Sophia Andersen ("Titan")
The door of the lab seemed to swing open as she walked in, before she let it swing back and click shut behind her with a familiar tone. Looking down the white walled hall, however, Sophia blinked for a moment as she noted the presence of a security guard sitting about halfway down the hall. He seemed to be reading a book of some sort, but as he glanced over at her in turn the cyborg felt a ping of the familiar in her mind. She only had a moment to process things, however, as the man quickly dropped his book, jumped up from his seat, and jogged over the short distance to get to her.
“Miss Sophia, you’re alive?!””Mark?!”
Mark had been a member of the security staff, albeit had usually stayed for just the long night shifts back before the incident. This meant they had run into each other a lot at times, though in the end he’d become kind of a fatherly figure in her life. Usually they’d before just gab about everyday life somewhat, common and basic things, though at times she’d talk about her work and he’d talk about his many years once spent in the military. Nothing complex, thank goodness, but the older man had ultimately become a work friend of sorts.
Or however one could describe it. Frankly speaking, she didn’t feel the best for words at the moment. Though her body did go tense as Mark grabbed her shoulders and looked her over, a look of concern on his face before he stepped back. Mark’s face seemed to wash over with some sense of relief, however, as a long sigh came out from between his lips.
“I’ve seen good people go down to less than we saw ya’ like that night, Miss Sophia, but hell...didn’t think they’d put ya back together this well. Feels like some top-grade prosthetics in ya’ arms there.
But last ah’ heard was your family callin’ to say that your father had taken over ya’ care, and you’d check in whenever you were in the right shape.” ”I...after that night...yes, my father did step in to help. It’s all...complicated to say the least. I’ve been a long time wanting to get back here though,”
the younger woman admitted, struggling to regain composure before she finally managed to push out a smile and a finally coherent string of words, ”Wondered if my desk had been cleaned out already to boot.”
Mark lightly shook his head back and forth.
“Well, you’ll wanna’ go see things yourself, ah’ believe. Don’t wanna hold ya’ up in the meantime...but feel free ta’ stop by for a chat if ya’ need, ok?”
Sophia felt her smile drop at the mention of ‘seeing things for herself’, though her smile would somewhat return at the offer to talk. Not like she could say everything that was on her mind, though she didn’t have the same binding legal issues as her family members in such a case, but it was comforting to know she had some kind of ally here still. At least so far.
With that, the younger woman gave a hasty nod before quickly taking off deeper into the facility.
By the time the young woman was passing the Cortex, STAR’s central hub, she would be greeted by the the harsh sound of a not-so-patient man’s voice turned in her direction. ”You’re late.”
Came the words spoken by the owner of that voice baring not an ounce of sympathy or other emotions towards the girl. The man who spoke, a rather attractive man wearing a business causal getup with a suit jacket over it, and an unmistakable scowl on his features could only be one man, Harrison Wells. Sophia’s boss did not seem particularly relieved to see the girl, though most would chalk that up to his… poor bedside manner. For every bit of breathtakingly genius that was Harrison Wells, there was an equal amount of ego and grating personality.
Next to Harrison, another stood. A girl a bit shorter than he, with green eyes and platinum blonde hair kept at around shoulder length. She wore a full business suit, and made the look work rather well. Despite being so young, she looked every part the multi-billion dollar business woman she portrayed. Her gaze shifted to Sophia, then back towards Harrison. ”And who is this, Dr. Wells?”
The young woman spoke as she looked over Sophia once more, her gaze a bit critical as something seemed… different about her. The girl seemed about her age, yet the woman just knew there was something off about her. Though she was taken from her thoughts as Dr. Wells spoke up, in his typical tone. ”Somebody who is six months late for work.”
He said, as the woman looked at him wide-eyed for a few moments before turning and approaching Sophia with an outstretched arm to shake her hand. ”So she’s been missing since the explosion, hardly can blame her. She might’ve been injured.”
She said as she stopped in front of Sophia, and suddenly lines of text appeared across her vision. ”Dr. Wells aside,”
The woman said as a small grin grew on her features and she figured out what had been bothering her. ”Allow me to introduce myself. Thea Queen, I just recently purchased STAR Labs, I’m afraid I didn’t catch your name?”
She said in a friendly tone, trying to feel out how Sophia might react to her presence.
Sophia, on the other hand, immediately flinched at the sound of Dr. Wells’ voice. It was not the first time being berated for something she had no control over, but at the same time at least the man hadn’t burnt her at the stake. Whew. Though at the same time, she felt somewhat curious about the well-dressed woman before her. Thea Queen, she had said? The multi-million dollar businesswoman?! ”It is my pleasure to meet you, Miss Queen! I am Sophia Andersen, a...member of the Engineering department,”
Sophia said, taking Thea’s extended hand and shaking it as she hastily moved to get her composure back once more in the face of her...well, both her old boss and frankly her new one.
Yet as she shook the other woman’s hand...
’Alert: New External Integrated System Detected. Initializing cursory data scan.’
An internal alert from her systems rang out in her head, a type of notification that she’d at least become familiar with when becoming adjusted to her ‘new body’ over the last months. However, this was much more than a basic notification. Data then ran by her vision as she looked back at Thea, a slight surprise momentarily watching over her face as what her systems were saying was more surprising than just getting a message.
Though even as their hands came apart once more, the engineer did her best to straighten her jacket and keep up some air of formality.
’Cursory data scan completed. ”And yes mam, I have been in intensive recovery for the last several months. Was working next to the accelerator when...ahem.
Analysis and Comparison of result data initialized.
Shifting to background processes.’
A-Anywho! Apologies for my severe lateness!”
Before Harrison even had a chance to comment on her being late, Thea held up a finger in his direction. Causing the man to fall silent, more out of surprise that somebody would be so bold
. Immediately after, the young Queen turned her attention back towards Sophia. ”Don’t apologize, we understand. Though, if you wouldn’t mind Sophia, I think I might ask Dr. Wells here to run some tests on employees returning who were exposed to the blast. To test your health, and of course what it might’ve changed in your DNA.”
She said politely, offering a friendly smile towards the other girl. After all, she already knew Sophia’s secret. But she wanted to hear the good doctor’s take upon Sophia’s current state of being. ”After that, I think we shall bring you back to your former position. If you are interested in keeping said position, Sophia?”
She asked, keeping a careful eye on the other girl.
In a heartbeat, Sophia’s face turned pale upon hearing Thea’s request. Wells was enough of an asshole, but how much of an ass would he be when she was...revealed? Albeit his new boss was ultimately seemingly ‘like’ her in some sense of the word. Had mechanical bits in her at the very least, that much the metahuman could tell, and not wanting to take chances she would assume the woman might have figured out from their handshake as well. Maybe. That or she was overthinking it all.
But all that work to appear normal, just to get back here, and then this?
The younger woman let out a small sigh. Life was going to keep pitching her those curveballs, so now she had to learn how to come to bat again. ”I am indeed interested in keeping my position, so I will submit to the tests of course.
This being noted, however, if I may speak somewhat more boldly...I would like to request to speak with you later, mam, about a matter or two.”
Rubbing the back of her head, the engineer conjured what strength she had to make her own request. It was hard enough in front of Wells, due to old habits, and frankly her new boss seemed keen to get information on her current state. Not exactly calming overall, but if she had to do this to keep her job she wanted to ‘talk’ to her new boss. Really ’talk’
about things, as it were, as both seemed to have a similar nature that piqued her own curiosity...and concern.
Thea looked over the woman for a long moment before a small smile grew on her features. Sophia had somehow managed to find out that she also had tech inside of her, Thea concluded. That seemed the most likely reason an engineer would be interested in talking with just the businesswoman owner, certainly when Thea factored in the knowledge she had of Sophia. ”Generally, the engineers don’t tend to want to speak with one in my position. But I respect it, Miss Sophia. I’ll meet you back here once Dr. Wells finishes his tests. I suggest you get started on them, however, we’ve got much to achieve here at STAR and I would love to have you back in your position.”
She said, her tone betraying that while the words made it a suggestion, Thea was more telling Sophia to let the tests be run at that very moment. Then turning and walking away, Thea quickly made her way to a viewing room that had one sided glass. With the intention of watching the tests go about and figuring out of what this girl was capable. Particularly, if this girl might either be a threat or an ally in the coming crusade she had planned.
The engineer seemed to think for just a second, before giving a nod back towards her new boss. Wasn’t any use in complaining, and she’d already accepted having to deal with Wells for the tests for the sake of a job and talking to this other woman. What was she? Someone augmented due to that night’s incident like herself, an alien from outer space, something else? Perhaps the next to last thing was more ‘out there’ by a longshot, but the human imagination never ceased to leap out there. Based on the data from her readings from not long ago, though, it wasn’t like they both didn’t know what was up. Probably.
Sitting behind the desk in the executive office within STAR Labs, Thea patiently waited for the engineer she had met earlier to arrive. Normally, this would be Harrison’s office for typing reports and the likes, but he’d agreed to let her borrow it for her chat with the engineer. Especially when she offered him an early day as a thank you for the favor, as the man had been eager to get home to his daughter. Hopefully, the young business woman would not be kept waiting very long. She was itching to get out of here, not for business purposes, as the young entrepreneur had been planning on stopping by where her Brother was staying in Central for a surprise visit.
Eventually a knock would come at the door, however, as the now lab-coat-wearing Sophia’s knuckles rapped on it. There was a certain added gravity to it, however, something more than just bone and flesh. Usually she’d knock more lightly to sound ‘normal’, but in the case of her boss’ new boss...well there was little need perhaps to hide that bit right now.
Looking up from her phone, where she had admittedly been idly playing some stupid tetris knockoff, the Queen looked towards her office’s door. ”Come in Sophia, its unlocked.”
She said, loud enough for the woman to hear as she readjusted her posture to look more the multi-billion dollar business woman she was. ”We have a bit to talk about, I think. We found some stuff in your tests.”
Thea said firmly, as Sophia would enter the office.
Sophia knew something was coming when she stepped into the office, politely closing the door behind her and facing her boss as she was addressed. More so than any reactions Harrison might have had during her ‘inspection’, as it were, this was the big matter. The elephant in the room. The fact she was basically a walking talking cyborg girl with built in weapons...and that her boss seemed to be something like that too. That she was confident in for sure by this point, after further analysis of the data she’d gathered. “I would think so, to tell the truth. Though did the test confirm what cursory data you might have gathered back there yourself?”
she responded, running on her assumption and praying silently that it was correct as she fell back into a ‘polite yet inquisitive scientist’ sort of demeanor. She didn’t want to be a total fool, nor did she want to seem too...ah...passive? Yes, that was it, ‘passive’. Either way she was nervous though.
Thea raised an eyebrow at Sophia’s own responses to her. ”Bold. Considering I’m your boss.”
Thea said with a light hearted smile. Then gesturing towards the seat opposite her desk, Thea spoke again. ”Come on, sit. Don’t make me feel all awkward with you standing there.”
She said as she waited for Sophia to comply before continuing. ”Answering your question, yeah. It did. You and I aren’t so different, though I have a suspicion that more of you is machine than I. Though what it did confirm only gave me a few questions that I want answered.”
She said as she came around the desk to sit on the edge facing Sophia. ”So I’m not gonna waste time. How were you made, and how long ago?”
She asked, digging to see if a certain similarity in origin might exist between the two of them.
The woman sat there in the offered chair, though it didn’t make it any less nerve-wracking in some part as her boss grilled her a bit. Even if the initial tone was lighthearted, the matter of fact was that her new boss was understandably curious. At least it seemed like that. It almost felt like there was something more in that question of her origin, though, but even the scientist was curious about Thea’s own origins in turn. Still...to get info she had to give it, to be fair in this instance. “How i was ‘made’?”
Sophia said, a light shiver running visibly up her ‘spine’ as the memories of that night bubbled back up into her mind, though even so the woman generally did her best to hold a proper composure in the face of it all, “Well, the memories aren’t pleasant...but I have a perfect recollection of them due to my current state. Can’t say if that is a blessing or not.
I was following one of Harrison’s engineers around the inner ring of the particle accelerator, being told what to look out for and help tweak things and perform repairs as needed. A general tutorial on booting up and keeping the accelerator running, that was all it was supposed to be.
Then a warning alarm went off, and we ran over to a location on the accelerator to try to figure out what was going wrong. But when we got there...boom.”
She made a gesture with her hands, mimicking an explosion as a grimace wrote itself into her face. It was unpleasant to remember, unpleasant to talk about. Bah. It had happened a time ago, and yet she could project it from her first-hand perspective with crystal clear imagery if she’d wanted to. “The engineer with me got turned into a pulp right in front of me, and what intact mass remained of my body got shattered on the inner wall. Point-blank. Ground Zero of the explosion. Whatever energy release occurred, though, it mutated my body at a rapid pace, more rapid than those who were farther out than myself from what information I know.
I thought I was dead, and I felt so cold I couldn’t tell how much of me was ‘left’. But that was when whatever I mutated kicked in, absorbing the debris, the remaining ‘pulp’ that resulted from the unlucky parts of me, and remnants of the particle accelerator and facility around me.
By the time they dug me up from the debris left outside, I thought it was a hallucination. They were as shocked that I was any bit alive still, and just how...how ‘clean’ the space around me was of debris and such things.
From there my mother begged my father to help, since the doctors at the hospital couldn’t do anything and had no idea how to care for me, and my father had me taken off and pulled his company’s resources to care for me. Ever since I’ve been learning how to use my new body to somewhat of an extent at least. Could only leave once I was able to go about in public ‘looking normal’ again though.”
With that, Sophia gave a sigh, letting her appearance shift back to its true form for a few moments
before shifting back to her ‘human’ look. However, after all of that recollection she definitely didn’t feel the best. She could handle talking about it, and in this case somewhat had to just take the leap, but even so something had always felt terrible about that night. Like a monster under the bed.
As Thea listened patiently to her story, she nodded along to show that she was, in fact, still listening to the girl. ”So you were created by the particle accelerator exploding. Interesting.”
She said softly, mulling a thought over in her head before focusing on Sophia. ”We were created under different circumstances, but I think we can help each other.”
She then said, having reached her conclusion. ”I’m going on a bit of a crusade, so to speak. The circumstances of how I came to be… what I am now, are different than yours. All that concerns you about it is that I have a friend still stuck in that mess, and I’m going to get them out.”
Thea explained, pushing off the desk and walking to the door, gesturing for Sophia to follow her through the labs until they were once more at the cortex. Striding in, she gently tapped a button on the main console, and the room transformed. Monitors that were showing scientific data from various experiments now switched to be monitoring the city. The back wall slid away to reveal a secret compartment with three mannequins set up, one bearing a hooded red costume and bow. Clearing meant for storage of said costumes. Another lab to the right opened up to show an armory of sorts, empty at the moment, but clearly set up for later. ”This, is Project Haven. From here I intend to run operations for my crusade, and a few others in this city as a base of operations. To that end, we will need to support to keep our gear running, mission support, the likes. I invite you, Sophia, to take part in this project of mine. As both an engineer to work with Dr. Wells and his Protégés, and to eventually use your abilities to do good for this city.”
She said with a confident smile, certain that she already knew the engineer’s answer. ”Should you accept the offer, first day is tomorrow. I’ll introduce you to your coworkers then.”
She added, crossing her arms and waiting for an answer.“I...wait...what...I...but how…,”
Sophia stumbled over her words to some extent as she looked around, babbling for a moment before giving herself a light slap to her face to ‘snape her out of it’. The light clang reverberated about herself and Thea, but after a moment the scientist managed to catch her breath after some processing. Literally. Even her systems had come to the same conclusion, and to be frank she hadn’t expected this much of a surprise that to her made the looming dread of her reveal back in the office a cakewalk in comparison. Hell even Wells had some sensibility about him, at least she assumed so, and his examination was strenuous enough. But no, the biggest shocker of the day, for some reason, was this
.“You are forming a team of superheroes? As in, a wealthy businesswoman funds a superhero team and fights superpowered or other forms of crime? With gadgets and costumes and all the team dynamics and everything? Like...right out of a comic book or some manga series? And you are inviting ME to join?!”
Her more sober-minded self was trying to process it all, but her inner geek was squirming like a gleeful child on Christmas morning. Talk about a hell of a mental trip, but this had all the warning signs of danger as well. Her father and such were studying her, hell even the military in some covert manner was aware of her existence, and it wasn’t like the government was going to allow a bunch of powered people to just jot about blasting crime in the face like a bunch of well-meaning ill-guided vigilantes with an agenda! There were so many warning bells ringing in her head...and yet only one possible response she could give after all possible considerations-“...Where do I sign up?”
She was a walking miracle, this woman was also in some part a robot as well, and if her former calculations whilst in quarantine were correct there were a lot of things that could, were, or would be happening after all of this. Hell, there could be a villain with powers like hers for pity’s sake! It was goofy, cartoonish, maybe immature, but all the same she wasn’t going to let this chance pass her by!
A smile appeared on the woman’s features as she nodded then moved towards the door of the office. ”Good. Then we’ll be seeing you tomorrow morning. Get home, get rest. I don’t intend to ease you into things.”
She said rather firmly, letting the woman out of her office before allowing herself another small smile. Things were good, coming together. ”Hold on a little longer, Alex, we’re coming.”
The Queen muttered as she made her way out of the labs after her new employee had already left. Next stop? Home, she wanted to get some rest for the busy day tomorrow.