Teen Titans Fan Fiction ❯ The Real World: Titans Tower ❯ The Teen Titans and Titans East vs. The Brotherhood of Evil! ( Chapter 12 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
DISCLAIMER: The New Teen Titans were created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, and they and other characters used in this story are owned by DC Comics. It is with much respect and admiration that I take a stab at writing them. And I'm really tired of trying to find witty things to say in this space.
“All Star Teen Titans”
“The Real World: Titans Tower”
Chapter 12: The Teen Titans and Titans East vs. The Brotherhood of Evil!
THE TEEN TITANS—Teenage heroes and reality TV stars:
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—Princess Koriand'r: Honest, caring newcomer to Earth capable of flight and generating energy blasts.
TITANS EAST—Teenage heroes aiming for fame, fortune, and the honor of being a true Teen Titan!:
Flamebird—Bette Kane: Spoiled rich heiress, athlete, and Robin fangirl.
Arsenal—Roy Harper: Former bad-boy sidekick and current government agent and weapon master with perfect aim.
Impulse—Bart Allen: Hyperactive super speedster from the future with no understanding of danger.
Bumblebee—Karen Beecher: Cybernetic genius with an insect themed power suit.
The Herald—Malcolm Duncan: Ex-thug armed with a wormhole generating horn.
Terra—Tara Markov: Runaway and wanderer with control over the very Earth itself!
Magenta—Francis Kane: Timid girl possessing tremendous magnetic power.
THE BROTHERHOOD OF EVIL—Freaks and outcasts seeking revenge, money, or twisted fun as a band of terrorist supervillains:
The Brain: Super-intelligent brain preserved in a robotic jar.
Monsieur Mallah: The Brain's love, a fierce ape given human intellect!
Madame Rouge: Cruel, sadistic shapeshifter.
Warp: Teleporting blue-collar Frenchman.
Phobia: Fallen nobility with the ability to bring people's fears to life.
Plasmus: Neo-Nazi turned into a protoplasmic pile of living sludge.
Houngan: Former scientist with technology simulating voodoo.
Goldilocks: Twisted girl with control over her hair and a mind locked in a fairy tale.
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.
***ON THE AIR—THE HIDEOUT OF THE BROTHERHOOD OF EVIL, ZANDIA***
Many years ago, Dr. Niles Caulder—perhaps the most brilliant neurosurgeon to have ever lived—banded together with several of his patients, whom had been dubbed “freaks” by the media due to the bizarre abilities granted them by their accidents. Together, led by Caulder, they became the Doom Patrol, a force—and a family—of superheroes who fought the bizarre and unknown.
Almost immediately after their inception appeared the Brotherhood of Evil. Led by the Brain, they had an intense, unreasonable hatred for the Doom Patrol. Over the years they clashed numerous times, their final confrontation leading to the murder of nearly the entire Doom Patrol—all the while, one question loomed like the elephant in the room nobody wanted to address: Why did the Brotherhood of Evil hate the Doom Patrol so much?!
Now, the only surviving member of the Patrol—Garfield Logan, the animal shapeshifter known as Beast Boy—was a member of the Teen Titans, a team of teenaged superheroes whose every exploit was filmed and shown to a television audience of millions. He stood in the forefront of his team—also joined by Titans East, a team of teens eager to meet and become as famous as the real deal—as they now faced down the Brotherhood in their very own lair!
Beast Boy: “What a day! I meet the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, and she really seems to like me—then on top of that, I finally get to have revenge on the Brotherhood! This is gonna be one for the record books!”
“Master!” growled Monsieur Mallah, a super-intelligent ape and eventual `lover' of the brain in a jar, “There are twice as many of them as anticipated!”
“That just makes it more fun,” clicked the mechanical voice-box in the Brain's jar in a monotone, robotic tone. “Brotherhood, you know what to do!”
Tiny electric pins shot out of the fingertips of Houngan's gloves as the scientist that simulated voodoo grabbed several glowing dolls from his belt. “Don't have to tell me twice,” he laughed as he shoved the pins into two of the dolls. They had been instructed to quickly take out the Titans' powerhouses, and if anybody, Houngan was the perfect choice for this task.
As the needles tore into the dolls' stomachs, both Speed and Raven collapsed. Wally screamed as his Speed Force shell of a stomach shattered, and Raven, perhaps for the first time since joining the team, actually touched the ground, trying her best not to lose control.
Speed: “Good lord, it's been ages since I've felt pain! No wonder these guys are so dangerous!”
Raven: “They know what they are doing. Already I sense more steps of their plan going into motion. I must be at my most diligent lest I lose control and doom all of us!”
“I am sorry I have to do this to children,” said Warp, a blue-collar Frenchman in a golden, pointed suit as he stretched his arm out, “But you have brought the war to us. I need the Brotherhood far too much to let them perish.”
Advanced technology came to life in his suit, and a white light shimmered around Wonder Girl as it swallowed the Amazon up! In only a second she had disappeared completely, teleported to who knows where!
Wonder Girl: “Just brilliant, Donna…We left ourselves wide open for that, myself especially! I demanded the responsibility of leader, I should have realized that I was making myself the biggest target on the team! Fortunately, our strength in numbers alone was enough to survive for the time being…”
“C'mon Gar, what's the hold up?!” Beast Boy was snapped to his senses by Terra, the runaway earth-mover whom he so adored. A yellow aura sparked to life around her hands as a small rock propelled her into the air. “This is your battle—get out there!”
Beast Boy: “Heh, is she ever just the kick in the pants I need.”
Indeed, it was all the reminder Garfield Logan needed. “Brain—you're mine!” His green body twisted and contorted until it had taken the shape of a pterodactyl and rushed the Brotherhood's deranged, disembodied leader.
“Ah yes, Beast Boy,” mused the Brain. “You do not concern me. I have already taken my revenge against Caulder and his experiments—you were never part of his plan. All I want now is to live in peace with my Mallah.”
Beast Boy: “His experiments? What's he talking about? The DP's accidents gave them their powers—Chief saved them! And what's he mean about me?!”
“However,” continued the evil organ, “There is someone who is much more eager to see you than I.” Piggy-backing off that ominous introduction, two arms came barreling towards the changeling, twisting and contorting like endless, rubber snakes.
“Madame Rouge!” Gar didn't need any reminders to remember his fellow shapeshifter, perhaps the most dangerous member of the Brotherhood. While Warp, Plasmus and the others were mostly hired help, Rouge seemed to share Brain's original goal of revenge with just as much vehement zeal as the disembodied monster.
Beast Boy: “And boy, is she ever bad news! Rouge can even become more stuff than I can! And it's not like she's actually turnin' into, like, a lion or somethin', she's more like rubber! It usually took Dad's psycho-helmet to put her down—man, I wish he'd left a spare!”
Rouge's arms rushed towards the green kid with ferocious speed, quickly overtaking him and threatening to capture him despite his constant transformations into smaller and smaller animals. “Beast Boy, what a pleasure to see you,” growled the woman as the veritable tornado her arms had become finally snared the Titan, squeezing until he returned to his human form. “Finally, my collection is complete!”
“Leave him alone, b----!” exclaimed Tara, her aura flaring as the ground before her crumbled and hurled into the air. Taking Gar in one hand, Rouge again hurled her other forward, letting it stretch and expand until it had caught every single stone like an overstuffed trash-bag. Her eyes bulging, cursing out loud Tara shoved her hands to the ground, focusing as much power as she could as she raised a wall of solid stone between herself and her attacker—for nothing, as Rouge's hand full of rocks came barreling through, knocking the Eastern Titan unconscious.
Reeling Terra in, Madame Rouge smiled wickedly. “Well, looks like I have the complete set.”
“You will leave my friends alone!” Heading towards the villains at top-speed was Starfire, her fiery red hair blazing behind her, her emerald green Starbolts sizzling in her palms, her face full of fury.
Turning towards the Brain, the shapeshifter only had to say, “Brain…”
“Yes, I know what you have in mind for the green one,” replied the Brain. “I will not let her spoil your fun. Mallah!”
And suddenly Monsieur Mallah was atop Princess Koriand'r, driving her into the ground with force unusual even for a gorilla. “You will leave my master alone!”
Starfire: “Poor creature! I do not know what they have done to make it fight for them, but I cannot allow my compassion to hold me back from saving my friends!”
Meanwhile, gears in Warp's suit continued to turn as he focused his attention on determining his next target—and settled on ridding them of Houngan's powerhouse targets so that the faux master of voodoo could focus his attention elsewhere. “Au revioua…”
However, with a triumphant burst of deep music, Warp's wormholes disappeared before they could even begin to open. “Yeah, those ain't cool man, ain't cool at all.” Panicked, the Frenchman turned to see the Herald standing to his side, his rift-creating trumpet resting on his lips. “Y'see, this teleportin' stuff was invented by my lady-friend over there, so I've got as much of a handle on it as you do.”
Warp looked panicked for a second, but as soon as that passed a look of deep resolution replaced it as he held both arms forward and set into motion dozens of his own warp-holes. “Fine,” growled Malcolm Duncan, “Be like that.” Inhaling deeply, his cheeks puffed out as he blew on his amazing trumpet, closing every warp-hole before they could even begin to be harmful.
“Wow, he's just like my own action figure dolly!” exclaimed Goldilocks, her attention focused on Cyborg's half-mechanical body. “I want him!” Powered solely by her will, several of her long, curled pigtails hurled forward, twisting into razor-edged corkscrews.
Cyborg: “I'm half surprised Sarah didn't appear out of nowhere and take her down right there for that remark!”
Sarah Simms needn't be there, however, as a large stream of acid took care of Goldilock's, uh, golden locks instead. “Plasmus! Watch it!”
“Bah,” growled the giant pile of living waste, “You watch yourself, girl. The n-----`s mine!”
“Potty mouth,” grumbled Goldilocks, while Victor Stone's body could barely contain his rage.
Cyborg: “Tell me he did not just say what I think he did!”
Electricity started to sizzle in Houngan's glove as, with his other hand, he reached for more dolls. “Man, all these extra guys are just making them more disorganized! Brain already uploaded the DNA of the real Titans into my fetishes, so while I'm finishing them off the others should have no trouble with their imposter friends!”
“Imposters, huh?” In the blink of an eye the dolls he was using to torture Speed and Raven were gone, held in the hands of a white and red streak. “No way! We're Titans East!”
Impulse, the wild-child speedster from the future, crushed Houngan's torture devices in his hand before dashing forward several more times, pummeling the voodoo mimic with every strike. Skidding to a stop, his untamable mane of hair billowing behind him as he smiled devilishly, he added, “You said yourself you can only hurt the other Titans! You can't do a thing to me!”
“Wanna bet?” Suddenly Bart was on the floor, gripping his knee. Houngan had stabbed a needle into the knee of a doll, with a lock of brown hair attached to its head. “You're fast, kid, but predictable. Easy to get your DNA. Now, you're mine!”
Despite the outcome, however, Bart Allen's impulsive attack was still successful in one area—freeing his teammates! With the pain instantly gone, both Wally and Raven were able to get to their feet.
“Man, it's like I got hit by a Mac Truck,” grumbled the speed specter groggily as he held his head. “So, what do we do now?”
“You get back on your knees.” Before Speed could even react he had fallen, his world spinning. Standing behind him was Phobia, a fearsome woman clad in green and black, wearing more make-up than a 1940's starlet.
Speed: “What is this, everybody pick on Wally day? Hell, not that every day isn't like that, but I mean, it's worse than ever!”
Raven: “I can feel from her…great satisfaction. She manipulates fear, she loves to make others feel fear…because every time she does, she escapes the fear she lived with her entire life. I would love to show her the hypocrisy in her own actions…but at all costs, I must avoid her. Speed with his fears unleashed is simply a danger to Speed, but me with my fear unleashed…is a danger to everybody here.”
“Raven…” groaned Wally, clawing at the ground as his mind seemed to slip away, “…Help me…”
Pausing for a second, hesitantly Raven said, “I…I am sorry Speed. I cannot!” Immediately she vanished in a bird-shaped pool of black, and Wally screamed as he became totally lost in his fears.
Speed: “That b---- showed me horrible things, my worst nightmares come to life. I've already lost my body, but I started to lose my mind…I lost Aunt Iris, I lost Fran, I lost…Raven…
“Hell, what's sad is my worst nightmares aren't that far off from real life…”
“Leave Wally alone!” Suddenly Phobia was knocked off her feet by one of the compound's many computer terminals, uprooted by a familiar magenta aura. Frances Kane floated above it, rage replacing her usually timid demeanor.
Speed: “Good ol' Fran. Screw Raven—I don't know what I even see in her. She isn't even half the girl Fran is!”
“Then do you want me to attack you instead?” replied Phobia who, despite being injured, didn't give it away at all in her regal voice. “Your fears are just as transparent as your boyfriend's, girl. With you it is not a matter of finding them as much as it is choosing which fear to manipulate!”
And as simply as that Magenta was on the ground, writhing in agony. In her mind Phobia had unleashed her worst fear—a state she'd been in before, a state she thought she'd left behind, that she had to leave behind, because she was in control now, right? Her magnetic aura circled her body as her long blonde hair started to stand on end, as she retreated to the same state she'd been in when she tore Girder into pieces.
Speed: “Oh no, it can't be. She told me she had control now! Dammit, no!”
It would have been the perfect shot, had Phobia not already been scanning for more Titans. Since she had, however, she knew Arsenal's attack was coming, and strafed right past several red arrows before extending her hand. High atop the cave, from the perfect sniper's vantage point, Agent Roy Harper collapsed as the Brotherhood's mental powerhouse kicked down the door to his subconscious.
“All of you teenagers are the same,” she said, smirking. “Your fears are so obvious and plain—your pasts are so full of mistakes you're nearly paralyzed before I can even get to you!” Indeed, it took little prodding to make Roy relive the pains of both drug addiction and withdrawal at the same time!
Robin: “Arsenal had the right idea, though—there's not much that can take down the old witch `sides a sneak attack!”
As Dick Grayson leapt from an alcove out of Phobia's line of vision he certainly had the element of surprise on his side—unfortunately, so did Goldilocks, who interrupted the acrobat's sneak attack as she ensnared him in a deadly net of her hair!
“Ooh, you're much better than Cyborg,” grinned the psychotic little girl. “You're just right…”
“Get your damn hands off him!” Two garish boomerangs soared towards Goldilocks, who easily swiped them aside with two more pigtails. Standing in opposition to the Brotherhood member was Bette Kane—the Robin fangirl known as Flamebird! “Robin's mine!”
Robin: “No, I've told her a million times Kory's my girl…but hey, I'm not about to argue with the chick that's about to rescue me, cuckoo or not!”
“Party pooper,” insulted Goldilocks as she started to spin, making Dick dizzy as she battered Flamebird repeatedly. Before she even knew what hit her, both her and Robin were wrapped up tight in a ball of the girl's odd, malleable hair. “Yay! Time to play!”
Meanwhile, the showdown between Warp and the Herald continued, still locked in a stalemate as Raven appeared beside the two of them—and falling from her dark energy was Wonder Girl, dripping wet but still alive!
Wonder Girl: “Warp teleported me to the bottom of the ocean—fortunately I can hold my breath for several minutes, but still, I didn't think I was going to make it! Thank Zeus for Raven!”
“Enough,” said Raven to Mal, pulling his horn from his lips. “Cyborg needs your assistance. I can take care of Warp.”
“And I'm on the Brain!” exclaimed Donna as she sped off.
Wonder Girl: “He had the right idea having them go after me first! If I can take out the Brain, the Brotherhood should fall apart!”
“Cyborg?” Herald wasn't too pleased with the idea. “I should really be with Kare—”
“Cyborg needs your help,” insisted Raven, giving the ex-thug a look that indicted she wasn't going to take no for an answer. Even Mal was shaken! “Go!”
As Mal hurried off, Warp was relieved. “And you believe you can stop me, little girl?”
“Why yes,” replied the empath coldly as her dark cloak expanded, and before Warp even knew it he was surrounded by a never ending field of black! “Yes I can.”
***OFF THE AIR***
Warp awoke to find himself immersed in nothing but never-ending black. It was as if he was floating in space, with no ground, no sky, no beginning nor any end. He strained to activate the teleportation devices contained within his suit, but that effort was in vain.
“Do not waste your time, Warp. I long ago took possession of your suit and rendered its powers useless.”
The Frenchman looked around, confused as Raven's voice seemed to echo from every direction, even though the empath was nowhere to be found. “Whe—where—”
“You are within my soul self, Warp,” answered the dark Titan. “Here your mind and emotions are an open book to me.”
“Then you know why I do this, non?” Sweat rolled down his face. “Please, Mademoiselle Raven, I did not want to harm any of you. I have children myself. All I want is to provide for my family…”
“By killing?” Raven's omnipresent voice got louder as her anger rose. “The Brotherhood demolished an entire country in a nuclear explosion, Warp. You can justify the death of millions simply to feed your family? You have gone beyond simply finding a means to an end. What would your family think if they knew what you have done?”
Squirming, Warp obviously wasn't happy with where this was going. “T—they would understand…”
“Unlikely. I can feel what little guilt remains in you over your life course, Warp. There used to be much more of it, did there not? But, it appears that on some level…you find being in the Brotherhood of Evil fun. Have you really put this over your family's feelings? Sickening.”
Gritting his teeth, clenching his face, Warp seethed. “Who are you to judge me, witch?”
“Judge? I have not wasted my time judging you.” Suddenly Warp started to feel dizzy, growing groggy as if the darkness that enveloped him was leaking into his brain. As the last of the Brotherhood member's consciousness slipped away, he was treated to one last thought of Raven's—his last sight was of four red eyes piercing the all-consuming darkness. “After all, why judge you when judgment has already been passed against all mankind?”
***ON THE AIR***
And Warp was left unconscious on the ground as Raven's Soul Self retreated into her cloak. The empath just looked down at him sadly, knowing the audience could not see what she had put him through.
Raven: “I hope I did not hurt Warp too badly…but hopefully I have taught him something. Still, I made sure that if he tries to resume his life of crime, he will suddenly find every nightmare he has ever had released into his mind!”
“What did they do to you?” asked Starfire as she launched several Starbolts towards Monsieur Mallah, the enhanced gorilla she currently found herself battling. As he lumbered towards the Tamaranian, pushing forward with his long arms and smaller legs, the green projectiles simply bounced out of his path.
“My Master has enhanced my intelligence, agility, strength, and even installed a force field on my weapons belt,” explained Mallah proudly, beaming as much as a gorilla could.
“No,” frowned Koriand'r, “I mean how did they make you fight for them? Are you simply doing it as a favor? You have been gifted with intelligence, Mallah—use it! Is repaying the Brain's gifts worth so much killing and misery?”
Somersaulting, the gorilla attacked from above, and the Tamaranian only narrowly managed to counter it. “No,” he answered gruffly, “I am doing this for love, girl. The Brain and I are finally going to be together!”
Starfire: “That is certainly an…odd pairing. Even on Tamaran it would have been taboo for different species to mate, but considering the unique circumstances here…I suppose love truly knows no bounds, no? Still, despite their love or even any hardships placed in their way, it does not justify the murder of heroes!”
“You will be together in prison!” exclaimed Kory as she propelled herself above her opponent. “You are lucky you are not on my world, or it would be in death instead!”
“Atta girl, Starfire!” cheered Donna Troy as she soared, nearing her top speed, past her alien teammate and straight toward the Brain himself! “Nice to see you've learned a little something here on Earth!”
Starfire: “I do not know if I have `learned' as much as I have…conformed. After all, what is that saying? When on Rann, do as the Rannians do?”
“Wonder Girl,” said the Brain, the eyes of his robotic shell lighting up, “If you are here then Warp must have failed his mission. Pity—for both him and his family.”
Suddenly six beams of fluorescent orange light shot from computer consoles surrounding the Amazon, honing in on her effortlessly and ensnaring her within a cocoon of their pulsating energy.
“Still, just because I have my Brotherhood does not mean I am defenseless.”
Wonder Girl: “I knew that, but it never occurred to me that tiny robot body could have this much control! I suppose this is the price we pay for attacking the Brotherhood in their own lair—the Brain has complete control of this place!
“Well, this is a mistake I won't make again!”
“How much longer can you last, Teen Titans?” Phobia strolled casually, back and forth past the bodies of Speed and Magenta, and below the body of Arsenal, all three trapped in their own worst nightmares, courtesy of the witch's meta-human abilities. “How much longer before your own fear causes your mind to freeze, your body to…simply cease functioning?”
Pausing for a second beside Wally, Phobia continued, “Of course, your life doesn't seem tied to your body…perhaps I could animate your fears…permanently?”
Speed: “Again, it's not much different from my real life anyway…”
“Why don't you pick on somebody your own size, wicked witch of the west?” Suddenly Phobia was knocked backwards by a sparking blast of yellow that got her in the gut—just across from her, Bumblebee returned to her normal size. “Like me.”
Breathing heavily as she climbed to her feet, Phobia replied, “Then so be it. What could be your worst fear, girl—a beekeeper?”
Extending her hand, the green clad woman expected Karen to fall as did the others—but she only cocked her hip and stared at her like she was insane! As Phobia's jaw dropped, the Titan tapped the side of her head and informed her, “My suit's programmed to resist mind control. Sorry lady, but your reign of terror's over.”
“Ridiculous,” replied Phobia. The air around her started to simmer like it would on a hot day, and the whites of her eyes turned black, highlighting her shockingly green pupils even more as she strained every last reserve of her power against Bumblebee. Unfortunately for her, it was working—fortunately for everybody else, the concentration it took meant that Phobia was distracted from the others!
Bumblebee's leg trembled as the full power of Phobia's mental abilities started to overload even her suit's formidable defenses—meanwhile, Wally started to come to, pulling himself to his feet in a flash.
“Fran!” he exclaimed, his first thought on the love that had returned to his life. Magenta hadn't moved—she was still hunched on the ground, her magnetic power criss-crossing her body while she was unresponsive.
Speed: “Damn, she hasn't recovered yet. Is that because of Phobia or…no, I can't think about the other option. The witch must not've gone all out yet, that's it! Well, if she's the problem than the answers easy enough…”
Angry, Wally West went from standing still to moving at the speed of sound almost instantly. His fist of compressed Speed Force energy shattered against Phobia's cheek, sending her reeling into a wall. Before she could even land, the Titan ran to the T-Ship, grabbed a helmet covered in knobs and wires, and strapped it to his now-unconscious opponent's head.
Speed: “The reason we were held up getting here in the first place is cause we had to wait for Jupiter to make us this crap—this is an inhibitor helmet to prevent Phobia from using her powers…though I seriously doubt she's gonna wake up anytime soon after that punch. But still…that geek actually made something good this time!”
“Thanks, Wally,” grunted Magenta—the speed specter was disheartened as he turned to find Fran hadn't changed! Sure, she was standing up and talking…but that wasn't the problem! Spreading her arms to the side, the magnetic girl uprooted two rows of the Brain's equipment and levitated into the air, dragging it with her. “C'mon, there's more of them to take care of!”
“What's wrong with her?” asked Bumblebee as Fran flew off. “I've never seen Fran seem that…confident before!”
“I have,” added Arsenal as he landed between Wally and Karen. “The same thing happened to her when we fought Girder—she got knocked around, then came back like that and tore the guy to pieces!”
Speed: “S---, there's no running from it anymore. This is what caused me to break it off with Fran in the first place! Her powers…they flip-flop her brain between positive and negative magnetic waves—she's LITERALLY bi-polar! Too much stress and she goes from my sweet, shy Fran to this gung-ho…dangerous Magenta!
“I left cause I couldn't bear to see it keep happening to her…and then when she showed up at the Tower, wearing that costume and using her powers, saying everything was fine…I thought she'd beaten it! Why…why wouldn't she tell me?!”
Houngan clapped his hands—while this is normally considered a good thing, it certainly wasn't when Impulse's imitation voodoo doll was resting between his palms! The tiny speedster rocked back and forth, as if being hit by giant, invisible hands, becoming more battered with each and every attack!
“I could…really use a…cheat code…'bout now,” stuttered Bart, with a dazed look and frazzled ends of his hair hanging across his face. His attacker chuckled as his glove lit up with electricity, looming just over the ADD addled kid's likeness.
“Heh, you're a fun one kid, but I've wasted enough time. Let's—”
“Yes, Impulse, we thank you for your sacrifice.” Suddenly the faux voodoo master was overtaken by a wave of deep purple power, and every doll and piece of equipment controlling his abilities were ripped from his body. Floating into the air, they stretched, pulled, and merged together into a single ball of metal, hovering besides the changed Magenta! “Your distraction kept Houngan from focusing on the rest of us. Would you like the honors?”
The Brotherhood member was looking at the magnetic Titan, terrified, and as he turned back towards Impulse, he was even more terrified as he saw that the whiz-kid had fully healed, thanks to his super-speed metabolism!
“This kid bounces back!” answered Bart Allen as he exploded forward. Houngan screamed cries for mercy, but they were totally blocked out by the sounds of Impulse mercilessly pummeling him from every angle. As he fell to the ground, unconscious and bleeding, Impulse only had one sentence to add:
“You just got schooled by Titans East!”
Magenta, however, hadn't stuck around to see her teammate's victory. The shifting polarities of her magnetic power had sent her into a fit of vengeance, and now she soared past Kory, past Donna, and straight towards the Brotherhood's bizarre leader!
“Surrender now!” cried the eastern Titan as she thrusted her hand forward, releasing a pulse of her power through the Brain's robotic body—yet, much to her surprise, “What? It did nothing! How?!”
“Control over magnetism is far too common an ability, girl,” said the Brain. “And it is also far too easy to prepare for—my body is made of all plastic components, and I have weaponry fully capable of…well, perhaps a demonstration is in order…”
The eyes on the Brain's robotic shell lit up, and so did Magenta, her polarity switching between positive and negative several hundred times per second—the crackling of the energy even drowned out her screams as the blonde fell to the ground, unconscious and completely immobilized.
“Fran!” Wally roared to her side, kneeling, and if he could've cried, he would have. Cradling her in his arms, he rose to his feet, so wrapped up in her fate that he didn't even notice Wonder Girl a few feet in front of him, trapped within pulsating bars of pure energy.
“Speed!” cried Donna, trying her best to get his attention. Not even her Amazon strength could free her from the intangible trap, and she was starting to go numb. There wasn't time to fool around! “Speed—Wally—I need you!”
Still, Wally West didn't even notice her. “Don't worry Fran, everything will be okay—it has to be!” In an instant he was gone, no doubt having sped off to the nearest hospital he could find.
Wonder Girl: “Hera, what a double standard! Save her, but let me die?! I definitely need to talk to him about teamwork!”
Suddenly Donna Troy saw crimson arrows fly around her in all directions, aiming for the weapons that held her captive! They exploded on contact, but sadly, the weapons were guarded with force fields!
“S---, wasn't expecting that,” grumbled Arsenal as he slipped his longbow back over his shoulder. “Okay, time for Plan B then!”
Wonder Girl: “Well, that makes up for Wally I guess! A much better choice of a knight in shining armor!”
“Heh, and here I thought this would be a waste of time!” exclaimed Plasmus with a laugh as he slung his arm at Cyborg, parts of his protoplasm appendage flinging off as acidy projectiles. “I hate what I have become, but if it lets me kill more n-----s, then maybe it's not all bad!”
Grimacing, Vic spread his arms and brought to life his energy shield, a shimmering field of translucent blue that held at bay the Neo-Nazi's acidic assault. Hatches in the Titan's shoulder popped open, releasing a flurry of missiles. Plasmus grinned about as well as he could for having a mouth made of sludge as he moved through the storm of explosives, slithering like a snake between the missiles.
Cyborg: “The bastard's goading me on, but as much as I wanna I'm not goin' to say a damn thing to him. I'm not giving him anything he can use as ammo against me, and a racist guy like him could use anything as ammo.”
Moving faster than expected, Plasmus snaked beneath the final missile then launched himself into the air, ready to slam atop the mechanical man. Again Cyborg brought to life his energy shield, and it started to crack as the Brotherhood member made of pure protoplasm landed atop it, taxing the shield's integrity with both his weight and his acidity. Grunting, Victor Stone sent the shield—and his opponent—hurling forward.
This didn't stop Plasmus, who surrounded the shield-turned-projectile with his body, depleting the last of its energy and shattering Cyborg's final defense. The metal man staggered backwards, physically pained at the loss of the sizeable energy bank his shield required, while the protoplasm man dove into the ground, melting a fissure into the stone and using it to travel straight toward his opponent's feet!
Cyborg: “Before my accident I was an athlete, and I was fast as lightning. Now? I guess I ain't slow, not with the boosters built across my body, and I still know how to run, but still, I'm half-metal. Movin' around fast ain't exactly my specialty, and Plasmus is a lot faster than I'dve thought!”
Leaping with all his hydraulic-backed strength, Victor Stone took to the sky, knowing it was his only chance of being anywhere near fast enough to dodge Plasmus's subterranean attack. It was a good try, too, but the monster was just behind him, propelled into the sky by a trail of protoplasm. Vic started to panic—one touch could even melt through his promethium-reinforced robotics!
Fortunately, the Titan didn't have to experience it, as he was suddenly swallowed up by a bright light! Cyborg hit the ground and saw Plasmus still in the air, across the cavern! The metal-man himself was sitting next to Mal Duncan—the Herald!
“Thanks a million man,” said Vic as he got to his feet, his arm folding back into his Sonic Cannon in preparation of the still ongoing battle. “But I thought you didn't like me?”
“I don't,” grunted Malcolm, “But hey, you're still one of the good guys...”
As he hit the ground, Plasmus noticed the two boys, and a twisted smile oozed across his face. “Two blackies for the price of one?” he marveled with sick glee. “This really is my lucky day!”
“Racist motherf---er,” growled the Herald as he moved his horn to his mouth.
“Ya got that right,” agreed Cyborg as he fired his weapon, unleashing a blast of sound waves that, despite his opponent's unusual speed, still dissolved part of his body.
Cyborg: “'Kay, the Sonic Cannon can actually hurt `im! Good to know!”
Though he was reeling a bit from the metal-man's assault, Plasmus didn't waste any time in answering with a string of acidy projectiles. Blowing into his horn, the Herald opened rifts in space that swallowed up each one, and then one beneath the monster itself! His eyes bugging wide, the Brotherhood member leapt out of the way, stretching and pulling himself away from each wormhole the eastern Titan opened.
Landing just short of another hole in space, Plasmus pushed himself forward with all his force, straight towards the two Titans! “Get us out of here!” panicked Cyborg, and as he activated his horn, Mal replied with a look that clearly said, `What the hell do you think I'm doing?'
Vic and Mal fell through a portal and again landed far behind the monstrous Nazi.
Cyborg: “Well, nothing we're doing is working. Think, Vic! The Sonic Cannon can actually hurt him, but it's just not big enough! If I could dissolve him in one shot, we could collect him real fast in that containment device Jupiter made to capture him in, but…hey, that's it!”
“Herald!” called Victor Stone, “Can that horn actually play music too?”
“Yeah,” replied Malcolm Duncan with a quizzical expression. “What, you plannin' on serenading him or something?”
“Kinda-sorta,” said Cyborg with a laugh. “Just follow my lead, hit the same note I do!”
“You can't do the same trick twice!” yelled Plasmus, having already overtaken the two as he leapt straight towards them. “I will melt your black skin away, reduce your bones to ash, I'll—”
Cyborg grimaced as he aimed his cannon. “Pig.” Herald did as he was told, and followed his teammate's attack by playing the same note at full power. Though his horn couldn't focus the sound into an attack as could Vic's cannon, it was able to increase the power of the Sonic Blast! Plasmus was shattered in one swift motion, pieces of pink flying in every direction.
However, already they were starting to crawl back towards each other, ready to regenerate! “Speed, Impulse, somebody get over here quick!” called Victor, not wanting to have to try that again. “And bring the Plasmus holder!”
Instantly the remnants of the protoplasm monster were overtaken by a white and red blur, and soon he was trapped within the device Jupiter had devised to contain him, a magnetic pulse running through the inside to keep him from regenerating. “Plasmus in a can!” laughed Impulse.
“Good job, Herald,” said Vic, smiling and extending a hand. “Couldn't have done it without ya.”
Though Mal Duncan grinned half a grin, he didn't reciprocate the hand-shake. “No problem. It was nothin'.”
Cyborg: “Well, that was odd. He helped me, but he's still a little icy. Guess I better just wait an' see `fore I invite him over for any parties.”
Meanwhile, Monsieur Mallah continued to smack around his Tamaranean opponent, and having tired of banter, just roared like any other gorilla would. After all, despite his enhanced intelligence, he was still simply a beast!
Starfire: “Perhaps a creature such as this outclasses a fragile human, but I should be having no trouble! I was able to wrestle down a Flarbeck easily on Tamaran, and they are several times larger than this beast! Of course, he also has that energy shield protecting him—I guess the head-on approach is a waste of time. Perhaps another strategy is on order…”
Pulling both her arms behind her back, Princess Koriand'r screamed and immediately thrust them forward, releasing a Starbolt from each. The attack stopped the gorilla dead in his tracks—though not out of fear.
“That is most useless, mademoiselle,” smiled Mallah, though he was quite possibly overestimating his defensive system. Giving no attention to his statement Kory carried on with her attack, continuing to fire her energy bolts in a wide, slow moving stream. As they hit her opponent's force field they spread like fire, covering every inch of the field's protective surface. “What—what is this?”
Starfire: “It was a plan to overtax his protective field, though I dare not reveal that to him in battle. Secrets are not something that should be given away to one's enemy!”
So, without providing an answer, Kory instead followed up with a smaller, faster, more powerful Starbolt fired from her eyes. It struck in the exact spot where her earlier attacks had, and the combination of such taxing attacks finally shattered Mallah's force field! The French gorilla barely had time to react as Starfire shot forward at top speed, delivering a vicious uppercut to the creature's chin that knocked him out cold.
“But, love…I had love on my side…” stammered Monsieur Mallah, passing out almost before the words passed through his mouth.
“Love does not side with murderers,” declared the alien princess. “In love or not, you deserved far more than I gave you—be grateful, beast.”
Starfire: “I think my teammates sometimes misunderstand my stance on killing. I really do loathe it—but those that willingly take innocent lives need to be stopped by any means necessary, and death is certainly the easiest and most effective method, yes? Sometimes, with the way Donna looks at me, I would almost think she thinks me some bloodthirsty monster, but I simply wish justice to be done—and perhaps I have a different idea of it than she does!”
Perhaps Donna Troy did think that, but at the moment she was a little distracted by the restraints of blinding, searing energy that held her in place and continued to slowly sap the life from her body. Behind her, the master marksman Arsenal was dodging left and right, desperately trying to avoid the fire of the Brain's machinery long enough to actually free his teammate!
“Roy, could you hurry it up a bit?!” demanded Wonder Girl, understandably frustrated. Gritting his teeth, Roy Harper was just as frustrated as he dodged behind another blast. He was trying, but with the Brain's full attention—and his headquarters' full weaponry—aimed towards the two of them, he wasn't being given a chance to do much of anything!
Skidding to a stop, Arsenal was getting winded. He drew a laser pistol with each hand, neutralizing some of the beams heading his way with pinpoint shots, but not even he was fast enough to keep track of all of them! Just as he thought he was going to finally bite the big one, two blasts were intercepted by shocking beams of yellow!
“Need a hand?” asked Bumblebee as she grew to full size behind the marksman.
“Yeah,” grunted Roy as he put away his weapons and grabbed for the colossal rifle attached to the back of his belt. “Think you can keep these blasts off me for a bit? I still gotta free Donna before we can do anything else!”
“You got it, boss man,” smiled Karen Beecher as she took to the sky, catching the defense system's attention before again shrinking, her small size allowing her to dodge blasts almost effortlessly while at the same time shooting down more with her stingers!
Arsenal, meanwhile, was finally in the clear. Closing one eye, he aimed the massive weapon—good for only one shot, though it was a doozy—and warned his teammate, “If you can Donna, cross your arms! I'm aiming for your bracelets!”
Wonder Girl: “Yeah, move. An easy thing for him to ask, y'know, having not been trapped in an energy grid for five minutes!”
Still, the half-Amazon was no weakling. Straining with all her strength, she managed to cross her unbreakable bracelets just in time to deflect Roy's blast. Still—as planned—just the pure power it contained sent her flying far from the energy grid, and the recoil did the same to Roy!
Wiping a few loose strands of hair from her eyes, Wonder Girl wasted no time returning to the sky. “That's it, Brain! Enough of your games! Nothing you can throw at me is going to stop me!”
“Preposterous,” replied the organ as the menacing eyes on his robotic jar lit up and fired rapid beams of purple energy. “You have barged into my home, Wonder Girl, and here I always have the upper hand.”
Barely slowing her charge, Donna Troy slapped aside the projectiles with her bracelets and advanced forward, waiting for an opening to let loose with a full speed charge! Unfortunately, the Titan was bounced like a tennis ball on concrete, not having even touched the Brotherhood leader's jar!
Wonder Girl: “An energy field. Well now, this is just becoming infuriating!”
Just as infuriating was Agent Roy Harper's futile struggle to shut off the weapons system. Everything in the damn place was protected by an energy shield! Seething, he pulled back on his bow and started taking pot-shots, letting explosive arrows fly in every direction, just hoping he'd get lucky!
One arrow exploded on the ceiling, and as rubble fell, Roy had found his luck—hidden beneath the cave roof were pipes heading to all the computers and weapons! Laughing, the archer pulled back one more time, not believing it'd be that easy.
“Roy, hold it!” Bumblebee returned to her true size besides her teammate, still deflecting blasts all the while. “Do you even know what those are?! Let me analyze them before you just start blowing stuff up!”
“But I love blowing stuff up,” pouted Arsenal, though he didn't let the rejection hamper his skills as he took his turn deflecting attacks while Karen studied the pipes.
“Told ya',” laughed the genius as her scan finished. “Those do carry power to all the cave's systems, but my readings indicate that everything in this place has several hours of reserve power, so blowing it up wouldn't do much good.”
Still, Roy Harper's eyes lit up. He had a plan! Flashing the smile girls were never able to resist, he said, “Well don't worry, that's good enough for me! Can you keep these computers off me for a few more minutes?”
“Only if it's a good plan,” smiled Bumblebee as she took to the air.
“The best,” smiled Arsenal. He pulled half a dozen diamond-tipped arrows from his quiver and tied a steel wire to their ends—the wire was already attached to the arrow loaded in his wrist mounted cross-bow!
Donna Troy skidded across the cave floor, not spending time thinking about her temporary set-back and instead grabbing her lasso. “Ah yes, the lasso,” observed Brain. “Quite a dangerous tool. Shame you shall never get to use it.”
In response to their master's statement, several dozen long, rotating claws shot from the walls and ceiling, each spinning at ridiculous speeds, hoping to snare her blessed lasso within their grip. Gritting her teeth, Wonder Girl dodged beneath several and hung the weapon back on her belt.
Wonder Girl: “The Amazons taught me that sometimes a weapon can be more of a disadvantage than an advantage if your opponent knows how to counter it. I suppose this would currently be the case with my lasso. Unfortunately, at the moment it is my only weapon, but if I can just think of something, it won't matter! I have my brain and everything the Amazons, my sister and the Justice League have taught me! That will have to be enough!”
Again the Brain attacked with blasts from his body, and again Donna blocked them. Suddenly, that training paid off as an idea came to life in her head! Spinning, the Titans' leader deflected a beam of energy straight back at the Brain, then sped behind it. Grinning, she punched the disembodied organ's shield with all her might at the same exact moment his reflected shot hit home, shattering the barrier and finally allowing her to make contact!
“That was a grave mistake, girl,” warned her opponent. Stubborn as ever, Donna dug her fingers into the Brain's jar, and was greeted by an electrical discharge strong enough to stun a yak!
Wonder Girl: “Knowing when to retreat and restrategize is also vital in battle!”
The half-Amazon was thrown backwards as she let go, and as she climbed onto her feet, contemplating which angle to take now, she heard Roy yelling to her. “Donna! Do you think you can survive that again? I need a clear shot at his insides!”
Wonder Girl: “I don't like using our real names in battle, but from Arsenal? I'll let it slip.”
“Of course I can,” replied Donna Troy with a sly smile. “But this better be a good plan.”
“Why do you girls keep asking that?” gasped Roy, feigning shock. “It's the best!”
Aiming his crossbow towards the Brain, Arsenal waited for his opportunity. Wonder Girl paused for only a brief second, just long enough to beseech, “Gods, give me strength!” Then she was gone like a red, gold and blue bullet, transversing the gap between herself and the Brain in a mere instant.
“You haven't had enough?” asked the Brain, who again activated his electrical discharge as Donna tore into his shell, pulling it open, giving Roy a straight shot.
Wonder Girl: “The largest thing I wish I could change about this battle? I wish I could have heard the Brain getting nervous as he met his defeat. That monotone, emotionless voice is not only chilling but…you just can't get any satisfaction from defeating it!”
The arrow fired from Arsenal's crossbow, and the instant it hit its target—the insides of the Brain's mechanical body—the archer turned and fired off the rest of his arrows, which pierced the energy pipes in the ceiling of the cave! The Brain's own electrical discharge traveled across the wire and straight into the pipes—and only moments later the compounds' defensive systems all exploded like fireworks, overloaded from the power coursing through their hardware!
“F---in' a!” cheered Roy, and with the deed done, Donna had nothing else to wait for. With a satisfied grunt she ripped his body in half and crushed the glass dome, letting the Brain's, er, brain fall to the ground unprotected.
However, a second later she caught it in a special jar created by Jupiter's scientists—it kept the Brain alive, but didn't even give him the privilege of speech!
Wonder Girl: “Hera, was that a trial! Perhaps it serves us right for invading them in their home, but still, they deserved every hit they took. The world will be a better place with this scum under bars.”
“Good job, Roy,” said Donna as she recovered, giving the archer a rare compliment. He smiled like he'd won the lottery, though it may have just been because of the beautiful girl he was fighting alongside.
“Thanks,” he replied, still returning all his weapons to their rightful holders. “We make a pretty good team, don't we?!”
She had to admit, they did, at least today. “Yeah, I guess you're right.”
“We should definitely do it more often!”
Wonder Girl: “And there we have Roy Harper, the legendary ladies man! Dick Grayson should take lessons from him!”
“Hey, hey! Give credit where it's due!” Growing to her normal size between the two Titans was Bumblebee. “You could never have pulled that off without me!”
Roy intended to do just that, but was interrupted by a loud cry. “Karen!” Suddenly the Herald had leapt into his girlfriend's arms, hugging her tight. “Damn I'm glad you're alright!”
“Of course I am, Mal,” replied Karen Beecher, rolling her eyes. “I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself.” Still, as the embrace continued, she couldn't help but to melt a little. “I'm glad you're okay too, my man…”
“I'm glad to see that we're all okay,” added Cyborg, followed by Starfire and Impulse, all dragging their defeated opponents behind them, and tossing them into a pile around the Brain. “But the numbers look kinda slim. We all here?”
“No,” answered Raven bluntly, appearing out of nowhere as she always did. “Speed left mid-battle to get Magenta medical attention, but I sense there are several others—from all three teams—who are not present here right now.”
Raven: “Meaning the sense of joy they all felt was quite premature—perhaps the hardest part of the battle was not yet won!”
Bringing to life the team rosters in his head, Vic did a quick body count. “Raven's right,” he said worriedly. “Besides Wally an' Fran, we're missing Dick and Gar, Flamebird and Terra, and…Madame Rouge and Goldilocks…”
Cyborg: “Damn, that's a bad line-up there!”
To her credit, Wonder Girl immediately sprang into action. “Raven, use your empathy to search for their mental signature—meanwhile, Impulse, I'm going to need you to canvass this place from top to bottom. If you find them, you are to re—”
“Don't bother,” came a voice from behind the girl wonder. The assembled group of Titans turned to see Beast Boy and Terra walking slowly towards them; the limp body of Madame Rouge was held in the boy's arms, her overstretched limbs dragging across the ground behind him as they walked.
Victor Stone didn't need to run any tests to figure it out. “Gar, is she…”
“Yeah,” replied Garfield Logan glumly, without ever looking up. “She's dead.”
Next time: Shattered Perceptions