Teen Titans Fan Fiction ❯ The Real World: Titans Tower ❯ The First Fight ( Chapter 2 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
OOC: I'm horribly sorry for the huge gap between chapters 1 and 2. My life's been pretty stressful lately, and though I knew what needed to be written, I was having trouble actually sitting down and writing it. At least, in the meantime, I've roughly plotted the rest of the story! Anyway, I promise a new chapter much faster than this one, and to make up for the delay, here's a few teasers to keep you coming back!
Coming up soon: the JLA! Titans East! The Brotherhood of Evil! And of course, everybody's favorite superhero relative…Matt Logan! Enjoy the new chapter, guys and gals!
Disclaimer: The New Teen Titans were created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, and my story is only borrowing those characters—as well as influences from later writers such as Geoff Johns and the staff of the animated series. Of course, after what I've done to them they may not want them back…
“All Star Teen Titans”
“The Real World: Titans Tower”
Episode Two: The First Fight!
Robin—Dick Grayson: Arrogant former circus star, acrobat extraordinaire and hopeful ladies man.
Wonder Girl—Donna Troy: Adopted sister of Wonder Woman, bestowed with the powers of the Amazons.
Speed—Wally West: A bitter, living embodiment of the mythical Speed Force.
Cyborg—Victor Stone: Half flesh, half machine—all human.
Beast Boy—Garfield Logan: Goofy, insecure animal shapeshifter and former member of the Doom Patrol.
Raven: Mysterious, cynical girl with numerous empathic abilities.
Starfire—Koriand'r: Honest, caring newcomer to Earth capable of flight and generating energy blasts.
This is the true story of seven teenaged superheroes, picked to live in a house, fight crime together and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when heroes stop being polite, and start being real. The Real World: Titans Tower.
***OFF THE AIR—LOREN JUPITER'S OFFICE ***
“Mr. Jupiter! Mr. Jupiter!”
Loren Jupiter turned irately from his paperwork as his secretary came barreling into his office, caring little if she interrupted anything. She was a slim girl with long red hair that seemed to spill over her shoulders and down the front of her black and red sweater. She wore a black and red mini-skirt accompanied with dark stiletto heels, and giant peace signs dangled from her earlobes. Across her face was pasted a panicked expression.
“Ms. Clay,” Jupiter growled, “I am trying to finish some very important negotiations so that my Titans actually have someone to fight! Interruptions like this aren't going to help me get heavy-hitters and move beyond no-shows like Light!”
“That's the problem!” replied Ms. Clay. “Light's shown up after all! He's at the tower now!”
Face dropping in sheer disbelief, Mr. Jupiter span frantically to turn on his monitors. Surely enough, footage from all seven Titans as well as tower security confirmed it—Dr. Light was attacking now, in the very tower itself!
“That idiot!” Loren Jupiter exclaimed. “He doesn't show on time, so he decides to destroy my very expensive tower?!” The director subconsciously gripped the papers on his desk, crumpling them into balls. “Hopefully my Titans are smart enough to lead him away from the tower. Ms. Clay! Get working on some spin for this!”
Lilith Clay only nodded in obedience, moving back towards her desk to make sure this stunt somehow didn't blow their cover. Of course, deep down she'd honestly have no problem with that.
***ON THE AIR—TITANS TOWER, LIVING ROOM***
Glass shot through the room as the Titans stared on in horror at the threat floating outside their living room window. All thoughts of breakfast were dropped—at least from most of the Titans—as beams of light appeared in the man's hands.
“Lights out, Titans!”
Beast Boy: “Man, I really could have used some Wheaties before this…”
Speed: “So some guy's after us already? What the hell? Did the way we ate dinner irritate him or something?”
Dr. Light grinned maliciously as twin beams of light burst forward with explosive force.
“I've got it!” Wonder Girl called as she dashed before the others, intercepting the deadly beams with her bracelets. With pinpoint precision Donna reflected them to the side, and they zoomed past the doctor and through some windows that actually hadn't been broken yet.
Cyborg: “I wonder who has to pay for all this?”
Wonder Girl: “Super-heroes don't have time to think of property damage!”
Robin: “Ah yes, I've done my research. Like her sister, Donna's Amazonian bracelets are unbreakable, able to deflect anything from bullets to, well, giant beams of weaponized light—and her enhanced speed makes sure she doesn't miss!
“Fortunately for the ladies of the world, I don't have enhanced speed myself…”
“Yo!” Beast Boy exclaimed as the Titans readied themselves, knowing the seething Dr. Light wouldn't give up that easily. “I say after we beat the crap outta' him we have him make us breakfast!”
Ready with a more cynical—or perhaps logical, depending on your perspective—viewpoint as always was Raven, ominously looming over the younger Titan's shoulder. “Perhaps you should reconsider wanting a criminally insane idiot cooking your food.”
“Indeed!” With a boom Starfire soared past the two, her hair leaving the impression of a flaming trail behind her. The Tamaranian's increased alien strength was put to good use as her fist collided with Dr. Light's gut, sending the screaming villain back out the way he had come. “When I am through with him he shall be unable to move, nonetheless cook!”
Starfire: “I will not idly stand by and let some madman try to harm my friends! If they are simply going to talk, then I will be the one to take action!”
The electronics in Light's suit were already working overtime as they steadied his flight, and he span back towards his attacker, blinding energy sizzling in his palm. “Nice try, Sunfire, but my light far outshines even yours!”
Starfire: “Sunfire? Is this some Earth insult? I do not understand what insulting properties the sun's flames possess though. They are warm and provide light, this is good, no?”
Raven: “I am not trying to say that Dr. Light is not dangerous. On the contrary—he is extraordinarily dangerous. All I can sense from him is hatred, anger, bloodlust. He seems to thrive off the pain of others. Yet—he is as dumb as a brick. I feel Starfire's confusion, but he is not trying to insult or joke—he simply…forgot her name.”
Regardless, Koriand'r's anger overtook her brief confusion as her pupil-less green eyes filled with shimmering energy of the same hue. That energy exploded in the palm of her orange hands, and with lightning-fast speed she tossed the ball straight below her. A pillar of green power collided with Light before he could even launch his own attack, driving him straight to the ground. Titans Island itself shook from the impact.
Beast Boy: “Wow! Momma don't mess around!”
Starfire: “My body is a solar battery, constantly absorbing sunlight which in turn powers me, allowing me both to fly and to fire those energy attacks. I call them my `Starbolts.'”
“I'm so hot for her right now,” drooled Robin, watching with the others from the Tower window. Donna Troy sighed heavily but decided to ignore him for now, knowing more was at stake. Unlike the others she'd seen Light fight before, and despite his obvious IQ deficiency his powers were still quite deadly. Plus…
“If that's Kory's main power then she can't win!” Wonder Girl declared as she dashed from the window, soaring towards the combatants. The other Titans followed, Speed dashing down the side of the tower, Gar taking flight as a green bird, Cyborg leaping high into the air and Raven disappearing altogether.
This left Dick Grayson staring pitifully out the window.
Robin: “And I was upset…for a few minutes. Then I remembered the sweet new gadgets MTV hooked me up with, and was like, yeah, what does it matter that I can't fly? I'll make my own trapeze.”
“You will do no more damage here today!” Starfire declared boldly as her Starbolt still raged madly from her hand, blazing like an inferno on the island below. She meant it. Still, despite the alien's fury her opponent was not down yet. Dr. Light lay at the bottom of the crater his landing had created, sensors furiously blinking in pattern up and down his suit.
Despite the panic he should have been feeling, Light instead was indulging himself with a full-fledged smile. Koriand'r's ruthless offense was held off several feet before the doctor's face, and as he thrust his arms forward it took off back towards its creator.
“Your beams are light, girl, are they not? They are mine to control!” With the speed of a bullet train the Starbolts reversed themselves, colliding with their creator in mid-air and lighting the sky like the fourth of July. Starfire fell pitifully to the ground, spewing smoke as sparks of energy from her own Starbolts crackled up her curvy body.
“Well now,” Light gleefully growled with a smile reflecting his pure hatred pasted across his face, “Looks like getting rid of you stinking kids is going to be a lot easier than I thought. Maybe you weren't enough of a threat to go through this for after all.”
Suddenly two curled, green horns were in the not-so-good doctor's groin, sending him reeling through Titans Island's yard. The mountain goat those horns belonged to bounded forward before leaping into the air, changing back into Beast Boy himself.
“Is that why you're after us? I've seen you in the news—you get beat by the Justice League every other week! Were you worried that some kids were gonna humiliate you even more?”
Beast Boy: “When I was in the Doom Patrol, our archenemies were the Brotherhood of Evil, led by The Brain, an icky brain in a jar. They gave us a million reasons to hate them, but mine? I couldn't stand them `cause we didn't know why they hated us so much!
“Brain had a mad-on for us, but would never tell us why. Man that was frustrating! This is the same! We haven't been superheroes for a day yet even and already some whack-job is after us! I'm gonna love whuppin' on this moron…”
Dr. Light regained his footing and the first thing he noticed was the not-too-pleasant sight of a green bear lunging for him, massive paw raised. He screamed as a blade of pure light shot from his palm, giving the creature a pedicure it didn't ask for. The bear fell backwards—yet again as Beast Boy—cradling a throbbing hand. And suddenly he was blinded by a flash so bright it could almost put the sun to shame.
“Of course I'm not worried!” Light replied angrily. “You want to know why I'm doing this, boy? Well—”
Suddenly Dr. Light was completely blown away by several boulders engulfed in a sheet of darkness. The bottom of Raven's cloak was spreading across the ground like fog at a rock concert, taking control of the various landscaped rocks and sending them hurtling towards the intruder.
Raven: “Do not lie, Light. And really, does it even matter why he is fighting us? Our audience is eating this up. I have felt it among the public—they love violence.
“And I already know the confusion my abilities create, so just this once I will explain them. As I said, my empathy allows me to sense the emotions of others. I can also alter or dispel those said emotions.
“I can also extend my mind from my body and possess inanimate objects, such as the boulders you saw. This leads itself to many even more complicated abilities, but I will stop for now, because I know that the producers need to fit this all within twenty-two minutes…”
Blood filled the air as the massive stones battered the supervillain, but he didn't build that suit just so he could be killed in it. A burst of light erupted from his clothing as the hired antagonist simultaneously fired several more blasts from his glove, blowing through the boulder storm and heading straight towards Raven.
Showing no signs of fear—or any emotion at all, for that matter—her cloak blew around her and expanded into massive black wings, swallowing up the attacks with no apparent discomfort. They then grew even more massive, looming over Dr. Light like malevolent shadows.
Raven: “Be very afraid, Dr. Light. Considering what I have sensed from the others I have enveloped in my darkness, you will not like this experience.”
However, before the empath could show Light the fright of his life he was blown out of her reach, sent soaring in a single yellow explosion.
Speed's fist crumbled as it tore into the doctor's face, and fragments of his shattered shell peppered Light as he skidded through the dirt.
Speed: “This `body' of mine is just energy from the Speed Force, focused into a physical form. It's not meant to fight that way, so lame as it is, it can't survive more than one blow—yes, I know, super speed is powerful because of the numerous blows you can land with it—giving me yet another reason to hate not having my body.
“And don't I have enough reasons already?”
Even as he was sent soaring, Light was able to launch a counter attack, slinging a fast blast in his wake. “Silly speedster—”
“No, silly doctor,” growled Wally, dashing behind his opponent effortlessly, “Your sub par silver-age dialogue can never make you fast enough to tag me.” The specter's other fist exploded as he sent a hook across the villain's face, bouncing Dr. Light across the island and leaving several head-sized craters in his wake.
Drool flailing from his mouth like a mad dog as he still reeled, Dr. Light was already beginning to prepare another assault—until he slowed to a frozen stop, in mid-air nonetheless! Shimmering golden energy flowed from his levitating body into the stubs of Speed's shattered `arms', much to Wally West's delight.
Speed: “I can control the entire Speed Force. Why should I let him have any speed? I'm gonna leave him so slow that it'll take him a century just to blink.”
The impatient teen actually took his time meandering to the frozen villain, a malicious grin almost literally carved on his face. “So, what do you think of us now? Or have you not even been able to form a single thought all this time?”
Suddenly Wally West was swallowed up in a massive burst of light that incinerated the rest of his Speed Force shell and carved a tremendous rut straight off the island and into the ocean. Sea-water filled the air as Light slowly regained movement, hovering above the ground laughing like the villain from a B-Movie.
“Actually, I could think just fine. And seeing how the light in my suit is activated by thought, it was all I took to incinerate you. Stinkin' kids—one down, six to—”
Again the talkative super villain was caught in mid sentence, receiving a full helping of Amazonian super-strength in the forms of Donna Troy's fists meeting his chest.
“Can it, Light!” she commanded, her shimmering golden lasso already tied and looping towards her opponent. “Don't get too confident just cause you got some hits in on kids who've never thrown a punch before! I'm the real deal!”
“Yes, because the real deal would defeat me by making me tell the truth,” Light said, sarcasm dripping from each word.
Wonder Girl: “Exactly what I want him to think.”
Accompanied by a mighty scream from its user, the lasso suddenly lit up like the sky during a thunder storm, lightning erupting from it and engulfing Dr. Light in a blinding fury of pain. Light's screams echoed louder than even the thunder itself.
Wonder Girl: “My lasso is a gift from my Amazon sisters—given the ability to use the lightning of Zeus himself as a weapon! Since I'm not Amazonian by birth, my powers sadly aren't up to my sisters. This is a way to compensate, I guess you could say.
“And what a way to do it. Let's see a mere mortal like Light withstand it…”
“Ready to give up yet?” Donna growled, lightning sparking up the golden rope held firmly in her hands. As an answer, the attack reversed itself towards her, leaving the Wonder Girl only time to block with her bracelets—and still get blown from the sky faster then, well, a speeding bullet.
Smoke poured from Dr. Light, but at this point he cared little of his pain—perhaps he was just too stupid to notice. “Give up? Never! Even that lightning is still light…”
“But this is just sound!” The air around Light rippled, ripping grass from the ground as the doctor fell to his knees, hands over his ears. Cyborg stood with is arm frantically pointed towards the madman, his hand folded back into the barrel of a complicated-looking weapon.
Cyborg: “I already have enough traditional weapons in me, I think. The Sonic Blaster is just non-conventional enough to throw people off. And for once, it's something this moron can't throw back at us!”
Gar finally got to his feet behind his mechanical buddy, seething at the damage he'd taken but still sadly still blinded. Of course, Garfield had the entire powers of the animal kingdom as his fingertips—he didn't need his eyesight!
Beast Boy: “I got schooled by that guy, and everybody's just calling him an idiot—so what does that make me if I give up?! I'm not staying down!”
“Great job Vic! Keep him distracted!” Truthfully, Beast Boy had no way to know for sure if Light was down or not at this point—but he trusted his friend. The green kid took flight as a similarly colored bat, soaring erratically towards his prey. With a bat's echolocation sonar, he knew exactly where the villain was.
And with the bulk of a hippo suddenly added to his body above said villain, he knew exactly how to dispatch him. Granted, a cushion of light was just what the evil doctor needed to survive the attack, and to create another that sent the shapeshifter reeling back towards his pal.
“That was almost too easy,” Light growled. “I guess you just can't see the light, eh?”
Beast Boy: “Gah, does the horror ever end? He's slandering the good name of puns everywhere!”
Back in human form, Gar skidded past Vic's feet on his butt. “You're too hurt Gar,” Cyborg grumbled as a whir from his cannon signified it was again ready to fire. “You should stay back and let me handle it! You almost got killed!”
“I've been in this business almost all my life Vic,” growled Beast Boy, “And I know what I'm capa—” The boy's pointy ears pricked up as his almost animal hearing picked up whirring that certainly wasn't from Cyborg. “Vic, he's about to attack!”
Without even looking a ferocious wave of sound exploded from the cannon, again crippling Dr. Light. Unfortunately, he wasn't the only one in the attack's path.
Wonder Girl fell from behind Light—where she had been poised to strike—hands clamped over her ears hard enough to almost crush her head.
Cyborg: “C'mon, couldn't she see I was about to attack?!”
Wonder Girl: “Come on, couldn't he see I was about to attack?!”
“Damn!” Cyborg exclaimed, cutting off the sonic blast before it did any more harm to his teammate. Unfortunately, this meant no more harm to Light too, and a vicious beam was instantly heading towards the two teens.
“Dammit some more!” the half-robot again grumbled as he took Gar in one arm and leapt into the air, the strength of his robotic legs combining with boosters on the soles of his feet to propel him far above the threat and to Donna's side. Unfortunately, it was a predictable move and Dr. Light had already countered it, uprooting the ground itself as the blast soared for the triple-threat.
Light was drooling in blood-lust as his ray exploded before him. “That's it, you can't survive my attacks! My superior intellect wins again!”
Cyborg: “Not really. It's not like there was any other move for me to make there or anything.”
However, in pure power Light was much more proficient. Hatches in Victor Stone's shoulder and chest had popped open, projecting a glow that materialized into a thick energy shield. Still, as energy amassed around Dr. Light, it was apparent that even this defense might not be enough.
“I can't last much longer!” Vic gasped, trying to keep his energies focused on holding the shield. “Where is everybody?!”
Meanwhile, Robin still stood in the broken windowsill, mulling over a strange `t' shaped device. He pressed a button for what seemed like the millionth time, and the gadget did nothing except make a weird noise.
Robin: “This is supposed to be some sort of grappling hook, but right now I can't get it to do anything but whirr at me. I'm going to beat the living s--- out of that Dr. Light jackass for attacking before I knew what my equipment actually did yet. All his fault…”
Finally Dick found a button on the bottom, and a small arrow-like object shot from the device, attached to a nearly unbreakable, almost invisible rope. It soared like a bullet into the ceiling, pitons emerging as it dug into the steel girders to further secure it. The unexpected recoil sent the acrobat backwards, and he landed on his butt with a thud.
“Nice an' graceful, Dick,” he growled sarcastically as he rose to his feet, going for another button. The rope started to retract and pull Robin towards the ceiling. “Okay, so that one pulls me up slowly…”
Robin was pulled a few more feet, out of the tower and into the air, and he tried for another button. In only a moment he was hurtling towards the ground like an anvil. “…but that's not the button that lets me down slowly!!”
Fortunately for him, the end of his line was quickly reached, and the sudden stop jerked Robin so hard that he was sent flying from the grappling. Instinctively the former circus-star tucked into somersaults, but they'd be for naught if he couldn't find some way to slow his fall.
And just as it all seemed hopeless he felt his cape catch wind, like a glider, and slow his fall. Dick's trademark grin returned to his face in earnest as blind luck not only saved his life, but gave him a great opportunity as he noticed a certain dim-witted villain from the corner of his eye.
Robin: “Jackpot. That was the best strategy I ever came up with.”
However, whatever Robin's “plan”, it wasn't helping out the other Titans at that moment. The fluorescent blue hue in Cyborg's head and shoulders started to fade as his power depleted. The thin shield of pure energy—the three's only defense—started to strain and crack. Victor Stone simply didn't have much left in him.
“Wonder Girl! Gar! A little help here?!”
Despite his injuries Beast Boy did his best, again taking the form of a bat. Donna Troy's ears were ringing, but she knew if Light could still be standing she had no excuse to give up now. However, the valiant efforts of both heroes were not needed.
Dr. Light was almost completely deranged as blinding white-hot light boiled around him, nearly a small star. What thoughts he had were lost in the pure rage contained within his mind as he began to summon the last bit of strength it would take to completely decimate Cyborg's shield.
Yet, it was not meant to be. At that very moment Light was engulfed in an explosion of pure, unadulterated black. The sphere of light collapsed into the darkness, which rose majestically into the shape of a vicious bird before dissipating into nothingness, leaving only Raven—still hidden within her expansive cloak—where all the chaos once had been.
Meanwhile, Light was on his knees, shivering. His pupils had disappeared, his costume was ripped and torn, and his teeth were chattering so loudly that it was nearly deafening. Words could barely escape from his lips, filled with terror.
Cyborg: “Damn…no words can describe how awesome yet creepy that entire thing was.”
Wonder Girl: “By the gods…what is she?”
Beast Boy: “The echolocation I got back on whatever weird magic-trick Rae pulled off was totally unreal. I can't even imagine how trippy it would've been to see it!”
“What just happened?” Returning to his human form, Gar was annoyed to have missed out on the battle's final blow. With a slight shrug in his direction, a tip of Raven's cloak seemed to leap to life and engulf the boy in an incandescent blue glow. A few seconds his eyes opened, and Gar caught sight of Dr. Light. “Oh. Ouch—WAIT A SECOND! I CAN SEE!”
Now Raven had provided even more reasons to be stared at in wonder—she especially left Beast Boy amazed. “Dude that's awesome an' all, but I thought you were an empath! Then you're telekinetic, now you're a healer, what's up with that?!”
Raven: “His curiosity and indignance far outweighs any gratitude for my restoration of his sight…typical human.”
Rolling her eyes Raven quickly rattled off a list. “Empath. Minor emotion manipulation. Interdimensional teleportation. Possession of objects, resembling telekinesis. Non-terminal disease and injury healing. Astral projection. Possession of minds.”
Cyborg: “She…must have to do that a lot.”
Gar's eyes bugged. “Did you have that memorized or something?”
“Yes,” stated the empath quickly. “I have to state it quite often.”
Of course, the sociopathic villain trembling at the four heroes' feet quickly retook their attention as he pleaded, in a stupor, not to have to go to school. “What did you do to him?” Donna asked, still rather awestruck.
“There was no way physically move through his attack,” Raven began with her normal nonchalance, “So I teleported straight into Dr. Light's mind and unleashed his worst fears from his subconscious.”
“Wait a second,” Vic interjected, his mechanical mind already having run through all the possibilities, “Why didn't you do that from the get-go? Hell, what's to stop you from doing that to all our opponents? Kind of makes the rest of us a little redundant, y'think?”
“Of course not,” replied the empath with her typical curtness. “That is not an easy technique to execute, and it has rather drained me. Also, it cannot be justified as anything but a last resort. Look at what it has done to Dr. Light—we do not have the right to manipulate anybody's mind in this fashion unless absolutely necessary. In all honesty, I doubt he can ever recover.”
Suddenly Donna Troy was filled with both pity and indignance.
Wonder Girl: “I can't believe I'm starting to sorry for such a waste of a human being as Dr. Light! I guess it's just Raven…she acts like she's above all of us and our actions, just passing judgment on us, ignoring what she does! What a hypocrite!”
Before she could speak her thoughts aloud Starfire landed beside the foursome, finally recovered from Light's brutal attack. “Do not feel bad, Raven, I agree with your actions. You did what was necessary.” Suddenly the alien's usual peaceful demeanor changed to features of pure anger. “Now let me finish the job so he shall cause us no more trouble!”
A focused beam of green energy leapt from Koriand'r's fingertips and raced for Dr. Light's neck—only to be knocked aside at the last second with one movement of Wonder Girl's arm. Smoke still poured from the Amazon's bracelet as she reached her limit of anger.
“What are you doing, Starfire?!” Donna asked, the words nearly coming out a snarl. “You would have killed him!”
Beast Boy: “Hit the dirt people! This is war!”
“Do not think me stupid Donna. I know exactly what I was doing.” Starfire looked towards their now-crippled attacker with a plainly obvious air of malice. “I was making sure he'd never try to hurt us again.”
Starfire: “On Tamaran any criminal captured would be given the same treatment. We do not wish to be guilty of tolerating murderers and thieves and those who hurt innocents. Their lost lives are worth the countless lives saved.”
Obviously Donna didn't share the oranged-skinned beauty's philosophy. “I don't know about your world, but that's not how things work here! We are not judge and jury! We don't have the right to decide who lives and dies! Heroes don't kill!”
“What about the Vigilante and Black Adam and that Question guy?” Beast Boy asked with a puzzled look on his green face. “Don't they kill sometimes? Or are they anti-heroes…”
Cyborg: “Growing up, watching heroes in the Justice League all my life on TV, I usually have the same view as Donna. But having fought Light…I'm starting to edge toward Starry's side on this one. Still, not the time. I need to defuse the girls first.”
“We'll have plenty of time to discuss this later,” Cyborg interjected as he grabbed both girls' shoulders and pulled them apart. “Don't you think we should get Light outta' here first?”
“I've got it taken care of!” called a voice from behind the heroes. Again Loren Jupiter strolled towards the Teen Titans, followed by about a dozen armed—and armored—soldiers. A small ship, very similar to the T-Ship, stood ready for use behind them.
“Nice,” Vic remarked with a slight grunt. “Got all that firepower an' leave us to do all the work.”
Jupiter smiled and shrugged nonchalantly. “You're the stars of the show. Would our viewers like it if we did all the work for you?” Two of Jupiter's soldiers hoisted the still dazed Dr. Light over their shoulders. “And as for killing your opponents, I say no. Philosophy or not, we'll lose our sponsors—and thus our show—if you start willingly killing off even thieves and villains.”
Starfire sighed with disappointment, but was not the type to hold a grudge. “I do not like it, but I will play by your rules.”
“Good,” smiled Mr. Jupiter as he tugged his gaudy, plaid jacket. “Then that just leaves—”
Before the director could even finish his sentence he was interrupted by a scream from above. “Don't worry! I've got `im!”
With a blood-curdling karate scream Robin re-entered the scene, flipping through the air and striking Dr. Light square over his head with a metal staff. The attack knocked both of Jupiter's soldiers off their feet, and did little to stop an already stopped Light.
As he rose to his feet Dick fixed his collar and grinned like he'd just won the lottery. “Shows him,” the acrobat said smugly. “No thanks necessary, guys!”
“Indeed,” Raven replied, as Cyborg held back Wonder Girl from bashing Dick Grayson's head in. “Seeing as I defeated Dr. Light moments ago there really is no necessity in thanking you.”
“Maybe if you'd been down here you'd have known that already!” Donna called, struggling to break from the mechanical man's grip. “And maybe we wouldn't have lost a member in our very first fight!”
The faces of the other Titans fell.
Starfire: “What is she speaking about? Everybody is here except…oh no! Wally…it is so sad, for him to die so angry and alone.”
Beast Boy: “What, she thinks Wally's dead? Isn't he, like, energy? How can you kill that?”
Wonder Girl: “I can't say I liked Wally, and if he had kept up his attitude I probably never would have, but I certainly didn't want him to die!”
“Pff, I can't die like that,” objected the voice of Wally West. Much to the surprise of his teammates, the air around the Teen Titans shimmered as Wally's body retook a ghostly form. “Not that I would have minded it. I'm just a spirit trapped in the Speed Force. You can't kill that. The mental strain of that blast screwed me up enough that I couldn't reform my body for a while.”
Speed glanced down at his intangible hands and grunted. “Hell, still can't focus into physical form yet.”
Beast Boy: “See, I knew he couldn't die! And everybody thinks I'm stupid.”
“Well,” again smiled Dick Grayson, “All's well that ends well. Nobody's got any right to complain now, `cept maybe Doctor Light.”
“And me!” spoke up Loren Jupiter. “You seven won that fight by luck! None of you knew how to work together like a team! If anything you worked against each other and hurt your teammates as much as Light!
“And you!” Jupiter exclaimed, his voice booming at even higher decibels as he pointed towards Robin. “You were no help at all! If you aren't even going to bother to master your equipment and contribute then you should just leave!”
Wonder Girl: “Now that doesn't sound half bad! Finally, the first decent idea of the day.”
For once Robin had nothing to say in return. For the first time since he arrived at Titans Tower he lost his cocky demeanor.
He'd just been owned on national television.
Robin: “Asshole. I'll show him—hell, and everybody else. Yeah, I guess there's no getting around the fact that I screwed up—there's always a first time for everything. Still, they think I'm a slacker, and that couldn't be further from the truth. Next time we fight, they'll see why I'm the best!”
“Like I said,” continued Mr. Jupiter, “you kids were lucky to come out alive. I don't want to see anything happen to you. I recommend you train and develop some teamwork before something like this happens again.”
Dr. Light had already been loaded up, and now Loren Jupiter climbed into his tiny ship, his brightly clashing outfit working well to ensure all eyes were on him. “I'll be contacting you soon for your first mission!”
With the chaos of Dr. Light's seemingly random attack finally over, nobody quite knew what to say. Of course, that never held back Garfield Logan before.
“So, everybody ready for breakfast now?”
Beast Boy: “'Cause, I tell ya', I'm hungry enough to eat a…well…I guess a horse made of tofu. Man, some expressions just weren't meant for vegetarians!”
“Now that sounds like a good way to end a slugfest,” smiled Vic as he turned towards the tower. However, Dick seemed to disagree as he grunted and walked off, head hanging.
“No thanks,” grumbled the acrobat. “Got more important things to do.”
However, Donna Troy had actually seemed to lighten up. “Well, I, for one, think breakfast sounds great!” Floating into the sky, the Wonder Girl looked down, smiling even wider than Dick Grayson at his most arrogant.
“And after that, we train! Mr. Jupiter's right—we do need to be a team! And I've figured out just how to achieve that!”
Speed: “Oh, god no, don't let it be what I'm thinking!”
However, per the usual Wally found his worst fears taking life. “I'm going to teach you all!” Donna exclaimed. “I'm going to be your leader!”
Speed: “What I wouldn't give for Light to have really killed me.”
***OFF THE AIR—LOREN JUPITER'S OFFICE***
Papers were messily strewn across Loren Jupiter's deck, his “in” and his “out” boxes having long ago merged into one incomprehensible pile. Thank to his secretary's excellent PR skills the Light debacle managed to draw little negative attention, even if the not-so-good Doctor did manage to bungle his entire contract. Still, finding a new enemy who would be a credible threat to his team, not to mention finding something to do with Light, was enough to backlog his work almost irrevocably.
In fact, Dr. Light still lay slumped in a chair in the corner of Jupiter's office, occasionally mumbling to himself but almost totally comatose beyond that.
“Mr. Jupiter!” The voice of Lilith Clay, the director's ever-dependable secretary, blared over the intercom, causing Loren to jump in his seat. “Your guest is here to see you now.”
An almost vicious smile—completely betraying the caring persona shown on the air—crept across the man's face. “Thank you Ms. Clay. Please, let him in.”
As requested, only seconds later a figure entered the office, casting an imposing silhouette of an even more imposing man. His body was clad in black and orange armor, with a sword and several guns hanging from various straps. A metallic mask disguised all his facial features, leaving only a vent to breathe through and one visible eye.
Loren Jupiter, nearly in awe, finally managed to speak. “How…good of you to come, Mr. Wilson.”
The masked man frowned. “Please, Jupiter. At home I may be Slade Wilson, but when I'm in this costume—when I'm working…”
Slade's voice was cool, calm, and yet terribly menacing. It sent chills down Jupiter's spine.
“…call me `Deathstroke'.”
Next time: “Team” Titans!