooth as possible."
"Nothing is occuring to me at the moment, though I'm sure I'll have some nagging question the minute I'm back home and going to sleep," she tells him, and shakes her head a little. "When it does, I'll write it down and be sure to get in touch at a decent hour," she promises. "I might have to sit down and make some notes about the differences between here and home. If anything, it might be of interest to people who know more about the whole alternate reality business than I do."
J'onn nods. "I don't have much experience with them myself, unfortunately. I can't speak for the other League members, but I do not remember reading anything of note in the case files. However, there are other experts that may be called upon. I understand that Reed Richards may have had some experience in that arena. And have no concern about the hour. With our job, we're fairly used to keeping odd hours. Fortunately, I have no real need for sleep as humans do." He chuckles. "It was a pleasure meeting you, Power Girl. I look forward to your great deeds, and a fruitful partnership with the League. And if you ever need to talk, do not hesitate to call upon me."
"Likewise, J'onn. I... think you've actually helped me figure a few things out," she sounds surprised as she says that- not so much about his being a help as that she's actually managed to work some stuff out in her head. "Maybe you should get yourself a secret ID as a therapist of some sort, if you don't have one already," she teases, standing up to head out. "Goodnight. And thanks."
"I'm sure you would have worked things out regardless," J'onn replies, smiling warmly before turning back to the monitors. "Good night, Power Girl."