Teen Titans Fan Fiction ❯ The Real World: Titans Tower ❯ A Chance to Shine! ( Chapter 4 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Disclaimer: The New Teen Titans were created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. All credits for these characters go to them and other talented creators such as Geoff Johns and the staff of the animated series. Of course, the new directions are my idea and hopefully such a fusion of talent doesn't cause the universe to explode.
“All Star Teen Titans”
“The Real World: Titans Tower”
Episode 4: A Chance to Shine!
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: Cynical empath shrouded in mystery.
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—SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA, USA***
High atop the tallest building in San Francisco stood a man named Slade Wilson—better known as Deathstroke, the most deadly mercenary alive. For decades he'd been hired to kill, and he'd never failed. The imposing one-eyed man, dressed in black and gray body armor and a vented black mask that disguised his face, had never been caught—not even once—for his crimes. He was famous in the super-villain community—almost worshipped. In the super-hero community, he was infamous.
Today, however, he was involved in a most unusual job. He was not hired to kill—on the contrary, he was being paid to hold back. To make his enemies look good. And in the end, to lose.
Slade most certainly did not like that idea—but the price was right. And thus, the elaborate hostage situation was created to draw the Teen Titans to him. In his arms was a buxom blonde, screaming with all her might as she fought vainly to escape his vice-like hold on her. The mercenary didn't even notice her struggle as he kept his sights towards Titans Tower, the `T' shaped home of the seven reality TV stars. He could already see them loading onto their ship.
Of course, his attention was diverted by loud, chopping noises moving closer. The air around him blew into tiny whirlwinds as several news helicopters surrounded the building, cameramen eagerly leaning out the doors looking for a good shot.
Suddenly Mr. Loren Jupiter's voice was in Deathstroke's ear. “Eliminate them,” commanded the director over a tiny earpiece. “We need to monopolize the story to drive up the ratings.”
“Roger that,” replied Slade as he tossed his hostage aside like a used cigarette. Before the girl's fall was even over he had already snapped pieces of weaponry from his belt together into a collapsible grenade launcher. With four rapid and precise shots—followed by four corresponding explosions—the choppers and their passengers were nothing but rubble, ashes and smoke.
Without even a second thought, he casually turned his attention to the hostage. She was running towards the stairwell, with what Slade couldn't help but notice was the trained stride of a professional athlete. Suddenly her escape was cut short by a line of automatic fire.
“Now now, can't have any witnesses running away.” The girl turned, her face gnarled in vicious rage, as her captor sauntered lazily towards her, a machine gun in hand.
“You won't get away with this, you bastard,” she growled, her curled blonde bangs falling across her face as she stepped backwards. “I'm a part of the Kane family, one of the richest families in the world! Hurt me and it'll be all over the news! They'll hunt you like an animal!”
“I'm a hunter myself, my dear,” said the mercenary. “I know how they work. How they think. I won't be caught. And your pitiful little fortune—” Suddenly Slade was in the girl's face, moving like a black streak, his finger pressed up against her pretty little nose. “—Is nothing compared to what I've made over the years. I'm untouchable, my dear.”
“Not today you aren't! Get your hands off her!”
With a gleeful smile hidden behind his mask, Deathstroke span to see the `T' ship floating beside him, seven angry teenage superheroes peeking out the door, just waiting to get their hands on him.
“Now the fun begins.”
***ON THE AIR***
“You want me to get my hands off her?” In a blinding flash of gray and black Slade span into a backhand that sent his hostage sprawling off the side of the building. “Done.”
“I've got her!” Before any of the fliers on the team could even react Robin leapt from the T-ship, keeping his arms and legs tight against his body in order to fall as quickly as possible.
Beast Boy: “Dude, this Deathstroke guy is freakin' psycho!”
Wonder Girl: “Hera, if Dick gets himself killed because of his stupid ego…”
Robin: “There wasn't really time to think about it…if I have the chance to grab some hot chick from mid-air, I'm gonna take it!”
Spit flew from the sides of the acrobat's mouth as he plunged closer and closer to the ground, finally catching up to the screaming Ms. Kane. He pulled her into his grasp, his cape catching the air like a glider as he did so, steadying their fall. Of course, even at their slowed pace they were still prime candidates to become street pizza—until Robin pulled a grappling hook and shot it into the side of the building, rappelling down it until both teenagers were on the ground safe.
Robin: “That was awesome!”
Dick didn't even have a moment to say anything before the saved damsel still resting in his arms pulled his face close and laid one on him sure to bring home a MTV “best kiss” award.
Robin: “And the perks!”
Meanwhile, Deathstroke still had six more heroes to deal with. “Well, you called us?” asked Wonder Girl, floating from the jet's open door to approach the mercenary. “What do you want?”
“I want the same thing I always want: my payment,” he stated coldly. “And I get it once I've killed all of you, my dear.”
Suddenly Slade dashed forward, leaping over the side of the building. As he tumbled backwards through the air he pressed a button on the side of his belt. In response, the building exploded!
Debris from the top five floors of the building filled the air, as the force of the blast sent the T-Ship reeling backwards.
“S---!” exclaimed Cyborg as he leapt into the pilot's seat. “I think he blew our entire calibrations off!” Wires shot from all over the mechanical portions of his body and connected into jacks built into the cockpit.
Cyborg: “Even though I could build this ship, I'm not the best at piloting yet. Of course, for even that problem tech has a solution! When push comes to shove, I can connect to the ship and sync up its programming with mine! Then piloting this thing `comes as easy as moving my body!”
Of course, while his teammates dealt with the disaster, lips were still locked as wreckage rained down around them—like the climatic final scene in a war flick.
“Bette!” cried a ferocious voice. Both Dick and the young Miss Bette Kane looked up to see an imposing middle-aged woman charging forth. She more a modest yet classy dress and a stern expression. “What are you doing?! Get over here!”
Before either teen could protest the woman had grabbed the former hostage's arm and pulled her doggedly from the acrobat. “But Mom!” she complained, to no avail.
“Quiet, Bette,” growled her mother. “This town has become too dangerous, and you too wild! I'm sending you out east to visit your Aunt Kathy! Maybe she can smack some sense into you!”
The lovebirds exchanged quick, sad glances as she was dragged away.
Robin: “Aw. Oh well, she was fun while she lasted.”
So finally Dick's attention was drawn back to the battle as he heard someone land behind him—the boy span and found himself face-to-face with Deathstroke.
“You're not a very good hero,” chastised the mercenary. “Kissing the girl instead of evacuating the citizens? Or finding me? He was right, you do still have much to learn.”
“Oh, I'm a great hero,” smiled Robin as he took a martial arts stance. “'Cause I'm gonna' kick your ass!”
Slade's hand moved to his machine gun. “Let's see you try.” However, before he could fire Deathstroke heard the unmistakable sound of incoming fire, and with minimal effort leapt above a shimmering green streak of energy. Shifting his weight he strafed past a second, and ducked beneath a third.
The Tamaranian warrior Starfire screamed as another Starbolt sizzled in the palm of her hand, but even she wasn't fast enough to counter Slade's attack. As he rose from his last evasion he pulled the trigger, sending a stream of gunfire into the alien girl's chest.
“Kory!” screamed Dick as she skidded past him. However, Koriand'r only lay still a few seconds before she pulled herself to her feet, clutching her injury. As she pulled her hand away Robin expected to see a deep, gory wound—but instead there was only welts!
Robin: “It's like she got hit by a freakin' paintball gun!”
Starfire: “Fortunately, the weaponry on Earth is not designed to penetrate my dense Tamaranian skin. This should prove to be advantageous.”
The usual smile returned to Dick Grayson's face as he saw the beautiful warrior rise unharmed. “Looks like you're in trouble, d---head,” he laughed. “We're just too much for you!”
“Hey, look everybody! Robin's right for once!” growled Speed as he appeared behind the two, followed by the rest of the team. Wonder Girl floated above them all, trying her hardest to appear stern and intimidating.
“Give it up, Deathstroke,” demanded Donna. “You should know that there's no way for even you to take all seven of us at once.”
“Of course I do, my dear. I wasn't planning on fighting you all at once…” In one lightning fast motion Slade's hands moved across his belt, flipping half a dozen switches. Suddenly the ground rumbled as explosions rocked buildings up and down the block. “It simply wouldn't be prudent.”
Wonder Girl: “Damn him to Hades! I can't believe I was stupid enough to think he would fight us head on! Of course he's going to try to distract us, split us up, and pick us off one by one! And the worst part is that…I think it might work. We can't ignore the innocents who were still inside those buildings!”
Beast Boy looked back and forth, panicked and confused. “What's going on?!” he cried. “He have exploding powers or something?!”
“No,” replied Cyborg quickly as his sensors scanned the block. “He must have planted explosives here ahead of time! I can't believe how prepared he was!”
“There's no time for this!” snapped Wonder Girl as she beckoned her team towards the disaster. “Saving them is more important than Deathstroke!”
Of course, this didn't sit well with the some of the team. “So are we to let him escape?” demanded Starfire. “I refuse!”
Starfire: “Certainly all of us are not needed for the rescue! I will not let him get away with this injustice! I will not let Deathstroke do this again!”
“Escape?” Amused, Slade decided to put in his two cents. “Why would I escape? What would that get me?” Holding up his machine gun, the mercenary tapped the barrel. “Oh, I'll be around.”
A growl escaped from Robin's throat as he pondered the madman's threat.
Robin: “Y'know, I came here today fully expecting to shine. This is my chance. I can't ignore it! Yet…I feel more now. I can't let this bastard take pot-shots at my teammates while they try to rescue people! And honestly, what can I do to help? Hell, I'm not even sure I can do this, but I don't have much'uva choice. Somebody's got to keep the d--- busy, and it might as well be me.
“This, my loyal and hopefully beautiful fans, is what separates the men from the boys. Well that and a big…well, I think you get the picture.”
“Get going you guys!” yelled Dick as he leapt forward, his cape billowing behind him. “I can take Deathstroke! You have more important things to do!”
“Dick!” exclaimed Koriand'r in shock and worry—she couldn't let him fight alone—of course, she wasn't the only Titan objected to his snap decision.
“Are you f---ing insane?!” exclaimed Donna Troy.
Beast Boy: “Uh-oh…as if we weren't already in a war-zone as it is, now Wonder Girl's going to set off the Richter Scale…”
Grumbling, Robin retorted, “No, I'm not! Somebody has to stop him from stopping you from rescuing those guys!”
“Which,” interrupted Cyborg, “We should be doing right about now!” As if in response to his cry another girder rocked loose, starting its plummet towards the crowded city streets.
“Guess we don't have much of a choice,” sighed Wonder Girl, before turning to face Dick. “Screw up and you're history, got it?”
Flashing his trademark smile, Robin showed that he wasn't scared.
“Then may the Gods be with you.” Wonder Girl and the other Titans faded into the smoke, left to set straight what Slade had made wrong.
Speed: “He's going to get massacred. 10 to 1 odds.”
Now Robin and Deathstroke were alone, and they both strafed sideways, neither daring to break eye-contact.
Robin: “Oh c'mon Dick, super-hero rule #1 is that you always start a fight with witty banter!”
“So,” began the teen with a snarky tone completely inappropriate to the occasion, “Is that your costume or did an elephant throw up on your suit?”
Robin: “Us circus folks have entirely different experiences than the rest of you. Believe me, that's just `bout what it'd look like.”
Dick was greeted in response to his question with a spree of gun fire straight in the chest. He was sent sprawling backwards, his limbs flailing like a rag doll's, but maybe things weren't quite what they seemed.
Spinning so fast it was nearly invisible to the naked eye, a razor-tipped red and yellow boomerang soared past the mercenary and sliced the muzzle straight off his weapon. For once Slade wore a rather shocked expression—he should have noticed that!
Somersaulting out of his fall, Robin landed on his feet and brushed the dirt off of his costume. “'Gotta love body armor,” he whispered happily to himself.
“The body armor was expected,” began Slade, “but I'm happily surprised you could still attack even when shot.”
“Hey,” smiled Dick, “That's why I'm the best.”
“Cocky. Besides, I've been considered the best since before you were even born.”
***THE RESCUE ATTEMPT***
Time was of the essence. Fortunately to the Teen Titans, they were on the scene as the crisis hit, but even then buildings were crumbling and lives being lost before the six could even act.
Donna Troy bit her lower lip and announced her first official command as field leader. “Raven, can you catch the debris? Keep it from crushing anymore people or letting anyone fall?”
Wonder Girl: “One of the most important parts of being in command is knowing your team's strengths and how they'll be of use in any situation. In this situation, it will be much easier to evacuate the people if the buildings are stable.”
Raven, however, was huddled up, shaking, obviously overwhelmed. “No,” she said, her voice wavering. “It is too much to hold up at once with all this…all this…”
Raven: “At my best perhaps I could have performed Wonder Girl's task, but with all the emotional chaos…all the panic was overwhelming. Imagine the emotions of hundreds and hundreds of people rushing into your head at once, each at their emotional peak, each so obsessively concerned with their own fragile existence that nothing else can exist. It was a wonder I could function at all.”
There wasn't time to stop and come up with a back-up plan—fortunately, Cyborg already had one. “Speed!” called the machine man. “Can you steal the speed of all the buildings and debris?”
“Yeah, that's one thing I can do,” grumbled Wally as his body dissolved, opening a portal straight into the Speed Force. Golden energy flooded the entire block, the momentum from the explosions being sucked into the Titan like a black hole. Girders, walls and other debris froze in mid-air. The fires extinguished, as with the speed needed for the chemicals to react and create them gone they could no longer exist.
If one listened hard enough, they could have heard a pin drop. While the other Titans marveled, Donna just grumbled slightly.
Beast Boy: “Heh, I guess here's our reason to keep Wally around…”
Wonder Girl: “Of course, having a back-up plan is always good too. Fast thinking Vic…though I would have gotten to it in a sec more.”
“It should take a couple hours for this stuff to fall,” began Speed, “but I may not be able to hold out that long. To steal speed I need to sever all that crap's connection to the Speed Force, and that takes a lot of concentration. Move it!”
“You heard him gang!” repeated Donna. “Move it!”
Speed: “Ugh. Can she take this more seriously?”
“Of course. I shall!” Starfire pointed both of her golden skinned hands in different directions, Starbolts erupting and flying haphazardly like the rays of exploding fireworks. Of course, despite that image, they were all amazingly precise and each destroyed walls that were blocking people from escaping. “The faster we do this the faster we can get back to Dick!”
With a grunt Wonder Girl pulled away a chunk of stone and let several stranded civilians climb onto her back. “Robin,” she said as she floated past Koriand'r. “He's Robin. When we're on missions, always call us by our code-names.”
The Tamaranian's nose crinkled in confusion. “Why? Our identities are public knowledge, are they not? Or are we expecting our opponents to not watch television?”
As Starfire let the residents climb onto her back—one fearless kid even copping a feel—Donna just shook her head. “Of course not, Starfire. It just sounds more professional.”
Starfire: “She certainly has…odd priorities.”
Meanwhile, as Beast Boy moved to take action, he was held back by a mechanical arm. “Hold it Gar—I mean, Beast Boy,” corrected Cyborg, glaring out of the corner of his eye at his team leader.
Cyborg: “Yeah, I think it's stupid to have to call each other by code names, but she's the one leading us and I'm going to show her respect. Seeing as some of the others want to lynch her already, I think I owe it to her.”
A confused look spread slowly across Garfield Logan's face. “Why're we waiting?!”
Holding out one finger as a sign for the green kid to hush, Victor Stone rubbed his right hand against the wall, his mechanical eye blinking. After a few seconds, he found what he wanted. “Ah, here we go,” he said, smiling as his hand folded back into his Sonic Cannon. One tiny blast of blue echoed through the wall, and only a few seconds later the entire side of the building crumbled.
Gar's eyes grew to the size of saucers. “Wow.”
“I just determined the one point of the wall that, under attack, would make it fall down instantly,” smiled Vic, as if it were a common feat. “C'mon little guy, do your thing.”
Instantly Beast Boy snapped back to his senses. “Oh yeah,” he said with a chuckle and a blush as his body stretched and grew into a green giraffe. One of the trapped residents stepped back in fear, but Gar just nudged him with his nose then lowered his head. Soon all the residents were sliding down his neck like kids at a playground.
Beast Boy: “Hahahaha, that tickles!”
Even Raven was getting into the spirit of things, the crushing panic of the trapped citizens slowly going away as the Titans pulled them out of the shattered buildings one-by-one. The empath's cloak sprang to life, engulfing walls in black and pulling them apart, providing floating platforms to more efficiently evacuate them.
Of course, the more people the Titans rescued, the less room they had to hold them. As the streets became more and more crowded the mob even started to pass through Wally, who was in his energy form as he slowed the fall of the rubble.
Speed: “Stupid jerks. I don't like people enough to be putting up with this.”
“Yo Wonder Girl!” called the speed specter. “It's pretty freaking hard to concentrate with all these people down here!””
With a grunt Donna Troy threw aside a pile of fallen steel and brick before replying. “Don't worry Speed, we're just about done I think!”
“Then you think wrong,” interjected Raven. “There are still dozens more trapped within, further back. We must work smarter and faster to retrieve them—I feel some getting weaker as we speak..”
“And don't forget,” added Vic, “Deathstroke is back there! We should get them evacuated before any more damage happens here!”
Cyborg: “I just hope Dick is `kay while we're doing that…but he made the commitment like the rest of us. We're heroes, and we can't just leave people to beat up bad guys!”
Wonder Girl frowned. “Then Raven's right, we need to really hustle it up here.” Suddenly an idea clicked in the girl's head. “Hey Raven, think you can make something to get all the people out of here?”
A sigh came from the discontented empath. “More than likely, but it will take much effort.”
Wonder Girl: “Um…of course it will. Nobody on my team is going to have any excuse to be lazy!”
Despite her objections, Raven quickly went to work as inky tentacles of untainted black leapt from her cloak, hard at work on trying to get the citizens out of there before disaster could strike.
“Starry, blast away two meters to your left!” commanded Cyborg. “My infrared eye is picking up several trapped citizens back there!”
“You have it!” replied the alien as she launched a Starbolt, turning a wall into crumbling pebbles and dust with just one green explosion. As she peered inside for her rescue, she couldn't help but to sigh.
“I do hope Dick is okay…”
***ROBIN VS. DEATHSTROKE***
Dick Grayson had sure had given himself a big enough first assignment—he was currently engaged in mortal combat with the most deadly mercenary alive, Deathstroke! The two had been walking in circles, never breaking eye combat, for the last five minutes. The witty banter had only lasted for two.
Slade could have waited it out forever. After all, back in Vietnam he spied on the Vietcong for two weeks in a trench—compared to that, this was nothing. However, Robin was not quite so patient—and true to his nature, he spastically lashed out with a grappling launcher, propelling himself into the air and far above his opponent.
Of course, this didn't worry Deathstroke for one second. Not even noticing how easy his maneuver was, Dick fell from the air behind the mercenary and span on his heel, preparing to transition into a kick. Unfortunately for him, he was greeted with the back-half of the gun he'd destroyed being slammed into his face!
Robin reeled backwards, blood pouring from his nostrils. “Dammit!” cried the acrobat as he wiped away the crimson liquid. “If you broke my nose I'm…I'm…”
“Going to try to threaten me and fail?” inserted Slade dryly. “I'd say you've already done that.”
Robin: “Hardy-har-har. Oh, and don't worry my lovely fans, I don't think it's broken after all. Though if it was, I just know you'd all start a collection for the plastic surgery, right?!”
“Actually, I'll just kick your ass harder,” growled the boy as he leapt to his feet—only to be greeted by more gunfire as Deathstroke nonchalantly fired off duel pistols. Leaping to the side Robin rolled into a tumble, and the shots from the two guns just tore through his trailing cape.
Rolling upright, Dick tossed two tiny disks that whirled towards his nemesis like Frisbees. Somewhere far beneath his inhuman mask Slade was smiling—Robin was attempting to disarm him, but they were far too easy a target for that to even work. It was a common tactic, and one he never got tired of trouncing.
Two bullets pierced the disks, Deathstroke getting his perfect shot as he'd assumed. However, as the devices shattered deep smoke exploded from within, filling the air in mere seconds. Slade was suddenly in a fog thicker than what he'd seen on his last job in England!
Robin: “That'll teach anybody to underestimate me. I know a bit of strategy m'self, you see, and playing on the `obvious' response to throw somebody off is one of the better ones out there.”
The mercenary barely had time to grumble over his own stupid mistake before Robin came somersaulting through the smoke, whirling into a fierce kick that finally landed! Slade was thrown to the side, but only stumbled a few steps. Still, it was just enough time for Robin to grab the two pistols and, after giving them a quick glance, toss them out of sight.
“Not a fan,” smiled the acrobat as he reared back to attack his opponent—but was greeted just a moment faster with a gloved fist to his gut. Accompanied by a sickening thud Dick flew several feet backwards, landing on his knees.
“Shouldn't have disarmed me,” advised Deathstroke as he reached for his belt. “You had me at your mercy. Should have gone for the finishing blow.”
“Then why don't I do it now?!” cried the boy as he charged forward, arm reared back for a full-power punch.
Just as he would have connected Slade grabbed his arm and tossed him far over his shoulder.
Robin: “Wow…using my own momentum against me? That's one of the oldest maneuvers there is! How the hell'd I fall for that?!”
As he flipped in mid-air and landed on his feet, Robin realized he was starting to feel like a yo-yo, what with all this constantly getting knocked back and just coming back for more. Pulling two razor-tipped boomerangs from his belt, Dick told himself it wouldn't happen this time—even if he was about to come back for more.
“You've done better than I expected,” admitted Slade, “but I'm sorry to say you won't be coming back this time.”
Robin: “C'mon, the yo-yo was my analogy!”
So distracted by the thought-plagiarism was Robin that he almost didn't notice what his opponent had assembled during his brief recovery time—the same grenade launcher he'd used to down the news helicopters!
“Holy f---ing s---,” gasped Robin, his eyes as wide as full moons. He looked down at his birdarangs and suddenly felt very inadequate.
“Tell your parents hello for me in the afterlife, Grayson,” Deathstroke said coldly as he fired his weapon.
Robin: “Low blow, f---tard!”
The insult released Dick's second wind as he somersaulted backwards, his feet landing flat on the side of a building. Suddenly flames exploded from within the bottoms of the boots, blowing the soles straight off as the blasts propelled the acrobat above the grenade's path.
Robin: “Can only use'em once per battle, but damn! Well worth it!”
The Titan span several times as he fell to the ground, pulling his collapsible staff from his belt as he did so. By the time one foot touched down he was already half-way through his attack—and with super-human speed Slade intercepted the staff with his sword, having abandoned the grenade launcher for close-range combat.
The blade dug deep into the metal pole, nearly severing it. Robin raised one eyebrow pitifully. “Kinda' unfair, y'think?”
“Welcome to the real world,” growled Slade—not even realizing the irony of his statement considering that they were being filmed by the Real World the whole time—as he freed his weapon and swung into a viciously quick assault. Dick managed to leap past it, but Deathstroke was like something from an anime as he dashed ahead, swinging his sword so fast it almost became invisible.
Robin actually dashed past a few slashes—and deflected a couple more—before his staff was sent spiraling away from his grip. “S---,” growled the Titan as he barely managed to somersault over another swipe—leaving a long slash up his cape that nearly divided it in two.
“Oh come on!” exclaimed Robin as he landed. “I liked that cape!”
Reminded of a movie his daughter had made him watch once, Slade stamped on the end of the boy's cape and pulled it towards him, knocking Dick Grayson's feet from beneath him and sending him falling flat onto his butt.
“You should have paid more attention to the Incredibles,” said Slade arrogantly. “Capes are dangerous.”
Robin: “I don't care, I still like them—wait a minute, Deathstroke's seen the Incredibles?!”
Deathstroke raised his sword above his head, executioner style, ready to render his prey into two. After all, Jupiter had said to make it look convincing. To maybe even defeat a couple. “Any last words?”
Not even waiting for an answer Slade swang—and Robin caught the blade between the palms of his hands. “Yeah,” replied the acrobat as he flashed his perfect teeth. “There's a cold front coming in!”
Only then did Deathstroke notice the disk held in each of Dick's hands—but by then it was far too late to counterattack. While the insulation in the Titan's gloves protected them, Slade's sword had no such safeguards—and as it was swallowed up in the blue sparks of the exploding disks, it was quickly encased in thick ice!
Turning his wrists Robin snapped the sword in half, then rolled backwards, pulling his cape from beneath Deathstroke's feet like pulling the cloth off a table. Slade was sent falling backwards while Robin finally regained his footing, tossing a birdarang.
Seething, Slade caught the razor-tipped weapon and crushed it just by closing his fist.
Still, it was only a distraction Dick was looking for to begin with. And distract it had, as he now held his staff once again and swooped in for a vicious strike. Unfortunately, it was again intercepted, this time by a larger staff held by Slade.
“Dude,” Dick cried, perplexed, “Where do you keep getting all these toys?”
“I could ask you the same,” growled Slade as he parried one of Robin's strikes. “Besides, mine's bigger.”
As he swiped aside an assault, Robin only replied with his trademark grin. “And mine is younger, more fun, and I'm not so ugly that I hide behind a full facemask!”
Robin: “Maybe not the most fluid line of reasoning, but it's true nonetheless!”
This time Slade didn't have a comeback—but he suddenly became faster, parrying his opponent's staff then managing to point the end of his own weapon at Robin's chest before he could even counter. A purple blast of energy shot from the end of Slade's staff and struck the Titan square in the stomach!
Robin: “I want that staff!”
The staff began firing like a machine gun, and Robin looked like he was tap-dancing as he tried to leap past the rapid-fire. Unfortunately, there was just nowhere left to run, and as a last resort the teen span in mid-air, launching a weapon for the mercenary as he came off his spin.
A rope with a steel ball attached to each end span from the boy's hands and spiraled towards Slade—when it hit it whirled around him in at least a dozen rotations, ensnaring him like a boa constrictor.
Robin: “Now I'm sure after last week's episode everybody had one thing on their mind: “What the hell is a bolo?” Well my loyal fans…that is a bolo.”
“Amusing,” calmly stated Slade—his muscles bulged as the mercenary stretched his arms, snapping the bolo in mere seconds! “Ineffective, but amusing.”
Robin: “Of course, it's totally supposed to work better than that.”
Still, the bolo had provided yet another distraction—just what Robin needed as he kicked the power-staff out of his would-be-killer's hand. Wasting no time he thrusted into several powerful strikes, hoping to find a nerve cluster and immobilize one of Deathstroke's limbs.
Deathstroke, however, was done playing around. He was done playing by Mr. Jupiter's rules. He was not going to be humiliated by some boy on cable TV! He had gotten his payment upfront—what he did now needn't matter. He'd slaughter them all—yes, that's what he'd do—starting with Robin. Starting with this impudent punk jamming a pole into his stomach!
With fury coursing through his veins a punch from the mercenary shattered his opponent's staff, and Slade didn't waste a moment in grabbing the acrobat's hand and tossing him aside before spinning into an assault of his own, starting with a kick onside the teen's head. Robin reeled as Deathstroke began piling on the pain, driving punches into the poor boy's stomach like a jackhammer.
Slumping, Robin almost fell to his knees—only by grabbing onto the ammo-belt hanging across Deathstroke's chest did he keep himself off the ground.
“Normally I would offer you a painless death at this point,” Slade began, “But you've given me far too much trouble for that now…”
“Don't need it anyway!” Robin exclaimed as he grabbed the mercenary's shoulders, hoisting himself into the air and somersaulting as far away from him as he could.
With a grin so big it threatened to swallow his entire face, Dick Grayson could only say, “I win.”
Suddenly Slade noticed beeping—and looked down to see a dick of explosives attached to his very full ammo-belt! Was there time to get it off?! The mercenary moved at top speed but in the end, not even his best effort was good enough!
Robin's explosives ignited, taking the ammunition with it and swallowing Deathstroke in the fiery explosion. Pavement cracked, and finally Dick's fight was won.
Robin: “Damn…Never in a million years did I think I was that good…”
However, as the smoke cleared, the Teen Titan was beyond shocked to see Slade still standing!
“I'm at peak human potential,” growled Slade. “I can't be taken down that easily…”
Snarling, Robin charged forward, but he was simply backhanded away by Deathstroke. Before he could even recover the mercenary tossed a grenade—Robin barely managed to tuck into a ball before the explosive sent him rolling backwards.
Meanwhile, Slade used the explosion to take to the air, leaping off some debris and landing straight on Dick Grayson's stomach. Out of the side of his one eye he noticed one of his long-disarmed pistols and picked it up, aiming for the boy's head.
“This time I'm not going to let you get away,” he resolved, his finger looming over the trigger.
Robin: “Okay, déjà vu is pretty cool when, say, you meet a fine lady. But when it's not cool is when a mercenary is standing over you ready to deliver a killing blow! Again!”
Suddenly, though, a voice objected to the mercenary's actions over a speaker in his ear. Slade's eyebrow arched, and he pulled the device out, holding it between two fingers. “Then consider our contract over,” he growled as he crushed Jupiter's radio. “I have the money anyway.”
Turning his attention back to his captive, Deathstroke had become more callous than ever. “Now, where was I?”
Fortunately for Robin, just that second—as his gloved finger straddled the trigger—a maelstrom of yellow blew past, shattering a fist of compressed Speed Force energy across the mercenary's face.
Speed: “Looks like I was right. Eh, there's no fun in winning an obvious bet.”
“I guess you're done here,” growled Wally as energy fluctuated from his shattered arm, adding speed to Deathstroke's flight. “Get out of my sight.”
Slade Wilson would have kept flying for quite a time, too, if he hadn't been stopped dead in his tracks by a pin-point Starbolt. For the second time in less than two minutes he'd been caught in an explosion—it remained to be seen if he could truly be downed this time.
“Dick, are you okay?” Dick Grayson suddenly felt himself being roused by cold mechanical hands—and awoke to see Cyborg, Beast Boy and Raven looming above him.
“Yeah, I'm fine,” replied Robin groggily.
Robin: “I just…lost. That's all…”
“That was AWESOME!” exclaimed Gar, jumping around his teammate. “Nobody's ever survived one-on-one combat with Deathstroke before! Do you know how cool you are?!”
“Eh,” grunted Dick. “I should've won.”
Beast Boy: “Great, just what we need around here, somebody else feeling bad about themselves. C'mon, snap out of it! That was incredible!”
“DICK!” Out of nowhere Robin had a Tamaranian latched to his back. “I am so pleased that you survived!”
“Well, I'm happy you're happy,” gasped the teen. “Now can you please stop crushing my lungs?!”
Starfire blushed as she released her death grip. “I am sorry. I was just relieved that you did so well!”
Robin gnashed his teeth. “I didn't do that well. Would everybody stop?”
”But you did do well,” said Donna Troy as she floated by the edge of the crater Kory's attack created, lasso in hand. “Nobody even expected you to, but you did. Good job, Robin.”
Robin: “Woah. Just…woah.”
Beast Boy: “Wait a minute, was that a compliment? From Donna? I'm so jealous!”
Raven: “Robin should be extremely flattered. I can sense that she is entirely sincere.”
As the smoke cleared, Slade could be seen, battered, bruised, and in a word—broken. His mask had shattered, revealing the wrinkled face and white hair and beard of a man in his mid-to-late fifties. He wanted to resist, he wanted to keep fighting, but his body just had nothing else to give. For the first time ever, he'd been defeated. Worse than that, he'd been unmasked. On television.
“Don't try anything,” threatened Wonder Girl as she wrapped her lasso around the mercenary, “Or you'll get more voltage than any scale in this world can measure.”
Slade was too tired to reply, but he certainly wasn't planning on it. At least—not yet. His fist clenched as he thought about the hit his reputation just took. Maybe he didn't have the strength now, but someday—he would do something about it.
“Well now,” said a new voice from above the Teen Titans, “I guess we didn't need to come after all. Deathstroke's all taken care of! Well done, Wonder Chick!”
Donna gasped. She only let one person call her that!
“K—Kyle?!” Suddenly Donna Troy was in the arms of a dark haired man in his early twenties—and barely at that. He was clad in a white, black and green uniform, an odd oblong emblem on the upper left side of his chest. A green mask hid half of his face, and a green ring adorned his finger, emitting a powerful aura across his entire body.
This was Wonder Girl's boyfriend—Kyle Rayner, a Green Lantern, one of the most powerful beings on the planet!
“Wait a second,” gasped Gar Logan, scratching his head. “That's Kyle?! Your boyfriend's a freakin' Green Lantern?!”
Donna blushed. “Did I…forget to mention that?”
Of course, a female voice quickly stole their attention. “But what Kyle says is true, sister. You all did an excellent job.”
The Teen Titans turned in amazement at the group they now saw standing before them. The array of cloaks, red spandex, halter-tops, wings, fishnets and even leather jackets that confronted them may have seemed strange at first—but their wearers were some of their idols! Indeed, they were heroes the whole world looked up to!
Cyborg: “I can't believe it…it's like a dream come true!”
“Is that…” gasped Dick, barely able to finish his sentence.
“You bet,” smiled Victor Stone. “It's the Justice League!”
Speed: “Well, it's about freaking time!”
Next Time: Guest-Starring the Justice League of America!
OOC: Well, looks like next chapter's a big one! Don't miss it! And all you Slade fans, don't worry…he's the Titans greatest enemy! He'll be back—with a vengeance!