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Mechanical dinosaurs on the streets of San Francisco. Pah. I'd forgotten what it was like to fight such things. Since they don't respond to pain, they can take so much damage if you don't know where to attack, but they are not truly clever. They cannot improvise in battle, and they will not fight together as a unified force.

Mar'i is worried about her ma'aranyr. My poor daughter. I should call Nightwing, or encourage her to call him. This is a male problem and a human problem, and I am neither.

It is still too chilly to work in my garden for long, and my emotions are roiled. There are times when I wish I had Raven's patience or Donna's serenity. Or Nightshade's. I have not seen her in weeks. Perhaps Warden Economos would agree to a visit.

Everything is normal again

Some of the Titans are giving me odd looks, after what I did to that--that ryni'hss who wore my beloved's face. They have never understood.

I was raised to be a warrior--not merely in drill, for one does not go to the Warlords of Okaara for that. My world had been at war with the Citadel since before the time my parents came together in joy. Had I not been used as the coin to buy peace for our people, I would have stood in the vanguard to drive the invaders from our land and sky. I would have killed and died (if necessary) praising X'hal for every victory.

When I led troops in our civil war, in defense of my parents (all honor to them), I did not use the flat of my sword, for the enemy would not have offered me such discourtesy. I mourned the waste of it, I raged at the insult offered my parents by my own sister's hand, and I made offering to X'hal in memorial to the dead on both sides.

So it will not trouble my sleep to remember that I have slain this creature, this Face, who enthralled me into his bed, who had my son's life in his hands for a week, who wanted me enslaved to his passion. If he is truly slain. A creature like that may even escape the starbolt. It does not matter. If he lives, and he comes near us again, I will not permit him to harm my family. X'hal, requite me against this creature should I fail.

Omens and portents

The strange snow is no longer falling over the city, and the temperature quickly rose back to normal. I was able to deliver some samples of the snow to Cyborg before it all melted. How strange that the colors did not last once the snow had become water again!

Again I wonder: what has this to do with Mar'i?

Ai, my daughter

My poor Mar'i. She has been brave, learning to live with the loss of her universe. No, that is not quite right, is it? It is hard to comprehend, losing a universe. But losing kin and kith? That is a suffering that needs no teaching. She may call me selya at times, but she would be a liar to confuse me with the one who bore her, who is now dead.

And now, to see a lost lover as a child.... X'hal lend her strength.

If the Batman will not stir himself from his city to regain this boy, I will myself fly to save him.

After the battle

I think it would be simpler to sink Alcatraz, but that would also drown the guards who are there. This time the jailbreak was coming from the outside, from Sinestro. The Green Lantern Kyle Rayner assisted us, but he did not stay for long. I wonder if he still misses Donna?

Mar'i fought well. I was proud of her courage, and her aim was true when she struck at the hydra. Hugo worried about both of us, but we both came home safe. We've been playing with Luum the past few days, which is restful for the spirit as well as the body. Raven has healed most of our injuries.

Sinestro got away. That is the only shame that nags at me.

It was a risk

But there is no victory when there is too much caution. We needed to draw the Church of Blood's forces to us, while they were still reeling from their losses in Chicago. We had to make them believe they could defeat us.

It is peculiar, to fight with a lie. Almost I understand why humans favor such as weapons.

But we succeeded. We could not know when they were watching, and though we had bound ourselves in as complete a veil of secrecy as Raven and Tempest could provide, we had to play our parts as if they were truth. Raven had said that she felt a kind of connection to that vile Brother Blood, and that we could use that against him. And so we did. We tugged on that bond, that line, and his dogs came baying for our blood. Let them now hunt their own kind, in a place where they will find no other game.


No more of this! No more of this skulking and sneaking and--X'hal erase their names from the living!

No more frightening Luum and Lian. No more attacks on my friends.

No more!

A call from Mar'i

Mar'i called, her words tumbling over themselves in her excitement to tell me about her time with Wonder Woman, who she says has accepted her as a sister. I have not always agreed with the Amazon, but in our love for Donna, we are kin. Also, it pleases me to know that Nightstar may call on her as an ally; blind or no, Wonder Woman is a warrior born.

Today she is in Metropolis, visiting with the Kryptonian, another I do not always agree with, yet he will treat her kindly for her own sake, as well as because the Titans have asked it.

The Church of Blood has made no overt move here, though elsewhere in the world they continue to preach their lies about how they will bring about a time of peace and unity to this world. There are some places they will never preach from again. I have pulled down the ceilings of their false sanctuaries, and filled their pits of blood with stone. I have spared the lives of the worshippers, for I believe most of them to be truly misguided, but should Brother Blood come here to claim Raven as his bride, he will learn what the elder Brother Blood came to know: a warrior of Tamaran fights fiercest when she fights for those she loves.

Fly away

This week Mar'i will be visiting those who have agreed to meet her. I am astonished at how I feel. How could any harm come to her? But it is not truly that I suspect any real threat. It is simply that she is kin, and I have lost so many already. I cannot bear the thought of losing more. But should Mar'i fall, she will take many of her enemies with her, who will testify to her courage in battle when she is judged thereafter.

Luum will miss his big sister. He has learned to recognize her face, and makes a sound that is meant to be her name. "Ari" is a rather pretty nickname, even though she keeps making "mmmmmmmmmmmm" sounds at him trying to persuade him not to call her that.

Fly high, daughter who I did not carry.

Mar'i has returned

I helped her unpack, and she chattered to me about how different our America looks when she flies over it. I had not thought of such matters, but it does make sense. We have already seen that her history is not the same as ours, and there is more to history than what happens to people.

More and more I realize that her education may not wait until the fall, and it must not be limited merely to tactics and strategy. She must learn what has happened in this world in the years since Nightwing and I did not get married, and she must learn the shape of the country, and not just San Francisco. There are people she should meet as well, others in the JLA and the JSA, so that they will know she is a Titan and not a mystery-possibly-enemy.

I think tomorrow I will send out word and see who would agree to guest her for a time in their cities.